My name is Max, English teacher in Japan, lover of video games, RPGs and miniature painting.
Ten Year Lag
You know what I'm playing right now? For the first time ever?Batman: Arkham City. I'll give you a second to check the date this article was uploaded. No you aren't reading an article from 2011. Yes, I genuinely haven't played the game before and no I didn't manage to avoid spoilers for eight years.Especially not THAT spoiler.But man, even though I'd seen the Let's Plays, compilations, and heard what happened from friends it was nice to see it myself. It was nice to earn that ending for myself.Playing old games isn't a new phenomenon, my best friend plays Shadow of the Colossus religiously, even today, and retro-gaming is still alive and well today, lot's of indie games on Steam have that pixelated art-style and synthesized music meant to evoke the age of the SNES and it's ilk. And it's especially not something new for me. My first game console was a Sega Mega Drive (a present from my favourite auntie). I'm sure it was lot's of other people's first game console but mine came in a cheap blue plastic box with no instructions and three games (Sonic 2, G-Force and a version of Sonic 1 that didn't work properly). More tellingly, I got this in 2002 or 2003, about six years after the Mega Drive had been discontinued.I didn't care, of course, I was about eight years of age. We plugged it into the TV in my parent's bedroom and I would play it whenever I got the chance—even trying to get my sister or cousins to play it with us. Sadly, being tiny children, we weren't great at it.We were actually fairly horrible at it to be quite honest.I later acquired a copy of Sonic & Knuckles from a car boot sale. The feeling of finding a new game, a game I'd never heard of, for the game console I had was incredible. Nine-year-old Max was over the moon about it.It's not so hard nowadays, to pop into your local game shop and find a cabinet or shelf full of games for the NES, the SNES, the Dreamcast, the Mega Drive. Hell, I've even seen a couple of Atari 2600 cartridges at a second hand games store before. But back then, whenever I went into gaming shops everything was for the newest consoles, or the previous generation and I was left a little sad.There's been other consoles since the.: (My poor little Mega Drive got it's wires crossed and ended up flickering black and white and making a horrible screeching noise.) I got a Game Boy Advance for Christmas one year, but that was the closest I came to being on top of the console market.The next console I got would have been a cheap Sony Playstation, and at this point most of my friends had gotten Play Station 2's or GameCubes. It was around this point I started to notice that I had a few advantages over them: