In a few of my reviews, I have mentioned that my entrance into gaming was pretty late. The PSP, my entrance into the world of tech and gaming, gave me the ability to develop my love for gaming while also giving me an element of freedom to do what I want… But I didn’t have this entrance into gaming until I was about 11. While I had played games before, they didn’t quite bond with me in the same way that they might have bonded with you. So let’s explore what I did instead.One of the reasons that didn’t have a games console when I was a kid was because I didn’t have a huge amount of time to be able to play games. When I was a wee little boy, I used to be in a cathedral choir, singing my heart out like the little angel that I was (Not). This took up a huge amount of my time – My schedule went along the lines of being free on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school, I was in the song school for 45 minutes having a rehearsal along with 15 other boys ranging from my age up to year 9’s – As soon as school finished on a Thursday, I would go straight back to the cathedral for an Evensong. This was a regular service that was held each week where the boys would sing.
This would end around 6pm – On a Friday a similar thing would happen where after school, I would return to the cathedral, be fed some rather shitty frankfurter hot dogs, have an Evening song again, but this time with a full choir; after we would have a full choir practice that would last until 7:30, but were not even done yet. We still have Sunday to go. On Sundays we would have three services, one as a morning Eucharist, a midday Matins and then an Evensong a few hours later. This, in case you hadn’t added it up, took up the majority of my time leaving not very much time for anything else.
I’m not hating that I spent all my time singing, at the time I may not have enjoyed it very much but looking back I’m glad that I did do it, because without it, I wouldn’t be here discussing it… But it did mean that I didn’t get the chance to make connections with characters within games that my peers may have made. Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet and Clank; they were all names that I knew, but I had no idea what they looked like, what their games were about or what their goals where. This is also the reason why, with all these remasters coming out, I haven’t given a fuck about the hype. I bought Crash Bandicoot the day that it came out; I played it once and then returned it. I didn’t care because I didn’t make a connection with the character as a kid. Basically, I didn’t feel any nostalgia towards the games. So the real question is what did do instead that I made a connection with?
The real answer is books. I read a huge amount as a kid, I still do. But instead of having characters from games that I loved it was fictional characters instead – James Adams, Alex Rider, Young James Bond. These are just a few of the characters that I really connected with as a kid – They taught me a lot, both about things in the real world and things that I hopefully will never need to do; I have a theoretical understanding of martial arts techniques and a strong understanding that the world can be a bad place… But I also learnt that there are lots of little things in the world that I can enjoy and appreciate. Friends and family, beautiful vistas, and free time. I could go around saying that if I had a games console as a kid, I might like the games that are pushing nostalgia, but I didn’t have them; I made do with what I had and in time, bought my PSP, and unfortunately missed a few generations of games, but the games that I ended up playing lead me to where I am now, writing this piece that you’re reading right now… And I wouldn’t have it any other way.