Friday, 10 May 2013

Thinking About Gaming

This blog might not make perfect sense in some parts. It was more of a dreamy ramble than anything, me just putting my brain thoughts to text and turning it into a blog. Enjoy (or at least try to!).
Clearly I'm the new Da Vinci. 

Recently I was daydreaming and thinking about gaming. Here is some rambling I wanted to do. Don't take it too seriously now. It is, after all and just like I said, me rambling.

Despite my slightly pessimistic take on the upcoming consoles, I'm 99% certain that I will still be gaming way more on them next year than I will on PC. Ultimately I love consoles more. 

I have a friend, Michael Crichton (@Mike__Crichton), who recently got into PC gaming having been primarily an Xbox 360 gamer for most of his gaming 'life', as it were. I was slightly disappointed as it meant he no longer spends as much time console gaming, and due to me not really gaming on PC we don't game as much together anymore. 

I've been really impressed by the computer he built though, and it kinda made me want one myself. However at the same time I still prefer consoles. 

I'm not anti PC gaming or shit. In fact, I spent most of my time gaming on PC when I was younger.

I'm not part of the 'older generation' (you'd probably class me in the newer generation) of gamers who used to game on shit like the Atari or SNES but I've always loved games ever since I was less than 10 years old. In fact, I was way under 10 years old when I first realised I loved playing games.

I never owned any consoles or anything like that and instead had to make do with a shitty computer (it was state of the art back then). It was fucking massive. Well, the computer itself was about as big as a normal gaming computer is these days, however the thing is that it wasn't gaming optimised, so if you wanted a computer now that had the same shit in it that the old computer had, it would be way smaller. 


Arcade games can be very complex these days. No more Bubble Bobble!
I was only young so my mother didn't want me on it too much, especially playing the violent online games I used to (like those little pixelated 2D platformers). However I loved it. 
I would sit and play these crappy little games online and sometimes slip in a disc like 3D Frog Frenzy and play that. Man I loved that game.

When my mum always told me to come off, I didn't bitch and whine because I always wanted my own way, I put up a fight because I didn't get WHY I had to. I enjoyed it so much that I didn't get why it had to end. Is it not possible to enjoy something forever? 

As time went on and I got a bit older, I sometimes used to go round to my sister's friend's house. Sometimes, when round there, I would get to play on her PS1 and PS2. I would play games like Driver and Driver 2 and, at a later date, Driv3r. God I love(ed) those Driver games. I prefer them to GTA mainly because of the awesome memories I have of playing them.

The thing about playing these games on this other person's console(s) is that I always felt both sad and happy. When I was playing them it was like constant ecstasy, like I couldn't believe not only how amazing the game was but also that I was playing it. Holy shit did I love it. Yet the sad part was always knowing it would end, and when it did end I was heartbroken. I was only young and I used to think "I will never get to own or play one of these myself. Not properly anyway." It just never seemed possible. Like I'd never be allowed to. And even if I was old enough the time for these games would've passed and I wouldn't be able to play them again. In a way I was right. 

I used to go into game shops like Blockbuster and PC World and sometimes, when I had the rare chance, a GAME store or something. GAME shops always terrified me. It was like the big, bustling place where REAL gamers went. I would wander about in there and borderline have a mental breakdown when I couldn't find or see a familiar face. They were so busy and people were so rough it was like a fucking mosh pit. 

As for PC World, well I actually used to tag along for car journeys there just to see the games. My parents would go in and I would simply wander over to the games section and gawp, open mouthed, at the incredible titles before me.


From San Andreas to Vice City to Liberty City to San Andreas again.
I remember looking at Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and San Andreas and just being blown away. When I looked at these games my small brain couldn't even begin to contemplate how incredible they were. I used to hear my next door neighbours who were a few years older than me talking about how awesome GTA was and I used to wonder, dream even, of playing it and the incredible things you could do in it. Was a game really that detailed? Could it even be as deep as that? Could you really drive any vehicle? Ho-ly shit. Wow. I was in a constant state of awe when thinking about or looking at these video games.

It always makes me think about how we take games for granted these days when I look back. When I think of how truly out of this world those games seemed to me back then, and then when I think of games today like Far Cry 3 and even Just Cause 2 and how 'normal' they are, it makes me wonder if we take games for granted a lil too much, that we don't really appreciate what truly wonderful  of imagination they are.

The first proper PC game I got was actually the official King Kong game. I had just seen the movie with my sisters (and cried at the end, by the way) and was in Blockbuster looking at the game version. My eldest sister was saying to me about how cool it looked and I was just like "OH MY GOD IT LOOKS SO FUCKING AMAZING I NEED TO PLAY THIS HOLY SHIT!". OK, well I didn't swear like that, but I was still totally blown away by it.

Then, that Christmas, I opened my eldest sister's present to me and BAM, there it was, brand new for the PC; King fucking Kong. 


That first scene with Jack Vs. The V-Rex still gives me the creeps. The way Kong could kill the V-Rexs but Jack could only ever distract and injure them was also brilliantly handled. What a fucking game. It was terrifying knowing that it was a monster you, Jack, could never kill. You just had to survive. Somehow.
I was so excited I can't even explain it with real words. Closest I can get is kinda like 'booglewidfflwoopacompaeegarawsomenessomgitotallyneedthisfucknggmelykenow'.

