A few months back, a National Videogame Archive was launched in Britain, aiming to preserve videogames that might otherwise be lost. I’ve been playing games of one sort or another since I was a little kid, and I have no idea what’s happened to most of them. Games are an important part of our social fabric, and it would be a great loss if elements of gaming history disappeared.
With that in mind, I thought I’d ask our team what games they would like to see preserved for future generations to enjoy:
Nick and James both proposed early 90s football games, Kick Off 2 and Sensible Soccer respectively (both on the Commodore Amiga). At the time people argued over which was best, though the years have been kinder to Sensible Soccer, which is currently available on XBox Live Arcade.
Nick also asked for Amiga games Speedball 2, the ultraviolent sport of the future, and Stunt Car Racer, a futuristic racing game that can be seen as a gentle precursor to PlayStation´s Wipeout series.
Elena took us even further back into gaming history, requesting Atic Atac, a ZX Spectrum game from 1983, which she says she remembers playing most as a child. Apparently it was voted 79th best ever Spectrum game in 1990! High praise indeed. She also suggested the daddy of first person shooters, Wolfenstein 3D from 1992. This can now be found as an online flash game, and having looked at it again, I’m glad I’m around to play modern first person shooters!
My wish would be for the 1985 Commodore 64 action/puzzle game Paradroid to be saved. I played this endlessly as a kid, and have the maps and sound effects burnt into my memory. I think it was a unique game in terms of visuals and action, and looked at today reminds me what a creative/weird time for games the 80s were (Park Patrol, anyone?).
Finally, Tom’s suggestion was Sid Meier’s SimGolf, from way back in 2002, which combines the strategy of the Sim series with all the excitement of Golf to devastating effect. My research tells me there was once quite a community of fan sites for this, but they seem to have died off. This is exactly why a games archive is such a good idea.Finally, this week sees the 20th anniversary of the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in the US), most people’s first introduction to 16bit gaming, and the system that brought us Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s hard to imagine that for some time it was Sega who had the dominant system in the console wars, but it was the case with this sleek black box.
It sticks in my memory most for giving me the fist feeling I was playing an arcade game in the living room, something that had been beyond my wildest gaming dreams during my Commodore 64 years. Who knows what we’ll think of this generation’s consoles in 20 years time?