Gamers’ Most Wanted

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Quick update of sorts, since I’m absolutely slagged on time:

The title above is actually a reference to a book I’m currently finishing co-writing with Fear the Boot‘s Chris Hussey (also a newbie BattleTech writer). It’s a book for Potomac Press that will see publication in November this year June/July of next year (in time for convention season) – at least, last I heard from the editor. We’re about 7 chapters from completing the first draft…and all 7 are mine. (Then again, we’ve kind of split the book 60/40ish, so…) What’s holding things up is my juggling another book – a complete sourcebook being written for CGL’s BattleTech line with a first draft due in mid-March. I recently had to kick-start a rewrite of said book since my initial approach became increasingly convoluted and messy the further I went, so it’s a race to see just how much I can push into the remaining 28 days before deadline.

Anyway, GMW is a book about games. More specifically, about tabletop, board, and computer games, their culture, their impact, and their fascinating history. Each chapter features 10 “subjects” related to the chapter theme and we’ve really tried to reach out far and wide to include as much about the games and the culture of gamers as possible. It’s a book written for gamer geeks and their significant others (and parents, if you want to go that far) and it’s been an absolute blast to write.

Here’s a taste of some of the chapters we’ve got going. (Note that this is first drafting; material subject to change between now and publication.)

Playing to Win

When a group of people sit down at a table and break out a game, each one of them may have their own reason to be there. Here are just a few of the reasons some people like to play games, or possibly how to play a game to get what you want.

Arcadian Rhythms

At the dawn of video games, there were constructs that looked like large cabinets, hosting a combination of a monitor, joystick(s), and buttons. These archaic monstrosities featured the likes of superheroes, racing cars, aircraft, and even futuristic robots. The grandfather of the video game machines now found in many homes, arcade games usually clustered in their own stores alongside vending machines, coin changers, and surly attendants on the watch for kids skipping school. These arcades are more an anachronism now but were the internet cafes of their day where kids of all ages congregated to shoot, race, beat up, tackle, etc. their virtual opponent for schoolyard bragging rights or top scores.

Gaming on the Silver Screen

In recent years, gaming, primarily the video game industry has been ripe ground for Hollywood to take advantage of and bring a game’s storyline or setting to a mass audience. While some have proven quite successful at the box office, others have not. Others still have earned a reputation for their utter lack of quality.

Playing Games for Fun and Profit

Ever wonder if you could really make some money “going pro” just by playing games? There are world-wide tournaments for both board and computer games that pay out some serious prize money.

WoWing Your Friends

With over 12 million subscribers, World of Warcraft is the most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) in the world. It’s popular for many reasons, and certainly worth a try if you need a gaming fix, and can’t seem to find what you’re looking for elsewhere. Of course, it’s not the only MMORPG in the sea, and there are others to choose from. Here are some survival tips to help you not be overwhelmed by what you see and encounter in the World of Warcraft.

“M” is for Popular

Created in 1994, the Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has become the standard for commercially produced video games put into the marketplace. It’s a voluntary industry-wide standard for age ratings and has been alternately successful in scope and had its limits tested. Regardless how players and consumers view the board, it has since inception changed the face and content of video games.

It Takes a Village

Games do not exist in a vacuum. If there are fans of games, then those fans will create communities and support networks to not only stay in touch, but further the game or keep an eye on the company that produces the game. Below are some of the more unique offerings when it comes to those who love playing games.

There’s going to be a total of 42 chapters; this is but a smattering.

It’s been an exciting and somewhat tiring process; the publisher initially approached me back in the spring of 2009 about writing a game/culture book, which was actually quite flattering. I pulled in Hussey when it became obvious I couldn’t do all this on my own, considering my other freelancing commitments. Still, it’s not an opportunity I wanted to see squandered, as it will be my first foray into print publication outside the wargame/RPG market.

Hopefully it won’t be the last!

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4 thoughts on “Gamers’ Most Wanted

  1. Looks god so far, now back to work on this and that other book, the one with the March draft deadline. If you need someone to keep you on task I’m sure I can find a whip for your lovely wife to use to keep you working hard.

  2. That sounds like a really fascinating book!

    Me and some friends were discusing the possibility of GMing for a living just the other day as it happens, though I have to admit we hadn’t even considered the most basic option of playing in tourniments 😀

    We were envisioning a Corperate Team Building Exercise. Imagine the look on their faces when you tell them you’re going to do a bit of ‘group roleplay’ and then pull out the GM’s screen, books and character sheet 😀

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