- Kratos, God of War (2018).

First Steps

Every age has its storytelling form, and video gaming is a huge part of our culture. You can ignore or embrace video games and imbue them with the best artistic quality. People are enthralled with video games in the same way as people love the cinema or theatre.
— Andy Serkis, actor and director.

Games, to me, have always been the most entertaining pastime, the best distractions and a great source of stories. 

I realise that my thoughts on the topics of games and the industry that is grown rapidly around them can be (at best) inconsequential. My little blog is but a drop in an ocean of opinions and information - but its mine.

I simply wanted a platform to express the love I have for video games and hopefully serve as a portfolio for future employment reference.

They have always been my favourite form of media, even from an early age as demonstrated in my attempts to play Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts before I had mastered walking down the stairs and not eating coal from the fireplace. 

I'm pretty sure it would be quite a few years before I would even make to the second level, but it never stopped me playing it even just to run back and forth. Here was a magic world on television that let me play as a knight and face all manners of monsters that I could never have imagined; you know, in between naps and not eating coal from the fireplace.

After discovering that there was, in fact, more than one game in existence I was hooked. I remember spending weekends playing some of the most memorable classics ever released. Who could forget the first time they completed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or thinking outside the box in Metal Gear Solid?  Groundbreaking titles ahead of their time and only two examples of what games were turning into; an interactive art form. 

Rather than the brief excitement of a movie or the gradual passage of a good book, this form of media refused to progress until the player completed certain tasks and improved their skills. This only fuelled that wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you finally defeated a difficult boss or solved a mind-bending puzzle.

I feel video games are probably the most advanced form of art thus far in human history. Not only do video games encompass many of the traditional forms of art (text, sound, video, imagery), but they also uniquely tie these art forms together with interactivity. This allows the art form of video games to create something unique, beyond all other forms of media. Video games are the ultimate form of art as we know it.
— Denis Dyack, president of Silicon Knights.

Throughout the past two decades, both the industry and standards have grown immensely, which has only helped create more varied and creative features (except for micro-transactions - more on that another time).

Some strive to deliver an engaging experience in first-person shooting, others an unparalleled adventure across time and space, and others that simply wish to elicit an emotional reaction.

It is in those amazing moments of immersion that the digital magic is real. When we feel the tension in being surrounded by hostile enemies with limited resources, becoming so competitive in multiplayer that the only thing that matters is victory, or being genuinely uncomfortable whilst playing a horror title in a dark, empty house.

For a few fantastic moments, real life is substituted for the extraordinary.

I am not ashamed to say that these epic experiences helped me through difficult times in my life simply by being great distractions. They helped me fight stress, depression, anxiety and a whole list of problems that have come and gone over the years.

There is something quite therapeutic in having influence and control over a character or story, especially when real life cranks the difficulty up.

That’s really one of the things I love about video games. It’s a whole new world every time you start.
— Jennifer Hale, voice-actress.

It is worth mentioning that I never made the jump to PC gaming simply for the fact that I know it would be my end - in this life and the next.

I'm pretty sure I would do nothing else except maybe seek the most minimal hours of employment for a World of Warcraft subscription and begin my downward spiral towards a point where I would refer to my friends, opportunities and daylight as 'that weird phase that I went through'. 

Therefore it'll be console games that I'll be writing about, although maybe one day I'll make the jump to the other side and see if the pixels are any greener.

I personally go where the games are, I see no advantage in believing one must have a 'side' or an exclusive console. I've gone through most systems from the SNES right through to the PlayStation 4 and I've enjoyed the games on all of them.

Admittedly, the Xbox One games elude me for the moment (since every time I decide to get one they release a new version and toy with my self-control) although I will make sure to finally get the Xbox One X and expand my gaming library once again. 

As a final note, I would like to thank my family and friends who supported me in the creation of this blog - especially my mum; always supportive even though her knowledge of games is limited to those available on Facebook. 

I'd also like to thank an old friend for good advice and also for inspiring me. He's a great writer who's been blogging for many years now, with interesting views on games and movies so please check out his work over at The JHN Files - especially if you have even the slightest interest in Tomb Raider or Jurassic Park.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to check out my page. I hope you have enjoyed reading and as far as our total hours played in video games are concerned: may we never know.

Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about rock and roll.
— Shigeru Miyamoto, co-Representative Director of Nintendo.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt