I’ve always felt the gaming bug, somewhere behind my eyes. Back in the mists of time I had a Spectrum 48k and dutifully wandered left and right shooting at flying toilets, and a little later I spent hours perfecting my Sonic Spin and named my pet fish after the dragons in Bubble Bobble.
[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=sonic+the+hedgehog&iid=932694″ src=”3/3/9/0/Flora_London_Marathon_fbac.jpg?adImageId=11771022&imageId=932694″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]
But somewhere between those easy-to-handle concepts (aside, perhaps, from there being any real need for a flying toilet) and the era of gaming heaven, I lost my mojo. I couldn’t get the car out of the GTA3 garage, and you can only spend so long running at a wall in Quake 3 before you wonder what’s on the telly. If you’re going to do it, do it well, and I couldn’t do any of it at all.
Except for Morrowind. Three long years I spent exploring every cave, picking up every item, killing every enemy, creating the baddest bravest bestest character ever. And then my hard disk died.
Doomed? Yes. Though I could never play that one either.
It took the gentle nurturing of a loving pro to reawaken that desire. I can’t fault his methods: by appealing to my perfectionism, he had me scouring wikis to make sure he explored the Fallout 3 wastelands properly, and the more I “helped”, the more involved I got, and the more I understood that games don’t have to be all about twatting everything in sight.
It might have helped that the first game he took me into – knowingly, I suspect – was a Bethesda masterpiece; if you feel the need to live every part of your character’s life, it’s a Bethesda game you want. Then he followed up with Fable II, a masterpiece of gaming comedy and All Things British, and quietly I picked up the controller.
These days I have game greed, a fast-growing collection of addictions and a penchant for anything Mass Effect. It’s as well it’s a passion shared, or my dear mentor would be a gaming widower by now.
And the moral of this story is that the holy grail is out there, she just might need your help to know it.