How Game Worlds Foster Creativity
Ben “Kilsin” Walters & Anthony “Minus” Guidi
“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.” –Vincent van Gogh
In our lives we become inspired by a multitude of things. The source can range from the people we grow up with, to the hobbies we indulge in. Within our community, it is not uncommon to derive that inspiration from the game worlds we call home.
Yet, the memories we make signify moments of our lives that extend past our time spent in the game world itself. When devoting so much of our hearts and minds to a hobby like MMORPG gaming, it can take a strong hold on us. In the game world, we remember the crushing defeats, the spoils of success and the sense of discovery. Those moments become highlights to our lives. They take us back to moments, outside the game, that may be otherwise forgotten. The homes we lived in. The music we listened to. The relationships we had. It’s more than a game, it’s part of our stories.
For some of us, our creativity unleashes by proxy when engulfed in these moments. It becomes more than a game, and it becomes a muse to unlock or enhance talents within us. In our incredible community, even in waiting, the passion for Pantheon is evident.
This month we highlight community member Crowsinger, who personifies the quote above. She is a writer and artist, who devotes her heart to the lore of Pantheon. Through her imaginative fan fiction and art, she paints the canvas of a world we cannot wait to inhabit. Join us in learning more about this creative community member.
Hi Crowsinger, why don’t you go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself?
When I was little, my older sister gave me books; The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia. My mother had all sorts of stories about horses. So I grew up diving into fantasy worlds to get away from everything. I lived in those worlds; Magic and quests, adventures, horses, talking animals. All my life, encompassed by these stories.
I also grew up around artists. My sister went to art school, but my mother, and her brothers, painted in oils, as did their father. They all had a hand in teaching me things. Yet, for most of my life, I didn’t really study or practice hard. I should have, but you know how it goes.
Soon after DaoC came out, a roommate was playing it and I freaked out. A 3D fantasy world where I could have magic? This was the closest thing to going there, I guess. I played a Druid at first and quickly learned that I loved fantasy MMOs and camping with a group of friends to kill things. I also learned that I love healing. There was this Nightshade who went around as my bodyguard in the frontier, which was kind of fun and just another piece of the puzzle.
I’ve played a lot of MMOs in the 20 years since then, but nothing has felt as magical as that first couple of years in DAoC.
How did you first hear about Pantheon?
I was doing my usual “youtube videos about upcoming MMOs that will not disappoint me” thing when Pantheon came up. At first, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t last long in Vanguard because it wasn’t a good time in my life and there was a lot of frustration when the game came out. I never tried EQ until 2019, and I think I came to it a bit too late…
I kept being drawn to Pantheon. I want a PvE world that is huge and wonderful with no quest treadmill, where I can explore and camp with friends and make our own adventure and discover what the world is about; and all the secret places. It seemed like that was what they were going for.
I know it’s been repeated a lot, but the idea of “building worlds not games” really resonates with me, because that’s kind of how I look at what I want in an MMO.
What got you into art and writing?
I wrote stories for years. Long stories that no one would read, but I enjoyed writing them. I stopped at some point, investing in other things, because it seemed like a lot of effort for nobody to read them.
I do find that I get bored fast with stories about lone heroes and chosen ones. I like stories that highlight a band of adventurers who join together and go on adventures. They become family and become an epic team. I think that goes well with Pantheon, which should be a more group-focused game instead of a thousand “Chosen Ones” all becoming epic on their own.
I should have gotten into art years ago because of my family, but all I did was doodle and play around with Photoshop. The thing is, I’ve always wanted to draw my characters, but whenever I tried to draw or paint, I wasn’t happy with it. There were opportunities to go and get some art lessons, but life always seemed to be in the way.
How does Pantheon inspire you to create and write?
I met people in discord who were writing fanfiction. I’d been immersing myself in the lore of Terminus, and then talking to others who were writing got me interested. So I tried writing a character origin story “Orphan Druid”—the first story I’d written in years—and people read it. Just having people reading my stories for a change inspired me to keep writing them.
The world and lore inspired me to find ways to bring parts of it in; how classes seemed to work, places in Terminus, societies, etc.. At the end of writing “Sword of Serengeral”, I didn’t know in what way the sword was cursed, only that it started speaking to the character, Nisto. It wasn’t until I wrote “Craving the Wild” that I connected the sword to Dire Lord abilities. So like that, pieces of Terminus found their way into the stories.
Writing a story that takes place during the Deicide War has really helped me get a feel for the events leading up to that war in the lore, and the kind of world they must have lived in. Of course, all I have is the lore that is known at this point, but it’s enough to really have fun with.
Last year I decided to try painting my characters and harness this inspiration to try to upskill my art. I have a long way to go, but I’m proud of my progress in painting. My drawing is still terrible, so I end up sculpting with color and ignoring the lines. However, I’m finally taking drawing lessons now so I’m hopeful that it will continue to improve.
In regards to the tools at my disposal, I use a Wacom Cintiq 16 and Krita 5 beta.
What is the proudest moment you have as an artist, writer or gamer?
I’m not sure. I can’t think of a singular “proudest moment” for any of those, as there were a lot of memorable moments. That said, my sister has complimented my improvement in painting over the last year; that felt good. I wish I could have shown these to my mom, but unfortunately she passed last year. I think she would have liked it that I’m finally working hard on art. Having people within the community reading my stories now is fantastic; I’m very happy about that.
What are you most looking forward to when Pantheon releases?
Grouping with friends and just taking our time meeting the world and beginning our story. Just, getting in there and having fun. Maybe seeing Wild’s End… that’s a big wish.
Do you have a favorite class you usually play?
Healers, mainly. I do like support (I had fun with EQ Bard), but healing is my passion, especially if the class is interesting. Two of my favorite healers were both in Rift. The Purifier, which was a shield healer who happened to heal with fire, and the Chloromancer, which was just so unique and interesting to me. I still have never played anything like that.
Who do you usually game with?
Guildies. I’m in the Plus guild and we’ve been running around different games as we wait for Pantheon: EQ, EQ2, LOTRO
Do you have any plans for creating more Pantheon art?
Definitely. Every time I paint something, whether I like the result or not, I learn something. And it’s just fun. I get so focused when I’m working on something, and hours go by (and my cat gets impatient and starts walking back and forth in front of the Cintiq to get my attention)
At some point, I want to try painting the Sanctum for a later chapter of “In the Sway of Storms”. Sweeping landscapes are not something I’m particularly good at, but I guess I’ll learn something by trying.
Is there anything you would like to say to the Pantheon community?
There are a lot of discussions and arguments, but I feel like there is also a lot of passion in this community. A lot of creative people,and a lot of people excited to just get in there and get their feet wet and explore Terminus together. We’re all going to die a lot together, and hopefully save the world together.
And that’s exciting to me.
We would like to thank Crowsinger for sharing their inspirations, creations and excitement with us. We look forward to seeing what she creates next.
We are thankful for the amazing stories our community has shared thus far with us. Do you have a story about how MMORPGs have made a difference in your life? Has it driven your creative urges? Has it made you a better leader? Has it helped you overcome difficulties in your life? We’d love to hear your tale, and show why community truly matters. Drop us a line in the forums.
|Monthly Recap||Introducing Tim Schuhler||Creature Feature: Mad Moor||The Bait – Pt. 2||How Game Worlds Foster Creativity|