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Hello! Ooh, you smell nice today.
So, based on your polling and comments last week, this is what we're going to do in terms of making subs-only bonus posts public. For the time being, anyway.
The very best thing about finding an old VHS tape isn't the shows you planned to record at the time, but the commercials in the breaks betwixt. That excellent mix of nostalgia and horror, as haircuts and moustaches try to sell you long-forgotten products makes gooey-eyed idiots of us all. Yes, even you. So does the same work, I wondered, for videogame trailers. Answer: Oh yes. I've cobbled together some trailers and TV ads, old and slightly less old, for your slightly supercilious pleasure.
Well then. How's it all going? Are you having a nice time? I've thrown my back out from lifting up my increasingly heavy toddler too many times, and am sleeping poorly as a result. Yup, that's the sort of red-hot scoop reserved only for RPS supporters. Well, that and the various features we've been running each week day for the last few weeks. (Hope you've managed to catch them at the time, but they're all under this tag if you want to catch up.)
Which is what I wanted to talk to you about, if you've got a minute.
So bad it's weird
I'm here to share a story about one of the worst games I've ever played and I'm here to try and understand why it's stayed in my head for almost a decade, despite having no redeemable features whatsoever. I'm here to share Midnight Nowhere with you all and I hope you can forgive me.
A few weeks back I was writing about the disappointing reincarnation of Shadowgate, and in it mentioned the phenomenon of how screenshots of certain games from my past have great power. Obviously seeing a shot of a fondly remembered game brings with it nostalgic pleasure, perhaps even associated memories, and is always a treat. But when it's a game you'd forgotten you loved - perhaps because it was from so early on in your childhood, or perhaps because your brain had to make room for more phone numbers or something - the reaction to seeing it once again can be something far more powerful.
For me, there's a dizzying rush, as well buried memories suddenly burst to the surface, images whizzing past my eyes of where I might have been sat, how old I was, who I was with. It can be a wonderful, spinny feeling. So I'm going to see if I can offer that to you today.
More On Supporting
Hello there. Thanks for being here. We really do appreciate it so, so much. This is just a quick post from me about Supporter things: I wanted to answer a few questions and address a few suggestions. I'll do that below!
Tell Us What To Do
This is so brilliant. A whole new, SECRET, section of the site. You’re our favourites! And because you’re our favourites, we want the Supporter Secret Treehouse to be a place where we listen to what you want us to be writing about. Where your ideas merge with our ideas, to form hyper-ideas – ideas that are maybe even too good.
So, we’ve come up with a selection of polls for you to nominate where you’d like to see us start.
Hello, and welcome to The RPS Book Club. For Games. You, our special, lovely, bright-faced and fine-fettled Supporters are invited to join our monthly play-and-say gathering for classic gaming discussion. It’s too good of a treat.
The idea is, each month we pick a game (hopefully nominated by those participating), all run away and play/remember it as much as we possibly want, and then gather the following month to discuss it. One of Team RPS will write up a retrospective article about their experiences, and then we encourage you to do the same in the comments or on the forum, or link to your own blog, Tumblr, Storify, howsoever you wish.
Alone But Not Lonely
As a writer, I get more than my fair share of solitude. The job is mostly about sitting alone in a room typing, for the rest of my life. However, that fact has only served to emphasize to me the importance of solitude. It's not something everyone yearns for, certainly, but I'd argue that most of us need some quiet hours. Taking time out from the throng of humanity, or even the quiet burble of domestic existence, is crucial to a rounded life.
Those solitary hours spent with a videogame, I would argue, are more important than most.
In spite of my reputation as one of Manchester's leading players, I spend a lot of time not playing games, although on occasion that time is spent looking at games. Like the person who spends many hours of the day reading about a hobby but none actually participating in that hobby, I'm guilty of watching games when logic dictates that I should be playing them. This has nothing to do with Let's Plays or other user generated content though - this is about watching my computer play with itself and I think it can be one of the most enjoyable ways to experience and understand a game.
Can you see it?