Minecraft has played an important part of my life. Which is saying a lot considering I’ve never really played the game. My son plays, at eight years old he’s already a gamer. Minecraft is a particular love and his first real game. He’s autistic, and Minecraft brought him out of his shell, talking more, watching videos on youtube, demanding I read every item description, and search for crafting recipes. It’s been an amazing tool, motivator, and experience. He still comes to me, to show his latest creations, like a classroom and school bus for dolphins.
I want to show the fans of Gamelit a character succeeding, not just because of the strength of his arm, luck of a loot-box, or even being the smartest player in the room.
My Son and his playing of Minecraft has had a monumentally positive experience in my life. Watching someone you love get excited about a hobby or game or book always warms the heart.
So when it came time for me to write my first novel, and make decisions on where I wanted it to go with the story, Minecraft played a major part. I considered many things, from the sandbox nature of the game. The idea that all players can change the world in an easy manner. To surviving the wild, wondering if all players should have to start from nothing. Even grand building creation, where all players can easily build cities and even maybe eventually empires.
Crafting however stuck with me. Watching my son, learn, create, and build with the program helped me decide that I wanted my main character to be a crafter. Combining items to make something better and stronger. I debated an ultimate crafter, able to make anything. To turn a rubber chicken, some catgut, and a chair into a crossbow. It just didn’t quite feel right with the more grounded tone, so as I settled down I focused on wanting the main character to focus on one task and doing it well. I settled on smithing.
I knew it would take me away from the high flying action that normally populates the genre, narrowing my audience, and putting my goals at risk. Still, I wanted to celebrate creation and the long process it takes to get things just right. I want to show the fans of Gamelit a character succeeding, not just because of the strength of his arm, luck of a loot-box, or even being the smartest player in the room. Gamers, players, characters can succeed through hard work and making things better.
As authors, we all have things that influence our writing. Family, friends, experiences, and in GameLit, often the games we play. All of these things make us better writers, able to tell the stories we want. The more of an emotional connection one can make with the situation, characters, world, the more we can show that to our readers.
For a discussion, think of all the ways games have positively touched your life. Was there a certain story that changed your perspective? Did the gameplay inspire a change in your life outside of playing? Did you make some new best friends doing it? Did watching someone else play, and make new discoveries warm your heart?
For me, it was watching my son, and I wanted to share with you all how Minecraft and my one particular experience influenced the creation of my novel, The Crafting of Chess.