Yesterday, I talked about playing games in an alternate way from how they were meant to be played. Today, I will talk about games that generate non-game forms of entertainment.
Perhaps you are familiar with the RPG soap opera and the RPG fanfic. The RPG soap opera is when you play an RPG (or any game that allows the character to travel multiple possible paths and return to previous locations) and make up your own story. To heck with in-game quests, levelling up, time, or kills. You’re just a character freestyling around, wandering from place to place and making up stories. It’s like a LARP, only you don’t have to get up off your butt.
This can be fun in and of itself, and it can also lead to ideas for original fiction or RPG fanfics. When you’re done playing the “game,” or whatever it can be called at that point, there’s the whole other prospect of writing a story about it. In fact, there is a genre of fanfiction that does not even require the author to make up a new story. There are some stories that are just dramatic retellings of the game creator’s intended quests. Because, I guess, when Aerith died, we didn’t angst enough. Hey, any story is entertaining if it’s told well.
And while we’re on the subject of fun non-game things that can be derived from games, how about game music? Who doesn’t love a good Overclocked remix? Whether your passion is making and mixing music, or just listening to it, games have given us a lot. Background music is, well, it’s in the background. It’s often overlooked and underrated, but when we take notice and engage with game music, there’s a lot more to it than meets the ear.
Finally, there are games that are used to create visual art. The most recent example of this is Minecraft. In case you ever wanted a giagantic blocky image of Twilight Sparkle, you can use Minecraft to create the Nazca lines of My Little Pony. This isn’t limited to Minecraft though. Any game that gives the user a chance to design something block by block offers the opportunity to recreate any image (however pixelly it may be).
So, then, is this just about using games for The Other Use? No. It extends beyond games, as we’ll discuss tomorrow.