Continuing our retrospective of relationships that were forged over video games we come to our next anecdote…
House of the Dead 2.
My Dad is a funny one, he spent most of his adult life buying my brothers’ and I video games yet I don’t think I ever saw him play one for any real amount of time. Until the day I got a copy of ‘House of the Dead 2’ on my SEGA Dreamcast. Maybe it was the arcade perfect conversion. Maybe it was the really cool Dreamcast Blaster peripheral that came with it. There was something that my Dad loved about this game.
We played it flat out that weekend (with only one gun) the following Monday we bought a third party gun peripheral. We smashed that game to pieces so many times, me and my old man side by side, like some sort of modern day Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. We would recite the boss speeches and laugh at the wonky dialogue before blowing them all to hell. However we always respected the Emperor; that dude was hard as nails.
We still talk about that six month period that ‘House of the Dead 2’ took over our lives and they are all fond memories. He’s only ever played one game with the same intensity as this one…
Football Manager & PES.
Football Manager is a game that my Dad would play today, he loves this stuff, gets lost in those spreadsheets for hours on end (much to Mum’s disproval) but alas it was one genre that I could never really appreciate in my youth.
2006 was the year that I went off to University to live with 5 strangers that; for all I knew, were serial killers. We all moved in that first week and each one unpacked a PC of some description (all laptops; I had a desktop); drink was had and the first semblance of friendship was born. It wasn’t until ‘Football Manager’ was brought into the flat that we really bonded on a level that would lead to friendships lasting much longer than the undergraduate courses we were on.
At first I was skeptical, but my roommate; Gerard, convinced me to play it. He and Andy were playing it and it would be a great competition. I played one season and I was hooked. Soon I was taking Liverpool to the Champions League final, hungry to claim it again. Only to watch Peter Crouch get sent off in 10 minutes. I was livid.
Gerard was also playing his game and taking LFC to European glory, only for Crouch to get sent it off…his anger was unparalleled and he exploded, punching his desk and knocking a full pint onto his new laptop and killing it. Me and our other friend exploded into laughter when we heard this tale of woe.
OTT you might scream!
This wasn’t the only casualty!
I restarted my career at UTD and was on for the glorious treble…3 games left; last game of season, FA Cup final and the Champions league final – all against Arsenal. Easy peasy. Gerard and another friend were watching and cheering me on as I went on to glory and immortality. I was going to the Pantheon of football management greats…
I lost all three games…
Then got fired…
I punched my computer and watched as the plastic housing of my CD-ROM drive flew off. The boys responded by erupting into laughter at my pain. Friendship cemented.
There were many more nights on PES; beating Gerard, getting beat by Gerard and both of us getting slaughtered by Andy. PES became a religion in our flat. Everyone who came, played PES and soon we had a running banter about victories and loses to one another, every day was book-ended by PES we all laughed, cried, ate, drank and breathed this game. What a game.
Ah the days of Konami scrolling beat’em’ups dominating the arcade, days were spent throwing 20p after 20p into the slot or waiting in line for a chance to smash ‘Shredder’ to pieces. Life was sweet for a young MrLuvvaLuvva. My Brother and I spent one particular summer hell bent on beating this game, but we always fell at the last hurdle. One day a kid came in (typical 90s kid, oversized tee and backwards cap) he asked if he could join as Raphael; we agreed as we could do with the help.
Well this kid was awesome, at the end of every level he would whoop and holler with joy and high five the two of us…we had a good feeling…this may be the day that ‘Shredder’ would get his comeuppance.
The game ramped the difficulty up, but it just couldn’t knock us all down and keep us there. Soon we were seeing the end game. Well…the elation was palpable, my brother and I were relieved to finally beat the game, we looked to this kid and said thanks…he just high fived us said “its been fun” and left.
We never did get his name.
Never forgot his role in our victory…what a guy.
Guitar Hero 2.
2007, second year at uni. Guitar Hero 2 made it’s way into our home. Me and a good friend decided to play it co-op as we both had guitars, my god this was a revelation. Soon we were pros at medium and threatening Hard. Something even more wondrous happened…
We were already good friends but soon we were initiating ‘Star Power’ in sync with one another without the need for a count down or any other cue…we had hit the level of friendship that bestowed the gift of telepathy.
Our band ‘Canestan Duo’ (hehehe) was taking over the world…ask our mate Dom who had to wait a full 4 minutes for us to let him in from the rain as we were going for the high score in ‘Reptilia’ by the Strokes…our rock knew no bounds…we still play some ‘Rock Band’ occasionally…still great mates.
There we have it folks, some of the occasions that games have created or strengthened bonds in my life.
What about yours though?
Have you become friends with someone because of a love games?
Do let us know in the comments.