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I was about 50 foot from here but close enough

The short version of the story is this. I was flying out to Singapore with my father for a couple of weeks for the F1 race, the bad thing was I wrote my car off a couple of days before hand (Sep 19th), and also someone elses...


Doesn't look like much, but this was over £3k worth of damage...


Thier car came off worse by the looks of it though...

Will get my arse in gear and post a full story at some point, but life has been... Interesting.. with many... qualities... over the last few weeks.

Some may know, but I've been out of contract since end of June (UK IT industry is screwed for contractors atm) but this will be changing - got a permanent job just waiting on references and the paper work to flow through. 4 months with no income has made me a sad panda...


Thank you topcow... And Nick... maybe...
Photo Photo Photo







Triox
7:27 PM on 09.14.2008


And by "We", I mean "I"...

This was planned for a follow on from my introduction post, but alas, life caught up to me and began to punish me for thinking that I may be able to do something that I wanted to. Anyhow, this is not a rant or a conversion piece, this is me saying why I play the way I do. I may go into detail, I may generalise, I may gloss over things that you think are important, I may not mention a single specific game, I may just list bullet points, I may just may praise something. The main thing though, is that I may just do my own thing...

And in no particular order I may add...

*Sorry if some of this rambles a bit - it is 5:30 in the morning here - insomnia for the mother fooking win*

Adventure Games

point here, click there, combine chicken with pulley...

A good adventure game sucks you in, you become the character. You laugh, you cry, you scream in frustration. The simplest of puzzles can be an absolute mind bender and not just for the sake of logic.

The really good games have either such an absurd sense of logic you try anything and it doesn't phase you when you realise that you really can't just use the key on the door. Instead, you have to use the key in the jam - to make it sticky and sweet - then use it on the fire ant hill - to attract the ants - then use the ant covered key on the Fire Escape door - "Fire" ants, geddit? No? Well, thats the point, you dont until you do and then, if it has been done correctly, you smile and go on to the next one.

The really bad ones, well, they are the same. You really cant use the brown key on the brown door because you dont know that the door handle must be tried first or the that one specific key only works on one specific door. One door out of a thousand... And there is no difference. You have to try each and every door until you get lucky. Mind numbingly tedious and yet, perfectly logical.

These games, above all else, must must must have a great team behind them, a great designer at the heart of them and just that little bit of magic. Lucas got it spot on so many times I am in shock that they still aren't producing them anymore. Unfortunately, the golden age of these has really past. Too many people - yes, you people - want instant satisfaction. You want to make with the "pew pew pew" straight away that a story based game that has you read things and tryies to ask you to understand not just the "How" but the "Why" as well. They make you step in to the character in a way that few other genre's do.

Yes, these games are some of my all time favorites and yet, some of the worst pieces of fetid monkey vomit that has ever graced the good ship gaming...

notable games - Monkey Island (1 & 2), Grim Fandango, Sam and Max, Day of the Tentacle, Beyond Good and Evil...

Driving Games

cut this corner, find the shortcut, ram this goit there...

The absolute worse things about these games is that they can have absolutely no soul to them (a claim I will use again in this article). Here is the car, go drive...

Why??

Yes, I know not every game has to have a story, but come on, even a hack-eye'd cliche fits in a pinch. Some games can mildly get away with it like the F1 series or even the Colin McCrea ones because you live thier lives instead. Others like Sega Rally, they throw you in and say "There you go, go faster next time." There is no reason to, there is no punishment, there is very little progression that actually rewards you. GRiD is also like this but by adding the team and the actual rewards of Money and Licence's to race it actually gives you more of a reason, to try and shave that 1/100th of a second off of a lap time. Not a great reason but again, they make the "story" more about You, the gamer.

These are games that are love 'em or hate 'em for me. Fun and party like games have to be carried off well, serious ones have to hit the nail on the head. "Wacky" ones, I'm sorry, just dont work for me... 99% of the time at least...

notable games - Test Drive Unlimited, Mario Kart, Motorstorm

FPS's Games

ahhh, bugger, crap, whore, buggery, run away...

The one great gaming divide that will always stand for me. FPS's belong on the PC. Not consoles. No matter what you say, you're wrong... So wrong it is just wrong wrong wrong...

