As current as I am on gaming news, there have been huge periods of my life where I was the furthest thing from knowledgeable. I have a span of years that I refer to as my “gaming dark days.” Basically, everything from the Super Nintendo to the GameCube, I wasn’t privy to. I never had an N64, I never had a PlayStation, and I certainly never had a Sega. When I finally got a PS2, it was well into the PS3 era, and I ended up getting a PS3 not terribly long after. I try to make up for lost time, but there are still huge gaps in my knowledge.
As someone who writes about games, that can be a somewhat shameful thing. I try to do my research and fill out the gaps, but some things from that time still amuse me.
From 2000 to early 2005 I lived in Germany. It was darn near impossible during that time to see films in the theatre, so I ended up with a lot of DVDs for films I didn’t know much about. One of those was for the first Resident Evil. I liked it well enough, and ended up watching a few of the sequels as they came out (the third one I caught in the theatre, but I gave up after that). I thought it was an intriguing premise…but I didn’t know it was based on a video game until much later. When I finally plunked down and played the first Resident Evil some years back, I knew much of the story and plot points, but I was somehow disappointed that certain things from the movie weren’t in the game. Which seems strange to say.
I felt a little silly, really. Even admitting this makes me digitally blush a little. I feel like I should have known better, even though I just wasn’t gaming at the time.
When I moved back to the states in 2005, I made up for lost time and went to the cinema quite often. Every Friday, if there was a new horror movie coming out, I would go see a matinee of it by myself. It was my thing and I always had such a good time. I lived alone at the time and, if I didn’t have plans on any given Friday night (and no new horror movie was releasing), I’d hit up the video store (remember when those were a thing?) and rent a couple of horror movies to watch solo.
So, still doing this in 2006, I found myself watching the Silent Hill movie in the theatre. I really liked it.
But I had no idea it was based on a video game.
Shortly after I moved back stateside, I ended up with a GameCube and an Xbox. I was only then (in late 2005) that I slowly started to work my way back to gaming. As it was, I barely played anything on either system for quite some time.
Back to Silent Hill.
I loved the atmosphere of the movie, and I thought it was twisted and fascinating. When I found out later it was based on a game, I was determined to find it and play it.
I’ve only made good on half that plan.
Well, to be fair, I started the game but, because I had no frame of reference for games of that era, I struggled with the controls. But I figure if I could make it through the tank control madness of the original Resident Evil, then I can probably make it through Silent Hill, however slowly.
It’s funny that I’ve kept this information to myself for so long, simply because I’ve been embarrassed to admit that the gap in my gaming knowledge is as wide as it is. Though it does make me feel a bit like a video game archeologist when I go back and read up on older games.
And that’s fun.
Are there any gaps in your gaming knowledge? Has anything silly resulted because of it? I’d love to hear about it.
Have a good weekend and be safe out there. Cheers, friends.
I never have really talked in-depth about my video game knowledge.
Side note, Rebekah, do you have any thoughts on the upcoming Destiny expansion/DLC? Do you think it will be worthwhile if you haven’t played in some time?
I am super excited for it, and I’ve been all over the Game Informer coverage so far. I think it looks promising!
My gaming knowledge is probably more broad strokes and I think that’s true of most gamers. I knew of most major games for consoles but whether or not I played them usually depended on the consoles I owned. My early years it was all Nintendo though I did play Sega games with friends that owned a Genesis. My biggest gap would probably be PC since I didn’t get my first computer until high school and even then it wasn’t powerful enough to play games on. Steam has helped a little bit with getting me familiar with older PC titles, but I still haven’t played classics like Fallout 1&2, Diablo and Starcraft. Even now, watching me try to play a PC game never really ends well since I find the lack of a controller frustrating at times.
It’s interesting that you were able to judge whether or not Resident Evil and Silent Hill were good movies on their own merit without comparing them to the games. I saw Resident Evil in theaters not having played the games either at the time and thought it was ok. After seeing the second film was where I thought it became irredeemable. The Silent Hill movie also ended up influencing the games in a way since most of the later titles after the movie came out used that cool wall peeling effect to signify switching from the normal world to the evil horror side of the town.
I loved reading about your gaming history! I find it fascinating, the path people’s gaming takes them on.
Interesting! I had no idea about the effect the Silent Hill film had on the series. I think that’s pretty neat, honestly.
But oh man, the second Silent Hill film was not one of my favorites. I was just baffled.
You shouldn’t be embarrassed about that. If you do give your opinion on those games after playing them, you give an opinion that isn’t influenced by nostalgia and can be a statement about if a game stands the test of time.
I hadn’t thought of it like that!
I guess I just feel like, wanting and trying to write about video games, I should somehow have this intense and comprehensive knowledge, and I just don’t. Those gaps keep getting filled in, but they are big gaps none the less.