Sunday, 28 December 2014

How to cope with an online gaming crash.

Look at that image, LOOK AT IT! Then let me see your papers! Sorry......was kind of trying to marry up an 80's gaming theme with a Nazi second world war back-drop....what was I thinking? That's quite literally the most rubbish thing I've ever written and no mean feat to achieve.

So, know what it is? No? Well, if you do recognise it, you're probably a bit old by now.....but you'll have the
advantage of knowing that all this talk of online-gaming going down and ruining the lives of gamers is a little pathetic. Poor little mites.....probably never even heard of sprites....see what I did there? A little geeky video games rhyme for you there, it's funny because it's not! If you didn't get it, might be best to leave now....even if you did, you're probably best still thinking of following suit. Go on, GET OUT!

Only joking. Right! Look! I'm sorry your online-gaming bubble has burst for a while, but spare a thought for us old school gamers (I spared you the 'k'). Without us, there would be no gaming community, a trendy online world of realistic expansive gaming realms. We trudged through desperately long loading times, limited graphics and repetitive gameplay, for you! It's been known that you could prepare lunch, make a cuppa, listen to an entire Duran Duran cassette, sit through 'It'll Be Alright on the Night 4'; recorded the previous night on VHS, using Video+, providing you were of affluent origins.......before your complimentary game of Horace Goes Skiing would even be close to finishing loading up. FYI, Horace was the original console specific 'Mascot'......he was a spider, I think.....and he was crap, fun crap! Occasionally, you'd wait 10 minutes only for the game to crash at the last minute, good times. On top of that, the loading noise made you feel lightly hallucinogised. Whilst it might be GBH of the ears to some, listening to it now makes me fuzzy with nostalgia....I could probably fall asleep to it.


Okay, time for specifics. The gaming world has recently been rocked; over christmas, by hacked systems, resulting in many gamers being unable to join each other in holy-online matrimony to blow each others faces off.....or whatever it is you lot find fun these days. I say "you lot", but I'm not claiming to be massively different. I've been drawn in by Call Of Duty in recent years, it's what's got me back into gaming in the first place. But like meeting a new bird, who's somewhat unedifying approach to life and it's morals, can initially be the reason you fell for hindsight, will become the very reason said smittency wears off and with it becomes the undoing of the relationship.

My point is, modern gaming is shit! Yeah, I know, you only just got the latest franchise update, which you only wanted so you could play other people - worldwide - in all it's glory, online. I feel your pain, I have enjoyed the pleasures, it feels like progress. As you get older, you can't always get together with your mates or family for in-house multiplayer you resort to playing against total strangers to get your kicks.

NO! It's not progress. It's soul-less modernisation of what was once a fantastic part of growing up.

Don't get me wrong, wireless controllers are amazing. I can't honestly say that sharing a rubber QWERTY keyboard with my brother on a two-player game of Match Day was the ideal way to enjoy a game of football squeezed into 48k of memory, but it had a charm. Elbowing your sibling off the relevant keys at the vital time was part of the game. Talking of Match Day, if you were very skilled, it was possible to get a player to head the ball up and down and just stand there, without the opposing team able to get the ball off him, it was awesome! No Cruyff turns or walking-on-the-ball here.....just me, shouting at my brother to play 'properly'. This rivalry extended to Goal! on the Amiga 500, where at least a dozen Competition Pro joysticks failed the "bad loser smash on the wall" challenge. Big brother being defeated by someone he once saw in nappies is never conducive to losing with dignity. I remember playing Spy Hunter as a 7 year old and managing to guide the car up to the river before transforming into a brother and his mate were bewildered. I felt like a legend!

But there lies my point, online gaming can't compete with playing games in the same room, in direct opposition with someone you know. Online gaming lacks any kind of genuine competitive spirit, excitement, enjoyment! If I won a game of Multiplayer COD, yeah, I'd be slightly enthused.....but nothing compares to nonchalantly walking out of my brothers bedroom, riding high on a sea of expletives and rotten excuses as to why he'd lost.....or doing the walk of shame back to my room whilst he joyously claimed to be the master of 8-Bit gaming, pretending I didn't care! I was devastated, of course......just had more decorum than my bad-losing brute of an elder tosspot of a brother.

I'm constantly accusing myself of being unfairly critical of modern ways and clinging to the past. But when gaming was considered uncool, it still attracted enough attention to spawn TV shows with mass audiences.....albeit with limited choice and no internet coverage. Maybe that's what's lacking, a Gamesmaster.....someone to tell us where it's all going wrong.

If you're under the age of 30 and still reading, I salute you. Not only that, I shall reward you with a nugget of gaming goodness. Use your online hiatus to use this site; No loading times, no crashing......just all the qualities of classic, ageless gaming experiences. Add to that, you won't have some faceless twat, yelling bitter everythings in your ear, as you go about your business. Just good old proper games. You may even need to use your imagination to complete the experience.....up for it?!

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