Gaming Made Me #3, Kieron Gillengthily Played

By Kieron Gillen on July 8th, 2009 at 8:23 pm.

I am having a little think
Picking the handful of games that made me is somewhat tricky. Not picking the games that made me, but picking the handful. The house of my gaming past is on fire and I only get to grab what I can carry? That’s not how I think.

One of the things I tend to chew over with games is their almost utilitarian nature – the idea that games (and art generally) is there for a purpose. Moreso: that pleasure and its various shades are a purpose. As such, depending what interested me at any given time, I could do an autobiography via games, talking about why I went where, when and what that said about games and what it said about me. Something like Garry Mulholland’s lovely This Is Uncool.

So I’m narrowing it down a bit. Looking back, it interests me how many games were external things which changed everything. I spend most of my gaming time sitting inside this screen. But some of the most memorable games I found out there. I left home, went somewhere, met a game, and when I came back, I was a different person. An Adventure. There and back again…

Thorin sits down and starts singing about new games journalism
The Hobbit (Melbourne House)

So appropriately enough, we start with this. I’ve told this story before on podcasts, but it seems I never got around to doing so on the site. Could you humour me?

When I first remember hearing about gaming, the Hobbit loomed large. It was introduced to me by my best friend. He was the youngest brother of three. I was the oldest of two. As such, he was exposed to a mass of illicit information via the elder siblings: things which appeared to me as they’d been dropped from another, more exciting world: American Comics; The less Enid Blighton strain of choose your own adventure books; Eddie the Head, the Iron Maiden Mascot who prompted intense theological arguments.

Our Catholic education left us sure that God was more powerful than the Devil. However, it was equally true that the cover of Iron Maiden’s NUMBER OF THE BEAST album proved Eddie the Head was more powerful than the Devil, because it pictured him using Satan as a marionette. So… who was strongest out of Eddie and God? It troubled us.

Anyway, relevantly, this same friend introduced me to computer games.

The idea of games in the home was alien. While not exactly technophobic, my parents always lagged behind the technological curve. My friend enlightened me about the joys I was missing, primarily on our weekly walks to the swimming pool. Every Wednesday, our school trudged the half mile to the local baths. There and back again, he told me about his latest adventures. “Oh yeah – I waited until sunrise, so the Trolls turned into stone…” “I can get in this barrel in the Elf King’s cellar, but I can’t work out a way to make them throw me in the water.” “Yeah, I don’t go that way any more… there’s spiders up there.” “Oh, I’m in the Goblin Dungeon, and there’s a trapdoor in the basement.” “Ah – I tricked the wizard and the dwarf into a cave and then locked them there.”

I listened, mouth agape. This thing he spoke of was the greatest thing in the entire history of humanity.

Time passed and I finally had a chance to go to his house and see the game. I’d say months, but I suspect with a kid’s perception of time, it was actually just a fortnight. It felt like eons. You can’t imagine my excitement at sitting there as the spectrum sang its atonal loading noise song. Christmas-morning anticipation ran through me.

The game started. A hobbit-hole door appears on the screen, in lurid green.

I glance over at my friend: “YOU NEVER TOLD ME IT WAS JUST WORDS!”

That’s how games and I got together and in that moment, there’s the future echo of our relationship. That is, joyous awareness of their infinite possibility, depression at their stunted actualities.

But it was a start. I OPEN DOORed and was away.

GO WEST. PUNCH HENCHMAN. PUNCH HENCHMAN.

Kung-fu Master (Data East)

I was in the arcades before Kung-fu Master, of course. I’d have been nine by the time it came out in 1984. The arcades were the only time I saw games – or in the working men’s clubs, which was either a game of Scramble (in Cannock’s sprawling club) or something Galaxians or Phoenix shaped (the GPO around the corner). I dug them a lot. If you wanted an Us and Them moment, it’d be when a kid asked me why I was playing the game, as no money ever came out (as opposed the to the fruit machines). I was dumbfounded: pleasure comes out.

