On Plagiarism

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As an aspiring writer, a constant concern is plagiarism. It's difficult to ascertain what is a great idea developed in your head versus the remnants of some other person's story coming out in different words.

I began a vampire novel 13 years ago. It has since been shelved; only now, I'm starting to question this move. After all, I shelved it due to worrisome thoughts of plagiarism. It was heavily influenced by my experiences with an old-school pen and paper RPG called Vampire: The Masquerade. Fearing I borrowed too heavily from its elements, I quit working on it- despite a burning feeling in my head to NEED to write it.

Fast forward to present day. "Twilight," is in the theatres. The infatuation levels of my 4 daughters caused me to inspect the genre a little closer lately and WOW! If there isn't rampant plagiarizing going on in literature today, I don't know when there ever will be. A typical book reads as follows: Vampire A loves Girl B, who might like Werewolf C. Wash, rinse, repeat. And it's gobbled up. Following my suspicion, I sought out some publishing companies via the internet. No surprise to see postings on their sites such as "we are currently looking for original horror ideas: specifically those dealing with vampires, demons, werewolves and the like." This is no lie. Maybe I should dust my book off.

That being said, I started thinking about video games. Recently I've been playing Dark Sector and Resistance (1). Here's a plot synopsis:

Dark Sector: You are random army guy. You are trying to stop a germ that emanates from Russia. You get infected, but don't mutate like the bad guys. It just makes you super cool good guy that regenerates health and such.

Resistance: You are random army guy. You are trying to stop a germ that emanates from Russia. You get infected, but don't mutate like the bad guys. It just makes you super cool good guy that regenerates health and such.

Plagiarism abounds, and nobody seems to care.

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