Looking over the years I missed a list began to form. This began easily, browsing the web I found lists of "best PSX games" and "best survival horror games" and I starting adding those I had not played. Naturally this list expanded to include the PS2 console and then it expanded to include other platforms as well.
The list also started jogging my memory on those games I had completely forgotten about, as well as introducing vague memories of games I could not easily name.
Slowly a kind of gaming "mind map" started to grow, this included a list of games I had completed (rather than just casually played) as well as games I had considered but could not find at the time.
Considering my search begins in the late 80’s and early 90’s it wouldn’t surprise some (and would surprise others) that there were a lot of games back then that we knew of but couldn’t get our hands on.
These were those pre-internet years, and it was a very different time for those of us who was on the lookout for anything out of the norm.
Gamers weren’t the only people that suffered: comic collectors, movie enthusiasts and even those interested in classic or foreign TV were affected. Magazines, often those printed in the US, would feature articles on obscure items of entertainment but the inhabitants of some countries could only look on in longing.
The UK was one of those countries.
Perhaps this is why I am a "collector" and I have a collector’s mentality. Perhaps living through the draconian 1980’s, when a persons tastes in movies could land them in prison (this actually happened to people I knew) I can’t bring myself to trust that things will always be there if I want them. Perhaps this is why I horde a little more than I should.
This is why, even though I no longer own a PlayStation 1 or 2, I have a collection of about a dozen or go games on both systems. These games include the first three Resident Evils’, Silent Hill and a bunch of the Final Fantasy games. This also includes some interesting games on the PS2, including the first three Fatal Frames games (under the US title Project Zero), the marvellous ICO and the game Rule of Rose (which is unavailable in the UK, and – bizarrely – a game I found in a local branch of Age Aware).
These I added to my list and with each new title another possibility presented itself. Slowly a list of games I had played, as well as potential games to play, began to form but also a roadmap to those games I liked the most presented itself.
Casual games aside (which is to say those games you "dip into") role playing games seem to be the ones I am drawn to, or at the least (in the case of Resident Evil and its clones) games that contain a good amount of suspense and character based conflict.
So where does this lead me on my little game-inspired voyage of self discovery? What does this all mean, and does it really matter?
Well, it matters to me I suppose, else I wouldn’t be doing it and then feeling the need to talk about it. Obviously this does not mean it should matter to anyone else. The most important question there is where does this lead me?
"Full circle" immediately comes to mind, back to that 14 year old boy in 1985 the received his first computer one Christmas; and in this perhaps we can see some meaning to the forty-four year old that writes this now.
I shall think on this more… While I’m plating a few games, obviously.