Maybe it is because this is what I am used to, maybe I'm just not used to the twicth mechanics of thumb control. Maybe I like having the precision of the mouse to gentley glide the cross-hair over my enemies head. Maybe I just like the actual control that the mouse and keyboard gives me...

As for the actual games, yes I am reusing it here... they can have absolutely no soul, some give it in bucket loads.

Serious Sam had nothing but guns and enemies. It said "Go play, kill all in your way. Laugh smile and shoot. Have fun" - This was a good game.

Call of Duty 4 had one of the best single player campaigns I have ever ran through. It said "Listen, this is what is happening, this is what you must do" - This was a fantastic game.

Doom 3 had a beautiful engine, the graphics were stunning and the setting had potential and that is all it had. Nothing to make you want to carry on. Nothing to actually say "Come see what I have to offer" Instead it said "Look, shin and dark and shiny" - This was a mediocore game.

yes, I'm going to rag on it
Diakanta had hype. It had nothing else. No, I lie. It had terrible graphics, it had an attrociuos story line, it had abismal side kicks that either got you killed or just got in your way, it had bad level design and it was just flawed... - This was a bad game.

Now, again, some I like, some I dont and it does seem to be I have no idea until I try them. I'm not a big fan of Half Life, I loved SiN when it came out. Go figure... The one thing that I guarentee makes me not like a game is when it is traded soley on it's multiplayer side. I realise some games are specifically designed for it like Quake Arena and Unreal Tournament, but when a game gets a shoddy single player review and then have the gaul to say that the multiplayer makes up for it, they deserve a slap. Anything that relies on how other people behave to sell a single player experience shows that the team were just phoning it in...

notable games - Doom, Half Life, CoD4, Serious Sam, Painkiller (just for being able to fire tree trunks at people)

MMo's Games

life draining away, social skills decreasing, hygine bad...

Now, I am not going to say too much on these because I'll only end up repeating a lot of it for the RPG section coming up... A good MMo presents a believable fantasy. It gives you something to get lost in. It makes you actually want to be that character doing that role, weather it be blasting people with fireballs, hitting them with pointy sticks or exploring forgotten realms. And despite the tag line, both life and social skills can level up dramatically - hygine, well thats your call but please dont expect me to stand downwind of you if you don't know what soap is or are afraid it will interfer with you "Sampson like powers"

It does not make you think "Why oh why am I doing the same thing yet again for another bloody lazy NPC that is 50 levels higher than me that could do the job himself in a fraction of the time?"

The fundamental task that all MMo's come down to is Grind. Weather it be grinding for xp, grinding for territory/faction or grinding for gear. It. Always. Comes. Down. To. Grind.

And if they get it right, it works. It becomes, maybe fun is the wrong word, but it keeps you coming back to see what else is there. The world it creates is just enough to bring you in, just enough to kepp you there. Sure you can mock it but you mock it because you love it. If they get it wrong, then all that is there is grind. That just makes you scream that you are doing the same thing over and over. When the reward is not there or you need so much to progres such small steps, the game stops being fun and becomes a chore. Some MMo's start off great and hit this stage right at the end. Others have a horible mid-level grind range. Some start off that way and just never recover. These are time and money sinks and are just not fun.

Now, what I said about FPS's being traded on their multiplayer and how that is a bad thing, well totally the opposite here. You need the support of the "world" to make these games fun. They depend on other people, weather it be to buy your goods or to provide targets. Without the other n00bs, then all you have is a giant sand box that you can only look at.

The social aspect of these games is one of the greatest improvements of recent times. Just like this very site, they bring people together who game. They bring people together that want to work together. Sure you get some self opinionated schmuck every so often *ahem* but so what? There are enough good friends there that you can laugh you can joke, hell, you can cyber and get married to if the fancy really takes you, but that is a story for another cblog.

notable games - Everquest 2 (from mid-level), WoW (upto mid-level then grind-tastic), Age of Camelot (good setting and RvR works), Warhammer - high hopes for...

RPG's Games

grand adventure, save the world, learn to pick locks, fail the roll...

