I have been working professionally with games and interactive fictions since 2001. As a teenager, years earlier, I got more and more into writing, redesigning, tweaking roleplaying and boardgames and thought about working as a game designer. Seemed a pipe dream at the time.
Denmark didn’t have an education focusing on games, when I started studying at the university, so I chose to study litterature and philosophy, where I could ficus on how a good story is crafted, what fiction is and how a game can tell a good story. Ended up with an MA in Danish Language and Litterature for a thesis on the game Max Payne and interactive fictions. Bonus levels: Got to read grand litterature all the while studying and had time to dabble in game design. Designing games and working with fictions at a practical level, would yield a lot of insights into the theories I studied and the reader/player experience on a practical level.
Through a random encounter I got a job while studying in the small company Sjuzet in 2000. Wrote interactive fictions and fiction for recruitment. That made it seem possible to work with games/fiction after all, so after Sjuzet I wrote and published a storytelling method for schools.
Later came the learning game ‘Homicide’, working as a consultant teaching with roleplaying methods and similar jobs disrupting my studies, but in the end I got the degree and went on to work for Learning Lab Denmark as Game Director/Designer on several small and experimental learning games. These and following projects allowed me to hone the skills of game development and production that I had started building when making games just for fun. After that, Danish Broadcasting Corporation hired me to remake and gamify their teen chatworld Hundeparken and produce/direct the MMO-game Saga – Viking Online. Both huge projects and great challenges.
I still play as many boardgames, computer games and roleplaying games as possible, though 16-year-old Lars seemed to have had a lot more time for that. I love games as medium and activity, whether as a player or as a professional.
My Linkedin profile for more details on my past as a game professional: linkedin.com/in/larsvilhelmsen