GSWW Challenge 1.5 - "Character Stats"

In this challenge, you all are stepping outside your own heads to write lore about yourself.

Hey gamers! Welcome back to the GameSkinny Writer's Workshop.

Before we reveal this week's challenge, let's congratulate Stan Rezaee for writing last week's winning article. He gave us a stellar description of what his ideal S.T.A.L.K.E.R. reboot would look like. Definitely go give that a read, then click here to check out the 1.4 workshop, in case you missed it!

This challenge is for the week of Monday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, February 22. 

In your last challenge, we asked you all to write about what your ideal reboot of a particular game or franchise would look like. We talked a little bit about long-form writing, and in the workshop I spent a lot of time talking about how to work with and manipulate your language. 

You're going to be needing those skills this week, because we're really about to stretch your creative muscles. 

This week, you're writing your own lore. 

We want to know who all of you are as gamers. Every gamer knows that we inhabit a sort of alter-ego when we play. We're experiencing new worlds vicariously through virtual avatars. Even in the most basic sidescrollers, we're living in someone else's world. 

Think about who you are as a gamer. There are a lot of questions that someone could ask you about your gaming life. We all got into gaming for different reasons, play different genres, have different styles and experiences. And we think it's time we all got to know each other a little better. 

But it would be boring if you just told us all that stuff outright. So we're getting creative. 

Instead of just saying "I got into gaming because...", we're going to take it a step further. Most games have some kind of lore, history, or backstory that players can uncover and read about. Important characters have backstories, as do important places (and sometimes important weapons). 

We challenge you to think about what your lore/backstory would be if you were a character in a game. Then write your history the way it would appear in-game.

Now, don't make the mistake of thinking that this is a challenge only for RPG players. Although we may see more lore than any other genre, this is a challenge for all types of players. It all depends on your voice. If you're an FPS player, for example, adopt a militaristic voice and write your backstory as a briefing or mission info. 

Voice is what individualizes you as a writer. 

Even if we're all writing in the same language, and sometimes even if we're all writing about the same ideas, no two people will have writing that sounds exactly the same. We all have different vocabularies. We make unique stylistic choices. We've read different books or taken different classes that have shaped the way we approach writing. Your style, or your voice, is like your linguistic fingerprint. No one will ever be able to replicate it. 

When writing creatively, you can choose to alter your voice to better suit your content or inhabit different perspectives. And we encourage you to try that out here. We want you to try writing about yourself from the third-person. That means using "I" is not allowed. Write about yourself the way a game or game creator would write about you in the virtual world. It's going to push your brain a little bit to write from a perspective that isn't really your own, but try to relax into the voice you're using and you'll find your stride. 

Think about your favorite game genre. How does that genre usually present information and backstory? Paragraphs? Bulleted lists? Both? Something else? 

Now, see if you can find a way to incorporate the "voice" of your genre with your own writing style.

An RPG player like me, for example, may opt for a few "fast facts" followed by paragraphs that outline important things about my history and play style. I may choose to use fantastical, medieval language if that's what feels right. Stretch your voice. Play around with it. Inhabit different perspectives and write from them. 

There's a lot of questions that you can answer here.

And we encourage you to explore beyond the following suggestions and include whatever information you feel is important or worth knowing (even if it's just a fun fact). But here are some of the things we'd like to know:

  • Name: This can be your real name, or your gaming alias if that's what you prefer. Is there a story behind your name?
  • Origins: How did you get into gaming? 
  • Experience: How long have you been a gamer? Any notable gaming moments or memories?
  • Class: What genre do you play most often? What character classes or roles do you tend to play?  
  • Guild: Do you tend to play solo or with others? Why? Is there a special guild or a usual group that you play with? 
  • Morality Status: Where do you land on the spectrum? Lawful good? Chaotic evil? Somewhere in the middle?
  • Special Attacks: What unique skills do you have? Is there anything you're particularly good at? What are you bringing to the table?

Those are just a few questions to get you started. Think a little more and see what you come up with. You can even make up your own stats if you want.

Remember that you can answer these and your own questions in whatever format you like. But go beyond just a bulleted list. Write at least a paragraph or two as well to really put your voice to work. 

If you need an example for this challenge, you can check out the lore that I created for myself here. 

Mission Objectives

  • Articles must be at least 150 words.
  • Don't settle for just bullets, write out parts of your lore.
  • Play around with voice and inhabit a perspective that isn't your own
  • Be as informative and as creative as possible. 
  • If you want, add in screenshots of your characters or adventures. 
  • Fill out all parts of your Bonus Points tab.

Remember to invite your friends to join our GSWW challenges!

And follow our tag, #GSWW on Twitter, Facebook, etc. for updates, hints, and questions.

Again, this week’s tag is: GSWW 1.5

(We can't keep track of your piece if your tag isn't there!)

The winner of this challenge will be announced during our live GSWW stream. During these streams, I (your loyal weekend editor) will sit down with you all to workshop, promote, and feature some of your articles.

Remember: we have a new workshop time. This week’s stream will go live Wednesday, February 25th at 9:00 pm EST. To watch, click here.

Good luck, gamers. And happy writing!

Featured Contributor

Resident SMITE fangirl.

Published Feb. 8th 2018
  • John Harper
    Mate I'm like a month late learning about this. Going to have to catch up.
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    Hmm, intriguing! I'm curious to see what we'll all com up with.

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