Couch gaming and food… The camaraderie in a crammed room!

Welcome to the Fantasy Zone…

I need some of you to use your imagination on this one, and the rest to really think back to a time before gaming was about watching some dopey blonde titty twitching Call of Duty or some crisp munching dude thinking he is some kind of Fortnite martial arts specialist – a time when the internet was in its infancy and gaming together was either lugging your bulky Pentium PC to the local youth club for a Quake showdown or piling around to your mates house/pub. Yes, two of my mates lived in a pub and breaking the speed limit with Lotus Turbo Esprit Challenge on an ageing Atari ST with its wired joysticks was a regular pastime, some millennial just read wired joystick and has closed this page to search Atari ST and wired joysticks.

Have managed to whip up that imagination, or is it all a blur? Shakes head, yuck! Bad mullets, bad denim fashion sense and couch gaming or even sat on edge of bed gaming, six mates piled into a bedroom (made up of Iron Maiden and Samantha Fox) eating chips and drinking copious amounts of Coke and some Pepsi, rummaging through game disc boxes, varying plastic boxes holding a library of 3.5″ discs each containing a different game – all obtained nefariously of course, deciding whether to play International Karate +,  Speedball, Bomb Jack, Space Harrier, Wizball or Sensible Soccer? A Sensible Soccer competition it had to be!

Today the gaming landscape is incredibly different, friends play together in different countries and time zones, some gaming friends probably never coming together in the same room to sit down and swap joysticks/controllers, commenting on the amount of sweat they just exchanged. Sharing a bag of chips with loads of salt and vinegar and laughing vigorously at how badly they suck at fighting games.

Technology and the internet has broadened gaming, but it has also taken away some of that camaraderie, that bond where a group of friends just get together and just blow stuff up, score fluke goals, knocking each other out with awesome roundhouses and killer punches! It takes a concerted effort to arrange a time and a place to invade an address, a get-together of epic proportions, whereas jumping online is quick and easy. The wife will be downstairs catching up on Virgin River whilst you can go upstairs with the Steam Deck and play (get mad) for a while – breaking away a couple of hours later to order pizza and then go back downstairs to watch a Harry Potter film with a few beers.

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