Recently, Chris Flynn asked me to give some pointers to a friend of his who wanted to be a writer. Apparently, this means I’m a full-on writer and not just a charlatan, as my paranoid, minuscule ego likes to tell me. Anyway: I spent a good while typing up an e-mail, blindly, without regard to whether or not this girl was an intelligent person. The result was a lengthy piece of work that was incredibly insulting to her intelligence. Luckily, I showed it to Flynn, who told me to calm down. I edited it down and, instead of the list being insulting, it was pretty practical. I’d post it up here, but, as I said, it’s largely stuff that I believe is good – but I’m not a Famous Author. Here’s advice from a Famous Author.
Anyway, one of my suggestions was to write something every day. Another advice was to not get distracted by petty things like TV and video games. Well, I’ve been writing every day (after taking a couple of weeks off during the move and ensuing job hunt), but I’ve gone and really, really broke the second rule. And, my friends, I can say that the reason I’ve broken it is a good one: Minecraft. Well, perhaps not good, but very fun.
See, after seeing the two comics below, I decided that, damn it, I needed to play this game.
And then, shortly after making that promise to myself and forgetting about it, Josh Robinson and Jon David Lim over at Bullet Reviews started up a message chain discussing the possibility of starting up a BR server to create our own happy world. Perhaps involving multimedia reviews etched into mountains, block by block.
Well, seeing as how the game’s still in the alpha stage, there are some bugs. One such bug is that the multiplayer function is a bit, ah, squirrly. Somehow, this hasn’t stopped people from joining servers and creating cities and a game called Spleef.
As near as I can figure, the game involves chasing other people around a board and trying to knock blocks from underneath their feet while keeping yourself from falling. It doesn’t seem that entertaining at first glance, but I can assure you that, if the game is anywhere near as fun as Minecraft itself, then it’s a blast.
DISCLAIMER: Aaron is going to go on a mini-tirade about gaming.
Way I see it, you’ve got two types of gamers: CoD fanboys, and everyone else. CoD fanboys require heavy-duty graphics and realism. The rest, like me, like happy-looking graphics and pure fun, the sort that makes you feel like a kid again. Minecraft is one of the latter games. It’s what’s termed a ‘sandbox’ game. There’s no goal. You just move around blocks and try to avoid zombies, skeletons, and exploding monsters called Creepers. It is, pure and simple, being a kid again. And Spleef, for all the insanity of the name of the game, seems like it carries the torch very well.
Anyway, I’d like to reiterate the point I made to Flynn’s friend a while ago: It’s incredibly important to write and not be distracted. But, the thing you won’t hear from writers (myself included, except for this rare instance) is that it’s hard as hell to not be distracted. We’re social creatures, and no matter how many times a person will say otherwise, everyone likes to see shiny things instead of do any work.
If I could give her any more advice (which I could – hooray for e-mail), I’d say something along the lines of how the only way to avoid distraction and do some writing is to go somewhere without WiFi (good luck), or intentionally commute on a bus or a train every day and do your writing then. For me right now, distraction takes the form of Minecraft, my brother’s dog, and my nephew-in-law, who loves Halo and has enough energy that, if he were placed in an electricity-generating hamster wheel, he’d outdo cold fusion. And now Starbucks has free WiFi. I’m boned.