HALO 3 and Imagination

September 24, 2007 at 8:54 am | Posted in imagination, Jessica, writing | 6 Comments

Clan Name: Purple Hearts

OK, so I am shamelessly aligning my post this week in time to the release of the much-anticipated HALO 3.

Apologies to all you gamers who arrived here by accident, but I hope you will take a chance, look around, and decide to stay a while. I could really use your help in learning the nuances of this gaming craze! I admit, I am not a gamer and can’t say I know the first thing about what makes HALO so special.

But I couldn’t resist this chance for a rant so I hope you’ll bear with me. One of the things I love to discuss most is writing but I have learned that not all ‘friends’ support me equally in my writing interests.

One such friend started out pretty supportive of this whole writing venture. He asked great questions and offered endearing encouragement. Until one day, when he shared his concern or frustration or criticism (I haven’t quite figured out which) that I spent too much time in my imagination and needed to get out more. There’s more backstory here, but suffice to say these comments (delivered with condescending tone I might add) represented such a complete 180 from where we once were that to this day I am still somewhat boggled by the shift in our relationship.

But that’s a topic for another blog all together. Back to the matter at hand:

Only after this confusing exchange did I learn just how deep his Halo obsession ran. Because the more time I’ve had to dissect it, I’ve decided that he and I, as a gamer and a writer, aren’t all that different.

Here’s where writing and gaming seem similar to me:

Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard (or X-Box, or Play Station). To master your craft takes practice. In the writing world, the best practice is to sit down and write. I imagine it’s the same dedication and interest for a gamer, too. You can’t win if you don’t play, right?

Skill acquired and required:
There are lots of players in the game. Who wants GAME OVER to flash on their screens? We learn all we can so we can emerge victorious at the end of each session.

Fighting a battle each and every time we sit in front of the screen:
While you Halo folks battle The Covenant, writers battle their own evils – internal editors, critics, perfectionists; those pesky creations who won’t behave according to plan; that mocking, blinking MS Word cursor. Words are our weapons.

Lag is a drag:
Lag defined as: when the game doesn’t respond right away. Let me tell you – wait 6 months on a submission and complain to me about lag.

To blow up – Boom! Getting fragged by an editor or agent = rejection. Not too much fun, especially after a 6 month lag. Kinda’ like getting hit with a plasma grenade/pistol/rifle/sword.

Signature moves:
We all have our signature moves – those clever turns of phrase that we just can’t seem to resist throwing in there, whether warranted or not. In Halo, you’d be called a whore. Either way, we go back to what works to get the job done.

Since when is having a good and active imagination a bad thing? I can’t imagine that a writer or gamer could get very far without one, and I can’t imagine the life of someone who doesn’t exercise it. So to be criticized by a gamer – someone who has played at least 1,847 online games and has 16,225 total kills attributed to his handle – for spending too much time in my imagination seems a tad bit hypocritical.

Albert Einstein once said:
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

And I am also left to wonder – Are there many men out there who mind a woman with a good imagination? I think not.

And Last, But Not Least:
Preston Cole is a great name for a hero, no matter what world we’re talking about.

So to all you writers and HALO aficionados and gamers everywhere, suit up for your respective battles. May you meet your challenges, overcome your obstacles, and conquer your respective versions of campaign mode this week.

Thanks for indulging my rant. And by all means, be careful out there!




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  1. so no one’s commented yet despite the fact that I got plugged into this post by someone on a chat…

    {{{hugs}}} for possible derogatory comments. I have absolutely no idea what gaming is… BUT, I do write and have been told that I shouldn’t read or write so much. I feel for you. I like what I do. *shrug* I can only answer to me, God and the DH. WE all seem to be pretty, pretty, pretty–larry david cameo there, btw…Curb your Enthusiasm? anyone? oh, nevermind– happy right now. No lightening bolts anyway!

  2. pretty clever. sounds like you know a little more about halo than most non-players. i do not currently possess an xbox or halo3, but have done my fair share of time with the first two iterations. especially in my last year of college. these days i avoid the video game addiction, but your comparison is more than fair. i would say writing gives you much more of a spiritual release/outlet almost ethereal, while halo or other games are a little more earthly or primal. both are departures from reality, both are investments. i’ve delved into each and they both deserve their place.

  3. Eh, I say live in your own little world. Like Morgan said there ain’t a lot a people in this world to whom we owe accountability. My hubby says I have imaginary friends with all my characters and I say, yes I do. Three cheers for imagination.

  4. I am also a non-gamer. Well, except for one very brief incident back in the mid-80’s when I got sucked into a Ms. Pac-Man banana trap. Damn them! Umm, where was I? Oh yes…

    My lovable Man-Panda is a true gamer. He loves blowing things up and shooting aliens and zombies and whatever. One day he passed some incredibly hard level and screamed in joy, “I got you, you f’king b*tch! You’re dead now!”

    As it happens, our front and back doors were open at the time (I was trying to let the house air out a little) and the entire neighborhood heard him.

    For about two weeks after that, neighbors would come over when they saw me outside and check on me to make sure everything was okay! ROFL!

  5. I know nothing of Halo video games, but I do know about video games in general and I thought your analogies were pretty sharped.

    Three cheers to Preston Cole!

    And I’ll add something to the imagination bit: gamers spend their time imagining they’re in someone else’s world, but writing gives you the chance to live and feel your own creation. That’s imagination!

    Nice post C:

  6. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! I appreciate the support and enjoyed what you had to share. Looking forward to seeing you all here again!

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