David Sim Wei Lun

Published on Nov 18, 2013
Photo by Kat SilversteinPhoto by Kat Silverstein

Senior David Sim Wei Lun is a dual major in fiction writing and game design originally from Singapore. He talks about the difference between his new and old country and how to integrate another two foreign areas: creative fiction and video games.

What’s the biggest difference between living in Singapore and the United States?

There’s a greater presence of the publishing and video game industry, so industry-related events are much more widespread and frequent in the United States than in Singapore. People here take it for granted that you can go to an event to meet your favorite authors/creators, while at the same time getting a chance to have your work read by a larger audience. That's not the case in Singapore.

How was the transition to the United States?

The transition went pretty well. I visited various parts of North America before I came, so I kind of knew what life would be like. I was also fortunate enough to make friends with several great people during my first few weeks, which made the transition much easier.

Why did you choose to come to Columbia?

Columbia is one of the few colleges that offers degrees in both creative writing and in game design. I initially made the decision to dedicate myself to creative writing, but going to Columbia allowed me to have the option of pursuing game design later on.

Describe your work in three words.

Weird. Ugly. Surreal.

You were published in Columbia’s annual Story Week Reader, produced in conjunction with the Story Week Festival. How did that come about?

It was a fun challenge to write a compelling story within the publication's 750-word limit. Getting my work chosen and going through the editorial process was a great learning experience for me. It offered a lot of insight into how a story goes from being sorted through the submissions pile to actually being printed on the page.

How do you plan to integrate creative writing with game design?

I think writing and game design are two fields that naturally overlap and can be easily integrated together. A lot of writing goes into the technical and creative parts of a game's documentation. At the very least, the writing experience I have is helping me in my game-design studies.

What do you do during your free time? 

I spend some of my time practicing the piano and learning to code. 

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I want to make a living by working in the video game industry, hopefully in a way where I could also apply my creative writing skills, or write on the side.

Check out David’s writing on his website!