So some time this week it looks like I am to be reintroduced to the joy of PC games. Yippee!
Many a year a go - OK a couple of years ago - I used to play the occasional PC game but given the amazing quality of some of them I either won/completed a mission/whatever and spent the rest of the day feeling quietly invincible or I completely cocked up/lost patience/couldn't work out what the flip I was meant to be doing.
So I slowly drifted away from using my computer to play anything more challenging than minesweeper and solitaire and it wasn't until I found myself in a workplace crammed full of other people who quote embarrassing amounts of Red Dwarf, watch teh anime and read the occasional comic book... I mean graphic novel, Mum, they're very in right now, kinda Art Nouveau... that I started to think I might be missing out on something.
This was mostly because of the big old excitement and swears filled conversations they would all have about what was happening to them in Game A, what happened to the other people when they played Game A, and what they plan to do if they ever met the [expletive or fangirl/boy exclamation of devotion deleted] who designed Game A.
All this talk reminded me of my poorly suppressed tendency to pretend to be someone else - I've got my mutant name and powers picked out, have you? - and accomplish exciting things, even if by proxy in a make-believe world outside of reality...
We had a big serious talk where they gave me the gaming equivalent of a psychological profiling and they are going to bring in a selection on Monday to wave in front of me like a bunch of Rorschach ink blots to determine which game would suit me best.
I'm not sure how I'm going to go with all these new fangled games seeing as some of the games I enjoyed the most are somewhat ye olde.
Especially the nostalgically awesome Future Wars which apart from being heavily pixellated, and comprising a jamming soundtrack played entirely with the same synthesizer as the Tetris theme-song, is so venerable that the game was installed on our computer courtesy of some floppy disks. For the younger members of the audience they looked like this...
So as you can see from the labelling on the image, not everyone you ever overheard talking about a 3 and 1/2 inch floppy was a pervert... though some of them were...
The game could only be completed by picking up pretty much anything that wasn't nailed down and using the items in the most random combination of weird and sometimes worrying ways.
Like the bit where the plastic bag you nicked from the office you broke into whilst working as a window washer came in handy after you'd been transported to medieval times when you needed to short-circuit an electronic wolf that was guarding a monastery full of time travelling aliens...
No really. I swear.
You just had to walk really fast because the baggie had a little hole in it and the water from the lake leaked out real quick...
Anyway, moving on...
Despite how long it took to get past some points or work out what the hell was going on and shuffle through your enormous bag of tricks to find the appropriate McGyver selection with which to construct your victory, this game was enormous fun.
It took effort to complete, even after you'd played it a couple of times due to the whole quick time events thing or dexterity requirements, but it wasn't impossible and you were left feeling slightly smug and all entertained by the game itself and imagining what kind of weirdos actually designed this masterpiece.
Of course if I went into a game shop and explained this special experience and the specs of the game and asked them for 'something like that' I'm sure they'd get a painful feeling in their souls as they wondered exactly how they were going to keep me from ever ever coming back.
Luckily I have friends who have to put up with the whining that will follow should I completely and utterly suck at the games they lend me.
Of the things that we came up with as we went through what might appeal, one of the key agreements we reached was that the game should be 'NOT like The Sims'.
The Sims kept me merrily entertained for maybe two days before I realised that it was just going to keep going. I was going to have to keep feeding and teaching and caring for this apparently grown human person who - without my help - was capable of collapsing exhausted in a pool of their own urine. All the shuffling around trying to keep them fed, rested, entertained and finding time for all their little friends...
If I wanted to be a mother I would just get myself knocked up and be done with it. If I raise a kid and manage to get them to adulthood they should at least feel obligated to put me in a good nursing home where they bathe you with water instead of kerosene and feed you real food - pureed if need be - instead of 'casserole' which turns out to be dog food with a tin of corn kernels and bits of carrot mixed into it. If I keep my Sim alive for 20 years... well apart from being a weirdo I expect that I'll just have gotten them all the way to their dream job of mad scientist and they will still occasionally sleep in their own wee if I don't pay close enough attention.
I don't like games that don't end! That implies a kind of pointless long term commitment that should be reserved for things like marriage, the spawn of your loins and trying to work out where the universe came from and whether you'll be able to slip away peacefully before it gets where it's going and does anything unexpected.
So with all these fun facts and musing running about inside my head I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed and we'll see how I go!
Wish me luck!