Now, anyone that does know me or gets to know me, well, they'll findout how much these games matter to me. I adore any thing that can give me a new experience. Books - fantastic instruction manuals and insights but not hands on. TV - can show me but again, not hands on. Games - they can be anything...

From a nomad vault dweller doing whatever he can to save his people, to a space marine fighting to save the ship, to the lowly farmer boy that sets out to seek revenge. All these have one distinct starting point, and that is YOU. Some are better than others at this, but they let you play the story. They let YOU decide which way you want to go. Do you want to save the kitten from the tree or throw a small tactical nuke at it, you know, for shits and giggles? Both have rewards and both have consequences.

To me, these are the next generation of adventure games. They still require a fantastic team, they still need a great designer. What they also need is a great player. With being the main driving force between - at the very least - good and evil, which way do YOU want to play the game? Or do you want to play the bad guy and see what happens instead? You can, and you can see what would happen. Then you can reboot so to speak, and play the good guy and get a totally different experience. From the same story, from the same world.

There is one thing about these games that does annoy me however, and it tends to be a modern trend. Some people actually like it, they say it gives the games more depth and I can kinda see where they are coming from. The problem is, these games are called "Role" playing games. "Role." Singular. That means one hero. One protaganist. One character. Yes, give them a party/group by all means, but when you can configure and play as all of them at any time, then to me, it does dilute the experience.

Fallout is one of the best games for giving you the role and saying live how you want to, but here, tell me how you want these others to behave. You dont control how they level. You dont control them in battle. They do their own thing using the skills that they have learnt. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it is bad. Sometimes, you turn around and empty an entire belt of gatteling gun ammo into them for being such gigantic arseholes, but it was your choice and you can still lay on after that choice has been made...

When you control the entire group to the very little details about how they each level up, which skills they learn and even in battle who they shoot/fire/hit out at it becomes less about a "Role player" and more a "Team Role Manager." You are no longer that same farm dweller that set out to sek revenge, you are the group that has been asked by six seperate city states to stop the evil corporation. The focus is no longer on you per se, but on your teams performance. There is no worrying about "Franks" limitations in melee combat as you have set him up as your long range mage while "Debbie" does the deep throating with the swords. Yes I know it is a fantasy but it shouldn't be perfect. When has anyone ever teamed up with a group of people for wahtever reason and had all the bases covered with every skill? The whole point is to work to find a solution - playing god with your team mates lives does not do it for me...

notable games - Fallout, Fallout 2, Lionheart and Arcanum (leave the other party members alone and let them level up as intended)

RTS's Games

ahhh, bugger, crap, whore, bugger it, zerg 'em...

Like FPS's, these games have to stand on their own against me, no excuses of the multiplayer makes it better. Fook the multiplayer so to speak. If the enemy is too easy, if there is not enough choice in units, if their is alwas one winning tactic then it really doesn't appeal to me. The first C&C was good in the fact that you didn't have a vast array of units, but you did have choice. You had weaknesses with your units that the enemy could capitilise on. Then again, so did their untis...

The opposite of this were games like Total Annalation and Warzone2010. TA had so many units the choice was through the roof, but all were based in categories so to speak. You had the big slow power houses, the little nippy buggers and everything in between. More if you downloaded the free addons for it. Warzone was the opposite... You had no set units. You built from three sections, a chassis a body and a weapon. Sounsd simple right? Wrong, there were over 4 million combinations that you could achieve by the end of the game if my memory serves right... So much choice and believe me, so many chances to fook it up. But the tactical side was there. You could build any unit to fill any gap in your plan, but so could the enemy and it was very good at doing just that.

Later games like C&C Generals Perimetre gave you very few units with very set strengths and hence little room for experiment or a lot of units but only one from each class of air/ground/undergound that were of any really use. There was very little choice for the majoritory of the situations and as soon as you had played one map, you knew the best places for each unit and tactic then it just became a game of waiting...

The zerg rush is the absolute embodiment of all that annoys me about these games. One tactic that has a roughly 80% of winning any match starting on an equal footing. Against a well entrenched opponent then it is a wasted tactic and shows up the zerger for what they truly are...

notable games - C&C Red Alert 1 and 2, Total Annialation, Warhammer: DoW and expansions

Simulation Games

ohh new adventure, do something new, control the world, control a life...

