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Realm Explorers Part XCXVII: Visit the Gaming Dimension with A.J. Bakke
Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name: A. J. Bakke

Title of book and/or series: Crashing the Game, 3rd in the Hidden Level Trifecta
Brief summary of the story:
Three friends are teleported into a dimension that was created based off of online video games. Unfortunately, the dimension was built with evil intentions so they have to find a way to shut it down.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
There is a world called Deart that is hovering on a dimensional border, poised to crush Earth into oblivion if it ever falls through. A magical barrier currently keeps the worlds apart, but since they are so close, magical anomalies allow for cross over between both worlds. Some of the characters involved are from Earth, some are from Deart.
The main focus of the story is in the gaming dimension which I had a blast creating because I like playing World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2. It was fun referencing some of the different ‘cliche’ personalities and phrases one comes across in gaming. I liked putting my characters in clothes designed for aesthetics rather than practical use in a battle situation.
Since my imagination had no boundaries (not that I really let it have boundaries, anyway) I was able to make up some fantastical scenery for them to travel through like peacock palm trees.
Some of the characters had no experience with gaming at all, so they make some comical errors. And of course, there has to be a few glitches thrown in there! Ah, the frustrations of falling through the ground and getting stuck! Or lagging atrociously.  
If we were to visit the gaming dimension as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Ride horses through the different zones and admire the scenery! Check out the local inn for each town to enjoy a delicious meal. Ride the dragrizzles across the Chasm of Fiery Wrath! Visit the puzzle maze that will put your courage to the test! (I highly recommend going in as an avatar rather than your own body due to many potential hazards)
What dangers should we avoid in the gaming dimension?
Stay on the roads if you don’t want to fight a lot of random monsters. It’s terribly annoying to have to waste time constantly fighting one monster, then another, then a whole mob of them.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in the gaming dimension?
Not really, though the food and drink have funny names like a ‘Fizzy Bobble’ or a ‘Dancing Duck.’
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in the gaming dimension?
Magical spells and gaudily decorated weapons come with some awesome special effects, especially when players find the upgrades.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the gaming dimension that we don’t see on Earth?

What game is complete without...DRAGONS?
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in the gaming dimension, Deart and Earth?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Between all three dimensions, Earth isn’t particularly aware of magic. Deart relies more on magic than technology and is more of a medieval, old western, sword and sorcery setting.
The gaming dimension is made entirely of magic and happily defies many laws of physics. In that dimension, spells are cast by a certain set of motions as per the rules for that particular setting.
Regular magic on Deart and Earth prefers to be in the shape of a sphere somehow. However, the rules are very bendy and really, magic knows no bounds if someone has the fortitude to make it do what they want. Thankfully, there aren’t a lot of folks with that powerful of a gift.
There are mages, who use magic as an outside force to affect things.
There are radiants, who can use magic to affect minds.
And there are resonants, who can’t really use magic themselves, but they can be tied to and enhance a mage’s power. It requires a mage to tie a resonant to a radiant.
There is my little catch phrase “Cats are attracted to power.” Where there is magic, there are cats.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
The Ape Caves for part of it. I love horseback riding, so there are horses in there. And, of course, online gaming!
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Much of the story encircles a character who suffered a lot of physical and emotional abuse in the recent past.
Author Autobiography:
I love writing books and riding horses! I have six cats who like to flop on the couch with me when I read, write, or watch stuff on Netflix. I have one awesome, human roommate, and I am a companion home provider for an individual with autism who also happens to be my cousin.
I like to read fantasy, mostly. And, as you may have guessed, I enjoy playing World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2.   
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?  Please include links.
You can find my books roaming the wilds of Amazon!
Where can readers connect with you online?

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the gaming dimension.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world, in Realm Explorers Part XCXVIII!
-Annie Douglass Lima


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