Sunday, December 14, 2008

Writers and Games

Most serious writers I know who use the computer to write play some kind of computer game as a break between periods of intense writing.  Among my closest friends it is usually a game that has clear boundaries and is very short:  card games work well.  My husband, a prolific free lance journalist, plays Hearts on the computer as a break between writing spurts, as does another friend of mine from Iowa, who writes poetry, nonfiction and fiction and has published several books.  It's a way to clear her mind, she tells me.  Another novelist friend from Pittsburgh, who has published eleven books and for a time supported himself solely as a writer, said he had a card game he played on the computer.  His (now ex) wife would come home and mock him for playing games, and he would point to the books on the shelves that he had written.  

There is a stigma to playing video or computer games so you won't find a lot of writers who will admit they do it.  A colleague at the university where I now work commented to me several times about my predecessor that he used to "sit in his office and play video games all day." I can tell that in her mind, this is one of the worst things he could be doing. And yet he managed to write and publish a book of poetry in the few years he was here as well as do a good job teaching and directing the program. 

It seems that the smaller and more meaningless the game, the more one might be forgiven for playing it, as it clearly is just a way to rest or relax.  

No comments:

Post a Comment