I’ve been a fan of professional wrestling for as long as I can remember. That’s probably around 25 years of my life that has been spent watching, attending, and even playing in that world. I long ago gave up the idea that I would ever be a wrestling superstar of any kind, but my heart still yearns to tell the story of what could have been – what might have happened had I decided to spurn every reasonable destiny I had available to me and seek out the impossible dream.
So I’ve told my wrestling story in various incarnations of the World Wrestling Entertainment game franchise over the years. One character was (and I am not kidding here), “The Pastor of Disaster”, as I was interested at some point in my life of being a pastoral role in a church somewhere. Another character was a commander in an army of some kind. There were many iterations of the character, but the one I kept coming back to was ‘the teacher’ or ‘the professor’. There’s some serendipitous connective tissue to that spark of an idea because, well, I am a full time teacher today.
So the newest of the series came out in October and of course I picked it up – getting quickly to work on creating my character. As I was building the WWE avatar of myself, I started to think along a different line. I’ve always maintained that a great amount of games (PC or Console) tell a story in the same sense as our literature. Some of these games are Role Playing Games (RPGs) and include paths that diverge from the main story based on the choices you make. Dragon Age Inquisition is one – you can play a straight edge character who is akin to Superman in that you will do everything you can do save everyone. Or you can play a sarcastic crank who laughs off each conversation with a jib or joke. Or you can be a sadistic jerk who allows the darker parts of your heart and mind make you decision. Witcher 3 is another. Skyrim was one as well. There are so many stories to be told in these games that many gamers will replay them over and over again, crafting a masterful story in which their character influences and outright changes the world according to their whim. In that sense, gamers are writing a story – some of them quite epic.
The idea that had been germinating in my head began to sprout roots, and the leaves poked out from beneath the rich creative soil of my brain. I decided that I wanted to tell the epic story of how ‘The Professor’, Mr. DeLay went from being a full time teacher to stepping into the ring every so often to showcase the skill and talent he believed he had. And that ultimately, he would be an example to his students that anything is possible in this world.
So, get ready. I’m going to start writing the story of my WWE avatar, and probably even recording some of his matches with narration. It’s going to take a bit of time to tell this story since I have a full time job as it is, but I like to think of this as a way to show students that stories, tales, and literature can exist anywhere in the world we live in – even in computer games. Onwards and upwards, as they say.
The Professor is in the classroom!
I may need to work on my catchphrase.