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Systems of the Stars: God of War writer uses this 9-year-old laptop for video-game storytelling

God of War
(Image credit: Santa Monica Studio)

Systems of the Stars is Laptop Mag’s new monthly series that pries into the systems that superstars own, whether it’s a snazzy laptop, a funky drawing tablet or a next-gen gaming console. 

God of War: Ragnarok is fast approaching, and we’re nostalgically looking back at one of the most creative writers who has offered their talents to the highly praised, mythology-influenced video-game series. 

God of War writer Marianne Krawczyk is a legend in the video-game storytelling realm for developing thought-provoking, heart-stirring, deity-filled sagas born from the depths of her wildly creative mind. Krawcyzk won a prestigious BAFTA Game Award for Best Story and Character for her work on God of War II — a testament to her talent as a video-game writer.

God of War 2

God of War 2 (Image credit: Sony)

Krawzyck has also lent her writing talents and story-development abilities to video games such as Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3 and Watch Dogs, Rockstar Games’ L.A. Noire, Activision’s Skylanders series, Klei Entertainment’s Shank and Shank 2, and more. Still, there’s more to Krawzyck than just her writing prowess. 

For this month’s Systems of the Stars, Laptop Mag wants to show you a different side of Krawyzck from the perspective of our favorite tech topic: laptops. The God of War storyteller gave us some insight into who she really is from the lens of how she typically uses her main-driver laptop. 

What is Marianne’s main driver laptop? 

Krawyzck proves that you don’t always need to have the latest and greatest laptop to excel in your field. The video-game storyteller owns a nine-year-old Apple MacBook Pro equipped with a 2.7-GHz Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB of RAM. “I should upgrade at some point, but I tend to get emotionally attached,” Krawyzck said. “To upgrade feels a little like betrayal. On the other hand, it’s always fun to get a new laptop.”

MacBook Pro 2011

MacBook Pro 2011 (Image credit: Apple)

Laptops typically have a lifespan between three and five years, according to Business News Daily, so if Krawyzck has managed to get nine years out of her MacBook Pro — and counting — it looks like the God of War writer has made an excellent investment in purchasing the high-end Apple device. As they say, if it’s not broken, why fix it? We’ll make sure to send Krawyzck and her MacBook Pro a celebratory card for their upcoming 10-year anniversary. 

What was it about the MacBook Pro that was attractive to Marianne?

The MacBook Pro is a great choice for video editing, photo editing, music production and other offshoots of content creation, but gaming isn’t one of its strengths. Apple laptops lack discrete graphics cards — chips that are essential for handling graphics-intensive 3D games.

Although Krawyzck works in the video-game industry, she strategically chose the MacBook Pro as her main-driver laptop because of its PC gaming limitations. “Games on my laptop are too distracting and if I had them on my machine, I’d end up never meeting my deadlines.” 

How would Marianne tweak her main-driver laptop to make it better? 

Krawyzck says she’s pretty content with her old faithful MacBook Pro, but if she could change one thing, it would be her laptop’s incompatibility with other devices that are not within the Apple ecosystem. 

“The proprietary stuff generally bothers me,” the award-winning writer said. “I wouldn’t mind if the various products could play nicely together. My tower, where I play more games, is often in conflict with my Apple software.”

Besides video-game writing, what are other hobbies Marianne enjoys on her laptop?  

As a writer who’s in high demand in the video-game industry, Krawyzck travels often — even during the pandemic. As such, she’s developed a special bond with her MacBook Pro. “My laptop is my constant companion and doubles as an emotional support animal,” she said. Krawyzck told me that she uses her laptop for everything: streaming, communication, sifting through news websites, and anything else you can think of, except hardcore gaming, which is reserved for her tower.

Krawyzck is also a professor at the University of Southern California and she teaches Character Development and Storytelling for Games, so she has a passion for instilling promising writers with the knowledge and expertise she’s accumulated as a storyteller in the video-game industry. 

“Zoom is the go-to for academics, which works extremely well,” Krawyzck said. “Cats, dogs and kids seem to be in more meetings these days.” Another hobby the God of War writer enjoys is convening virtually with companies all around the world — she’s always intrigued by the differences in how other countries are handling the pandemic. 

“I did have a conference with a company in Stockholm. Sweden has a different COVID-19 strategy, so I saw four people in one conference room. Totally surprised me! No judgment — just something I haven’t seen in a while,” Krawyzck said. “My laptop has really become my touchstone to the world as we all wait in patient quarantine.” 

If Apple could build Marianne the ultimate laptop, what would it look like?

As per Systems of the Stars tradition, we always ask our featured stars to tell us what their ultimate, top-of-the-line, peak-of-perfection laptop would look like. We advise them to go nuts with their tech creations. Popular tech YouTuber MrMobile, for example, owns a MacBook Pro with a jaw-dropping price of $6,000. He told us that his perfect laptop would have a trackpad that doubles as a charging pad and its lid would have a scrolling LED marquee for personalized messages. MrMobile admitted he’d pay $10,000 for this dream laptop.

Krawyzck, on the other hand, said she would hold on to her nine-year-old MacBook Pro, but give it transcendental abilities that reach far beyond the earthly realm. “I’d keep the look of my mild-mannered laptop, but give it supernatural superpowers. Maybe communicate with aliens, ghosts, Bigfoot — whomever is out there.” I wonder if God of War protagonist Kratos would be on board with his storyteller’s dream machine. The beloved demigod, I imagine, would spew out one of his most memorable lines: “Foul beasts! I will send you back to the depth of Hades!”

Marianne Krawczyk

Marianne Krawczyk's dream laptop (Image credit: Future)

Krawyzck’s dream laptop would also be a portal for time travel, allowing her to visit different periods in history. “I’d want an actual time machine, but changing the fabric of space and time is a lot of responsibility. I think maybe just being able to ‘Slack’ Bigfoot would suit me.”

Stay tuned for our next Systems of the Stars feature to take a peek into the lives of high-profile men and women through the lens of technology.