Kung-fu master was different, because it was a game I saw a lot. Being in various places, it was the introduction to the idea of games following me around. The idea that a game could be a shared social language – and bond – between complete strangers in different places. It was a shared social experience, despite being single player.

It also had awesome flying-kicks.

The small things appealed. The incredible precision of its control system. A button press and a whiplash kick with none of the slowness of most games. The size and clarity of the graphics. The plot. It seemed far more like a real place – more immersive – than anything I’d played before. I’d realised that visual representation alone wasn’t enough when I burnt through 50p coins with Dragon’s Lair the year before. It was the right kind of visual representation. It was a game which made me jump around the room like an idiot. Pac-man or the space-ship games didn’t make me do that. They made me go pschu! psuchu! laser noises, at best.

It had awesome flying kicks. And those multiple punches to the face. And knives. And splashes of red and mobs of men, falling to their deaths.

The brutality, I realised, helped and appealed. Gaming as transgression. My parents were right to be worried.

Warrior needs sex... badly
Gauntlet (Atari)

A year later and a family holiday. Still no home computer.

To a Butlins holiday camp, or some local knock-off of Butlins. People in coloured jackets. Singing. Chalets. And the best arcade I’d ever seen in my life, with prices lower than anywhere else ever. My brother and I devoured them all, but we paid almost a religious admiration to the hefty, brand-new four-player cabinet that towered like a monolith from a utopian future with excellent waterslides.

It’s easy to forget how innovative Gauntlet was. The four players. The role-playing elements, taking what was still subcultural and integrating it on the main stage of pop-culture. The use of dialogue. “Warrior needs food badly” lives on as a great thing to say whenever you’re hungry. Fast-forward to years later when as a student we’re playing Gauntlet 2, and kill a Dragon to be greeted with the phrase “I have never seen such bravery!”. Yelps from semi-grown men. Gauntlet said something new. For months we were uttering the phrase whenever anyone did the most innocuous thing. Empty the bin? Go out in the rain? Go off to dump an unfortunate ladyfriend? “I have never seen such bravery”. Ah, students. Always happy to give people reasons to hate us.

Even its exploitative elements – feeding the slot coins to get more health – Gauntlet screamed the new.

On the last day of our holiday, we talked our parents into playing. All four of us, against the dungeon. Dad silent and concentrating. Mum Giggling. I don’t remember much about the game, except how wonderful it was to have my parents along for this journey and how I wish it could happen more often. Games are for everyone. Fast-forward over twenty years to last year when my parents were visiting: Rock Band arrived, and my dad was the first person to hammer out on the drums.

It was only when writing this and doing the maths that I drew a line between this summer holiday and the Christmas, when we received a home computer. Or, at least, a Commodore 16, which was close enough to a computer. While I suspect they may have caved anyway, I can’t help but think the communal experience with Gauntlet helped things along.

Move forward another couple of years, to another version of Gauntlet. We’d had a Spectrum+2 by this point, and my brother and I played the 2-player home version of the game for hours. It was a tape multi-load, requiring you to load another bit every eight levels or so. With infinite credits, by carefully planning our deaths, we were able to march on to see what lay ahead. Eventually, one day, we reached the end of the tape. There was no final level. We rewound and started again, barely blinking.

Another lesson: gaming doesn’t end. It goes on. Winning doesn’t matter. The journey is the point; games are experiences. Games are not just games.

This is absolutely high-frequency geekery
Transformers 2005 MUSH (PennMUSH codebase)
Okay, this is something different.

The heart of my teenage years belonged to the Amiga and homes. My home. Friends’ homes. I had friends who loved games and we travelled from home to home to play them. Immortal games. Speedballrainbowislandslemmingssensiblesoccersyndicategravitypower2chaosenginelegendsofvalourcivw
ormsonlywhendrunkharlequinanotherworldstardustliberationpopulouswizkidmonkeyislanddynablaster… oh, games. The Spectrum lived on. As far as my second year of university it was being used as a one-game console for playing Chaos when people crashed out in the early morning, machine passed around the room like – and often alongside – a spliff.

