Sunday Thoughts: Love Is…

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the bits.  Not those bits, you dirty fools, in the bits and bytes that make up the digital entertainment we all “love” so much. It’s a powerful word is love, and I’m not sure precisely what it means when I say I love a certain game.  I’m not sure I’d want to procreate with a game, for example, although the thought of birthing sequels is always an attractive one.  Here I present my own take on Love is… – the videogame edition.

Love is…Manhunt on PS2, sitting in a dark room, headset on, receiving instructions on staying alive, whilst working out how to end others’, all set inside the most tense and immsersive environments, with a brutally simple set of rules governing the stealth that turned the game from good into great.

Love is…the exhiliration of clearing the Killzone 2 demo and realising that I’d fallen in love with the game and no matter what the final version was like it was going to be more awesome than any FPS that came before it.  It pretty much was as well.

Love is…Sackboy.  LBP.  The Popit.  The sheer giddy delight of building an astonishing level that you are proud of, and even in the cold light of day when you realise how utterly woeful your level really is, you still think it’s a work of art.  LBP was a work of art.  The level and character design was infectious to the point that I started to “see” LBP levels in the real world around me.

Love is…the first and only online game that has let me – a self-proclaimed highly unskilled gamer – compete against everyone else and fit it; Warhawk. An achievement so great that it monopolised the PS3 for months and inspired the first gentle forays into TSA Network games, or TSAN as we titled it with huge originality.  The depth of gameplay options allowed everyone to find a role.  The only game to result in me receiving a PSN Friend Request hailing my skill: “You are good at Warhawk” it said.  Right on!

Love is…the original Kick Off.  Trying to defeat Russia while playing as England.  I was awesome at Kick Off, but Russia where always a problem because their players were so much quicker than the rest.  I repeatedly tried to win the league competition with a 100% win record, but to this day I can’t remember if I ever achieved it.  I probably did.  I was so good at Kick Off that I convinced a friend you could curl the ball if you used the outside of the player’s foot to kick it.  I think I believed it too.  I loved Kick Off.  I still do.

There are many more things I’ve loved over the years I’ve been playing videogames, but on this day I want to hear about the things that you’ve loved.  Not just stuff you’ve liked a lot, but stuff that made your heart beat a little faster.  Stuff that invaded every waking thought and took them over completely until you could quiet your mind by delving back into that particular world.

Happy Valentine’s Day!