I remember the good old days of gaming. You’d have to trawl around the shops and see what was there and if they didn’t have the game you wanted then maybe you could get it from a mail order company. If you couldn’t then you just didn’t get the game.

Like when I first came across a copy of LHX Attack Chopper, which is still a favorite game of mine. I’d only ever seen it before in a cheat book that J-Boy had and I wanted it for ages. Then one day I wandered into a shop a couple of weeks before my birthday and there it was. I spent weeks worrying that someone would come in and buy it and I’d never get to play it. The same with Sukhoi 27. I only ever saw one copy of it and that was in an old game shop that closed down years ago. I remember dragging dad all the way into town to buy it.

These days though you trawl through Steam, click a couple of buttons and the game downloads. Books are the same, buy a kindle and click, click, click read book. I still marvel at it all I suppose partly because being a big retro gamer I spend ages looking for old games that can’t be downloaded so it’s still a part of my gaming experience to be excited to find something, which is great.

J-boy and I always lament the passing of the video shop down the road because for us this was where we found out about so many games when we were younger. There was something special in going into the shop and not knowing what to expect and seeing something new and having nothing to go on but the screenshots on the back and bumf. These days you know if a game is good or not hours after it’s released on Steam.

The other great place for us was the games shop in the market which was run by the nerdiest looking and sounding guy on Earth, but the games there were always so random and often we’d never heard of them before. Also they were nearly always second hand too so they were cheap. There was always excitement at going there and a bit of anticipation at what we might find. Plus the shop was always the place all the local gamers would hang out on a Saturday, there was a bit of a community there. I feel sorry for kids these days who probably won’t have that experience because everything is online these days.


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