Love 'em or hate 'em, The Sims and the Tycoon games are the absolute embodiment of this genre now...And yup, just like FPS's, I believe that these belong on the PC. In my view, they just fit better. I'm not saying that console games are shallow, but a good simulation game can keep you in its grasp for days and weeks at a time. It has a depth like no other style has and it has the rewards like no other... In so much as it usually has no rewards to speak of..

The scary thing is though, the really good examples of this genre are just that, really really good. They suck you in like an RPG but they are open ended. You can not win because there is nothing to win... You just keep playing... Until you get bored. And that is the crutch of the issue. You can see everything in the game quiet soon on some of these (think Sims 1 with no expansions) and then the only thing that keeps you coming back is the grind...

It is like the absolute worst parts of MMo's and RPG's have been combined with the best parts of the RPG and the Adventure genre.

Then you get the ones right out of left field like the original Theme Park, Theme Hospital and later on, The Movies. Yes they had the same ingredirents as a large portion of the others, but they did it in a slightly differnt way that gave off a little something new. Now, the Theme series was a tremendous success. Movies, was a critical success but a semi commercial flop and all for the same reason, the genre was just right for the game or just wrong for it at that time... Theme series took something fun like a Park and kept it fun. It took something dull like a Hospital and made it funny. The Movies, it did so much, it made it overwhelming just as the genre was experiencing a backlash against so many games set within it.

Depending on the time of the year though, these are either my favorite or least favorite games for similar reasons to turnbased games at the bottom of the page. I can see each game taking up vast swaths of my time. I can see my life disappearing in to the box under my desk. And somethimes, I'm absolutely fine with that, other times, I want a real life, not a simulated one.

notable games - The Sims (Yes, I like them and I buy them - not the expansions though, that would just be crazy), Theme Hospital, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Simcity4, The Movies (seriously, if you have not played this one, go do so now)

Sports Games

for some I use the term loosely...

The games most likely to never change...

How some companies, I'm looking at you EA, can churn out the same crap each year on year is beyond me. Yes, I can see that the new graphics make it look prettier. Yes I can see you have updated the teams. Yes, I can even see that you have included a new commentator and a couple of tiny new features. I just cant for the life of me think why YOU think this deserves paying another bloody £30 to £50 quid for...

Now, I dont mean to level this at every game under the umbrella of "sport" as once in a while you get something that comes out that really challenges the style. .skate was one. Speedball was another - a bit old I know but shush. These took the tired old mechanics and either tried to do something diffferent - less arcade more real and vice versa respectively - and they did it to stand on their own merits. They didn't need a big name on their cover. They didn't need a "sequal to the best selling...." tag line.

The one thing they did and did well, was made their sport fun again. Even after all the fun had been sucked out by dull clones, they re-invigorated it. They made you actually want to play that sport. Maybe not Speedball, well, maybe if you could pick who was on the other team but hey ho...

I guess what I am trying to say is they didn't just sell on their name. They sell on their merits. And I wish more sports games were like that...

notable games - .skate

Semi - notable games - Tiger Woods 09 (does just enough to make it better than it's predecessors) and Tony Hawk (1st to 3rd, they traded on the name after that)

Turnbased Games

humm, if I this then maybe, but if I do this then maybe, or if I do...

Personnaly, one of my most infuriating game genre's because they are too dam involving. Just like simulation games, I go through phases of loving these and hating them in equal measure. I just know that if I put a good game in then my entire evening will disappear and it'll suddenly be 4am. Now, this could be a good thing or bad but man, it is so dependant on outside influences it drives me nuts...

Good games in this category though are ones that have depth. They have reason and consequence. When you can do plan A and it goes wrong, you have to have a stratergy to get back on track. If plan A goes wrong and you can just go, meh, try this instead and there is no penalty or it is too easy to complete then it makes the thinking and devious planning wasted. And there is nothing like wasted game time to really really annoy me...

