The Gassy Gnoll: Why Write About Games? (November RPG Blog Carnival)

This month’s blog carnival focuses on writing for games, for yourself or others. Specifically why we write and for what… (November RPG Blog Carnival: Writing the Game @ Triple Crit from Kat)

Honestly it’s not one of those things I’ve really thought about, so I thought it was a good opportunity to do so. By way of a long-winded answer, here’s a bit of history…

Games have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The first decade of my life was filled by years of card games (War, Aces, Solitaire) and classic board games (Chess, Checkers, Sorry, Parcheesi, Monopoly, Scrabble). But when I was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons in 1982, my world changed. There was an associated explosion of vocabulary, math, mythology, history, critical thinking, and of course… writing.

Character and item histories. Session notes. Campaign notes. All needed to be written down and sketched out, researched and plotted. I’m sure I have some things from those early days 30 years ago. It was a grand time and long before I started using computers to help in the process.

I played through junior high and stopped in high school, but rekindled my love for RPGs in college. That was when I started writing again. It was the late 1980s/early 1990s and I was using the computer all the time – mostly for notes, lists, and story. And then after graduating college, it took off. It didn’t hurt that a friend and I were designing a RPG at the time. There were tons of e-mails and documents to pass around and print out. Pages and pages, most of which I still have today.

Over the last 20 years I’ve moved a few times, been married, and have a couple of daughters who are now entering the world of gaming. I’ve even attempted some self-publishing in the mid-90s and just a few years ago with Moebius Adventures. And I’m considering entering the fray of PDF game materials one more time in the near future.

So why *do* I write for games? Largely because I feel compelled to do so. Even when I couldn’t find a gaming group in Phoenix in the early 2000s, I continued to read and ponder what I *would* do if I had the opportunity. And when I felt Moebius Adventures slip away a couple of years ago (through burnout mostly), I decided to focus on writing reviews of game materials – supplements and full RPGs. Now, funny enough, that has brought me full circle back to writing game fodder again.

Gaming is part of who I have been for the last three decades. Without it, I feel quite hollow. The creativity that flows from my love of gaming has found its way into everything I do, whether in my day job as a software engineer, spending time with family and friends, or just me being by myself.

Through Game Knight Reviews my goal is to help other people discover or rediscover their own gaming roots. There’s a renaissance of small publishers flooding the market with all sorts of imaginative products – from full-blown tabletop games and role-playing games to one-page lists and maps for inspiration, and everything you can imagine in-between.

I hope that through my writing that my passion for this arena of creative endeavor comes through, but I don’t want to just be a fan boy. Not everything is the best thing since sliced bread and sometimes caveat emptor still applies even in our hobby. But usually there are nuggets of creative thinking in each product that can be made better with a little work, and I try to focus any negativity on the pain points with suggestions on how to fix them.

And I’m not saying I’m the end all and be-all of gamers, designers, and writers. I’m just a guy with a passion for gaming with a bit of a writing background and an eye for what I like. So feel free to take everything here at Game Knight Reviews with a grain of salt. But hopefully what I have to say helps those products get better. Often all it takes is a little spit and polish or another editing pass.

So that’s why I write for and about games these days. It all boils down to passion. I have a passion for seeing great game design get recognized. And their inspiration then in turn inspires me… It’s a great cycle of creative life.

Wow. Long-winded explanation there. But a GREAT topic for the months’ RPG Blog Carnival from Triple Crit. Be sure to keep an eye out for other posts this month on the subject across the gaming blogosphere!

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