Why Hello There!

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Welcome to my blog!

I suppose this is the logical place to start by introducing myself to you, the reader. My name’s Tom, and as I’m sure you’ve probably gathered from the title by now, I’m pretty damn keen about video games. Very keen, you might say. So keen, in fact, that I’m going to go on for a good few paragraphs now about my passion for video games, why I feel compelled to write about them, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. Nothing at all…mwa ha ha ha! Well, actually, you could just leave the website and go cybersurfing off into the distance…but wait! Don’t go just yet, it’ll be entertaining and there will be daft anecdotes and quips aplenty, I promise! Happy? Good. Right, so, without further ado, off we go!

I’ve always loved gaming, and many of my fondest childhood memories are often heavily centred around whatever console I had at the time. As a result of being a lifelong video game enthusiast, I’ve always been very pale and vitamin D deficient! However, for all that my body lacked in terms of essential vitamins and natural light, I felt that I more than made up for the sunlight deficiencies with the sheer endorphin rush and wonderment I’d experience at the fantastic worlds and environments found in those early cartridges.

One of my earliest memories I have is playing Sonic And Knuckles on my Sega Megadrive (or Sega Genesis, to anyone reading from across the pond) before school. I was enraptured by the brightly coloured mushroom jump pads, the endless shiny hordes of metallic robots racing toward me, the lush rolling hills of vegetation, and, of course, the charismatic and humorous character animations of Sonic and Knuckles themselves.

When I look back at this era of gaming now with the benefit of hindsight, these early cartridge systems of the early 1990s look positively prehistoric in comparison to the monstrously powerful current generation of gaming consoles. However, it was games like the Sonic and Mario series, on the Megadrive and NES/SNES respectively, that captured my imagination and ignited  my deep love and passion for video games. My tastes have changed over the years, and I’ve gone through various consoles and transitioned through a multitude of game genres along the way since; however, those early years spent hunched over a Megadrive, sitting far too close to the TV are where it all began for me, and it’s where I look back to with great fondness.

I’ve always also loved reading, and to once again launch you back into the dusty cobweb-strewn vestiges of my memory, when I was very young, I could often be found scouring Cornflakes packets for every line and word of text to read. As to why I was so interested in the text on cereal boxes, and why I considered them literary masterpieces worthy of lingering on every word, I’m afraid I sadly have no answers to these important questions.

I’ve since moved on from cardboard boxes (despite them being a founding pillar of our literary heritage and culture) and I now enjoy these paper vessels of knowledge people call ‘books’ instead. They are a bit flimsier and smaller than cereal boxes, but they do have a lot more space for words. Anyway, I digress. Cereal boxes were the strange yet humble site where my love for the written word took seed, and eventually grew into the grotesque and carnivorous triffid-like growth of paragraphs that you see before you now!

To go from one form of literary masterpiece to another, I would often religiously devour the contents of the game manuals that would be slotted into the side of the Megadrive cartridge boxes once I’d discovered gaming, usually before I’d even tried the game surprisingly. At the time, the manual of a game to me felt like a mysterious tome of secrets; a treasure trove of knowledge that would transform the player from a novice into a finely tuned instrument of skill/death/destruction/(insert your favourite noun of choice here). However, most game manuals offered little in the way of useful information, other than a quick overview of the controls and a slight fleshing out of the story (if there was one) from the in-game cutscenes (if the game was advanced enough to have cutscenes).

Wait, why am I going on about cereal boxes and game manuals I hear you cry? Well, for quite a long time…say…the last twenty odd years of my life, reading a game manual was about as close as I got to combining my lifelong passion for reading with my similarly lifelong passion for gaming. I’d read a lot and game a lot, but never the twain would meet…

…However, it’s only been very recently that I’ve taken the nervous first steps of smashing together my two loves of the written word and gaming in a giant hadron-collider style experiment, and the results were… great! I really enjoyed it! I started a blog on IGN in early April, and I’ve since won the Community Spotlight, as voted for by other members of the fantastic MyIGN community, for what I hope were entertaining and amusing musings (nice bit of assonance there if I do say so myself) on video games, slavering giant blue werewolves, killer robots, massive mechs, wraith-like witches and giant raving blood-soaked lunatics to name but a few choice topics.

The next few upcoming posts will be a selection of pieces that I’ve written on MyIGN over the last two months. For anyone who’s interested, the URL for my MyIGN blog is http://www.ign.com/blogs/tb321 – it’s a really great community-driven blogging section of the famous site, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to start writing about games/films/comics/gaint slavering blue werewolves (well that’s what I did anyway) you name it, you’ll find a friendly enthusiastic community there to talk about whatever it is that you’re into. However, cheeky blog plug aside, once I’ve got the desired pieces up on here looking nice and pretty, I’ll move forward with new posts for you to run your greedy little eyes over.

I’m primarily a console player; aside from the few indie titles here and there on my Mac, I’m mainly gaming on Xbox One and PS4. My favourite genres are mainly horror and FPS games, but I like to vary it up every now and again with new curiosities. To give you some idea of the games and genres I like, some of my favourite games include (in no particular order):

  • Silent Hill 2
  • Outlast
  • Resident Evil (2002 Gamecube remake)
  • Halo
  • Lone Survivor
  • Amnesia 
  • Dead Space
  • Killer Instinct
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Within
  • Bioshock 2
  • Dead Rising 2
  • Left 4 Dead 1+2
  • Fallout 3
  • Borderlands 2
  • Doom 3
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Thanks for reading , and if you enjoyed this overflowing stream of lexical nonsense that’s currently leaking out of my eyes, ears and nose, then please do check back regularly for more posts. You can Kinect…erm, I mean connect with me on a plethora of trendy social media platforms using the links under the ‘Contact Me’ menu tab, follow me via WordPress and you can also sign up for email updates about new posts from yours truly using the email sign up box. In the meantime, keep reading those cereal boxes and  Pulitzer Prize-winning game manuals…oh wait, they don’t tend to make manuals anymore, just settle for the cereal boxes then; there’s still plenty of acerbic wit and flashy turns of praise to be found on those towering cardboard monoliths to be going on with for now!

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