I remember when I went to uni a mate and I would spend half our free time playing Galaga and other games at a nearby video arcade. He was an expert who took it very seriously, for me it was a bit of fun and a lot better than studying.
In later years I got into the odd computer game. Most I could take or leave, but I liked the strategy games, and in particular the various iterations of Sid Meier’s very famous Civilisation franchise. I’m not sure whether it spoke to the latent empire builder in me, or the gung-ho conqueror, but I recall many times playing well into the wee hours of the night, expanding my empire, conquering neighbouring countries and attempting to make life better for the happy citizens of H-Ville.
Last year I got myself a PS3. I bought a variety of games to go with it, Need For Speed, The Godfather, Tiger Woods Golf, a Boxing game, and a few others. I happily played them for a few hours here and there, a welcome distraction but not a real passion.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been playing Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. This is a mind-blowing game for people like me. For a start the graphics are great. It’s a far cry from the very raw and basic graphics of Civilisation and the Age of Empires and so on. That’s how much technology has pushed on with every passing year. Now it’s almost like watching a movie, and you’re part of it. It’s a pleasure simply to behold.
But then there is the gameplay. I became very quickly addicted to Uncharted 2 because it is my sort of game taken to an extreme of entertainment and challenge. For those who don’t know the game is pretty much about the adventures of Nate Drake, a kind of Indiana Jones figure out to make his fortune in a variety of cliff-hangar type adventures. It’s addictive stuff even if you’re not playing the game. I get caught up in it. The hours roll by. I sit on the edge of my couch manipulating the action and figuring out the best way forward. At the end of it I hope to get to the next level, and then the next level beyond that.
Great stuff. Makes you wonder how far all this will go. When will it end?