Video: File System Aging – 2. Beginnings

Hey come watch Rab Florence’s new weekly video series, made just for us. Part one is here.

In the second part of this series about games, time and loss, Rab returns to his earliest gaming memories, including M.U.L.E. and Alter Ego.

Remember to subscribe to the RPS YouTube channel for more of whatever it is we do.

This post was funded by the RPS Supporter program.


  1. amateurviking says:

    Feel slightly voyeuristic.

    • amateurviking says:

      Honestly the fact that these are for Hope and you’re allowing us to watch is kind of too much for me.

  2. Easy says:

    <3 <3
    (Yes Rab, with each episode I will add a heart – think of it as a health bar replenishing)

  3. shimeril says:

    Lovely stuff Rab. I love the style of these videos. There is definitely a vibe to them that really appeals to me.

    I always avoided Alter Ego on the C64 as I thought it was something else altogether. At least my answer to baldness was the same as yours. :)

  4. frenz0rz says:


    I mean, I can’t relate to the games you used to play. I’m of a different generation, of different games. But the feelings are the same.

    Gaming can be so personal, so subjective an experience, that I think it’s incredibly important to document our lives and thoughts surrounding it. It’s so easy to take for granted and internalise as something that has always been, but like life, gaming changes so quickly that it’s easy to forget from where we came.

    Death is inevitable. I get the strong impression, Rab, that it’s the driving force behind everything you write and produce. Like amateurviking above, I feel like a voyueur, peering into a life that I have no right to think or comment on, and I’m grateful that you’re letting us into your life as you are. I don’t mind what you take of this but, uhm… I empathise with what you have to say. You’re treading through topics that few have the courage to share.

  5. Fenix says:

    I’d like to know what the music used in the clip is. Does anyone know?

  6. ansionnach says:

    Never had a computer until I was nearly a teenager as we couldn’t afford one. Do remember going to other people’s houses and marvelling at what they had on their (usually) C64s. Oddly enough, Rab’s games still unlock that same feeling of wonder, especially Castle of Terror (which I’d never heard of).

    Sometimes in school we’d get to play Granny’s Garden on the BBC Micro collectively. The teacher would put it on after running through some educational programmes, like this geography one I remember doing well in because one of the rivers that wasn’t in any of the books (the river Inny) was known to me since my dad’s family had land on its banks and I used to swim and fish there on my summer holidays. Also used to help out with farm work, stacking and collecting turf and making and collecting hay. Remember one summer when myself and my sisters and cousins built quite a big base out of square hay bales. Think it was about fifteen feet high. If it hadn’t been built well (my older sister and myself were probably responsible for this) it would have collapsed, possibly smothering those inside. Was pretty strong since some of us would be jumping up and down on top of it while there were others within! Anyway, when we’d get to play Granny’s Garden the whole class would vote on what to do next. There was this witch in the game and we’d try over and over again to get past her – it was really quite scary. Granny’s Garden was pretty basic, with no music that I remember, so Castle of Terror would have been terrifying… and perhaps playing it now I would have that same Granny’s Garden fear!

    The class was especially chaotic playing another game called Podd in which you typed in actions for a globular character (Podd) to do and were sometimes rewarded with animations if he could perform them. We’d all shout out what to type in and it was a great moment any time the teacher entered what you suggested. Remember we were surprised sometimes at exactly what Podd could do (could he kiss girls? I can’t remember). We were just boys then, perhaps ten or eleven years old, but the teacher also seemed quite young. She was quite a beautiful woman with striking red hair and I think everyone liked her, even though she could be very, *very* stern at times.

    One of the C64 games I remembered being impressed with when I went over to friends’ places was Flimbo’s Quest, which I think came with a lot of the systems. Rarely got to play myself and just watched. The opposite would happen when I finally got a computer (a 386 PC!) – I’d allow my guest to play. Anyway, I finally played Flimbo’s Quest recently and it was shit.

    • Sinomatic says:

      We did the same thing in school with Granny’s Garden. It seems surreal now how scared you could possibly be of it, but I suppose anything can be scary if it sufficiently built up in a child’s imagination.

      I also used to adore the visits we made to our (slightly estranged) aunt. I loved spending time with my cousins, but I have to be honest and say that I was thrilled at the prospect of being able to play on their computer again. Time and a terrible memory have stolen away the brand of computer (speccy? commodore 64?), or most of the games played (there was one with a ninja in it, of that I’m sure), but I doubt I’ll ever forget that thrill of having new things to do and places to explore.

      • ansionnach says:

        I rarely visited people with computers who knew anything about sharing. One cousin let us play Lemmings on their A600. Blew me away. Have possibly never been as impressed with a game at first play since.

        Never knew what the school computer was as a kid. When I got a PC I just assumed it was an 8088 but considering the games it had, it must have been a BBC Micro. Nice to remember the little details too: that you may not have known one computer from another at that age. First learned to programme (in BASIC) on BBC Micros several years later in secondary school. Miss all the home computers. Seeing them in the shops, playing their crazy games… by comparison the modern consoles are soulless. Especially the newest ones that should really just be PCs except for companies like Sony and Microsoft want to create their own DRM-walled gardens and sell a whole heap of identical controllers to everyone again. Back in the day you could use some joysticks on several computers and consoles (Atari 2600, Commodore 64, Amiga, Master System, Megadrive…)

  7. RARARA says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Rab.