Raising Our Game: Parliamentary Games Day

Here we have a rare shot of Big Ben blinking.
Last week I was in the Houses of Parliament doing some actual reporting. Yes! Outside, where the diseases live. This is because the 12th of January was the first Parliamentary Games Day, as organised by UK volunteer consumer interests group Gamers’ Voice. The thinking behind the event was that it would allow politicians to interact with members of the games industry, play some games and basically learn a thing or two about these modern video shootems that they’re expected to legislate.

“Games Day” is a misnomer- the event would only be two hours long, thereby limiting my chances of contracting Spongeskin, Pauper’s Wilt or any of the other infections which are rife in the city. I like my immune system like I like my women: clean and inexperienced. But I digress. How did Games Day go? Well, let me tell you. It had some moments.

The Parliamentary building of Portcullis House is significantly less imposing than the name suggests. By the time I reached the room where Games Day was taking place I had yet to stop being amused by the Visitor’s Pass hanging from my neck, which displayed a hastily taken picture of me which would stare up, perpetually startled, at anybody I was talking to.

I arrived just as the other 40 or so attendees went murmuring elegantly into the room. I spotted RPS contributor Lewis Denby in the crowd and, as I approached, saw that he was sporting a life-threatening case of Journalist’s Beard. We chatted for a bit and sized up the room, which featured an array of TVs and monitors, all of them displaying the main menus of various games. I love main menus. So eager to please! You know what had a good main menu? Deus Ex. You know what had a better one? Metroid Prime. It’s true!

Having got our bearings, I joked with Lewis that perhaps everyone here was either a member of Gamers’ Voice, a developer or a journalist, and we had no politicians in our ranks. As it turned out, this was literally the case. Parliamentary sessions had resumed for the new year, and with two votes being held at the same time as Games Day there was no expectation of a sizeable turnout.

Over the course of the evening 16 MPs found time to drift into the room, but at this point there was precious little happening. To kill some time I decided to do what any PC gamer would have done- I collected a glass of wine and sat down at the solitary PC in the corner to play Portal.

God! It was even better than I remembered it. Within 10 seconds I was laughing at Glados, smiling at the puzzles and taking fat gulps from my glass, the kind where you feel the booze spread from the pit of your stomach outwards.

Imagine my surprise, then, when after 10 minutes I was snapped out of this by a 50-something Member of Parliament, all suit and face, dropping into the seat next to me. I looked around and saw that he had a small audience behind him. The important man was here to look at a computer game.

“Oh,” I said, trying to assemble my reserves of intelligence like I was speed-building a house of cards. “Hello!”

I’d wager that most of you reading this are aware, as people who care about games, of the difficulty of trying to explain the beauty of a game to a non-gamer. A friend, a spouse or parent, anybody at all. These explanations are an art, and botching them is the most frustrating thing in the world. It’s like trying to present somebody with a spiderweb. You take this intricate, lovingly-crafted thing, but it all turns to gum in your hands.

I’ve been through this wringer a hundred times, but tasked with demoing Portal to an MP; tasked with demoing an astonishing game to somebody with the power to help or hinder the entire games industry, all of those past explanations seemed like training. This was it.

“Right,” I began. “This game is, ah, called Portal. It gives you a device which allows you to create… instantaneous… portals… between any two flat surfaces, then gets you to use this ability to get across rooms.”

I was, as it happened, on the worst imaginable level for showing Portal to anybody. It was the room where murky, poisonous sludge first makes an appearance, and I was stuck on a little glass platform in the middle of it. At this point you haven’t even unlocked the ability to fire orange portals, so I was frantically trying to work an angle whereby I could fire the blue portal and see myself out of the orange one. Or vice versa. It was a harder puzzle than anything in the game.

“It… requires immense spatial reasoning!” I hazarded, stalling for time.

“Portals are kind of like mirrors,” said a member of the crowd behind me.

“Yes,” I agreed. Then I immediately thought: What? How are portals like mirrors? They’re the opposite of mirrors, you saboteur bastard!

“It’s a puzzle game,” I said, eager to move on from the concept of Portal being a game where you shoot sodding mirrors around.

“Well, it’s certainly puzzling me!” said the MP, chuckling to himself.

At this point I made a noise of cardboard amusement, something like “Ah-aaa!-aa,” and conceded defeat. Critical hit, basically. I stood up and let a member of Gamers’ Voice take my place at the table.

