When's the film coming out? I was hoping the game comes out first!

Being married to a gamer - and being with aforementioned gamer for ten years before marrying him - it was unavoidable that I would learn a thing or two about video games!  Happily for both of us, I developed a tiny interest in some of the games that appeared on our screens.

The really nice thing about some of the game series is that they remember the reader and publish a book or two.  My favourites at the moment are the very excellent Assassins Creed series by Oliver Bowden, which I have read with as much enthusiasm as any other series.  Oliver Bowden is a very talented author with a very comfortable writing style, which is not hampered in the slightest by his novel's need to tie in with the video game it was published alongside.  Another author of note, John Shirley, enjoyed a little more freedom by writing Bioshock: Rapture as a fascinating prequel to the hugely popular game series.  This proved to be a bit of a slow starter, but a patient reader was quickly rewarded as the story of the rise and fall of Rapture unfolded.  The book has cemented my affection for a series which I was already highly fond of, and now I am even hearing mutterings about a possible Bioshock film!

Which brings me nicely on to the subject I wanted to talk about.  As well as becoming a published author, seeing your work in print, and hopefully making enough money from your work to quit that full time job, some authors may hope that their fantasy epic, or their great historical drama will make it onto the big screen in some big-budget Hollywood blockbuster.  Alternatively authors may favour a drama series on their works, like George R R Martin is doing with A Song of Ice and Fire, or Game of Thrones as it is more famously known.

I've entertained a few fantasies about my own ideas being put into a film, which has been encouraged by the fact at least one of my characters is based upon a real person.   But I'm also aware that for every book that does make it in the world of film and television, there are countless others that haven't.  Whilst undisputed legend of horror Stephen King can claim that an impressive number of his books are now immortalised in some fantastic films, there are still so many to be done.  Maybe if directors stop trying to remake Carrie, some more might get done, but I'm sure these director people know what they're doing.

It was only last summer, when I joined my husband at a lock-in at our local GAME store, where we waited for the release of Darksiders II, hosted by the ill-fated game company THQ.  As my husband played the game demo and chatted with like-minded fellow gamers, I found myself chatting away to the THQ representative.

As well as learning that my local GAME store is considered a good site for such promotional lock-ins (at least in his opinion), the two of us had an interesting discussion about books and their relationship with modern games.  We had been discussing the three Discworld games that had been produced, two of which had been based on one or two of the Discworld novels (Discworld Noir is an original idea.) and that those were games I had particularly enjoyed.  As we talked the idea of turning a novel into a game struck me, and I put the question to him to get his thoughts.  He thought it would be an increasingly tempting alternative to writers.  As technologies improve games seem to be getting more sophisticated with every new title released, and famous names keep cropping up to do cameo voice acting roles.  Famous examples include Patrick Stewart as emperor Uriel Septim (for which he won an award!) and Sean Bean as Martin Septim in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and more recent examples include 90s siren Lucy Lawless voicing a rather sultry death spirit named Seraphine in the under-rated game Hunted: The Demon's Forge.  He also made an interesting point that with the rise of sophisticated game technologies and the rise in gaming popularity some titles such as Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are becoming as anticipated as many Hollywood releases.  All it would take is a few successful releases, he thought, and it could be a new avenue for writers.

In the past I had often considered looking into how one goes about writing a game novel without coming down with a severe case of lawsuits.  But even as an absent minded idea, seeing a video game that you inspired on the shelves would be fun!  You could always get the actors who you've set up for that dream Hollywood cast list to do the voice acting - it'll get them used to the characters in time for the film!

~*HW*~

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