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Growing up in the late 80’s, loving technology and being a bit geeky (that’s solder and tape loading geeky not hipster with a t-shirt) gaming was always going to be part of my life. My generation was the first to grow up with games and not only have we seen this medium evolve from 2-4 colour looping challenges to sprawling multi-million dollar productions designed to be played for 100’s of hours without repeating content but we’ve also seen gaming go from an extremely niche hobby to one of the most prolific industries on the planet. Naturally a lot of people are resentful of this, but I do my best not to be one of them. While the rapid popularisation of gaming has definitely thrown in some challenges and problems its also made the advancement of technology and sheer number of good games possible. Games offer a range of ways to engage with you, from an incredibly complex form of escapism to simple procrastination there is always a game to fit in to your current mood and needs and one of the most difficult things to explain to non-gamers is that it’s this range that provides such enjoyment, not one particular aspect. Some of the best narratives I have experienced have been via the gaming medium (Final Fantasy Series, Silent Hill etc.) and these games have absorbed huge amounts of my time not because they are about shooting people or running over strippers but because I want to see what happens to the characters, just like any book or movie. The advantage of games woven with excellent narrative is that they involve the player. Some, very good, movies manage this too, they play with the viewer watching it and to a lesser extent, some books. But it’s gaming that really holds the crown on interactive storytelling at the moment. Some movies are scary buy very few movies have ever had me as scared as my first play through of Resident Evil. Why? Because as the player I was the one making the fight or flight choices, was the one who decided to walk up that creaking staircase, I wasn’t watching someone else decisions and deciding if I agreed with them, the game made me feel like all these decisions were mine all along. The harsh truth is that in the long run, games tend to have single narratives just like movies or books but the feeling of being in control of that narrative is enough, especially when you’re caught up in a good story, that’s why D&D and choose your own adventure books were so big before gaming. For me gaming is more than just computer games, I also love psychical games such as board games and CCGs.  I am a long time player of Magic: The Gathering and also a member of a local board gaming club who meet weekly (although I don’t always make it!). Some of my favorite games include;  

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