This Is My Playground

click to enlarge

With gaming no longer a mere pastime but instead a major lifestyle choice which defines our very souls, it’s important that those who play videogames for a living share their special areas with the great unwashed of the general public. How else to make them dream the impossible dream, to have them aspire to a life of miracles and multiple different places to sit? I have been so inspired by the openness, honesty and trust other game journalists have recently demonstrated by revealing their luxurious, swag-filled play areas to the world, and now I know what it is I must do.

So, for the first time, today I exclusively invite you into my innermost sanctum: the place where I play videogames by mself, where I write Rock, Paper, Shotgun and where I go to look at websites that I don’t want anyone else knowing I look at. I think you’ll agree, it’s something quite special.

1. This is the 4′ x 6′ room where I do most of my planned gaming and blogging, the days when I know I’m going to be spending hours typing weird sarcastic response articles to weird lifestyle features written by distressingly wealthy people who I’ve never met. I’ve got it all here – chair, keyboard, some speakers I found on the street, three monitors, two of which malfunction. One day I hope to put in a fourth monitor, but for now I just use three and pray that it’s enough to keep track of all the very important information I need to know about 24/7. One day I forgot to switch on the third monitor and I ended up missing a new trailer for Borderlands 2. I know, right?

2. I’m an important man with a very serious job, and if I’m not in complete comfort at all times I might feel unable to put all my opinions about videogames onto the internet, so I saved up for this for three years. Some of my friends are actually angry with me that I only heat myself with a £10 electric heater rather than a £30 oil-filled mobile radiator, but I guess I just don’t feel inspired to do anything about that right now. I might need to get an extension cord or something.

3. This part of my desk is supposed to be a sort of game blogging-free bastion, but I managed to sneak some unclaimed expense receipts onto there. That ring on the right? That’s for my favourite coffee cup, the one with the green stripes that we picked up during a moment of madness in Waitrose.

4. This is the view from my window, which is a patch of scrubland behind this apartment block. It’s very important to me that I can see some kind of greenery every day, otherwise I’m not able to post game trailers without feeling a bit sad. Also, in the evenings you can hear foxes noisily screwing each other out there. I never let my girlfriend forget it, either. I love to interrupt conversations at parties to tell whomever will listen that I can hear foxes screwing outside the room I work in.

5. This is some of the stuff I’ve collected over the years, which I keep on a bookcase behind the door. Sometimes I just stand in front of that bookcase for hours, thinking about how amazing my stuff is, until someone opens the door and I get crushed. This is also where I keep my swag, which right now is just a remote control tank I was given about three years ago by 1C. I should probably give it to charity because that’s the kind of guy I am, but I’m hanging onto it because it has a real firing mechanism that I want to try and annoy seagulls with one day. I don’t what that black thing is.

6. Here is a) my state of the art sound system which I bought off a guy on Gumtree, and b) my state of the art air conditioning. It looks like a real Dyson fan, but actually it’s a bootleg because I’m so anti-corporations.

7. I have a collection of Soundwaves, because I think it’s really important for an important online pioneer like me to keep in touch with my past even while I write the words that will help to define humanity’s future.

8. This is my filing system and Gaming Accessory Battlestation. When I need to get even more serious about games, this is where I come to. The cable on that gamepad just about reaches the back of my PC, so I only have to lean forwards in my Argos office chair a little.

9. Yeah, there’s 10p on the floor. No biggie. I’m not the kind of guy who needs to pick up every 10p he sees. I could leave that there forever, just to show how unimportant money is to me.

I’m not allowed to play games anywhere else in our flat, though sometimes I use the iPad while on the khazi.


  1. Flit says:

    More cribs posts please

  2. solymer89 says:

    I notice a distinct “thigh-line” on that nice leather chair…. some tip, place a towel down when your on, or not on, those sites you don’t, or do, want everyone to know you go on, your leather will thank you.

    Also cute cat!

    • Chaz says:

      Not forgetting the bits of soggy biscuit that drop between your legs after giving them a dunking in a mug of coffee.

  3. BlackestTea says:

    Now I can feel good about subscribing to RPS :) (although I use that as an excuse to enable adblock because I can’t stand having my screen filled with tanks and guns all the time, please don’t hate me for it).