In most games, I play the explorer type. I want to see what is over the hill. I want to find out what happens when I drop the potassium in the lake. I want to explore that dungeon over there... If there is no depth to the tech tree, if the enemy doesn't do something interesting to counter me, if they resort to zerging every single time no matter what I do, if what is over the hill is nothing but the same enemies with the same moves and the same plans then it is a bad game and quickly goes from my collection.

The new Civ on the 360 confuses me. I loved Civ in all it's incantations on the PC, heck, still play 4 at least once a week, but there is just something about the 360 version that troubles me. It is as if it has been drastically simplfied and made easier. I know that this is the case in some regards and I can see why they did it for some of the areas, but time and time again I find myself asking "Why can't I do this...?" That is the kicker for me with these games, if by their turn based nature they limit you to playing in a very set pattern (capture point a, then c then b) rather then letting you go how you want to (c then a then b, just so it spells cab...) then it forces you to play to the rules rather than within the rules.

notable games - Civ (all of them - PC versions)

Well, that took way too long too write but yeah, there you have it. My opinions on the bigger genres of games... Now before asking what specific games I have got/played, I'll just say all of the notable ones at least. All of the games I have mentioned I have at least played. The actual numbers though, I couldn't tell you. At last count I had over 750 PC games, 360 is nearing 35ish, ps is about 10, Wii is abot 10 again and DS is 14. As I have said previously, I think I may have a problem, I think I may like it :)

I'll be doing write ups on specific games as time goes by, so yeah, if there is one that I have mentioned in there or one that is a stand out in its field, shout out in the comments and let me know. If I have it, I'll move it closer to the top of the pile, just for you...

No, not you... you...
Photo Photo Photo









Because I couldn't find a tight net...

Looks like EA changed there mind over some features that should have been in Spore from the off. From The Consumerist...

"EA's DRM spyware on the long-awaited game Spore turns out to have an added side-effect: if you live in a household with multiple players, you all have to share the same account. The game's manual says otherwise..."

The manual does indeed state that...

"You may have multiple Spore accounts for each installation of the game." page 52

However after a rather large thread on Spore official forums, "EA_Violet" kindly states that the manual was, well...

"That section in the manual was a misprint and will be corrected in future printings of the manual. There is one Spore registration/account per game/serial code so you are correct in that you cannot make multiple accounts at this time."

With the recent confirmation that similar DRM is going to be in C&C, it looks to me that EA on their quest be all "New" and stuff, is also assuming worse than ever, that we are all dirty rotten pirates...

Update
Jim presented this a bit better here...
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Triox
2:19 PM on 09.11.2008


Not real?

Very quick one from me as am beating head against application deadlines for a job...

According to Kotaku, the anti-spore.com website that was mentioned is nothing more than an elaborate Rickroll...

I think I agree with them based on the latest post by "admin"

-----------------------------------------------------------------

But the Bible teaches us that God was not done with man. For we were His creation and He then spoke to Noah in Genesis 8:21-27 after the flood.
“21. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never gonna give you up.
22. “Never gonna let you down.”
23.”Never gonna run around and desert you.”
24. “Never gonna make you cry.”
25. “Never gonna say goodbye.”
26. “Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.”
27.”Never truly believe anything you read on the Internet. There will always be cases of Poe’s Law.”

It’s these teachings that I’ve spent my life learning, believing and becoming, that have made me the woman that I am today.

------------------------------------------------------------------

I can only echo Kotaku's final statement on the matter and say "well done, admin, well done. And dam you..."

UPDATE
Humm, according to "admin"

adminon 11 Sep 2008 at 2:10 pm 348

About the “Rick Roll”. Yeah, well, apparently my site got hacked. I’m sure Will Wright has an army of folks at his beck and call just waiting for an opportunity like this try to humiliate those of us that don’t lap up the evolutionary garbage he is promoting. At least I can take comfort that my message got to his unholy presence himself and if he took the time to deface my page perhaps that means he is truly scared of what I represent. I am in contact with my hosting provider and hope to rectify this situation shortly and continue to fight the good fight.

God bless you all.

So, who wants to take bets on weather it really is a de-face or a rickroll?
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I was planning something a bit different for today, but a comment at the bottom of my last blog got me thinking. Well, no, not really. I just want to defend my chair...

