Buzz has to be a reflection of personal passion. Nothing is worse than a cynical attempt at "hey this is kool, look!!!" from someone with no genuine interest in the subject matter or the intended audience. I don't work on public events if they're not something I'm passionate about, because I'm not about to be phony. I hate phony. I love the word phony, but that's just a Catcher in the Rye fan thing.
So, in the spirit of passion and non-phonyness, I'd like to talk about games.
|I HATE FUN|
Where does it come from, the passion? In my Gaming Myths and Monsters talk I reframe the oft-stated gendered opinion "you don't look like a gamer!" as "you don't look like you enjoy fun!". Once you understand it in those terms you realise how ridiculous gamer stereotypes are, and that's before we get to the actual data.
The truth is, I've played videogames since as far back as I can remember, which is roughly 1980 (the first game I remember playing was Little Brickout, Apple's version of Breakout). I owe my entire game passion to my parents, who were if not pioneers of home computing, then at least early settlers. My dad, a former RAF engineer, helped to bring Apple computers to Britain, travelling to Cupertino and coming back with some amazing stuff like this Apple pendant
|Photo courtesy of my sister Rachael|
In the mid 1980s my dad went to work for British startup competitor, Apricot. I remember almost nothing about that period other than him bringing home an Apricot Portable and it blowing everyone's minds. It had a wireless keyboard. In 1984. I'm typing this on my iPad using a wireless keyboard. Apart from bluetooth rather than infrared, it's the same damn idea. Everything in its own time, I guess.
Then he worked for Tandy, the British retail arm of electronics giant Radio Shack. Up until then you could only really buy computers mail order, from catalogues, so it was pretty exciting to be able to visit an actual shop and rifle through game cassettes. I remember my dad bringing home several Tandy promotional torches and lots and lots of batteries. Tandy loved batteries. He also brought home computers, mostly to fix (he was the local store's engineer) but also a Tandy Colour that mysteriously stayed in our house even though we were poor as heck and not remotely able to afford one. Let's assume some favours were swapped somewhere. Most games were Dragon 32 ports, like Cuthbert Goes Walkabout and Keys of the Wizard.
My dad must also at some point have worked for Acorn, cause we definitely had a BBC Micro for a while, and various other machines (and probably some he built from random bits). All I learned was that Computers Are Awesome, and avoided any of the nonsensical brand loyalty that hampers other people's psyche and pockets.
Shortly after his death in 1988, my dad's Amstrad machines had to go back to his employer, and I was gameless. Until a year or so later when my mom bought me a 464plus on credit, which in hindsight was a major financial sacrifice. But, I appreciated it. Still do, mom! *wave*
The 464plus had a 'groundbreaking' cartridge system and came bundled with a cart containing BASIC (yay!) and a racing game called Burning Rubber in which nothing whatsoever happened. I played it for hours at a time, somehow. I don't think any other cartridge games emerged, but fortunately it also had a tape deck so I could continue my enduring love affair with Dizzy.
|Aww, an analogue game.|
So that's the history of the passion. What has that to do with events? This:
|Admit it, that's a nice logo.|