A wild LOTHARI appears!

I guess I need to introduce myself, and explain how I got to this strange place called WordPress…

My name is Lorraine Wilson. If you happen to be a member of the Gwent community, you might know me as Lothari; content creator for Team Aretuza, official Gwent partner and that woman with a strangely deep voice who turns up on Twitch and YouTube every now and then.

A Lothari as seen in the wild… sometimes…

This is me. I’m 27 years old (as of writing this), I’m British and I am trans-gender (hence the strangely deep voice). I identify as female, and my pronouns are she, her and hers. That’s the clunky, awkward personal introduction out of the way! Now let’s get into why I’m here.

All of my life, I have loved story-telling. My parents still have a copy of the very first story I wrote, when I was only four years old. Inspired by Star Trek: The Next Generation, it was a sci-fi adventure about an exploratory mission to Jupiter. Except I was four, and I couldn’t spell Jupiter, so it was about an exploratory mission to Gupter instead.

Ever since then I have continued to write stories. For a long time, completely unaware of the term fan-fiction, I simply used the universes I grew up loving. Middle Earth, Narnia, the galaxy far, far away – all of them became the settings in which I learned my craft and honed in on the themes that most interest me. Then, one day when I was 14, I had an idea and started writing my first original piece. The idea was solid enough, but the execution was exactly what you’d expect from a fourteen year old, and to this day only one other person has read it in its entirety. Though I’m still unsure whether that particular project will ever see the light of day, it was the beginning of a still ongoing journey, and 13 years later I have published a novella (albeit under my old name, and one I now know was rushed and underdeveloped), have a completed but unpublished novel I am not sure what to do with and a head brimming with ideas for universes yet to be realised.

Of course there’s another aspect to this blog, and as much as I could go on, and on, and on about storytelling, I should probably explain that too.

Gaming. It has not quite been a part of my life in the same way creative writing has, but it’s pretty close. I’m lucky in that both of my parents are avid gamers, and even before I started playing much myself, I would spend hours watching them play, sometimes even more engrossed in the experience than they were. Video games captured my attention in a way that I can’t actually describe, and now they’re not just a hobby but a very key part of my entire career.

When I left school, I already had an early draft of my still unpublished novel Thicker Than Water, and back then I put some decent thought into trying to make a living from my writing. I very quickly decided that there was no way in hell I’d be able to make that work, but I didn’t want to waste my creative spark, knowing I’d regret it if I didn’t do something with it. Throughout my time at university I thought about it and thought about it, and then I realised that video games were the perfect solution. The stories told through video games are every bit as valid as the stories told in books, films, television and even music. They share the same goals, they can have the same effects on people, and while the gaming industry isn’t easy (oh… god is it not easy), it struck me then as a hell of a lot easier to break into than becoming an author.

And that’s what I did. Straight out of university, I landed a job as a game designer at Egosoft GmbH in Germany, creators of another one of my all-time favourite universes, the X-Universe. The entire four year experience taught me a lot of valuable lessons about the industry, life and myself but ultimately, for… a large number of reasons, it didn’t work out. Despite everything, I stand my ground. I still believe that story-telling in games is very valid, and very much worth talking about.

And that’s why I’m here. Gaming is still a growing industry, and despite having been around for decades already, it’s only just in the last five years or so that we’ve begun to really talk about games as legitimate story-telling devices. These two things are two of my greatest passions, and if I didn’t talk about them, well it would be a bit of a waste.

With Games and Stories (or whatever this blog ends up being called), I hope to share with you; gamers, writers, like-minded people or people who just stumble across it accidently, whoever you are; my experiences with video games, their stories, how they affected me and how they might fit into the bigger picture. As the blog grows, I might also start sharing some of my own writing too, buuuuuut let’s see how the blogging part goes first.

My first piece is written and ready to go, and if it doesn’t go up today then it’ll be soon. My week is pretty hectic and I don’t have a lot of time. Anyway, as a teaser, it is about Halo: Combat Evolved, one of the very first games I played with truly memorable story-telling. It’s actually the reason I am putting all of this together at all; inspired by a project fellow content creator and friend, Angie from Backlog Crusader (https://backlogcrusader.com/about-angie/ ) is putting together. I have another idea for what I’d like to work on next too, though it’s early days and like I said I am super busy right now.

ANYWAY… you’ve read enough of me blabbing. Thank you for already coming this far on this weird and wonderful journey with me. I’m excited to see where we end up.

Until next time,
Lorraine / Lothari

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