I'm a trained violinist, not that I've scraped the old strings properly for well over a decade now. Gave that up when I got a job at B&Q and bought myself a PC and Dark Age of Camelot, whoops. But learning violin instilled in me a kind of fervour for rigorous repetition. I would play passages of music over and over, memorising sets of finger patterns until they added up to a whole piece. I would drill and drill and want to smash the violin to pieces, but mostly I would prevail, and the eventual performance felt good.
That desire to hone a process over and over bled into other things, like games. Perhaps it's why I like MMOs and their finger-dance of hotkey pressing. God knows you do the same thing a lot. It's why I'm invincible at Quake 3 map DM17, because it's the only map I ever play, over and over again, and it's why I love Guitar Hero, all those finger patterns put to music. And it's why one summer many moons ago I fell in love with the Die Hard Trilogy on PlayStation 1.
I didn't own a PlayStation 1 but borrowed one from my brother's mate Ben. Thanks Ben! It came to our house in a tatty old Sainsbury's carrier like a toy long forgotten, and it came with a bag of other games I can't remember because I didn't really care. As soon as I clack-clack-clacked that Logic Predator (probably) light gun in Die Hard 2: Die Harder, I was rapt, a teenager possessed.
Read more…