I had my blog assessed by my tutors last week (yeah, I don’t even write essays!), and it turns out I was missing a set post I was supposed to do like… last year. Oops. Remember those History of Games posts I made? Me neither. But apparently I was supposed to do 2000’s-present. I don’t know how I missed that. Instead of writing a really boring timeline of games again I’m going to talk about games in my life from about 2000, when I first started playing them(ish). I hope you, my lovely reader, enjoys. I sure won’t… I mean, I can’t even remember what I said 5 minutes ago, let alone what I was doing 14 years back.
OH LOOK A SNAIL!
I’ll stop procrastinating now.
I’m trying to think all the way back to 2000, and it’s a very fuzzy time indeed; I was only 5. I’m not completely sure when I played this game, but I believe it was 2001. This is Adibou, a French point-and-click learning game for children 4-7 years old. I just watched a gameplay video and it made me smile like crazy. I don’t know if I played it in French, but I certainly can’t find any English translations.
Adibou is now a 3D game, it’s rubbish.
Like I said, remembering so far back is difficult for me and as you can imagine I can’t come up with a specific timeline of games I played, but I’m trying. The next game I remember playing was another learning sort of game but infuriatingly can’t remember the name of it. You played as a yellow car and the world was made of giant pencils and stuff. Trippy. I loved that game so much though and if anyone can recall the name I would be very happy. The game even took precedence over Sims 1 which I came to own at a similar time… I remember playing it on my white box of a PC that had a Cheese Strings sticker or twenty on.
The Sims was where I really started to come into myself. Doing runs of ‘Big Brother’ where the evictees were burned to death in a room of many carpets, between raging at my massive set of Scalextric and Brio, was the highlight of my childhood. I’m sure many children were destroyed by The Sims. I can still remember the damn cheat code ‘rosebud’. Looking back at my choice of games as I grew, I can see where my Game Art interest was starting to develop. For example, The Sims gave me all the freedom I wanted to create my own little ‘worlds’ and stories that satisfied my creative nature. Another game I was playing at that time was Lego Loco; a game that seems to have been pretty underground and unknown.
Like The Sims, this game involved creating a little world from scratch using loads of interconnecting pieces. When I was playing with modular road pieces in UDK last week I was actually comparing it to this game. Weird how my entire life has come around full circle. The excitement I felt when little people and frogs (yes, frogs) started spawning is something I still remember to this day. I miss exploring games like this when I was young, not having any instruction manuals or Youtube videos, and finding all sorts of odd easter eggs and crazy things that would happen unexpectedly and blow my mind. That’s why gaming has lost interest for me- it has lost it’s spark and ingenuity; it’s all too easy.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was a game I hated because I was so royally crap at it. It turns out I was always a ragey kid, it’s not just something I’ve come into more recently.
This game came out late 2001, though I’m sure I played it later. It looks so different to the realistic graphics I seem to remember. Of course, these were top of the range graphics at the time so my mind is likely to have filled in many of the less-realistic aspects of how the game looked, leaving with my warped recollection.
My strongest memories of gaming are around 2004-2008 I’d say, after I had been through my super outdoorsy rough-and-tumble mud pie phase. I had an Xbox and PS2, and during this time I strongly recall playing Halo 1, Star Wars Battlefront 1, Midtown Madness 3, Burnout 3, and Need for Speed MW. Halo was a game I replayed and replayed loads, and didn’t actually know there were sequels released in 2006 and 7 because I didn’t know what ‘the internet’ was. I never played Halo 2, and skipped straight to Halo 3. Ah, I still remember crying when the credits rolled. Pretty much did the same for Halo 4. The funny thing is if you ask me what the storyline of Halo is, I know nothing; I always focused on visuals or gameplay (some people just say I’m retarded). Forge in Halo 3 was also huge for me. I suppose, like Lego Loco, that reflects my interest in game designing and level building.
Playing Midtown Madness 3 (2003), amongst other games with my brother, was a big bonding experience for him and I; a time I fondly recall. Many hours were spent vegetating on this game, trying to find the secret paint cans and stunt ramps, and racing endlessly around Paris in Xbox branded Koenigsegg CCs. If you know anything about the game, however, you’ll know that you have to complete the entire game to get the car… which I totally didn’t do. No; my dad made me stay up waaaaay past my bedtime one night punching in cheatcodes to unblock everything so we could play with the fire engine and new paintjobs.
Most of these games I dallied in were on the Xbox, but one of my favourite games ever was on the PS. The Emperor’s New Groove was a PS1 game I owned, but played on the PS2. I suffered at the hands of bad backwards compatibility because the game couldn’t even save. Y’know what that means, right? Yeah, 12 hour streaks of trying to complete the entire game without saving! And the game would crash. And we would have powercuts. And I would rage, oh I would rage. I don’t even want to consider how many times I played through that first level; how did I not get bored?
It’s awesome to be looking back at my gaming history… I’ve never actually researched the games I used to play in-depth. I can only thank my dad for bringing me games home to play, or I don’t think I’d be where I am today; there was so much off-the-wall crap he’d provide me with when I wouldn’t even understand it’s function. Like a race gaming chair when I was like 7. Hooray for cool dads. I’m going to leave my history of gaming here, because to be honest after this point I played all the games everyone else played; the games we all know like Halo and CoD and Zelda and it’s a bit boring. My early games say a lot about me as a person as I grew, but now-a-days I think games don’t have that same uniqueness like they did.
It would be interesting in a couple of years to look at what games I have played, which I’m sure will be very few, and see how I have changed in terms of what interests me, and how I have been influenced by such games. A post for the distant future perhaps? I think I’m going to start quizzing people on what games they played as kids… my interest has been piqued. I hope you enjoyed this very long post as much as I, unexpectedly, enjoyed writing it.