    Honestly though, this is not about giving out pity. This is what you guys want to do it, you do it, that’s awesome and you are doing a stellar job at that!! The polygon features disgusted me quite a bit – in particular in conjunction with their “buy this expensive stuff for Christmas” guides – although I do appreciate quite some things about the site otherwise.
    Alec, your room looks nice and cozy, also my backyard looks almost the same :)
    To be honest, until I reached the mid-point I didn’t even directly realize the connection to polygon. It just seemed like a somehow really cool (if I may indulge in RPS voyeurism) idea to show how you actually live and work *join in the applause :)*

  4. Snids says:

    Aggressively self-effacing. Making me a bit angry to be honest. How dare he!

  5. Grey Ganado says:

    But where do you put your feet?

  6. Spider Jerusalem says:

    i do believe i have that same chair.

    excellent choice!

    it’s cheap!

  7. Radiant says:

    That is the room of a man with the ambition of an orange.

    • Radiant says:

      In all honesty that is a ridiculously tiny cramped room.

      I think they gave Mandela a bigger room than that for crying [freedom] out loud.

    • Radiant says:

      Again, fairly seriously, looking at that space you must be riddled with tendon and muscular issues.

      • Rawrian says:

        I’m pretty sure Alec does exercises like fox chasing at least once a day.

  8. grenadeh says:

    Very unimpressed. No offense. It’s not bad though. Maybe there’s something to be said for the actual gamers/nerds working IT instead of doing what we like.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      The point of the article was not to impress anyone. It’s a jab at a stupid piece over at a certain self-absorbed other online publication that thinks they are here to save gaming (from what, we don’t know) and at last bring us real game journalism that’s been missing for so long. Yay, go them.

  9. Bfox says:

    Why do all us tasteful game types have Soundwave collections?

  10. JoeGuy says:

    This was god damn brilliant Alec. Nothing in gaming journalism beats proper RPS satire.

  11. frightlever says:

    Is there an ethical difference between owning a knock-off Dyson fan and buying knock-off games?


    Also, where can I buy a knock-off Dyson fan?

  12. wodin says:

    A 1C remote control tank..don’t believe a word he says on any 1C game ala Company of heroes 2..;)

  13. Hunchback says:


  14. Fenix says:

    This is why I read RPS.

  15. Tom Camfield says:

    I really liked this.

  16. Milky1985 says:

    I don’t know what that black furry thing in the 6th picture was either, but i guess it would be unlucky if it ran in front of you.

  17. GoliathBro says:

    Can the other aspects of the hivemind do a similar post? I’m strangely curious.

  18. JonasKyratzes says:

    This is why I read RPS and don’t read Polygon.

  19. Chaz says:

    Re: photo number 8. If you download the Barclays app for your smart phone, you’ll be able to ditch the pin sentry device as the app can do that for you. I’ve found it very handy, especially since mine has finally started to run out of battery and bits of the LCD display are going awol. Plus if you just want a quick over view of recent transactions, then I find it much quicker to use the app than to fire up the Barclays Online website, and log in with your membership number etc. I’m presuming of course that you’ve got your phone hooked up through your wireless router.

    Just my little tip.

  20. mbp says:

    What sort of gaming nerd doesn’t have a shelf of lovingly preserved big box games beside his gaming rig? Have you no appreciation for history?

  21. DickSocrates says:

    I have that Joanna Newsom album, but only the CD version as I’m not as cool as Alec. But I am cooler than those of you who don’t like Joanna Newsom.

  22. Mctittles says:

    Occupy Crecente!

  23. strangeloup says:

    I’d not actually looked at Polygon until a link in the comments here explained that this was a pisstake article. Had a bit of a poke around on it.

    Dear god. And people say Edge is pretentious.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      Agree on both Polygon and Edge. Presumably, that’s why we take our tea with 2 cubes of RPS

  24. mpk says:

    Interesting to note that any comments on the theme of “wtf this article” have been deleted from the below the Polygon piece, including my own which read “This article is so utterly self-indulgent it’s embarrassing.”

    EDIT: and also one from someone else which had a link to this article.

    EDIT2: And I received a warning from them! Apparently I missed the whole point of the article, which is for all gamers to show off their “collections”. Ok!

  25. dab88 says:

    Joanna Newsom? Instant respect. And a nice turntable to play it on too!