It dawned on me that I could have been talking to that man about anything. I could have been talking about anything. A Jimmy Corrigan-style daydream began.

“Yes, sir, this is the chicken-threshing machine… it’s the heart of the operation, the heart, sir. Once the chickens are inserted, it’s simply a matter of ensuring all the valves are clear, and then by pressing this button the threshing pistons spring into action. Don’t know what we’d do without it. It was invented by the Scottish entrepreneur P.J. Lickwine, who was struck by the idea after his wife broke a glass ashtray over his head. Not a day goes by where we don’t give thanks to P.J. Lickwine’s notorious infidelity. Don’t know what we’d do without this fabulous machine.”

“Well, I wouldn’t know what to do with it!”

” Ah-aaa!-aa, that’s funny sir, you are possessing of a fine wit. Don’t see a wit like that these days– JESUS CHRIST don’t stick your hand down there! That pipe will suck the bones clean out of your fingertips!”

Back in reality the controls of Portal had been handed to the politician, who was at that moment floundering awkwardly with the WASD keys. There was a smile on his face, though- a genuine, animal one, and his tongue and teeth looked like they might come tumbling out from between his tipped lips at any moment. The problem was, he was clearly pressed for time. The room expected mingling and movement from him, and he was going to have to stand up and walk away from the table any minute now, having made no progress with the game. Not wanting to be around to see that, I walked away.

My peers were all jinking around and getting interviews with politicians at this point, but I couldn’t quite face that, and left it to the hungry-hungry journos of the room. On my way to collect more wine I noticed that Heavy Rain was playable in the opposite corner, rigged up with the Playstation Move motion controller. I’d be meaning to investigate both that game and that controller for months, so naturally I went weaving and squeezing through the crowd and gross eddies of human heat towards it.

For about five happy minutes, I watched a man play. It was only when he smilingly passed me the controller that Ed Vaizey, the UK Minister for Culture, came up and asked me what this game was all about. This was the man in the room everybody wanted to talk to, and here was me not wanting to talk. A friend of mine caught the beautiful moment on camera.

But I was warmed up by now, and things started well. I quickly sketched out who David Cage was and how the French games industry had a commendable history of pursuing a more artistic interpretation of what videogames can be. Heavy Rain, I explained, was the most recent and high-profile example of that, with Cage striving to create a more cinematic, believable, character-driven game than the world had ever seen.

Mr. Vaizey and I then both watched in silence as I waved the Playstation Move at the TV in a great number of mysterious variations. I was trying to get my character to open the front door of his house, but didn’t know quite how. My character, for his part, seemed burdened with a terrible uncertainty, moving his hand to the doorknob, then back to his side, over and over again.

This parody of motion controls having gone on for some five seconds, Mr. Vaizey got half way through asking whether I was trying to open the door before I replied in the affirmative. After another five seconds, he thanked me and left. I hadn’t even bothered to tell him I was a journalist. All I wanted was for these people to understand.

Which is mad, I suppose. Not because it’s impossible, but because it’s already happening. The only people to whom games are a foreign entity are those who didn’t grow up with them, and those guys are disappearing every year, being sucked out of windows or blasted by lightning. So why fight it? Why try and press the faces of the elderly against these lukewarm LCD screens? Our hobby is, I suspect, more opaque than many of us are willing to accept. Each time a non-gamer walks away from one of our zealous explanations of a game with a platitude like “It’s just not for me,” we take that as a failure of ours, or theirs, rather than an inevitability. For our sanity’s sake, that should probably change.

One sentence that came out of Gamers’ Voice chairman Paul Gibson during the night is still bouncing around in my head. It was when he gave his brief speech, which unfortunately clashed with the second vote of the evening. His bit about games becoming increasingly social and intuitive was accompanied by the last of the MPs scuttling out of the room. Paul delivered the tail-end of his speech, wherein he knocked the shit out of some more common misconceptions on gaming, to a room full of gamers. But it was still pleasant to listen to. Did you know that in 2010, the UK boasted 24 of Develop’s top 100 game development studios? Japan only had 16, and Canada had 9.

“Right!” Paul cried, having finished his piece. “Everybody, please, help yourself to wine and enjoy any of the games we have on display. You all know how to play, and those who don’t have left.”

Ah! They haven’t yet, Paul, but you’re right. We should all relax. This’ll all be over before we know it.


  1. Navagon says:

    When it comes to the Houses of Parliament, inside is where the diseases live.

  2. DrunkDog says:

    “A Jimmy Corrigan-style daydream began”.

