Lunchtime Discussion: The Golden Years

I had a brief dalliance with nostalgia at the weekend. I watched the BBC’s drama, Micro Men which was the story of the battle for home computing supremacy between Acorn and Sinclair. They even showed a few brief snippets of people playing games, and I remembered my addiction to Chuckie Egg and Elite on the Acorn Electron. And then I started to think about Citadel and Ravenskull and Repton.

They were good days, but were they the best?

Since the 80s many computers and consoles have come and gone. My personal list is as follows: Acorn Electron, Commodore 64, Amiga A500/A1200, PC, PlayStation, N64, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, DS Lite, PSP, PS3, Wii, iPhone, Mac. That’s a lot of hardware and a lot of games. I’m not interested in a ridiculous fanboy argument about the “best” hardware. I’m interested in what you personally think of as your “golden years” of gaming and which device they belong to.

I thought it would be fairly easy to do this, but when I tried I realised it was a little tougher than I’d imagined. My initial, overly analytical mind jumped straight to the PS2, mostly because it had about a gazillion games so it must be my favourite. But then my rose-tinted glasses were found and I remembered how awesome games on the Amiga were. Especially the sound; Xenon 2 anyone?

A little more thought, a quick surf to Twitter, and then it hit me. The Internet, and more importantly the death of social gaming in the face of always-on online play. You see, the Amiga “scene” was not just about the games, it was about a bunch of mates playing games together, chatting about them at college, creating stuff using AMOS, and watching the RSI Mega Demo over and over again.

That’s why for me, the Amiga best represents my “golden years” of gaming.

Over to you.