The thing is, it sounds like crazy talk to any "normal" person and say that you have a chair dedicated to gaming. Even when you explain that it has both built in speakers and vibration feedback, they still can not see the benifit or even point of it. The most common response is either "is the couch not good enough" or "whats wrong with the floor?" I may be preaching to the choir here, but a good seat makes all the difference for those long sessions...

The Chair

Minus doggy - has been relegated to the bed

The chair works like any other. First, you sit on it. Then you make yourself comfy by adjusting the back (you can alter the angle of it). Then you game... It is that simple...

The differences are in the fact that it requires a mains power connection and a 3.5mm stero jack either from the back of the console or the TV. If you take the console jack, you'll get no sound from the TV and if you have more than one device, would require scrabbeling around each time you change your play beast. Pulling the sound from the output on the TV allows one massive benifit - fake surround sound. The two speakers built into the head rest area really help immerse in the game as most day to day sounds are literally drowned out. Crinch-worthy when you move and see missed calls on your mobile but hey ho.

The speakers also act to allow night time gaming if you are not entirely comfortable wearing headphones. With the speakers being so close to your hearing apperatus (ears people, ears) you can literally turn the volume right down on the chair and mute the tv. The quality is great for all but the lowest and highest pitch sounds, speach comes through fine and background music sounds solid. For those that prefer headphones, there is a jack on the side of the chair - see controls picture below - that allows output. This automatically mutes the speakers in the head rest.

The Controls

lights, frequency and motors... read on...

You may have noticed before that I mentioned the feedback vibration. Yes, vibration. In the seat. It makes you feel tingley...

Seriously, this is the best feature of the chair and really shines through depending on the game. I am not a big fan of FPS's on consoles, but this gets me to change my mind instantley. Get the motor (how hard it spins) set to just the right sensitivity (how hard each motor hits - you may not require the tingly seat but just the tingly back) for the right frquency (effective feedback - the motors fire when the sound frequency is hit) and instantly, you fell every shot and grenade. It blows you away from the very first blast till you crawl away hours later. The motors are strong enough to make the ceiling shake and this baby can be heard in the living room when it is turned on (I game on the 2nd floor, in the attack - 3rd floor for Americans).

Unsurprisingly, this is NOT suitable for people with pacemakers!

The final button - Lights - refers to the bling bling pimped out underside lighting that fires with the frequency...

The lights

strangley hypnotic at night

Actually pretty useless, but looks good...

The three way switch provides Off, On and Massage. Off is off, On is for gaming, Massage fires the motors in continuos phases and pulses. Quite relaxing and again, tingly, but the noise from them is disconcerting.

I'll admit, the seat is quiet hard and there isn't much padding on the arms and for any other purpose were relaxation is the key, this isn't my first choice. For gaming though, it supports you in all the right places and gives absolute perfect comfort for 8 to 16 hour stints.

All in all, if you have the space, this is one of the best things to add to your collection.
For the number lovers out there...
three out of four espresso's!

Just for Robotfart, here is the all important Cup holder. It works great for standard sized cans (both 330 and 500ml sizes) but cups, not soo much. It is a bit too small and it tapers as it reaches the bottom of the depression. Still, pint glasses work fine, but there is a technique to getting them out without wacking the underside of the arm...



As for the blowjob monkey, no, am afraid one of those wasn't included in the deal. Although it looks like Tom's Hardware got that upgrade... (dont worry, it's SFW)
Photo Photo Photo







Triox
11:48 AM on 09.08.2008


I will re-install preoper photediting software at some point

Hell, it has only been close to two years that I have been reading this site and about a year since I began commenting, it is about time I got of my arse and joined in with the fun...

First things first, the name is Andy but go by many others on the interweb.

These include:

* Triox (origins lost in the mist of time)
* Steadfest (intentional mis-spelling of steadfast - Etymology: Middle English stedefast, from Old English stedefæst, from stede + fæst fixed, fast
1 a: firmly fixed in place : immovable b: not subject to change <the steadfast doctrine of original sin — Ellen Glasgow>2: firm in belief, determination, or adherence : loyal)
* Introxicated (mis-spelling well, when I was intoxicated and trying to use long words - my drunk typing skills are lacking...)

