Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
This is the 598th Have You Played? entered into the RPS back-end (apologies for that image). I would estimate I’ve written a hundred of them, as well as having played the vast majority of the others. Yes, I’m running out of ideas now, but I am positive that there are dozens, if not hundreds more still in my head somewhere – the trick is trying to access that dusty filing system.
Games are like songs, when it comes to memory. Film and TV I think are a little different – you can watch something not quite sure if you’ve seen it years ago, whereas returning to a game years later, and in some cases even just seeing a screenshot, usually results in certainty. Same with music – if you’ve previously heard it more than once or twice, chances are it’ll have a home in your mind until the day you die. You’ll never think of it, probably not be able to summon it from memory at will, but it’ll come on the radio unexpectedly one day, and you’ll be able to sing along to at least part of it.
And so it is with games. If I sit here and try to remember everything I ever played in my life, I run out of answers fast. If I browse through, say, Archive.org’s roster of DOS games, all sorts of lights flicker on in my brain – played that, had the demo, remember the box, a mate had it, always wanted to play it…
Every game, no matter how bad, perhaps even no matter how brief, leaves an impression. I’d love to have, essentially, a photo album made of everything I ever played – a screenshot of each one, chronologically. Memories of my life, in some cases far more potent and important than holiday snaps.
Of course, to do that, I’d need to remember them all. Never gonna happen.