Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Games

A Game That Could Help Folks with #WritersBlock or Let Writers Without a Block Have Some Challenging Fun :-)


As of this post, there are 6 articles on games and writing (if you take <— that link, you’ll see this post since it has the tag “games”—just scroll down to see the others…). Elegy for a Dead World

I, personally, have found (being a bit of a gamer in my time) that the creative decision-making in certain games and the “story” creation in some world-building games are close analogues to what happens inside me when I write.

So, Laurie Vazquez “…writes about science and technology for Popular Science, TIME, and FiatPhysica.”

She recently wrote an article called, How One Video Game Helped Me Overcome Writer’s Block.

I’ll share just two excerpts from her article:

Elegy for a Dead World is a game we’ve written about but never played before. Created by indie developers Dejobaan Games, Elegy puts players in the position of an astronaut exploring three beautiful, abandoned worlds. All are colorful and rich, but desolate and broken. Their designs are inspired by three landmark poems: Ozymandius by Percy Shelley, When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be by John Keats, and Darkness by Lord Byron. It is the astronaut’s – and player’s – job to investigate each world, catalogue the remains, and piece together the mysteries of each civilization by completing 27 writing challenges. The worlds are merely prompts for writing, and the goal of the game as Dejobaan sees is it is ‘everyone can write’.”

After going into detail about her experience playing the game, Laurie says:

“By the time I’d gotten to the end, I was sad I was finished. So I went and played through the worlds again with different prompts. Now that I’d found my groove and trusted my writing abilities again, it was a joy — and that is the great secret of this game. Elegy does everything it can to inspire you.”

The game is out for Windows, Mac and Linux.

And, on the game’s site they say:

“In Elegy for a Dead World, you travel to distant planets and create stories about the people who once lived there.

“Three portals have opened to uncharted worlds. Earth has sent a team of explorers to investigate them, but after an accident, you are the sole survivor. Your mission remains the same: survey these worlds and write the only accounts of them that outsiders will ever know.”

If you go to that last link, you’ll see how much effort they’ve put into designing an experience that lets Anyone write :-)

Plus, so many writers say the way to break writers’ block is to just write, whether it’s one word over and over or gibberish or copying the back of a cereal box—seems this game might be a bit better than those mindless acts

And, here’s a video about it:

Plus, here are selected preview articles and other mentions:

And, one last video with the game’s project leads, Ichiro and Ziba (be aware the guy interviewing them is Way Too Excited :-)


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#Writing Can Be All #Fun & #Games . . .


storium - online storytelling game Anyone who’s been following this blog should be able to tell that the title of this post must have an interpretation beyond those words’ surface meanings

Those who may be reading one of my posts for the first time may wonder about my mental condition since writing can often be anything but fun and games

So, I must quickly reference a past post—Storium — The Online Storytelling Game.

When I wrote that post, nearly two years ago, Storium was still in Beta and looking for support on Kickstarter.

Recently, Storium opened up to the public.

Even though it’s evolution over two years has turned it into an even better storytelling medium, my descriptions from that past post are good enough to let you know enough to, perhaps, go check it out:

“Have you ever played a game and had it turn into a story? 

“Have you ever read a story and felt like it was a game?

“How about playing a game that actually helps you and few other folks write a story?”

O.K., there’s the basic concept

Then, I went back into my blogging history concerning storytelling and games:

I’ve blogged before about how stories and games can interact:

The Fiction Game

“Is fiction just a game authors play with readers?”

Writing & Games ~ Sometimes It’s Hard To Tell Which Is Which…

“…when you’re writing, it can sometimes seem like you’re in a game with your characters and you’re not sure who’s going to win…”

Games for Writers ( or, really, anyone :-)

“If you want to write your best you need to be your best; and, if well-selected games can help you be your best, what are you waiting for?”

Then, there was their own description of Storium:

“Storium is a new kind of online game where you and your friends tell any story you can imagine, together.”

“Stories are part of what makes us human.”

“They’re all around us, from books and movies to TV and video games.”

“Experiencing a good story can be one of life’s great pleasures. But telling your own can be even more fun!”

“Storium uses familiar game concepts inspired by card games, role-playing games, video games, and more.”

“In each Storium game, one player is the narrator [though, now, the narrator role can rotate amongst the players], and everyone else takes on the role of a character in the story.”

“The narrator creates dramatic challenges for the other players to overcome.”

“In doing so, they move the story forward in a new direction.”

