I’ve been playing guitar a lifetime, and i’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world to play guitar and sing songs for people, which is something i used to dream about as a kid. It is literally all i’ve done since the age of about 12 when i first picked up an instrument. So for the first time in 4 years of touring, and and a little because the impending doom of turning 24 is approaching i decided to take a summer off from travel and guitars, and just play videogames.
I’ve been playing videogames for as long as i remember, you could say it was the one thing i loved doing before i discovered the guitar. I remember my Brother Alex and i playing Resident Evil on the PS1 together late at night after my Mum had put us to bed, and scaring ourselves senseless. My brother Graham used to go out an buy me all the 12+, 15+ and 18+ rated games i wanted to play, because my Mum wouldn’t let me have them, and i used to hide them under my bed. I remember going round to my friend Joel’s house and playing Wipeout, 2 player together, and getting so angry at him for cheating that i’d stick a piece of cardboard up on the screen and make him sit on the other side of the room so he couldn’t see what i was doing.
Around the age of 12, when i picked up the guitar, gaming slid into the background of my life because all i did was spend my time learning scales and arpeggios like some kind of weird religion. and i didn’t really pick up gaming again until i moved out of my mums house when i was 18. By then, the PS3 was out, i lived with 10 other people, and it briefly turned back into a thing i did with my friends and housemates which made me happy, and was a bit of a social thing.
My life then changed again when i dropped out of university to go on tour. A decision i do not regret as i learnt more in one week of tour than i did in 10 years of musical education, and it basically shaped my path to where i ended up living solely off playing music as an adult. To me there is no other way of living, and it’s what i will be spending the rest of my life doing. I’ve written different songs for different people over the years as well as myself, and some for videogames, which basically led me to get my old PS2 out of my sisters attic and go back and visit all the years of gaming i missed when i was a teenager.
The first of many great things about playing games now, as opposed to as kid, is i have money, not a lot, but some and i’m old enough now to buy whatever games i wan’t without having to ask my brother to get them for me (although i know if i did ask him, he probably still would). The second being you can pick games up for the PS2 now for no more than a couple of quid, be it searching charity shops, or just checking out your local CashGen/CEX or even hitting up eBay. I remember my Mum moaning about paying £45 for games back in the day, which now as an adult i can totally sympathise with as my bank balance aches every time i pick up a new release.
My summer, after i basically quit my day job, started in the livingroom of my boyfriend, Andrew’s, new house. Where me and his housemates started playing Crash Bandicoot together, taking turns when someone died. It then developed into me going out and looking for games i missed, like Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill 2, 3 & 4, Timesplitters, the first 2 God Of War Games, Tomb Raider Anniversary, Onimusha, Extermination and a whole bunch of others. I basically have enough PS2 games now, along with all the ones i had from when i was younger to build a PS2 game fort to sit in.
With the release of P.T on the Playstation Store as a free downloadable which basically looked amazing i jumped right into the Silent Hill franchise. I remember the first game so vividly, and playing it as a 7(?) year old being so influenced by the horror i saw, and i got excited/terrified at the thought of doing that again. SH3 was great, it was the first i picked up and it put me right back in that situation with the white noise from the radio and the death that was everywhere. The twisted horror always got me. I love it. It makes you think and tricks you into a false sense of security and then pounces on you when you’ve let your guard down. 4 was good, but different, from what i’ve read online this wasn’t supposed to be a silent hill game, Konami saw it when it was being developed and then the took it under their wing and gave it the SH twist. I’m currently in the middle of SH2 but i think so far this is my favourite, the suspense is sometimes equivalent to the feeling you get when someone drags their fingers down a chalkboard, and the graphic imagery both repulses and amazes me.
I’ve enjoyed wasting my summer. That said, it wasn’t a total waste, i did start a band with some great friends and i ended up getting a new job where all i do i talk to people about games, which is awesome and now im just getting ready to head off to EGX to make videos about games, which is even more awesome.
The one major difference between playing games now and playing when i was a kid, is i don’t have to ring up that stupid hotline on the back of the game manual to find out where to go next. I can just hit “I’m Feeling Lucky” and that does the job for me.