Posts Tagged ‘gaming made me’

Gaming Made Me: Jonathan Coulton

By Dan Griliopoulos on November 5th, 2012.

Interrupted while coiling his precious cables, the sound guy glowers at me. “Scarface? What?” Now, the way you can tell games journalists aren’t like other journalists is our shame. We’re shy, we lack the killer instinct, mostly, that enables tabloid hacks to doorstep grieving families and hack murdered children’s phones. I’m a case in point – 6′ 1″, 13 stone – and I’m being intimidated by a diminutive roadie. “His assistant is called Scarface,” I repeat. The roadie shrugs. As he shuffles away, he’s obviously assigned me to the same aberrant category as everyone else still hanging around at the Jonathan Coulton gig – No 1 Fans, all of them.

After the gig, from the gallery of Union Chapel, I look down on the accretion disc of fandom. They’re loitering but not mingling, in the hope of catching another sight of their hero. With its non-conformist heritage, this old Gothic church is a strangely perfect venue for Jonathan Coulton, whose music is packed full of liberality, anti-authoritarianism, irony and inclusiveness – and for his reverential fans. While he’s best known in gaming circles for endlessly singable Portal ditty Still Alive, Coulton is the high priest of geek music. This former programmer’s songs about geek culture are so well known he was made ‘Contributing Troubador’ at Popular Science magazine.
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Gaming Made Me: Jean Grae

By John Walker on September 11th, 2012.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun was recently honoured to find itself referenced in the latest track from hip hop artist, Jean Grae. Kill Screen, a track initially inspired by the documentary King Of Kong, includes a web of intricate references to all manner of subjects, frequently referring to gaming and comic culture. (You can hear it at the bottom of this post.) Which intrigued us to learn more. So we spoke to Grae to find out about the role gaming plays in her life, and how it influences her music.

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Gaming Made Us

By Alec Meer on December 31st, 2011.

When we were younger so much younger than today

Over the years, we’ve built up a vast stock of Gaming Made Mes – highly, unashamedly, gloriously subjective features about the videogames that proved, for one reason or another, formative to writers including the RPS Hivemind and associates, and developers such as Ken Levine, Erik Wolpaw and Soren Johnson. This is the complete collection.

Some spectacular reading awaits you below, on a huge array of even more spectacular games.
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A Life In PC Gaming: My Shame

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011.

I have, at least, never broken a monitor

I’ve been playing games on computers for the vast bulk of my life. From BBC Micro to Spectrum to 486 to assorted Athlons to the quad-cored radiator I used today, I’ve rarely been far from a keyboard. I have seen much, I have played much, I have learned much. But learning so often comes from failure. There have been many, many failures: these are but a few.
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Gaming Made Me: Ultima VII

By Adam Smith on November 14th, 2011.

The Guardian had some fine voice acting

I was only young when I played Ultima VII but I had already ventured to the depths of dungeons that dripped with dread, partaken in interstellar war and defended my home planet from invaders. Like Roy Batty and all people who grew up with games, I had seen and done so much. Between adventures in space, I’d rezone my commercial districts or build a new bus route, leaving room in the schedules for occasional postal service functions. Yes, I had lived a full life already, but I had never watched a man clad in the finest clothes in Britain eat an egg and then belch in the face of a barmaid, so who can say I had experienced anything worthwhile at all?

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Gaming Made Me: Frontier: Elite II

By Craig Pearson on November 9th, 2011.

You now have Blue Danube in your head

I still can’t remember why I wanted it so much. I hadn’t played the original Elite, and didn’t even really think about picking it up when that want started. I wasn’t even a space game fan. But I can remember asking my mum for it, and after a long, long wait it landed in my hands.
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Gaming Made Me: Carmageddon

By Andrew Smee on November 1st, 2011.

This was a really disconcerting face to look at during a loading screen, you know

I was nine years old, visiting far-flung relatives in Malaysia. Back then, piracy was huge over there, with entire shops in respectable shopping malls dedicated purely to the sale of pirated software of all stripes. To a young kid with no real concept of money and ownership, all I saw was shelves of games in poorly-photocopied plastic wallets that my well-meaning relatives happily bought for me, armfuls at a time. Though their behaviour was confusing, I wasn’t about to stop them and I hurried along, pulling game after ill-gotten game into a small pile of treasure. Then, on one rack near the back, a single image stood out: a bald man daubed in blood with eyes like the devil clutching a steering wheel, and stamped with a big, fat, deliciously intoxicating 18 Certificate.

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Gaming Made Me: Frankie Goes To Hollywood

By RPS on July 2nd, 2011.

