Digital Playground March Edition by Russ

Gaming; God I love gaming. My first console was an Atari 2600. I had an Amstrad CPC 464. And they opened a world to me. The magic of watching a tape load or a disc. (if you get frustrated by loading times now, you’ve no idea) I got lost in games, that felt magical. Dizzy, Harrier jump jet, Ghostbusters; it was a world I could partake it, shape, impact.  After that I was lucky. I would have Nintendo consoles, my brother Sega, so I got the best of both worlds.  Eventually my loyalties landed with Playstations. I remember getting Final Fantasy Vii, I brought it from the local video store, having no idea of the previous games, no knowledge of the hype. 48 Hours later, with my brother watching the whole time, I finally gave in to sleep. I love gaming and RP games will be my first love.

But what really got me to nerd levels and falling truly in love with gaming was the PC….My first PC sucked it was slow and ran games very badly. It was brought for school work and my stupid parents never considered that I might have a chance to game. 8mb of ram, 800mbs of memory. No chance to play some demanding  So I got creative with the games I played. Half-life etc would come when I got to uni and had a console that could run fancy graphics, more easily. (for the time people, at the time) Lan play then with Red alert 2 and half-life was a game changer for me.  (depressingly as I still pay off, my student loan it occurs to me, that I’m yet to ever actually technically own  that PC.)

But back in the day, what pulled me in was the point and click game. Firstly, the Lucas arts games, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Day of the tentacle, Full Throttle. These games felt like they got me, the nods to history, the humour. The feeling like I had a role in the story unfolding by solving puzzles, that ranged from the absurd, to the impossible. Then came Discworld and the human In that, just got to me. It remains the hardest game I’ve ever played. It took so long to complete, it was before you could just fire up a guide online (game FAQs saved me)

But the game that had the most impact Broken Sword. I loved those games. I became hooked on the mythos of the Templar’s, the mystery in the games, again the humour, the solving puzzles. It just hooked me. I maintain it played a big part in developing my love of history. It was the first game I played set in part in the UK and Europe to and that pulled me in. I loved the later games and when Five came out, It was a return to a genre of games I thought had passed us by. I missed it, I felt like I was using my brain, the dialogue, the cartoony graphics.

The pandemic and lockdown has made me nostalgic, and currently I’m playing the remastered Broken Sword on Steam and I still love it. The music, the memories, the fun and satisfaction of solving the puzzles. (The goat puzzle; if you know – you know) Alongside, playing FFVII remake (which makes me want to fire up the original) It feels safe, familiar and yet still fun. As I await the chance to get a PS5, I’m now conflicted and pulled towards a gaming pc and a return to my roots. Maybe I’ll report back in a few months with where that journey takes me. But for now, it’s a return to the familiar of George Stobbart and his adventures, and being grateful of a reminder of what fun I used to have with PC gaming.