As part of my degree, I’d found myself in a placement year in an American lab in Denver. Random chance. And then I was gaming from home again for the first time since childhood.

At the time, I said I didn’t game. Hindsight proves my definitions were wrong. This was after the death of Amiga Power, which provided my first work. Broke and a little burnt out, I skipped the whole period of ’96-’97 games. It’s an odd hole in my personal gaming history with regards to the mainstream – when Edge was hailing Mario 64, I’d headed a completely different way. In fact, I headed about as far as it’s possible to go. I only prodded it at in a shop before returning to mope in my flat.

I had a pretty shit time in America.

It wasn’t particularly anyone’s fault. I realised swiftly that due to laziness and extreme distractability labwork really wasn’t for me, and so treated every day at the job like a prison sentence, up to and including marking time’s passing with lines on my wall. The people I was working with were lovely, but at least a decade older than me, and with families. As such, I was stuck, without a car, on my own, a long way from any place I’d want to go, and was bored to the point of insensibility. It was seven months into the ten before I’d managed to locate my sort of people to have fun trouble with, by which point – and looking back at the sort of ill-advised adventures we went on – I suspect I was more than a little bit mental.

It was also the year when I went native on the internet. I ran a website, lived on mailing list, and discovered MUSHes.

You’ll probably be aware of MUDs, the text-based Multi-User Dungeons which were the first to explore the place the modern MMOs colonised. MUSHes – Multi User Shared Hallucinations – were, if the acronym didn’t give it away, the poncier side of it. Imagine a role-play server where 98% of the time you were going hey-nonny-no! in the chatroom. They were nothing but the proverbial glorified chatroom.

On the other hand, they were glorious chatrooms.

At the beginning of the trip, I had no idea they existed. I knew about MUDs. I also knew how much they could devour your life, from the all-night sessions some of my housemates had at the university labs. That didn’t sound that interesting to me. That sounded like doing the same repetitive things for hours. Surely that wouldn’t catch on? As history proves, I was totally right on one observation, and totally wrong on the other.

I discovered Transformers 2005 MUSH by running through the corridors of the internet, seeing with amazement that there appeared to be enormous functioning community of fans for anything on there. This was, I stress, 1997 and we were amazed by such things back then. I didn’t count myself as a Transformers fan. I liked the toys as a kid. I read the (superior) British comics back then. I hadn’t really paid much attention to them for over a decade. The idea of an ongoing free-form roleplaying game set in the universe, just after the end of the films… it intrigued me. I had an idea for a character, applied, and soon I was playing. For hours a day. To the point where I ended up in serious trouble with my lab supervisor.

MUSHes are roleplaying games, but they’re primarily plotless. Proper events – TinyPlots – are planned, which people can come and join in with – but much is based around players just hanging around and improvising scenes in character. Instructions are posed, with it entirely up to you to describe what your character does in either curt sentences or enormous florid passages of purest spam. Tf2k5 had a relatively complicated combat system with a load of statistics, but later MUSHes I joined – with themes not based around enormous warring robots – operated off little more than a +roll command to decide who would win when no consensus could be reached. Improvised roleplay with vestigial gaming. Performance art a sentence at a time.

I’d be interested to know how many people reading this played any MUSHes. It’s something that few actually talk about. The closest to a games journalist exploring it is Leigh Alexander’s regular riffs on her time playing Yahoo-Chat Final Fantasy roleplay, which isn’t quite the same thing – MUSHes have maps, places to build, things to interact with. I’m comfortable calling them a game and keeping them in the same part of my head as the Hobbit.

