Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Big Game Hunting - What in the heck is downtime anyway?

On one of my earlier articles, a colleague from a writing group I’m with asked a really great question – that is:

“How do you handle down time? Do you have ways to help yourself submerge once again into the realms of fantasy and gaming?”
(Raven Bower)

I've been thinking about this since the comment was posted, and the thing that I keep coming back to is this...

Unfortunately, or perhaps deliberately, the only time I get real "downtime" is when I’m forced into it. Gaming and writing have such an overlap for me that if I’m not gaming, I’m playing with my characters, in my head.

But yes, I’m about to make a very shameful admission. I play two of *the* most addictive games known to mankind. And I’m mostly unscathed by the experiences too.

The less said about World of Warcrack - Warcraft, sorry - the better, but it’s a good game for mindless fun. Eve was far too complex for me to enjoy for any length of time and caused a strange little disconnect in my head because I was immersed in writing a hard sci-fi book about space travel, so I’d keep randomly doing some dodgy quasi-fan fiction based on my book and Eve. It was at that point I stopped playing. A good rule of thumb? If you’re doing something in your book that your “in game” character did for a quest, chances are it wasn't your idea...

The other game I play, Magic The Gathering, is a very expensive hobby. Despite that I've got some gorgeous decks thanks to the various pieces of advice I've been given, and Magic is about the only time I’m actually so immersed in the game that I don’t pay attention to much else. In other games, I’ll check my phone, write snippets on my notepad... anything that breaks the downtime, but with Magic? Nothing other than kicking ass. Or being kicked from here to next week.

I’m not as addicted as others – we have one friend who is painting cards as a project and I know another friend who stays up all hours of the night grinding raid instances for that last bit of kit, but then my downtime is fiction writing as well. And I’m as addicted as you get to that!

D Kai Wilson-Viola isn’t looking for that last Mythic rare from the new M:TG set, nope...

1 comment:

  1. There are worse things to be addicted to :)

    That's one of the reasons I stayed away from WoW is the addiction factor (and a shoddy internet connection for games). I'm one of those gamers who will play a game incessantly until 'The End' and WoW doesn't effectively have an end...could have been bad.