Extra Lives

“If you don’t play games, you’re not just missing out, you’re wilfully ignoring the most rapidly evolving creative medium in human history.”

Charlie Brooker


The Title Menu

I have been very lucky, it turns out I have lived hundreds if not thousands of lives. Some have been brilliant and awe-inspiring, some have been quite mundane and regular and others have been a horrifying brutal mess.

I’ve fought in more wars than any soldier, even some that haven’t happened yet. I’ve commanded more armies than any general, sometimes for both sides in the same war. I’ve won more races than the greatest driver and out-flown the greatest pilots. I’ve saved the planet many times over and even saved the galaxy a few times for good measure. I’ve killed more zombies than George A. Romero ever thought would exist and I’ve even been a zombie trying to wipe out all humans. I’ve fought against the hordes of hell so often that Satan himself probably wants a piece of me but I’ve also fought alongside demons as one of them so maybe he’ll give me a pass. I’ve brought on the apocalypse and ushered in world peace. I’ve killed more Aliens than Ripley and I’ve killed more humans than the Terminator, hell I’ve even been the Terminator. I’ve had more adventures in a galaxy far far away than Luke Skywalker ever did and I’ve explored more of Middle Earth than Frodo or Bilbo ever could.

I’ve been an Italian plumber, a blue hedgehog, a purple dragon, an orange bandicoot, a space marine, both Jedi and Sith, a Pokémon master, a space ninja, a wizard, the head of a family, a truck driver, a foretold hero, a monster slayer, a demon, an angel, a farmer… The list could go on and on forever.

How was all this possible, (unless it wasn’t obvious by the title of the page) it was all thanks to Video Games.

Level 1

Video Games are an industry like no other. A visual medium like TV and films but unlike those where you are passive, a mere observer into the world of others, Video Games allow you to be active. You are not just watching a great hero save the world, you ARE the great hero trying to save the world. I can’t think of another medium like it, you have games like books, games like movies and games that are just plain old games. It transcends other mediums and evolves at such a faster rate it can be hard to keep up.

In over a thousand years books went from written words on paper to written words on an a tablet. Whereas in under fifty years video games went from this.

Pong
Pong turned 45 in 2017 just so you know

To this.

The Witcher 3
Needless to say, things have improved a bit

Both of the above pictures are taken from within their respective games and while it can’t be argued that movies have improved immensely in the one hundred (ish) years they’ve been with us I think it is fair to say that Video Games have that improvement outmatched. They’ve gone from a ball being represented by a square to unbelievably realistic representations of the worlds they create, but the real beauty of Video Games (if you ask me anyway)? Is that they don’t necessarily need to make that huge leap to be amazing.

One of the most succesful games in its short history is Minecraft and while it came out at a time where games where starting to look realist and beautiful it looked like this.

I think it’s fair to say that compared to high-end graphics that is primitive looking, but you want to know the best part? It didn’t matter. It is another trait of the Video Game community that I love, you can have your beautifully realistic graphics and it’ll be amazing, but you can also have your very basic graphics and it is equally amazing.

Video Games have such an amazing range of what they can be. Good graphics or bad, great storytelling or no story whatsoever, ground breaking gameplay or in the weirdest of cases not much gameplay at all. I can’t imagine a world where you buy a book and there’s no writing in there or a film with no visuals (that would be a radio play at best really) but in the world of Video Games it is possible (to use a cliché) to do anything.

Anyway, the point of this page is for me to explore my personal history of gaming, what you will find below is a list of games that have had an impact on me and (hopefully) the list will fill up with links to the posts I do about those games. I will break the list down into sections to try to manage it somewhat, I’ve played quite a lot of games over the years believe it or not. The list will grow as time (and writing) grows. I guess you can consider these a sort of review? Although some of the games being talked about are gonna be 30+ years old so I don’t think anyone will be influenced to much, not without a time machine anyway.

P.S. I had to split PC games into subsections cos it is without doubt gonna be the biggest section of the list.

Final Boss

So here is a list of all platforms I have owned or spent extensive time playing at some point or another in my life.

Home Consoles:

Sega Master System II

Sega Mega Drive (Genesis)

Nintendo 64

Sony PlayStation

Sony PlayStation 2

Nintendo GameCube

Microsoft XBOX 360

Microsoft XBOX ONE

Nintendo Switch

Handheld:

Game Boy/Colour/Advanced

DS/3DS

PC:

CD/DVD:

Steam:

Origin:

Uplay:

Downloads:

Don’t Really Fit Anywhere Else:

Arcade:

Standalone:

Phone/Tablet:

Honorable Mentions

Game Over

My hope for the future is that I don’t lose interest in Video Games, no other media grabs me and takes me places like games can. Escapism is a great part of what Video Games can offer and for someone with his fair share of mental health concerns it is great to know that I can sit at a keyboard, pick up a controller, grab my joystick (hehe), stick a headset on and be transported to worlds where none of that matters.

Despite some hiccoughs along the way the future is looking bright for video games and I’m looking forward to the worlds it has yet to take me to.


Bonus Video

A great little song about the history of gaming, let’s hope the next 40 years are just as amazing and mind-blowing as the last 40.

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