I’m a great advocator of mums, they’re generally awesome most of the time, but today I was reminded of a few instances where mine failed me through her failure to understand just how important videogames were to me growing up, so I felt I’d write a little blog about it. Here are three examples I can remember off hand.
Buying me the game Basildon Bond one Christmas
I don’t recall ever being a Russ Abbot fan. As I child I loved watching the A-Team, Street Hawk and Knight Rider, but never once do I ever recall saying to either of my parents that I was a fan of the eighties’ television personality, and certainly not of his weird spy alter ego Basildon Bond – a creation that lampooned James Bond and a manufacturer of office stationary. True story. Anyway, each Christmas, nestled beneath our tree would be a couple of new games for my Amstrad CPC and more often than not my folks would do me proud with their selections. Well imagine my surprise this particular year when I unwrapped a cassette-sized present and saw this poor man’s Impossible Mission staring back at me.
Confiscating my copy of How To Be A Complete Bastard
I actually got this game as a covermount on Amstrad Action one issue and it remains the best free thing I’ve ever received in all my 29 years of being alive. The game is basically just Curb Your Enthusiasm the videogame, and sees you playing a dishevelled partygoer trying to ruin a good time by acting like a complete degenerate. It’s a great premise for a game. Anyway, after hearing much noise and laughter coming from my bedroom following an instance where a mate and I got drunk and decided to water a shrub with wee (in-game, natch), my ever curious mum decided to poke her head through the door without either of us noticing to ascertain the cause of the commotion. After then sighting the game’s debased antihero down a bottle of bleach and die on the spot she instantly thought the game was ‘bad news’ and it was promptly confiscated.
Turning the electricity off when I was seconds away from beating the Devil Car in Ridge Racer.
I rarely shout at my mum. I’ve done it a few occasions in my formative years. I’m not proud of it, and it was generally always for something that seems trivial to me now. This particular occasion though isn’t one of those. It’s one that to this day I still maintain she wholly deserved the barrage of loud agitation that I gave her (arguably). The Devil Car in Ridge Racer is an absolute pig to beat. If I remember rightly you race him in a Time Trial race and you cannot beat him using conventional racing techniques – i.e driving normally. In fact, ironically, I think the only way to beat his lap time is to harness the driving spirit of George Michael and Maureen from Driving School, keeping the quick bugger firmly in your rear-view mirror by blocking his path like you’re trying to annoy a tailgater. Anyway, I seem to remember my mum shouting up to me a couple of times to tell me my tea was ready, and me flagrantly ignoring her as I successfully jostled with Mr. Devil Car for first position. And then it happened. The power went off as I rounded the very last corner of the track. I was fuming. Then my mum was fuming. My dinner ended up in the bin. I got no car and no dinner. I really should have just paused the game.