Anyway. So yeah. I was happy. I put it in the PC and installed the shit and then I couldn't play it. Yep, our computer was SO SHIT, it could not handle the King Kong game. Fuck. My. Life. I was fucking devastated. I was broken. I was like "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH".

I tried, day after day, to get it to work. I would put the disc in, do the shit and then try and play it. All to no avail. 

Then the computer did something that totally defies computer and tech logic: it said: "OK, you can play it."

Not literally of course. Duh (I mean honestly, what computer talks you guys? Except like Siri and shit and... yeah... I guess computers do kinda, uh, talk.. man, never thought of it like that.... computers are fucking scary...). What actually happened is the game just played for no apparent reason. And it continued to play foreveeeeeerrrrr. Yaaayyy.

I was happy once again! I finally got to play my King Kong game. And it was amazing. I hold that game so close to my heart that I owned and completed it on PC, PS2 and Xbox 360. Oh and DS (no joke, although the DS version sucked balls). It is one of my favourite games ever. 
The DS version was pretty shit though.

I would play it all the time. Whenever I went on the computer, it was to play that motherfuckin' game. 

Then I started getting into more games. I would go around second hand shops (I was poor. Kinda like I am now actually) and spend ALL my money that I had on second hand PC games. I bought all sorts of shit. I bought racing games, I bought RPGs that confused me and that I never played. I bought the Sims. I bought strategy games. I bought loads of crap. One thing that alluded me was violent games, though, something my mother was still a bit unhappy about me playing.

I saw a game in this second hand shop called Desert Storm and it looked mofoing badass. I wish they'd make another DS game, actually, although make it better than the second one. That was meh.

Anyway, so I wanted this game, but I couldn't get it.
Then one day, shortly afterwards, my aunt and uncle came over. Me and them went up the highstreet, into this second hand shop and you know what happened next? I said "Wow look at this game!" And they said: "Here, we'll buy it for you!" And then I got Desert Storm. 

I played it for days too and it was like no game I'd ever played. It. Was. Amazing. I loved it, and still do. In my opinion few games based on the Iraq war are as good as that one.

I fulfilled my childhood dream of owning and playing Driv3r as well, by buying it for the PC. Shortly after all this I got a PS2, as it allowed me to play all of the games I had played on the PC and more. I played that for a good while before moving onto the likes of the Xbox 360.

I may have started gaming on PC, however, admittedly, my loyalties do lie with consoles. 
Say what you want about how legendary the Atari and Gamecube are, but I will never forget my baby!

One thing that I loved about my PS2 is it didn't need upgrading like a PC does and it was a one time purchase item. The only extra cost was for the games.

When I got my Xbox 360, well, I just fell in love with it. I knew, as soon as I put Call Of Duty: World at War into that disc tray and started it up that this is what I wanted to do. I didn't know how and I didn't know why, but I wanted to do this. I wanted to play games. 

Some of the best ever memories I have revolve around gaming. That time when I played Skyrim for AGES. I played it on happy days, sad days, energetic days, busy days, down days, quiet days; I played it A LOT, and the memories I have of my time with it are irreplaceable.

Or how about when I played Call of Duty 2: Big Red One. Damn was that game incredible. I'd replay it over and over just enjoying every single near perfect level it offered. Or what about when I used to play Medal Of Honor with my best mate, Mike Crichton? 


What a game this was.
Gaming has an incredible effect on your life, if you let it. Some people say that it isn't healthy to get so involved with it because it is so 'enclosed' and 'a lonely experience'. Not only are these people stupid but also totally ignorant and obnoxious. Even if you don't want to play a game alone, play with a buddy instead. Playing games with friends is yet another reason why gaming is so incredibly unique and awesome. You can go out and hang out in real life with these people, but gaming lets you all explore worlds together, have a laugh together and discuss strategies together. It lets you come together in a totally unique and almost flawless way. 

There are many reasons why gaming is awesome and something I will never get rid of from my life. Maybe it's the community. Maybe it's the incredible stories games like Bioshock Infinite and Uncharted tell. Maybe it is the amazing worlds and places you can visit. It's all of that and more really. Like I said at the beginning; I'm not part of the 'older' generation of gamers but gaming is something I've always loved and wanted to do and it's something that will forever be a part of me.

This has been a bit of an odd blog for me but I enjoyed writing it. What do you want to add and what are your thoughts on your own gaming experiences? Leave a comment!

2 comments:

  1. I was introduced to gaming through my dads NES back when I was far too young to appreciate it. He used to take me down to the blockbuster in our neighborhood where you could still find NES games in relatively good condition. I remember picking up Donkey Kong like it was yesterday...

    I played one PC game alot as a kid, and that game was called Hot Wheels: Velocity X. As a kid, it blew my mind. The cars were sleek and sexy, the story was actually very interesting, and the characters were badass. To this day it remains the game I go to when I'm bored.

    Then came the Game Boy Advance SP, which I took everywhere. There was this one skateboarding game for it which, looking at it today, was a terrible game. Ugly graphics, repetitive gameplay, and only three songs throughout the game. Yeah, it sucked, but man, I played the living daylight out of it.

    That was how I was introduced to gaming. I'm in high school now, so now I can appreciate the deep and complex tales that we so often take for granted, but it's kinda cool to go back and reminisce.

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    Replies
    1. Nice comment man! Yeah, it's so awesome to think back and remember old gaming memories. Something so awesome about gaming is the memories that it installs within you.

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