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Nathan Hardisty

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Alternate Reality: 1.21 GIGAWATTS?!


Time travel is awesome.

I'm going to get it out of the way and say that. Not because it's relevant to this Monthly Musing, but you should know this about me. Doctor Who, Back To The Future; anything with time travel in it just makes me twist my neck and hear you yelp. I'm writing a story for a Source mod and guess what that involves? I'm working on a futuristic novel around the concept of conciousness being a chemical and guess what else it involves?

Games have not gone far enough to let me meddle with time. I want to surf the time vortex, with armbands, holding a toy Delorean in the air. What games don't allow me to do is any of this sort of whim-whack time travel. Because it's too difficult, apparently. Well, we already rip-off every war movie ever made, so how about we rip off Back To The Future? Twas a fun film, a delightful little piece of whimsical fun. The rumblings about Back To The Future games have got me wet

What a certain game has done, however, is completely shift my mind about what time travel actually is. Now, here's a little practicality. I want you to grab five films in your collection, made before the year 2000. Now, eliminate all the films about Arnold Schwarzenegger walking around killing people to death. What is left? My fine friends, you are holding a capsule. You are peering into forgotten times, forgotten symbology, a director's will if you must.

You're a goddamn gravedigger.

So, what about videogames? Do the same as me, look into your old videogame collection. It's in a beaten up plastic box somewhere, it is in my house anyway. Trawl through the layers of shovelware, and then something catches your eye. Another capsule. Place your fingers over the plastic casing, rub the texture of it. It's just a videogame, that's what your mother said, she was so wrong. Not just in complete 'games are art, you know' sense, but in actual technicality.

Games are capsules of memory, completely awakening our childhood inside of us all. The little Nathan Hardisty, he remembers those endless nights with Hitman. He remembers the cracked PS1 casing of Crash Bandicoot. You're looking through a gateway, a time machine, and that's my alternate reality for today. Time travel.

If I could take one thing out of videogames, not including the raw nostalgia, it would be their ability to totally capsule your personal state at any point in time. I can just pick up the original Bioshock, from my collection, and remember seeing my reflection in the dusty television screen. He's sitting there, on an old rug, with a new console plugged into an old television. My eyes, following Andrew Ryan around the room. The shock, the open mouth, the controller dropped.

So how about it then? Time capsules everywhere? You'll be sat on the toilet, taking the roll out of the handle and remembering all the nice times you had.

In all seriousness, it's better to remember than it is to forget.
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About Nathsiesone of us since 4:57 PM on 02.26.2010

I'm Nathan Hardisty, an author, ex-editorial writer for Platformnation.com, ex-games writer at Screenjabber. I now write for a variety of sites on the internet while still updating both my DTOID blog and my regular blog, which can be found below.

I am currently writing for Flixist.com

Also I'm incredibly pretentious about video-games so beware. I might just hipsterblow your minds.

I can be reached at:

[email protected]

Xbox LIVE:Bananahs


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