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“I guess I’ll never be able to lie to myself again about all the shit I would do if I just had the time.”

AnnaKendrick47 30th March 2020, Twitter

We are living in strange times. While those words have become a cliche, there’s still truth in them. 65 days in lockdown and counting. I feel like an NPC in a Fallout game. Along with everyone else on the planet right now, my world as I know it has been turned upside down by Covid-19. While we are submerged in uncertainty, we are drawn to the things we enjoy, our passions, as we now have time to pursue them, guilt free.

Games have always been my passion from the moment I first held an NES controller in my hands at the age of four. Looking up in awe as the glass window view of a colourful far-away mushroom kingdom reflected in my eyes. These pixelated worlds of endless possibilities were always going to be a constant in my life.

Me pictured (left) with the legendary creator of Doom, John Romero at EGX Rezzed 2019.

At the age of six, flicking through my first Mean Machines Sega Magazine, I discovered that people played and wrote about video games. I was too young to realise it at that moment, but I had found my calling. I had to be involved and part of the conversation in this new world I had discovered.

These pixelated worlds of endless possibilities were always going to be a constant in my life.

My enthusiasm grew rapidly and I had a burning desire to share it, but nobody around me cared like I did. In the days before the internet and social media, connecting with like-minded people was almost impossible. At the age of twelve, beckoning my parents, they’d rush upstairs in response to my frantic calls. Out of breath and concerned, their faces quickly turned to relief followed by confusion. Why were they not as excited as me when I showed them the graphical leap of Ready to Rumble on the Dreamcast? Were they Nintendo fans or something? Their expressions remained unimpressed.

At the age of fifteen, I sat in the exam hall about to take my English GCSE. Panic set in as I turned the page and was faced with three questions. I had to choose one. I couldn’t tackle either of the first two options (gaming and little to no revision will do that). However, the third option was simply, ‘Write an essay about something that interests you’.

I wrote about games.

Without any preparation or notes, I wrote about the history of video games from their beginning to the current day. The words fell out of my pen and onto the page. I’m sure it was no Jeremy Parish piece by any stretch of the imagination, but it got me the grade. 

Pictured left to right: Me, my youngest son George (4), my wife Kerry, my eldest son Harry (5)

I am now thirty-three, married with children and an avid gamer. However, a dabble in podcasting aside, there has been little to no creative output from myself around games since. Life got in the way. The years crept past and I found that recently even gaming itself has begun to take a back seat. I stopped writing. I stopped podcasting. I stopped playing.

If you asked me why, honestly I couldn’t give you an answer. It’s like I had been waiting for someone to hit the pause button so I would have the time I needed. It’s amazing what barriers the human brain can conjure to prevent you from achieving your goals. After my two children being born, changing careers and moving to a different part of the country, I have realised that just when you think things are going to slow down, think again. However, due to the current situation, time it seems, is in abundance – well, as much as it possibly can be for a parent of a four and five-year-old.

This blog will document my experiences with this incredible medium, the games that I play and how they have defined me as a person.

During the last few years, although I have only played a handful of titles, I never felt like I was away from games. A day hasn’t passed when a gaming podcast hasn’t filled my ears, an article hasn’t caught my eye, or I haven’t been lurking on a Twitter thread. I’ve always been listening to the conversation from afar, living vicariously through other players and silently waiting for my time to pitch in. Well, as my wife likes to remind me – There’s no time like the present.

This blog will document my experiences with this incredible medium, the games that I play and how they have defined me as a person.

As I share my passion for gaming with my children I hope to capture their moments of joy as they discover the world that I once had all those years ago and instil a love for gaming in them. I hope through this medium that I can also help my youngest son who is autistic to overcome some of the challenges he faces.

I want to share my love of retro games: retracing game history, collecting and playing each one for the first or possibly hundredth time.

As I work my way through the ridiculous backlog I have amassed for what seems like an entire console generation (I mentioned the two kids right?) I will share my thoughts and opinions.

I’m excited to connect with other like-minded individuals, through reading their stories and their responses to mine.

But most importantly, I want to play games again. I never dreamed it would take a worldwide pandemic for me to finally realise it. 

Then again, I certainly did not imagine I would be opening my first blog post with a quote from Anna Kendrick, yet, here we are.

Strange times we are living in indeed.

By Terry Jeffs

Terry Jeffs writes his thoughts and opinions on the world of video games and strongly defends the ending of Lost.

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