Why Writers Should Play Games

A few weeks ago my husband and I went to Columbus, Ohio on our yearly vacation/wedding anniversary to the Origins Game Fair. If you’ve never been there, imagine the ultimate party for gamers – roleplaying, miniatures, collectable card games, seminars, dealers room and costumes, costumes, costumes!

We’ve been going for quite a few years since it coincides with our anniversary and it’s a scant three hour drive from our house so it’s a fun getaway. The hubby enjoys playing Heroclix and war games and I enjoy the dealers room, the seminars and a variety of board games, most recently Wings of War with WWI biplanes.

It’s a great way to relax and also recharge my writing batteries and I recommend it to anyone looking to energize their writing. But what, you say to me, what does playing games have to do with becoming a better writer or even taking a break?

Well, let’s start with just being around people with vivid, wonderful imaginations. I’m not just talking about the roleplayers and LARPers who go around in colorful costumes and keeping in character all the time, displaying their multifaceted imaginary worlds to the public. I’m talking about the companies showing off their newest games, from seemingly simple card games to complex chit games reworking historical scenarios to otherworldly board game battles. All created by dreamers who thought up a world and then went through the work to put it out to the public.

Even a classic game like Go or Chess can have the re-energizing effect you need as a writer. Dig out that old backgammon game or grab some of the newer games off the shelf at your local store. Set up a night as Game Night, as my husband and I have done and just sit down and play something, anything other than watching television and brooding over your latest story. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much your creative batteries will be topped off with a round of fun, whether it’s battling with superheroes in a Heroclix game or rolling the dice in Yahtzee or flying miniature planes in Wings of War.

And besides… where else can you dress up like a steampunk mechanic, goggles and all?

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