    Jimmy Corrigan. One of the few things in life guaranteed to make me laugh and weep at the same time.

  3. Richard Beer says:

    One mental exercise I always enjoy is wondering what will be our generation’s equivalent. What will I totally fail to understand 30 years from now when some callow youth is exasperatingly trying to show me what I just can’t be bothered to understand? Virtual interspace out of body manshoot games? Teledildonics?

    • DOLBYdigital says:

      First great article!
      I agree with you Richard and think the same thing. I’m still relatively young and will always be young at heart so maybe I’ll always be open to new things. However seeing the teens get all obsessed over some tv show or movie makes me realize that there will be something that I can’t quite grasp. Something that surely will become a new major hobby and I will fail to see what makes it fun. Well…. at least I’ll have my gaming unless gaming completely changes and becomes something I don’t like (thank god for the indies and modders).

  4. President Weasel says:

    I could swear that was a picture of Keith Vaz, but since that would conflict with one of my dearly-held prejudices (Keith Vaz knows nothing at all about games other than there seems to be votes in speaking out against them) it must clearly be some kind of Keith Vaz doppleganger.
    Unless… perhaps he was only pretending to take an interest by popping in, getting his picture taken, then leaving again to do some evil plotting, which is how I imagine he spends much of his time.

    • battles_atlas says:

      I believe ‘pressing the flesh’ is all Vaz does (save occasional bouts of fraud), which is why the man knows the entirity of nothing. Oh moronic soundbites of course, thats the other thing.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Like all people who profess a hatred of a certain thing, they’re often secretly fond of them.

      That or he’s looking for more names of people/games to demonize.

    • Nick says:

      I believe he got robbed of all his pocket money whilst playing Space Invaders at an Arcade.

    • Jonathan says:

      A little research before slagging off the little toad, people. Eurogamer’s quote from him at the event:

      “I’ve never been against games. I’ve been against violent games that are able to fall into the hands of young people who are perhaps not able to understand the implications of what they’re doing.”

      Which is not an unreasonable stance.

    • Annexed says:

      Ah, the agony of trying to explain an experience (in this case Portal) to someone….almost impossible.

      The MP in the first pic is indeed Keith Vaz – probably a gamer’s least favourite parliamentarian – see: link to news.bbc.co.uk

      The MP in the second pic is Clive Betts – no idea what his views on gaming are.

  5. heretic says:

    cringe material, this is like watching an Korean or Japanese show where they try to speak English.


    • Teddy Leach says:

      I cringe as well.

      EDIT: I am not posting too quickly you stupid machine.

    • bill says:

      or any show where english people try to speak a foreign language.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Big luck happy time aiiiii!

    • Archonsod says:

      Which one, actual foreign gibberish or the time honoured tradition of shouting every word slowly in the hope the foreigner will understand that you want to buy his country?

  6. DrunkDog says:

    I don’t suppose they had GTA IV or Manhunt on display? It’s a shame as it’s this sort of thing that MPs need to gain an insight into otherwise it’s all just so much PR fluff.

  7. heretic says:

    Why does the UK need the video games tax thing if

    “Did you know that in 2010, the UK boasted 24 of Develop’s top 100 game development studios? Japan only had 16, and Canada had 9.”

    Or is Develop biased and just doesn’t know that much about foreign game development studios…

    • Rob Hale says:

      The number of people employed at 1 of the 9 in Canada is about 5 times larger than the total employed at all 24 in the UK. That’s why.

    • randomnine says:

      Did you know that in 2009, the UK had 25 of Develop’s top 100?

  8. Harbour Master says:

    Very hard explaining games to your traditional non-gamer, they don’t have the context in which WASD is established convention.

    I say traditional non-gamer because as Nicholas Lovell maintains over at GamesBrief (who is also against tax cuts), practically everyone has experienced some form of gaming, whether it be the infinite grind of Farmville or the platform-promiscuous Angry Birds. Handheld devices make many people a gamer. They just don’t get controllers and consoles and PCs.

  9. MrSafin says:

    You know Quinns, the other day I tried to show Portal to my father and I horribly failed too. He was confused by the WASD controls too and by the initial rooms where you still can’t spawn portals.

    He wasn’t patient enough to wait ’till the portal gun… I guess I need to PREPARE a presentation next time.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      This week my girlfriend expressed an interest in playing Portal. I’m not letting her within four feet of the WASD keys. She’s getting a pad.