Gaming started off for me with the Atari 5200 and Commedor64 but never really took off until I got my first IBM 286 Compatible machine... The height of technology dont you know. Many hours spent trying to get my laptimes down on Indy500 and battling tanks on, well, BattleTank. I'm pretty sure that the machine is still knocking around somewhere.

From there, gaming hit the Gameboy (original one - still working, still used) and the NES. Memorable mentions go the Rad Gravity, Solar Jetman and Solstice (NES) for destroying my childhood as well as a number of controllers. The SNES came along afterthat and destroyed a bit more of my innocence although not as many controllers this time. Both machines are still alive and well and boxed up in storage for the time being.

For a long time, that was it. Still turned them on to play, but they were toys to me, as with the many action figures that got just as much, if not more, use. Was definately a child of the 80's as Turtles, Centurions, Crash Test Dummies and Ghostbusters had me captivated.

It wasn't until the breakthroughs of Rise of the Triad, Wolfenstein and Doom in the mid 90's that pulled me into "serious" gaming. Then it all fell apart...

Fallout...

Final Fantasy 7...

Fallout 2...

These games almost caused me to fail my GCSE's (age 16 exams for non-english). So many hours, so many playthroughs. Even now, I can still close my eyes and play through each game in my head. Obviously getting crit's on everything but hey, it's my head...

PC gaming took up all my freetime. You name the game, I had played it. Consoles, they were benethe me. Gaming for the masses... The "casual" audience as it were. Yes, I was a PC Snobb / Elitist <- take your pick.

The N64, Dreamcast, NeoGeo, Saturn, PS, Gamecube and PS2 all sailed by without me caring. There was nothing on those systems that I couldn't get bigger better faster and more complicated on the PC. Heck, if the game didn't work first time, fantastic. It gave me the chance to rip into the innards of the machine and play, just so I could play later. This was living...

College came and went and uni snuck up on me. Ended up playing all night sessions on a daily basis. MMO's became my fix. Even more so, beta's became my fix. I was transfixed on getting into everything. Not so that I could play it first, but so that I could break it first. Not living at home with parents that would flick the circuit breakers to get me to go to bed (again - gameboy for the win on that front), communities, message boards, flame wars, discussions on everything and nothing with people that I'd never meet. Wow... This was living...

Then, the real world hit. Spending all day fixing machines, designing lifting and anchoring systems, beating head against the wall and dealing with life took it out of me. I lost my passion for gaming. It became a chore. I had seen it all before and nothing excited me.

I was ready to be taken out back like Ol' Rover and kiss the double barrel of gaming goodbyes. But something happened. Something new... It was only something indevelopment, it was something that may not see the light of day, but it was... interesting. It could be a Revolution in gaming...

Like a tiny spark in the dead of night, there it was. The first ray of sunshine after the darkest night. The feeling of the first quadruple espresso in the morning.

The fire had returned.

As soon as pre-orders were announced, I booked the afternoon of work to go and place my name in the ring for one. I was 21 on the list... The manager said they weren't sure of numbers but told me not to hold my breath on getting a release day console. I consoled myself by picking up a DS... After all, it was by the mighty Nintendo, had a lot of good reviews and had just launched a new Lite version. It looked beautiful. It played wonderfully.

Anyhow, about a month before release, I found out that I would be at a "Posh Do" as some might say, on the midnight half hour opening evening of the store. I wasn't too fussed as heck, I had found out they were only getting 20 consoles in. I had missed out by one... or so I thought.

At 00:21 (the image is burned into my retina perfectly) my mobile flashed up "Incoming call... Gamestation".

Someone had cancelled their pre-order. The remaining console would be held for me for one day only.

In my tuxedo, probably hung over but too giddy to notice, I was waiting outside Gamestation from 8am till it opened at 9. I wasn't the only one there, but hell, I was definately the best dressed.

I called in sick to work for the next two days...

Since then, I've gone on to get the psTriple and the 360. I've upgraded my TV just for games. I've put off moving into my own place and kept the lodgers so I could spend money on gaming.

I think I may have a problem.

I think I like it...

The Rig


The Games


The Chair - and the dog
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