Creative people often love video games. Although some people argue the point, they do offer creative outlet. The problem is, they take so much time away from everything else.
So what happens to video games like World of Warcraft when National Novel Writers Month, or Nanowrimo, as we wrimos like to call it, kicks off for those who would swap one type of screen for another? Video games become lost in the dust, that’s what happens. No Nanowrimo participant has time for Starcraft or Diablo when fifty-thousand words await spillage onto the blank page so that wrimos can call themselves winners.
Despite the fact that many writers like to invest a little time on games during bouts of writers block, games that take longer than ten minutes to accomplish simple tasks lose their potency during Nanowrimo. Video games like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars just have too much of that time suck aspect for serious wrimos. Obviously, if wrimos aren’t writing, they aren’t productive. Facebook games always make more sense for the truly productive writers, but Nanowrimo takes time management to a whole new level.
How it works for kids.
Have a creative teen who spends as much time – or more, most likely – figuring the best possible attack combinations for a paladin in a twenty-five man raid as he or she spends on homework? They probably won’t be interested in Nanowrimo. Best of luck to you.
Have a teen who’s as interested in the storyline of video games as they are actual game play? Now we’re getting somewhere. Open up a dialogue about the game’s storyline. Ask what your teen thinks would improve it, and suggest they put pen to paper. Maybe they’ve already been doing this and you haven’t noticed. Now’s the time to find out.
If you manage to establish some interest, it’s time to introduce them to the Nanowrimo Young Writer’s Program. If you can establish the interest, you’ve found a way to get that video game struck teen to join the thousands of Nanowrimo participants in a month of writing frenzy. Yes, they may be stuck in front of yet another screen, but they’ll be writing. This too can be addictive. Trust one who’s been there.
Video game addicted spouses
This one may be a little tougher. Most won’t have any interest in Nanowrimo. But if you happen to have that someday-writer sharing the household bills with you, mention Nanowrimo. Extol the virtues of a full month of literary abandon. Just be prepared to take over lawn mowing and cooking duties. Oh, and understand that you will be subjected to excerpts from that unfinished novel, not to mention a continued lack of time for pursuits that interest you. That’s OK. At least he or she will be involved in a different time-suck enterprise. It’ll still feel like a break because the Nanowrimo Web site features zero explosions, unlike video games. That is, unless you count the Web site blowing up – but that will be quiet, at least until the spouse starts screaming.
Nanowrimo VS. video games
Look at it this way. If it never goes anywhere, then you will still have exercised your loved ones creativity, grammar, those parts of their brain you actually respect. This will occur at no cost other than your existing Internet connection.
Conversely, any decent video game costs about forty dollars. Some video games have monthly subscription costs. If you’re going to pay for something anyway, why not make it something that has some chance of offering a return? You never know, your fledgling wrimo may discover a new and more lucrative pastime.