When I got back to England, I continued to play in a more casual fashion. Well, relatively casual. With the pay-for-dial-up of the time I built an enormous phone-bill despite that. But the real work was done, in terms of what it taught me about gaming. It was a social game which provided me, in my lowest year, a social life and drama-aplenty. It left me with the ability to type at my normal ludicrous speed and honed my ability to pull ludicrous metaphors and turns of phrase from the ether – it was a real part of how the year of isolation turned me from an adept StuCampell/JNash/TaylorParkes/NeilKulkarni copyist into something approaching someone with their own style. And those hours gave my first experience with RSI, which haunted me down the years.

Games can sustain you. Games can improve you. Games can destroy you.

I did have a sad moment when I went back to TTLG recently. A decade back, I kind of looked at most of the forumites as gaming's futurists. While there's still a lot of good people there, now they're more often gaming's reactionaries. Which is another lesson to learn, I guess.
Thief: The Dark Project (Looking Glass)

Next time I left home to play games, the mood was more triumphal. After the experiences in the sciences, I knew my degree was useless. So I did the bare minimum of work and concentrated on writing. Somehow – the old stat about 1 in 10 people leaving university claiming they were looking for work in the media, and there only being jobs for 1 in 100, nagged at me while I worked bars in those months after graduation – I got a job. PC Gamer hired me as a staff writer. I was to work in a room with a mass of relatively young, booze-hungry men, and one woman whose job was to scare us all into doing some work occasionally.

And I was, apparently, going to review some games.

Thief wasn’t the first game I reviewed (The Chaos Engine was, back in my home town, just to see what it felt like). It wasn’t the first game I’d reviewed professionally (UFO on the A500 for Amiga Power). It wasn’t the sample review I sent with my CV (The Curse of Monkey Island). It wasn’t the first game I’d reviewed in the office (which was some racing game which I had to play briefly and write a 300 word review for in half an hour as part of the interview process). It wasn’t even the first game I reviewed as a staff writer (which was a 280 word micro-review of a rendered adventure which I can remember nothing of bar I kicked it to death). But since that was delayed until the following issue, my debut as a writer for PC Gamer in the magazine was Looking Glass’s magnum opus.

It seems miraculous to me now. It’s like if Lester Bangs’ first assignment was to go and interview the Velvet Underground. Within the first week on the job, I’d found my Lou Reed.

Of course, yeah, I know. Egotistical on all sorts of levels. But I was nothing but ego back then, with a tower of McCain Oven Chips bags wobbling on each shoulder, and everything to prove. The only thing was that I didn’t realise how important it was. I lacked context. I was new to the world of PCs, only having owned one for a few months previously – never being rich enough to own such a thing before. The Ultima Underworlds, System Shock; these were games I knew by reputation, and little else. I was coming to the world’s premier stealth game clean. And I could see all the parts of it mesh together. I could see how elegant its stealth-mechanism was, so obviously better than the digital fakery of Metal Gear Solid (Thief was Defender to MGS’s Pac-Man). Most importantly, I could see the ghosts of all those other games of the past: I was shouting incredulously at the Hobbit, because in my head, it looked like Thief. This was it. This is how games should be.

Almost gave it a mark in the seventies, of course. The Bonehoard almost made me give up. I persisted and ended up giving it ninety. Which sound kinda mean, until you remember I was a AP veteran and true believer. As such, I’d never given a ninety before in my life.

The lesson, however, comes about a year later when I find myself in drunken conversation with a Looking Glass veteran who’s over to show off Thief 2. I mumble an opinion that I tended to think of them as this sort of progressive, intelligent developer. I mean, in 60s rock terms, kind of the Velvet Underground.

She doesn’t blink: “Oh, yeah. Totally”.

The lesson being: people believe in games as much as you do.

The lesson being: you’re not an idiot to think that.

The lesson being: you’re not an idiot to think.

Thief, in a real way, justified my entire approach to the medium. So, if you’re ever looking for something to blame, blame it.

Alternatively, the friend who showed me the Hobbit. If he only made me play football, you could have all been spared.

__________________

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148 Comments »

  1. BrokenSymmetry says:

    This almost reads like another manifesto. uh oh.

  2. Greg Wild says:

    Agreed on Thief. That game really has defined all my criteria for “a good game”. Style. Story. Depth. Characters. Unique game mechanics. Plant Ladies.

