A Little About Dante

Dante Doom didn’t touch a videogame or fantasy book until his 23rd year on Earth. He started working at an old-school arcade—hired primarily, he was told, because of his “badass ridiculous name”—and from then his education began.

They started him on the classics, a strict diet of Pac-Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Dig Dug, Street Fighter, and Rampage.

Freakish proficiency. Beginners luck, they said.

He was given dog-eared copies of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind and Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern.

Devoured in days.

Finally, he was invited up to the arcade owner’s private gaming room: Battletoads, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES), and Ghosts ‘n Goblins followed.

Defeated, at last—maybe he wasn’t such a wunderkid, after all. But he didn’t give up. And that earned him a seat at the group’s D&D table. Many a happy day has passed since—he even beat TMNT’s Dam level and its health-draining pink seaweed.

Then a year ago, that same group introduced him to the new Fantasy-LitRPG genre—what Dante saw as the final stage in his education. Because, for him, it doesn’t get any better than LitRPG. The combination of an immersive fantasy world, gaming objectives and levelled progression makes for a fascinating storytelling experience.

Inspired, he took two weeks holiday from the arcade, sat down and wrote the Dragon Kings of the New World series.