Saturday, October 31, 2009
ZEN AND THE ART OF GAMING: HOW GUNS, BLOOD AND ACTION CLEAR MY CREATIVE CHANNELS
I love video games. I started PC gaming ten years ago. I was a broke-ass writer and couldn't afford to buy them, so I would download free demos and play them over and over again. My first title was an obscure 3rd-person alien game called Evolva. I soon worked my way up to Unreal Tournament and I was hooked. It was the biggest rush I had experienced since I gave up drugs years before.
I still game on my PC. I'm a purist. My kid has an X-box 360 and a Wii, but they're not the same for me. Something much more intimate and interactive about a PC. Keyboard and mouse movement is so second nature to me and having the images inches from my face with surround sound -- it's just fucking awesome. I go there. I AM the warrior, I AM the killer, I AM the hero. Kurt disappears. It's an escape like no other. TV, movies, music -- great distractions, but passive. Gaming is active. You don't watch the story, you ARE the story. Those are the games I love. Strategic action. Games that make you think -- actively. I don't like straight up strategy games or straight up shooters. Too passive and too arcade like -- I become completely aware that I am playing a game and I get bored. I need good story, good character and good action. Max Payne, Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, XIII, Fear, these games are incredible. Interesting and complex storylines, three-dimensional characters, and kick-ass action. They demand that you think on your feet-- life and death. And of course, you kill a lot of shit with big guns. I do not own guns, nor am I an active gun-enthusiast, but inside a great game, I'm a strapping, gun-toting, blow-your-motherfucking-head-off bad-ass. I love it. It allows me to be everything I am not.
I'm not into RPG’s or MMORPG’s. It's not a good fit for my personality. I'm a bit obsessive and the all-inclusive nature of those games scare me. And I fucking hate wizards and fairies and knights and all that Dungeons and Dragons bullshit (sorry WOW lovers). Plus online gaming is counter-intuitive for me. It’s not about reaching out and connecting. I don’t like “real” people, why would I want “virtual” friends. Which brings me to the Zen part of the essay -- for me, gaming is not a hobby; it’s a writing meditation tool. An imagination enema. A good game will blow out the creative cobwebs and unclog my same-old-shit valves. It wakes me the fuck up and centers me, delivering me to my bloody, dark, chewy center. It’s another reason why I game on a PC. I’ll write till I’m burned out, game for twenty or thirty minutes, get completely adrenalized and refreshed, then jump back into the script. It’s better than coffee and a blowjob (mainly because the latter usually makes me sleepy and hurts my neck).
I've recently tweeted about how I think most of the really creative young talent is ending up in the gaming world and I'll post a separate blog about how and why I think that is true. Wanna do a bit of research before I shoot my mouth off about that. D-girls I can handle, gaming chicks would kick my fucking ass.
Posted by Kurt Sutter at 10/31/2009 08:27:00 PM