    I look back on it knowing that from it onwards, any opinion I hold about a game goes back some how whether or not I feel like it uses the gaming medium as well as Thief does.

  3. qrter says:

    Funny. The first game I played was The Hobbit, too. On the ol’ Spectrum. You could go and have a bath while the cassettetape was loading, yet you never did, you just sat there and waited.

  4. Lobotomist says:

    We used to call Spectrum : Eraser. Because of its rubber keys. And C64 was called : Fatty. There used to be quite a war between C64 fans and Spectrum fans…

    Ah good times :)

  5. LlamaFarmer says:

    These are awesome, really looking forward to John’s :)

  6. manintheshack says:

    Fantastic stuff. You need to write that book, Mr Gillen.

  7. Alec Meer says:

    The Hobbit on the Spectrum popped my gaming cherry too. I couldn’t identify the precise impact it had on me, alas.

  8. Dreamhacker says:

    Ah, Thief. It didn’t just leave a mark, it left three arrows and an empty purse.

    It was also on of the first 3D FPS’s where the 3D graphics didn’t feel tacked on just to fit in with the cool kids.

    An important part of PC gaming history.

  9. TheArmyOfNone says:

    Awesome article as always. W00t RPS!

  10. Taillefer says:

    Greg,
    That’s exactly what I do. Sure, there have been good games. Excellent games. But none are the gaming epiphany that Thief was. No game has affected me so much before or since. I often loathe the fact I can never enjoy games as much simply because they’re not Thief.

  11. Joe says:

    If I were doing one of these then Thief would definitely be on my list for sure, but for an entirely different reason. For me, the lesson I took from Thief was an expansion on the one I took from ye olde Lucasarts adventures. One taught me that games could tell ‘proper’ stories that I could understand and want to be in and love, but it was Thief which taught me about the adult version of those stories and how to share them with other adults. If Monkey Island was like reading through an Enid Blyton novel and sharing an enjoyment with my brother, then Thief was reading through The Once and Future King and sharing the experience with my Father. It taught me that stories could deal with mature themes, that the reader could become part of the story (“I killed that guard you killed when I played that bit”) and that those types of stories could be shared with entirely different people. Monkey Island introduced me to games, but it was Thief that introduced me to Gaming.

    So, yeah – bravo.

  12. TooNu says:

    Yea another awesome read, nice idea guys and lot’s to think about my own gaming heritage. If you hadn’t have chosen Gauntlet, I might have picked it for mine but I can’t now, because it would be like copying.

    I played it in Scotland in Aviemore in a hotel with my dad while the rest of the adults were drinking and talking, me being the only kid and bored off my face got a bit restless and so to the arcade room we went. I was the wizard and dad was the warrior and only a vague memory or that moment still remains.

    Getting the game for our Commodore was probably the most awesome day of my young 4 year old life..a few years later when my brother and I were still playing it, got to some level like…98 or there abouts and mom unplugged the C64′s transformer to use the hoover…………………..

  13. PaulMorel says:

    Loved Thief. One of the best games I have ever played. I will never forget the cutscenes. Those cutscenes made me want to become an artist/animator.

  14. Severian says:

    lovely piece. enjoyed reading it thoroughly.

  15. Rob says:

    Issue 65 nostalgia fans. Amusingly The Settlers III got the prime review spot.

  16. Cooper says:

    On the subject of MUShes
    http://www.cantr.net
    kinda counts. Think Wurm Online, but slightly more freeform and text based

  17. Clovus says:

    Elf shot the food!

    Loved playing gauntlet (NES) with my brother and friends. It may have been the first really fun multiplayer experience for me. I loved that it had such great griefing built into it!

  18. Serondal says:

    I’ve probably spend close to 3000-4000 hours play mushs when I was younger. Literally from the time I was 14 to the time I was 20 I probably played 8 hours a day . sad sad sad

  19. crumbsucker says:

    No love for Deus Ex?

