Thursday, 9 September 2010

What Dune 2 taught me about Gaming: Part 2

Much of my youth was spent unable to put into words exactly what it was which made me so enthusiastic about games. Even now I have find it very hard to articulate what I love about games to the people I love. Dune 2 was the first game where I encountered this problem, where I couldn't explain what I liked about it with a simple sentence like 'its fun' or 'its looks cool'.

*image took from a scan at the amazing Amiga Magazine Rack

I showed the game to anyone who was stupid enough to give me the impression they might listen to me, but time after time the way my parents and my peers seemed unmoved by Dune 2 to totally confused me. I wasn't equipped mentally to make the simple leap that what was awesome to me wasn't automatically be awesome to others.

But there was somewhere where  I knew there were people who 'got' games. Amiga power is considered to have been one of the great magazines of its generation. Some might pick holes at its professionalism at times, but there was no denying the passion that went into it.
Just like me I felt the writers didn't care who's name you threw onto a box, or if the graphics were flashy they cared about the game itself.
Just like me it felt these were people who felt a sense of belonging of being one of the tribe, who felt there was something special about games.
But unlike me they had found their voice, and they were shouting from the rooftops.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

What Dune 2 taught me about Gaming: Part 1

Its 1993 Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner are stinking up the screen and the charts, John Major (Aka Pantsman) is Prime Minister, there's a weird new football division called the Premier League, and I'm trying to persuade my friend Lee that Dune 2 on the Amiga is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

My Amiga was a thing of wonder to me,and as I sat there with my A500+ it would seem implausible to me that the company behind it was already in a slow decline. In December Doom was released on the PC in all its 3D glory, changing the face of gaming and driving another nail into the Amiga's coffin. By April 1994 the fight was over and Commodore would be bankrupt and the Amiga dead.

At age 11 such things didn't register with me, nor would they have really mattered to me because at that moment all that mattered to me was I had a new game. Games typically cost around £30 which since I got £1.10 pocket money meant they were a huge investment for me. I spent months scanning issues of Amiga Power before making a decision on a which one i was going to buy next. I typically got 2-3 games a year and the wait was unbearable, though I soon realized that if I didn't spend my lunch money It virtually doubled my spending power. I mean whats a bit of food compared to a new game?