Sunday, 13 January 2008


I barely ever play computer games. Consoles, whathaveyou - I've just never had much of an interest in any of it. Back in the 80's, when I was growing up and spent hours slaving over a hot ZX Spectrum, I was far more interested in learning how to write stuff and make it do interesting things than spending hours killing aliens or whathaveyou.

The games I liked then, and still do to this day, are the really simple platform/puzzle type ones. Lunar Jetman, Spellbound, Jet Set Willy, Technician Ted, the Dizzy games, Starquake. My later Atari ST, primarily a games machine much like the Amiga, spend most of its life playing simple platformers. When Driller came out and pioneered the immersive 3D worlds that everyone's used to now, I got bored pretty quickly. Later, when I had a PC, stuff like Rise of the Triads, and Sin gave way to pretty brain-dead stuff like Carmageddon. And even then only briefly. I get bored with games so easily.

In fact, in those rare times I find myself in a gamey mood, I don't reach for my non-existent PS2 or Wii and fire up World of Timewasting or whatever - I use a Spectrum emulator and play Starquake, as I have been for over 20 years (I've only finished it twice - I find the gameplay fun, not the end goal). I just don't get games, really. I just don't care.

Maybe it's the same reason I barely read any fiction or watch any films? Just writing that down makes me sound like some uncultured idiot, I know - but the truth is I get enough from current affairs, technology, comedy and music to keep me occupied for a lifetime and I sort of marvel at those who find the time to glue themselves to an Xbox 360 for hours on end or watch tons of films/boxsets. I can only conclude that I got short-changed somewhere along the line and everyone else in the world gets a thirty-hour day.

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