    • Lack_26 says:

      WASD is the thing that holds my father back from being able to play FPSes, he insists on using the Arrow keys because ‘THAT’S HOW ARCADES WORKED!’ and consequentially takes his hands off the movement keys to do something like jumping or reloading.

      It’s painful to watch really, I could buy him a console controller, but I’ve no idea if it would be much better. Probably better he sticks to the Sudden Strike games, he plays those quite happily.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      How is WASD less intuitive than a stick or d-pad?

      Okay, maybe WASD is, but arrow keys? “You press up to go forward, left to go left” etc. etc. vs “you push up to go forward, left to go left” etc. etc.

      WASD is just the arrow keys mapped to somewhere else on the keyboard, it’s not some arcane, gamers only secret that only the initiated can muddle through. The real issue that non-gamers have with FPSs is just the idea of controlling a viewpoint in a 3D space. But those issues turn up whether you give someone a mouse and a keyboard or a pair of thumbsticks. You still see people turning endlessly, staring up or down, and running into walls. If anything I’d imagine a dual thumbstick configuration would be more confusing because movement and direction are both controlled with similar appendages, so easier to muck them up.

    • bill says:

      pads are no more intuitive to non gamers. Infact I think they’re worse.

      What is needed is a way to TOGGLE MOUSELOOK. I remember that Quake 1 had it… because back then we ALL spent ages running around looking at the floor as none of us were used to mouselook yet. So holding down a key to activate it, and then it springing back to horizontal when we stopped was a great way to learn.

      It’s about learning things in stages. Learn to run around and handle directions first. Then worry about up and down. Heck, stick them on Doom first to learn.

      Do FPS games still have that? I haven’t looked for years.

    • battles_atlas says:

      To be fair to these imbecilies, controls have become vastly more complicated over time. Learning a 2D platformer with a two button, 4-way pad is a damn sight easier than 3D environments with 10 buttons, 2 sticks and a pad.

    • Jsnuk says:

      I remember it took me a while as a kid to get used to WASD, back when it was still relatively new. But then again, by a while I mean about half an hour. Oh and who remembers when the PS2 started using one stick for movement and another for look, that confused the dick off me for a bit to begin with aswell.

    • Tatourmi says:

      To lack 26: the arrow keys are exactly as capable as wasd if you configure the other buttons. Actually I find them even more comfortable (on an azerty keyboard, maybe it is worth mentioning) as you have three large buttons for main actions, return, ctrl and 0 (usually using, crouching and grenade for me) and a little space between your movement pad and the other actions (which I find makes things clearer, more intuitive). That configuration only failed me once in my lifetime: for necrovision, because of the damn dual weapon choosing system combined with the two different Mano a Mano buttons. With a good mapping the arrows can be your best friend.

    • Big Murray says:

      Here’s a trick … just get them to use the arrow keys, which they will get. Then tell them to close their eyes, pick up their hand and move it to the WASD keys. Then tell them “just carry on like before”.

    • DrGonzo says:

      No quinns! The attempts i made to get my girlfriend into games were far more successful with a mouse and keyboard than a controller. Just find a simple game. A controller is too abstract for a non gamer as it has no relation to the movement in game. Obviously im talking about first person games.

    • MrSpandex says:

      ESDF is the one true control scheme!

      Someone else must remember Tribes

  10. frenz0rz says:

    Ah, I know this problem all too well. So many years spent trying to get my father to play the simplest of games, anything at all for him to acquire even a slight understanding of why I dedicate so many hours of my life to this magical glowing box with all it’s whirring and beeping. Progress was made a number of years ago, but it has long since faltered; having given him Championship Manager 01/02 in my youth, he has played literally nothing else for 8 long years. I tried installing Sands of Time for him a few years ago, but this was a step too far – he spent days trying to jump the broken bridge at the very start of the game.

    • alh_p says:

      I have a very similar experience with my dad. I got him playing CIV3 somehow years ago, as a step up from minesweeper(!) -no really, he’d spend hours playing minesweeper before I stepped in. He STILL plays civ3 and nothing else. I intend to at least get him onto civ4 BTS but I wonder what the change in game mechanics will do to his sanity…

      WASD is confusing for newbies, it just takes a bit of getting used to – like a control-pad I should say. For some, FPS’ even make them feel sea-sick. It’s a question of getting non-gamers initialy interested enough in the game/story to work through acclimatising to the controls.

