Author Interview: Gareth Woods – Game On, Or Finding Your Inside Voice

November 6, 2021

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Go Play Inside by Gareth Woods is a collection of lessons for life gathered from a career of playing video games. The book is as much for gamers looking for insights, they can apply to their own lives from their own gaming experiences as it is for the friends and family members of gamers to better understand gamers and their passion for gaming.


When, and under what circumstances, did the idea for your latest book come to you?

 In my line of work, I often interact with parents who speak to me about their children’s fascination with games and while they are interested, they are also concerned. This is where the idea for Go Play Inside came from – the idea that for generations children have been told to “go play outside” and abandon their “waste-of-time interests”. Well, over the course of 30 years of gaming, I have learned more about life from gaming than from ever playing outside.


Did it initially feel like something to commit to, or was that something that took time to develop?

The seed of the book had been there for several years, but once I finally had a vision of what I wanted to accomplish the book took about a year to write.


How did you conduct your research or other preparation before writing – was it more experiential or more academic or desk-based?

The research was almost entirely my own experience, from having played hundreds of different video games across my 30 years as a gamer as well as over a decade working in the gaming industry.


If money was no object, what additional groundwork would you like to have completed?

I would’ve loved to have been able to have conducted focus groups with gamers and non-gamers to understand their experiences and to see if there were any universal similarities


When considering influence, do you find yourself wanting to write like someone (in terms of their style, tone or use of language), or aiming for a kind of perspective or storytelling approach you admire or enjoy?

With these sorts of books – self-help, modern philosophy and so on – I find a witty and conversational style to be the most palatable as a reader and so I definitely sought out to recreate that in writing Go Play Inside.


What’s in your to-read pile – and what upcoming book are you most looking forward to?

I don’t really have anything I’m most looking forward to since I have quite an extensive backlog of books I’m wading my way through. At the moment I’m really enjoying David And Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.


When writing non-fiction, do you have a specific topic that you find endlessly fascinating? Why does this topic excite you so much?

Gaming certainly is that topic. I can speak on it for hours and thankfully have been able to craft a career around it. I think the passion stems from the endless possibilities gaming provides, from education, to socialisation, to escapism. It’s a topic that has interested me for as long as I remember, has gifted me many indelible memories as well as life-long friendships.

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