  20. Pags says:

    Having to pick only a handful of games that shaped your gaming life in a meaningful way? I have never seen such bravery!

  21. Psychopomp says:

    Dammit, Kieron.

    I’d no idea what “spliff,” meant, so I google it.

    Lo and behold, google decides I need a visual aid.

    OH HEY IS THAT MY GRANDMA IN THE ROOM WHY YES IT IS.

    Akward.

  22. Smurfy says:

    I’m going to sue RPS unless you start talking about games I’ve played or, in most cases, heard of in these posts.

  23. fishoil says:

    Glad Gauntlet got a mention. I played the hell out of that when I was about 8

  24. spinks says:

    I played a lot of MUSHes. I helped build MUSHes, I staffed MUSHes, I played the heck out of them too. I was big into White Wolf’s Vampire RPG at the time but didn’t know many people in London to play with (they all wanted to play D&D). Then I discovered MUSHes ….

  25. sinister agent says:

    It wasn’t the first game I’d reviewed professionally (UFO on the A500 for Amiga Power).

    You jammy bast. Good read, this, though.

  26. Antsy says:

    Loved The Hobbit on the speccy, although I think Urban Upstart may have been the first adventure game I played on it. I’d need to check that. Thorin sits down and sings about glue.

  27. nabeel says:

    Cool, only one of them I would have expected – and also the only one I even know about – the rest all refreshingly unfamiliar.

  28. Serondal says:

    Actually now that I calculate this out I’ve probably played about 17520 hours of Mushs . . . that is pretty sad :(

  29. JonFitt says:

    “Speedballrainbowislandslemmingssensiblesoccersyndicategravitypower2chaosenginelegendsofvalour
    civwormsonlywhendrunkharlequinanotherworldstardustliberationpopulouswizkidmonkeyislanddynablaster”

    Best game ever!

  30. Owen says:

    It’s freaky reading these articles about games I’ve not thought about, yet alone played, in well over 2 decades. Freaky in a lovely reminiscent way though.

    Jesus though Kieron. It’s not often someone mentions a game that I’ve FORGOTTEN about. Kung Fu Master, holy shit I loved that game. Cheers.

  31. Kieron Gillen says:

    sinister agent: Not so lucky. It took getting on for 40 minutes to take an AI turn. I kicked it. I should have kicked it more.

    But my UFO review is a different story and… see what I mean?

    Serondal: Never count. It will only make you cry.

    KG

  32. Gnarl says:

    My fear that doing an high-minded article biased towards the effect the games had on the writer might have caused Mr. Gillen to sprain something seems to have been unfounded.

  33. Serondal says:

    If I had spent that time working where I do now I could have made 262800 dollars , makes you think lol.

  34. JonFitt says:

    I wish Psygnosis (or whoever owns it now), would re-launch Lemmings. That was a great puzzle game. Maybe Popcap could do it justice?
    Did anyone else draw out maps for Lemmings complete with them splattering in gruesome ways?

  35. Tim James says:

    It’s both an article on Kieron’s gaming history and a lesson in wacky British culture courtesy of Wikipedia.

    Tell us more about your McGillicuddy men machines that roamed Northern England and terrorized children!

  36. Serondal says:

    JonFitt Yes , yes sir I did. Did you ever play Lemmings 2 where it had all kinds of exotic Lemmings like Space Marine Lemmings set in Alien’s like levels and superman lemmings that flew towards your mouse pointer? I never saw any of those guys show up again and never been able to find that game any where since then :( My older brother got it at school from a friend and let me have it.

  37. george says:

    arnt you that ginger guy from pc gamer from about eight or nine years ago?

  38. Bhazor says:

    Hmm, I’m too astounded by that pun to read the article. Well played.

  39. PleasingFungus says:

    That was… a really, really good article. (Or whatever you’d want to classify this as.)