    • Archonsod says:

      I wouldn’t bother to be honest. Despite being thirty and living 300 miles away from my parents, he still threatens to ground me if I ask for Mechwarrior : Mercenaries back.

    • Tatourmi says:

      I have a totally opposite experience. Some years ago I offered my dad age of mythology, he ended up unbeatable, 15 on the world leaderboards and, in the process, got almost all of his friends to play. I never knew what hit me. He still doesn’t understand anything about non rts games though.

    • the_fanciest_of_pants says:

      My dad was always into games. He bought an NES for his office and they had it hooked up into the big screen in the board room. My earliest gaming memories are playing the NES godzilla game on a sick day in that room.

      My Mum though.. she’s always been supportive of me in my game developer-ness, but talking to her- an artist and design teacher by trade- about games (why they are good, what they have to offer etc.) has always been extremely difficult. There’s a real blockage there. Words like “pointless” “Shallow” and so on abound.

      First person shooters will always be “those games where you’re in a hallway with a gun” which is both A) an uncomfortably poignant criticism and B) totally missing the point.

      Things have started changing in the last few years though, I’m developing a sort-of game space for a project of hers, and she’s much more interested in the design process now that she’s seen it and (superficially) had a hand in it.

      Also she plays Bejweled all the goddamn time now. Games are shallow indeed.

  11. Alex Bakke says:

    I feel for you – I hate having to talk to my mother, or friends that aren’t gaming-inclined about games that matter, rather than just the next Call of Duty.


    ” thereby limiting my chances of contracting Spongeskin, Pauper’s Wilt or any of the other infections which are rife in the city. I like my immune system like I like my women: clean and inexperienced.”


  12. cliffski says:

    So someone decided to try and get politicans into games, they got politicians to attend, they set up in the houses of parliament, and they didn’t think to ask me to come along and promote my politics sim, about being a politician, to politicians?


    This is a game I made available free to politicians, which is used in schools to teach politics to students, and which is more than likely the #1 best ever possible way to get an MP interested in games.
    And I would happily have driven there myself, taken a PC with me and demonstrated it.
    And nobody thought to ask?

    Opportunity :(

  13. caged_devil says:

    I can’t believe my head looks so huge in the middle of the last photo. I was helping out and demo-ing Flower and Motorstorm Pacific Rift on the other PS3 in the room (next to the PC). Amusing/interesting things Quinns didn’t mention:

    1: Keith Vaz was in the room! He looked mainly frightened/confused.
    2: Alun Cairns sweating profusely after playing on Kinect. Really, really sweaty.
    3: The Special Effects(?) team demoing access to games for the disabled, I wish i’d got a look at this as it seemed really interesting. Also, the pimped wheelchair with LEDs kept catching my eye.
    4: Me embarassing myself in front of someone from the Video Standards Council by trying him to get to play flower.

    It was an interesting little event, part schmoosing, part attempt at educating MPs about the variety of games, part MPs circling for free drinks. It’d be interesting to see what feedback Gamer’s Voice get from it, as there were lots of people congratulating us on the way out.

  14. Snargelfargen says:

    I hate say it but a rail-shooter like CODBLOPS would probably be perfect for a demo like this. It’s practically impossible to have a non cinema-worthy moment.
    “Are you really doing all that yourself?”

    Obviously that’s not what Gamer’s Voice is all about, but part of the game’s success can be attributed to how easy it is to pick up and play with a controller. You also have to keep in mind that an MP might have an easier time relating to 3rd world mooks and soldiers than the fantasy/space tropes that gamers are familiar with.

    Edit: Heavy Rain definitely fits the bill though.

  15. Foxfoxfox says:

    Great read Quinns – my heart raced for you with the empathically triggered memories of a thousand ever so subtly faltered conversion attempts since past. That slow creeping embarrasment at willing a suddenly clumsy and leaden peice of software to be as remarkable as you recall it now the pressure is on.

    I think it is because games are less of a passive medium than we imagine – despite the flickering screen, moving images and flashy sounds which remind us of film and telly, a game requires investment from it’s audience – like a book, without a bit of time and space and focus it might as well all be gibberish.

  16. Cunzy1 1 says:

    A very similar thing happened to me once at a big expo. It’s much easier to talk about how many bagillions of pounds gaming makes/steals/borrows a year than to make any one of the most recent highly acclaimed games even marginally understandable.

    If there is a next time I suggest the following games. Start off with that MGS4 boss who tries to have sex with you after you kill her suit, then move onto a spot of mining on EVE online and then finish up with a splash of trying to capture Chun-Li knickers on Super Street Fighter II Turbo.

