‘It’s not how I remember’.

At work we run a variety of computer game design courses.

I was in the office the other week when one of the lecturers, for whom I’m editing some video for, asked me if I owned a computer game console. This threw me a little, but as my brain engaged I managed to answer. Why yes, an Atari 2600. He seemed a little perplexed.

I then explained the details of this console to him. He was expecting me to answer with X-Box, PlayStation or similar and my reply of a thirty year old console confused him. What I didn’t tell him was that it usually resides under a pile of junk and spider webs in the cellar.

I generally don’t play computer games. And when I do it’s more than likely to be some multi-player shoot ‘em up, as favoured by friends. I usually find the controller is taken away from me after a couple of games as I’m a liability. Learning to control characters on screen seems unnatural to me and so I’m usually the one who walks repeatedly in to the walls, spinning round shooting in random directions, then expiring, again and again. If I do manage to work out the controls, what usually ensues is generally known as friendly fire. I find it more fun to shoot the people I know, rather than some fifteen year old kid sitting in a room ten thousand miles away.  I can’t see the kid getting frustrated and so there is no fun. But friends sitting in the same room are fair game. I think the technical term is fragging. The controller is usually taken away from me after fifteen minutes or so and I am sent to the kitchen to put the kettle on. I’m quite happy with this arrangement. Kettles don’t get uppity when they die. They just generally explode.

When I say to my friends, that, as we all have firearms licences, perhaps it’d be more fun to go in to the woods and take pot shots at each other, they start to move away, suggesting I leave.  This virtual reality thing really isn’t my bag.

I then ran through a list of all the games I owned. Space Invaders, Pitfall, River Raid, Combat, Slot Racers, Maze Craze, Oink, Asteroids and Haemorrhoids. I also have Pac man and not to be sexist, Mrs Pac man. The only difference being, I believe, is that Mrs Pac man has a triangle on her head, which I think symbolises a bow.

To be honest they are all pretty crappy games. I lent the console to a mate once who returned it a few days later looking dejected.

‘It’s not how I remember’, were his only words as he unceremoniously dumped the bag on my kitchen table, meaning that it was shit.  Actually it probably was, we were just too young and stupid to realise.

Sometimes I feel a bit out of touch at work. Everyone is tech savvy. Owning the latest gadgets. They always define it as technology. As if it’s an advancement which makes their lives better. When I try to explain that a hammer is technology they look at me in disgust and pity.

However when your latest gadget crashes on you for no apparent reason, in the ensuing game of computer, scissor, hammer, hammer always wins out.

I’ve never had a hammer crash on me. It’s multi-functional. Does what it says on the tin and is a perfect tool for inserting those tricky Atari cartridges.


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