DON’T GO BREAKING MY FART
Playing Abe’s Oddysee, you are tramping around Rupture Farms, experimenting with the buttons. You press a certain button combination and a flatulent sound is heard. Your brain goes into joy-spasms. Did — did the lead character just FART? You try it again. Abe farts again. You cry tears of joy. Then you find a sleeping enemy and fart on him. He instantly wakes up and fillets you. You don’t care — ABE CAN, NAY, MUST FART AT WILL. When you find out that flatulence is integral to beating the game, you just laugh even harder.
You’re four, maybe five. Visiting a friend’s house for the first truly conscious time, you spot a misshapen black object in the corner. Enquiring as to its nature, you learn that it is a Master System. Do you want to play with it? You can PLAY with that box? Of course you do. You’re a kid. You want to play with EVERYTHING. So your friend pushes a weird squidgey thing to the side. This seems to have some effect on the TV. Your innocent eyes burst asunder. You can see some incredibly strange and blocky objects on the screen. What ARE they? You friend shoves some freaky rectangle into your hand and tells you to hit the D-Pad. D-pad? What the heck is a D-Pad? He points to a strange indented square, and you press the right hand side of it down. The strange blue blur rockets off. You release the D-Pad. It stops. Could it be…? You press it again. Off goes the blur. Could it be that your actions on this tiny little oblong have a direct correlation to what that blue blob is doing? A little more experimentation reveals that yes, they do. You move it to the right some more and a red blob appears. Upon collision, the blue blob lifts into the air, then falls off the bottom of the TV. He then reappears. Your friend informs you that you have died. You explain that you are fine, but he just points to the screen. “I meant SONIC died,” he explains. Sonic? That… thing is called Sonic? And… what’s that? He’s a HEDGEHOG? Maybe… maybe this… avatar… is a valid fantasy character. A little more experimentation results in a jumping action by this “Sonic Hedgehog”. Years of experimentation pass, and you grow up. You become a writer for an online games magazine. The repercussions of that day still flow through your mind. The tears of anger, frustration, pain, sorrow and ultimately joy that gaming has brought you finally pays off. Finally you are amongst those who understand you, your hobby, no… your passion. May videogames live forever. May those renegade titles continue to jump out of nowhere and bring joy to millions. May those independent developers be duly nourished by the next generation of gamers, the ones who recognise that “old” doesn’t automatically mean “bad”. May gaming bring you as much joy as you allow it to. I love games, you love games. Don’t let it ever change.