Virtually Yours

I’m not one to blog about computer games as I often fear it would cause some of the readership to fall asleep, but the last few days of my life has been entirely taken up with the two new games I got for my birthday and so I felt it was appropriate. If at this point you are already skeptically looking at this thinking ‘yawn and triple yawn at the kingdom of geek’ then, firstly, well done on that sentence, I’d say something like that, and secondly, stop reading now and maybe read some older blogs. Or why not just write your own? Actually, seconds thoughts, just read my old ones, I can’t trust how yours will go. Chances are you’ll be a blogging genius, but then also possible you’ll blog inane tripe and send yourself into a whirling spiral of depression as you realise the only job you’ve ever wanted was that of a writer only to discover that dream has been shattered after you read back your three paragraphs of literary turd. I don’t want to take the risk of doing that to you.

Computer games have always been a fairly big part of my life ever since the days of Super Mario on the NES, a game that was, and still is heralded as a true piece of gaming genius and yet if you look at it now it makes your eyes fight your own head as you witness lots of slightly different coloured blocks jump over other slightly different coloured blocks. Still, it hooked me and ever since then various games on various consoles have held a certain level of importance to me. Games such as Final Fantasy 7 which was like playing a truly excellent epic movie and the Resident Evil series which, to this day, has still scared me more than any horror movie. You might laugh at that but trust me you go back and play Resident Evil 3: Nemises and let’s see how you feel when you’re sitting in the dark and controlling your character with only a few rounds left and although there doesn’t seem to be any zombies around, all you can hear is the shattering of glass. Genuine poo pants o clock.

What I’ve discovered in later life though, is that nowadays computer games are a little bit dangerous for me. It used to be that I would have school, university or work to keep me away from endlessly playing my life away, but now, with self employment I only have my own willpower to say ‘hang on, shouldn’t you be writing things?’ And as it is, with very few gigs or deadlines this week, I am Xboxing like my life depended on it, to the point where I have been having dreams where I’m trapped in Arkham Asylum or fighting medieval Italians while leaping up buildings. This hasn’t led to any odd behavior when around other people, although to be fair I’ve barely seen anyone except Layla since the weekend and so far I haven’t thrown a batarang in her face or anything so I think its ok. I am an avid believer that computer games do not alter behavior and if anything they probably make life a bit better that you can take your stress out on some pixels rather than the twat in the post office. I often like to think that if Peter Sutcliffe had played GTA4 the world might be a better place now. Although it could just have given him more ideas which would be even worse.

Last night I took the initiative to stop playing Assassin’s Creed 2 after 2 hours of gaming and I turned the Xbox off. Layla was out, there was nothing on TV and my brain had no flashes of inspiration for writing. So instead I picked up my laptop and went on Twitter. Then I had a horrible moment of clarity and realised I may as well live in a tiny box with my brain plugged in via a USB to some sort of main database as my body rots and I become entirely absorbed into the ethernet. Or just become stupidly fat but with very fast finger reflexes. This is perhaps a tad extreme, but as such I worry that the more I game the less I’m able to write and the more I give in to not writing and therefore play more games. So today, no gaming at all, and my gig should mean I go outside and talk with real people. Or at least at real people. Which still leaves me two to three hours this afternoon to play….argh! If anyone lives near me, please disconnect the mains outside my house. Thankyou.

Oh if any of you want a proper blog that is entirely about gaming (nearly) then have a look at my friend Mat’s (who is often mentioned on this) blog which you can find here:


If you hate all this sort of thing, then its your fault you’re still reading. So there.