Posts Tagged ‘gaming made me’

The Very Best Of RPS 2012: Gaming Made Me

As Space Year 2012 fades into the unreachable yesterday of history, we at RPS have developed preservation technologies that allow us to transmit past articles toward the future. So it is that we’re able to capture some of the highlights of the site from the last twelve months, and as with every year, among the highest of those heights are the Gaming Made Me entries. These reflections on games aren’t nostalgia, but rather personal accounts of defining moments, and that’s what makes them special. 2012’s are every bit as splendid as ever.

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Gaming Made Me: Tomb Raider

June 2003: a remote jungle clearing outside Moshi, Tanzania. I am seventeen. It is sometime after midnight.

My skin is sticky with pesticide and sweat. In the treacle dark, my friend Rachael’s face presses hot against my shoulder. The hiss of the jungle soars into the sky in a cacophonous, unbearable symphony.

I need to pee.
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Gaming Made Me: Fallout 2

Talented RPS writer chum Patricia Hernandez asked us if she could write about the influence of RPG-classic Fallout 2 on her life. We agreed, and what she came back with was a stark personal tale of how videogame fantasy can inspire interest, provoke thought, and ultimately change how we see the world.
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Gaming Made Me: Jonathan Coulton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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