    That’ll convince them all.

    • President Weasel says:

      Mining in EVE online is very soothing.
      You do need at least one other thing to be doing at the same time though, be it watching telly or perhaps listening to the radio and reading an airport-esque novel that doesn’t need your absolute full attention.

  17. bill says:

    This is why those dumb E3 videos always have a gamer playing and a pr guy explaining in simple terms.

  18. Mark says:

    Great piece. I’m pretty sure I would have hated the thing, had I been there. Schmoozing. Ugh.. :(

    • heretic says:

      If you just ignored the old farts and just played games with other journos, as well as getting free wine then surely it aint that bad :D

  19. ross_angus says:

    Quinns is my hero. I haven’t laughed so hard, since the Ship-sim review.

  20. SuperNashwan says:

    If I want to explain “why gaming” to someone I tend to point them towards alwaysblack’s Bow Nigger piece, or Jim’s stories of Eve. I haven’t seen anything that better demonstrates the uniqueness of creating your own personal narrative within a world. Alternatively you can just hand them a game like Warioware and overload them with how awesome just one button can be.

  21. Jsnuk says:

    I grew up with a PC gaming father, and awfully attempting to play such games as Dungeon-Keeper, Daggerfall and Tomb Raider. I remember fondly when I used to stand behind his chair for what seemed like hours watching him play these sorts of games, seemed like a world of limitless possibilities (and less a money vacuum *cynicalface.jpg*) and this was what made become an almost literally life-long gamer. However even he is left behind by some more modern games and their control systems, cinematics and narrative structures; pretty much all he does now is play Civ 5 endlessly. Just thought I’d share.

  22. Big Murray says:

    Ouf, I felt the cringe-worthiness, and I felt the pain.

    It’s not just old, out of touch politicians and parents who have trouble though. When I was doing a media degree at uni, even my coursemates had difficulty grasping games as anything approaching a serious medium. When I was in a class outlining my dissertation on narrative frameworks within open-world games, describing GTAIV, one girl specifically looked confused and said “Whatever happened to nice games like Mario?”

  23. chesh says:

    Man, but Metroid Prime had a great main menu. Of all the things that made me lament the lack of an official OST, it was the menu music.

  24. Matt says:

    Sounds like a rather interesting time. Is there a list anywhere of all the games that were on display at the event?

  25. Gabbo says:

    Quinns, it sounds like you did admirably in the face of such odds.
    I think a problem we all face is that we’re afraid to let the games do the talking for us. If you had been able to restart Portal from the beginning, it would have done most of the explaining for you.

  26. radarhead says:

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Quintin during the event, which will be in an upcoming GameOverCast/GamersVoice special podcast.
    Also had the pleasure of witnessing the Ed Vaizey/Heavy rain door incident. Pissed myself :) at Mr Vaizey congratulating Quintin on being unable to perform the task :).
    The games on display were as follows
    PC: Portal, Plants Vs Zombies
    PS3 (non move): Motor Storm Pacific Rift, Flower.
    PS3 (Move): Heavy Rain, Echochrome 2, Move sports thing.
    XBOX 360 (Kinnect): Kinnect sports. There had been plans to get 2 MPS playing street fighter IV against each other, but timing and situation didnt allow for it.
    Wii: Dead space extraction, World of goo.

    The idea being Games that could be demo’d relatively quickly and without too much context, but at the same time had to be good examples of what the games industry is up to.
    Portal was far an away the hardest thing to demo.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Was the lack of violent shoot ’em up games an intentional choice? Should you not have shown Dead Space or something as well?

  27. somnolentsurfer says:

    Dreamfall had a nice title screen.

    Is this the place to talk about electoral reform?

  28. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    “Right!” Paul cried, having finished his piece. “Everybody, please, help yourself to wine and enjoy any of the games we have on display. You all know how to play, and those who don’t have left.”

    Oof. I weep.

  29. Griddle Octopus says:

    Quinns, it was Ian Livingstone who said that thing at the end, IIRC.

    Also, I kept sending the MPs your way any time they asked who was demoing stuff. Bwahaha.

  30. BobsLawnService says:

    Since this story is all of 5 days old and this is a useless anecdotal post sp nobody is going to reply but still…

    Game controls are all about muscle memory. I can still play FPS’s binding the 5,6,7,8 keys to direction keys even though I haven’t layed hands on a ZX Spectrum in 25 years.