Thursday, 16 June 2011

À la Recherche du Jeux Perdus: La Première Partie

Many, many moons ago, I wrote a post about a project I was working on. I'll tell you now (long after you've all forgotten about it) that it was a list of my fifty favourite albums, and it was enormous fun to write. However, I won't be publishing it on Well-Rendered because, well, it's not video game-related. Besides, this blog is also my online portfolio, so I'm just not sure it's the place for baring my soul, or revealing that there's a place in that soul for the musical stylings of Heidi Montag.

And yet I must post something.

The Well-Rendered desert is parched. All its water and nutrients have been pumped away to irrigate GodisaGeek, and whilst that is now a prosperous and fertile land, I do wonder what to do with the acres of dust that have been left behind. The answer requires lateral thinking. I must search for the plants that will not grow in GodisaGeek's rich volcanic soil and scatter their seeds onto the Well-Rendered plains instead.

These seeds (to extend a ropey analogy yet further) actually fall from the same tree where the "Top 50 Albums" fruit once grew. That tree is the Nostalgia Tree.

That's quite enough of that now. I'm venturing into parable territory, and that is not a good place for a pretentious video game pontificator to linger.

Image originally appeared on Ripten.

It was whilst sitting under the Nostalgia Tree a few weeks ago that someone asked me when I first got into video games.

I really struggled to come up with the answer. When was it, exactly? Was it the first time I sat down in front of Mah-Jong on my parents' Amstrad? My first shareware copy of BioMenace? My utter surprise and delight, aged 9, at receiving a GameBoy for Christmas? The first glimpse of Lara Croft's mansion? Saving for months to afford a PlayStation 2? The moment I first saw Rapture loom out of the darkness from behind a coral reef?

If there is an answer, it can only be "all of the above, and more". I never really experienced a single defining "moment" which ignited my love of gaming.

And yet it's an interesting question, and one that I'd like to try and answer on Well-Rendered. The only way I can do it is to go back in time to the point where my memories start to grow jumbled and hazy and work forward from there. When did I get into video games? I can't tell you. But "how" is a question I can answer.

Whether the world needs an answer is another issue all together, and one which I will not let obstruct my gaze as I stare deep into my own navel. As you read the next few posts, it will help both of us if you imagine it as a kind of Proustian exercise, except with nachos and beer as opposed to madeleines and tea.

I bet you can't wait.


  1. Well I'm definitely looking forward to the beer and nachos at least!

    I think my first video game experience was Castle, which was a game with ASCII character graphics and which took an age to load each new room. Amazing to think how far games have come!

  2. Thanks Sean. Your support despite the sporadic nature of recent posts is greatly appreciated.

    If you're referring to Castle Adventure then I think I played it at school, though I'm not entirely sure.

    One of the things I'm hoping will be interesting about this exercise is revealing the obscure things that influence us when we are young, or at an odd point in life.

    Watch this space...