    Now I feel like digging out the old Thief disks and having another go at it. Think I know where they’re lurking…

  40. Sunjammer says:

    Thief completely sucker punched me. I spent hours and hours and hours just with the demo, playing and replaying. When the actual game came out and had Burricks and Zombies and whatnot i was actually very harshly turned off. I wanted to sneak around, and in my mind all this magical fantasy stuff didn’t sit well alongside people in the “things you’re supposed to sneak around” box.

    Kieron, did you review Thief 2? I haven’t read what you think of that game and i’d be curious about how you feel about it. It came out relatively soon after and fixed so many wrongs with the previous game it made me almost shocked at how much i’d enjoyed the first.

  41. Chicken Dinner says:

    I miss being a kid. I actually used to play a version of Gauntlet in the school playground where we’d go around bashing people and kicking over bins, then spinning around on manhole covers to go ‘down’ to the next level. Fun times.

  42. Funky Badger says:

    Played The Hobbit with my Dad – looking back, its gratifying that he could never get past the PALE BULBOUS EYES either.

    Spent far too much time and creative effort on MUSHes. They were fun, but not healthy places. Or at least, not places populated by healthy people… nice to visit, but I wouldn’t want to stay.

  43. hydra9 says:

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I love these articles. Let’s have more than four – Get ahold of Quinns!

    This also brought back many nostalgic memories, particularly of playing games with my brother. And the first text adventure I played; some educational title on the BBC called ‘Martello Towers’ – It got me totally hooked anyway.

  44. ACS says:

    Man. I played DarkMetal MUSH for years and years and years and years. I think my primary character on that MUSH has more hours invested in him than, literally, anything I have ever done other than my marriage.

    And, strangely, even after having done that, I have surprisingly little to say about MUSHing — which I did from around 1992 to around 2004. It provided a creative outlet. It was probably one of the best ways to do online RPGs, on account of the pretentious insistence that everyone be able to write a whole sentence.

    I suppose it’s because I’ve never actually talked about it with anyone — it was such a weird little niche of a hobby that, if I did, no one would know what I was talking about.

  45. JonFitt says:

    @Serondal
    I think I had all the Lemmings games until they went 3D and rubbish. Lemmings 2 went completely over the top, it was brilliant. I seem to remember some sort of choose your own power set sandbox mode which I’d spend lots of time in just messing around.
    I remember a medieval setting too where there was an archer lemming, and some way to fire ballistas or catapults?
    I found the actual levels in Lemmings 2 got really hard though.

  46. Nick says:

    The trees appear to move.

  47. Serondal says:

    ACS – EXACTLY ! No one I’ve ever known in real life has ANY idea what a Mush is :P I did date a girl I met through a MUSH and needless to say that didn’t turn out well.

  48. Carra says:

    Yeah, calculating that I spent ~50.000 hours on WoW does make me cry a little inside.

    You never do know if the first game you play is really a great game or if it’s just great because you have nothing to compare it to. The first PC game I played was Caesar 2. I still remember it as one of the best games I’ve ever played. It showed me that games could be more complex then one button to move Sonic and one button to jump (although that was also tons of fun of course). That you had to actually think in some games! It started my love for PC games.

  49. Carra says:

    Shoo edit buttons but now that I think twice about it, 50.000 is having one 0 too many. That should be 5.000 hours. Still enough to earn 50.000 euros. Damn that /played command in WoW. Ah well, I did have fun doing it :)

  50. jalf says:

    I think I had all the Lemmings games until they went 3D and rubbish. Lemmings 2 went completely over the top, it was brilliant. I seem to remember some sort of choose your own power set sandbox mode which I’d spend lots of time in just messing around.
    I remember a medieval setting too where there was an archer lemming, and some way to fire ballistas or catapults?
    I found the actual levels in Lemmings 2 got really hard though.

    Lemmings 2 was AWESOME! I spent so much time on it with a friend on his amiga. And later, I spent even more time on it when I got hold of the (sadly inferior, graphics- and sound-wise) PC version.

    I always got bored of the other Lemmings games after a while, but 2 just never got old.