“Everyone gets their turn at telling the story.”

And, I must include their Bullet Points:

“What makes Storium special?

* Total freedom: You decide what happens in your story.
* Multiplayer: Write and play with your friends, online.
*Asynchronous: Play at your own pace.
*Worlds: Pre-made playsets that help you tell stories in different settings and styles. [or, make your own World…]
*Something for everyone: You can tell any kind of story you want!”

Then, there’s the actual story that I and a few friends wrote with Storium

We all had real life interfere with the game so it does end abruptly :-)

Storium is free (with paid upgrades available), it’s fun, and it just might turn you into a writer (or, if you’ve already jumped off the cliff, make you a better writer…)

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”

~ Muriel Rukeyser

And, here’s the Team behind Storium.

Now, a video to Show & Tell :-)

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Last Chance To Get In The Game !


Forging The FutureAre you a woman who writes and/or games?

Want to take part in a mission to another star-system and help write a story along the way?

I’m the Narrator for a story-game called Forging The Future.

I have 4 out of 5 crew members (players) signed-up.

I have room for one female character-player.

Be aware, this game is open on another site so, even if you applied swiftly, applications may be closed ( or, I may decide to add an additional crew member :-)

To find out more about the game and how to get in, check out my past post, Let The Game Begin!

By the way, I usually don’t post here on Saturdays
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Games, Life, and Storytelling


My love of games helped turn me into a writer.

Games and Life

Image courtesy of Dave Edmonds ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/bluehor

And, I can’t help but feel that, long ago, our ancestors couldn’t tell the difference between a game and a story.

Also, games have been very successfully used to teach life skills.

So, I was excited today when my email held an article from Publishing Perspectives about goings on between writers and gamers at The London Book Fair.

The excitement was increased when I saw another article on Publishing Perspectives called Using the “World Itself as a Storytelling Canvas”.

That article was about Corey King, co-founder of ZenFri, which “creates and distributes cutting edge art & entertainment across a wide range of digital and traditional mediums.”

Corey had been on a panel at the Frankfurt Book Fair that discussed “Augmented Reality Storytelling: It’s the End of the Story as We Know It”.

ZenFri is best known for a reality-bending game played on iOS devices and called Clandestine Anomaly—a game that “…incorporates the actual neighborhood of each individual into the gameplay. Hailed at conferences around the world…as ‘the most ambitious augmented reality game ever attempted’, Corey’s mission is to define the narrative and gameplay conventions for what he sees as an emerging storytelling medium, one where the world itself is the canvas.”

Pulling myself back from the vivid fantasy of playing a game out on the streets, I want to talk about a venture that merges The Game with The Story—I featured it here two days ago, I’m already involved in it, and I’ll be inviting a few of my readers to join me

If you have the Spirit of gaming or writing in your blood, do read this past post—Storium — The Online Storytelling Game.

For those of you who tend to not take links out of blog posts, I’ll share three telling quotes from that post:

Is fiction just a game authors play with readers?”

when you’re writing, it can sometimes seem like you’re in a game with your characters and you’re not sure who’s going to win…”

If you want to write your best you need to be your best; and, if well-selected games can help you be your best, what are you waiting for?”

I’m currently creating a game over at Storium—I’ll be the Narrator—nine other folks will be the Main Characters (maybe you’ll be one of them?)—and, we’ll all write a story by playing a game, ok?

Stay tuned for Updates

“I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories that we know are not ‘true’ because we’re hungry for another kind of truth: the mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about someone who lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about oneself.”

~~ Orson Scott Card, “Ender’s Game”

Check out this video about Storium:

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Games for Writers ( or, really, anyone :-)


I love games—the more they simulate aspects of real life, the better

I think games are one of the most important things folks can do to stay sane and healthy

I wrote two past posts about my gaming:

Writing & Games ~ Sometimes It’s Hard To Tell Which Is Which

Special Flash News Alert ~ Update on Writing and Games

Today, I’ll share three videos of Jane McGonigal (identical twin of Kelly McGonigal who you can listen to in a video in the past post, Stressed Out ? ).

The first video below is short and fun—Jane helps an auditorium full of very smart people do Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling :-)

The second video explores some hard evidence that games can be good for our mental, physical, and emotional health—including saving Jane from a desire to kill herself

The last video is my favorite—how games can help us make a better world

One last thought for writers:

If you want to write your best you need to be your best; and, if well-selected games can help you be your best, what are you waiting for? :-)


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