A true one-of-a-kind in the latest in our series of highly subjective retrospectives on landmark computer games. This week, writer Paul Dean looks at bizarre, ambitious Spectrum game/band spin-off Frankie Goes To Hollywood – a game of pop music, terraced houses, sperm, Nazi bombers, Reagan spitting at Gorbachev and murder most foul. Confused? Relax, don’t do it, when you want to comment angrily.

I had a lot of tapes for my Spectrum. Some had come with it, some were inherited, and some came from the covers of the flimsy and often monochrome computer magazines of the day. More than a few were borrowed or copied from friends at school and we quickly realised that you could fit an awful lot of pirated Spectrum software onto a 90 minute tape, turning a single cassette into a veritable treasure trove, a pocketful of possibilities that felt heavy at your hip and which you couldn’t wait to run home with.
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Gaming Made Me: EverQuest

By RPS on June 18th, 2011.

This week in our series of highly personal retrospectives on landmark computer games, videogames PhD researcher and independent games developer Mitu Khandaker looks back to the wonder, exploration and lofty world-building of what might well be the most defining entry in the history of MMOs: EverQuest.

Everquest was like magic.

I feel like I’m cheating a bit writing this; after all, this isn’t about one of the games that I played when I was the tiniest, my perception of the world at its most plastic. The games I played then – illicitly, on a Commodore 64 that wasn’t mine; and later, on a series of hand-me-down consoles – certainly defined a lot about the person I would become. However, not all of our most formative experiences happen when we are tiny, young, and impressionable. Instead, many happen when we’re at our most vulnerable, our most confused, our most lost: during our mid-teen years. When I was 16 years old, EverQuest made me.
LOADING, PLEASE WAIT…

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Gaming Made Me: Colossal Cave Adventure

By RPS on June 4th, 2011.

Young Leigh herself, and an Apple IIe

This week in Gaming Made Me, our series of highly subjective game retrospectives, Leigh Alexander documents the profound escapism and giddy cartography offered by Colossal Cave Adventure, aka Adventure, aka ADVENT – aka the first-ever adventure game.

I’ve lived in New York City for nearly nine years now, and yet I still can become so easily disoriented in the grids of Manhattan. Nearly every time the subway stairs eject me blinking into the aboveground sun, I don’t know which way is north; I stagger for landmarks, and I am shaking my iPhone to dislodge the compass interference that will tell me which way to turn. My map reading skills are horrific.

It wasn’t always this way. As a child I was a cartographer of imaginary worlds, drawing maps by hand for my best friend Charlotte and I to play with.
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Gaming Made Me: Sim City 2000

By RPS on May 28th, 2011.

This week in Gaming Made Me, Wired UK’s Duncan Geere recalls how Sim City 2000 (and its incredible manual) taught him utopian values, gave him a life-long fascination with impossible habitats and brought about a new sense of just what manner of strange beast is a city.

I still have the manual for SimCity 2000. The game CD, or perhaps even floppy disks — I can’t remember — have long disappeared, but I still own the manual. About once a year, I leaf through it – not for nostalgia, but because it’s such a beautiful creation.
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Gaming Made Me: Counter-Strike

By RPS on May 21st, 2011.

This week in our ongoing retrospective series on games journalists’ most formative games, we very proudly welcome Eurogamer‘s god-king and operations director Tom Bramwell to the word-stage. He’s here to tell you about his long years spent with arguably one of the most definitive PC games of all time, and what for one generation of gamers was a global obsession that today’s shooters, no matter how much bigger they might be, just can’t seem to match…

I also wanted to write this about Grand Theft Auto, and I might still do that another time if RPS will have me back. There were probably other factors, but no one game is so singularly responsible for my being a games journalist (or at least having been one) as DMA Design’s original PC game. But I’m really here today to bang on about Counter-Strike, and I owe that game a massive debt too, because it’s thanks to Counter-Strike that I don’t play Call of Duty or Battlefield or Medal of Honor or any of that stuff on the internet nowadays for a moment longer than my job requires.
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Gaming Made Me: The Hitchhiker’s Guide

By RPS on May 14th, 2011.

10 years ago this week, the great British author and dramatist Douglas Adams passed away suddenly at the age of just 49 – leaving behind a wealth of fiction, scripts, essays, humour and remarkable insight into the role of technology and the internet. Of course, it was the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, a revered sci-fi comedy series which spanned radio, novels and video games, for which he will always be most renowned.

Here, Victoria Regan looks back to Adams’ seminal 1984 Hitchhiker’s text adventure game – a monochrome tale of the everyman, intergalactic absurdity and the bewildering cruelty of life.
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