A life in games


Who am I?

 

No, I’m not referring to a Jackie Chan film, nor am I suffering an existential crisis.  My name is Sam, and I’m a games addict.  I’m also a new writer here on the wonderful site you know and love as Hi Score – so you can expect to see plenty more from me over the coming months, you lucky people.  So, without further ado, let me explain a little bit more to you about my experiences in gaming.

 

Halcyon days

 

I have often thought of myself as a casually obsessive gamer – games are something I come back to after spending years away from them.  While this might be true-ish, I recently looked back down the years and found surprising evidence to the contrary: I am probably not a casual gamer at all.  As young as four years old, I remember being transfixed by the very idea that machines could transport me to another world, create entire fictions for me to explore and inhabit.  When I got my first home computer – an Amstrad CPC 464 – on Christmas Day, I was left shocked, amazed, ecstatic and goggle-eyed.  Roland in Time was, quite frankly, a masterpiece, as was the amazing Jet Set Willy.  Computers seemed to open up a world of endless possibilities, doorways to fantastical realms.   A bit like interactive books, perhaps.  Many were like books, in a way – playing Granny’s Garden on the BBC Micro was even part of school lessons.

 
Granny's Garden: every scoolboy's dream

During my life, computers and consoles have always been there in the background: I’ve owned an Amiga 500 (I was convinced graphics would never get any better!), a Megadrive, a Playstation, a Nintendo 64, a Playstation 2, and now an Xbox 360.  I have played even more than that, and owned several PCs.  Despite this, there is still something even now that makes me smile like a schoolboy when I fire up a disc and enter an entirely new world for the very first time.

 

Perhaps one of the reasons I like gaming because it is truly nostalgic, a direct link straight into my past.  I also like it for many other reasons now – unlocking a difficult achievement or trophy, chatting to my friends online, besting my virtual opponents in an FPS; the list goes on.

 

The long and winding road

 

I have loved so many games for so many reasons over the years, that perhaps it is unwise to list them all here – each such game is like a classic album to me, transporting me back to a simpler, happier time, where rose-tinted glasses aren’t optional.  It conjures up associative memories and makes me think of other things, not just the game itself.  An example of one such game is Super Metroid.  Perhaps it is as much down to the heady nostalgia of the warm summer I spent dedicated to it with my friend Tony, but it will always have a special place in my heart.  It’s also why I’ve been so excited about the prospect of Shadow Complex this week on XBLA.  And without further ado, I shall take my leave of you to go and get stuck into Shadow Complex.

 
The grand old days of yore

Auf Weidersehen, Monty

 

That’s all from me for now, but I’ll catch you guys and gals around.

 

Billy Goodgun

AKA Sam.

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    • Adam Roche
    • August 20th, 2009

    Love it! You just awoke so many warm memories in me, especially playing Granny’s Garden on the BBC Micro at school during lunchtimes. Do you realize that there is a new version of Granny’s Garden in schools right now? My daughter plays it. Apparently it’s very sleek and shiny these days. Shame, I liked the bright blue witch with the blocky face

    • Steven Wright
    • August 20th, 2009

    Welcome my little hobbit friend! Really good post Samwise!

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