Friday, March 18, 2011

One reason the old days were better

Youngsters entering the wide and varied world of videogaming in the last 10 years seem to have it made: eye-poppingly gorgeous graphics, movie quality soundtracks, fantastic stories being told, minimal loading times, 1080p HD, surround sound and a whole multi-player dimension that when I was a kid seemed as likely as riding a hot air balloon to Mars.

I took a brief trip down memory lane today via the quite brilliant site, every speccy game at my fingertips, a prospect that 25 years ago would have had me in excitement meltdown but now leaves me warmly nostalgic but ultimately bored. How any of these games managed to hold my undivided attention for a few minutes let alone the weeks and months they did is beyond me. Quick note ‘Lords of Midnight’ the glorious adventure game by Mike Singleton is exempt from the last sentence as it can still keep me gripped even now.

So, on the surface it would seem there’s never been a better time to get aboard the ‘SS Videogame’ and ride it lightspeed to the stars and into whatever jaw dropping developments are around every corner.

But wait…….there’s one thing today's young generation of gamers don’t have, something so precious Golum would’ve given up his ring for it (that one’s for you Dom), something wondrous, something fresh, exciting, brutally funny and..and well….damn near perfect.

The thing the nippers of today are missing from their gaming lives……Dominik Diamond, Sir Patrick Moore, Dave Perry and the utter genius that was GamesMaster!

Once a week for a far too brief 30 minutes gamers throughout Britain were away from their consoles, glued instead to their TV screens in anticipation of what dizzying brilliance GamesMaster would deliver this time.

Running for seven series from 1992 to 1998 it was the highlight of my already well lit week, news, reviews, celebrity challenges, Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat wars and of course Sir Patrick Moore as The GamesMaster himself with his hints and tips, all thrown together in a blindingly brilliant half hour.

For me though the real genius behind GamesMaster was the main man himself, the Master of Ceremonies and Prince of the Pixelated World, Mr. Dominik Diamond. Oozing charisma, quick witted, piss-taking and packing a sexual innuendo for every occasion, the man raised the show from the magical to the downright legendary and Dominik himself remains a Legend in the eyes of many, many thirty-something gamers everywhere. DD I doff my hat to you Sir.

So, while today the kids are coming into our world of gaming at an amazing and exciting time, they haven’t got GamesMaster to guide them along the way, and for that reason it’s 1-0 to the old guys…….Back of the net!

Note from the author: The complete lack of any mention of series 3 & Dexter Fletcher is deliberate.