Welcome to a Dad Life in Pixels...!

It all began in Alexandra Palace...

The very first time I saw a videogame was during a family outing to the Roller Skating rink at "Ally Pally" (as it was affectionately known). I must've been about 7 years old. It was 1975 and a cold winter's evening. While Mum and Stepdad were propping up the bar, I found myself eyeing up a bleeping blooping machine sitting in the corner of the bar area.

"Sports Game" was all it said on the cabinet (it wasn't even an official cabinet, just some hinky knock-off). A big old black and white screen, and two oblongs batting a square around while a digital score ticked by above. The controls were dials with a couple of player select buttons. Years later I realised that the thing that made me fall in love with videogames was this...

Pong - Where it all began

Fast forward a few years and my Uncles gave me my first taste of proper home videogaming. Firstly with a Grandstand All in One Sports game...

How exciting do all those sports on the front look? 

This thing had a couple of purpose-built game controllers, a light gun and a selection of difficulty levels. Uncles John and Chris swiftly ditched this machine in favour of one of these...

The Acetronic MPU 1000 - I guess this is what you bought if you couldn't afford an Atari 2600!

They had a selection of games for it, and these must've been fairly common in the UK as my best friend at school also had one (posh kids all had the old Atari "Woody" - the Atari 2600).

Thus began my slippery slide into a life enslaved by a love of videogames. In the early 80s I badgered and pleaded with Mum and Stepdad until I got a ZX81 and eventually a 16k Spectrum (who on earth bought their kids one of these only to be met by a temper tantrum as the kid impolitely explained that nothing bloody ran on the 16K Spectrum - all the good games were for the 48K version!)

I moved on to a Commodore 64, an Atari ST, a Sega Megadrive, SNES, Gameboy, Playstation (I originally wanted a Sega Saturn but very quickly realised which was the better machine after seeing Tekken being played in an Electronics Boutique Store), a Dreamcast, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita and eventually an Xbox One before also breaking the bank with a PSVR and Playstation Pro.

You see the obsession has continued well into adult life, well into being a dad and a husband. Why do I still love videogames? Why do I still obsess about 'the good old days' of gaming gone by, and why do I still put up with modern gaming even though it's a bit rubbish at times? Perhaps over the space of this blog I'll share a few amusing anecdotes or two, a few game reviews, a few editorial pieces and a few retro reminiscences as well as a few paragraphs on those times when dad-hood and gaming collide head-on.

Rest a while, read an article or two, and thanks for stopping by.


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