To be, or not to be? Not to be.

Winter 1997

James Rutherford (AKA Mr Frosty) is this guy in my Psychology class. He's doing a joint honours with Artificial Intelligence (V. Cool - like, HAL and all that!). I know he's into games because we've had informal e-mail and RL conversations about the usual gamehead things - Playstation vs N64 and nostalgic burbles about the 'good old days' (reaching consensus, despite the fact he is blatantly an Amiga-cadet, whereas I hail from the made-in-Japan 8 and 16-bit console school of gaming). Anyway, apart from the fact he's a nice guy, he also has a Net Yaroze - wow! I know what that is (i.e. I read EDGE) - it's a programmable Playstation. It costs 550 and you need a PC and must know C fairly well to make use of it. You can run NTSC and PAL games without chipping, and you can swap demos and discuss Yaroze stuff with people all over the world. It sounds awesome. Jimbo's fairly enthusiastic, but it's pretty obvious he hasn't gotten all that far with it. "Yeah, I've mostly done little demos - graphics demos - not a real game as such, no. I'm working on something, though."

Bugger! If this obvious Amiga-hacking, demo-coding, Quatermass-experimenting, AMOS ninja-type person is struggling to come up with "Super Quake & Conquer II" what chance do I have? Zilch. Zero. Niente.

So, it's almost time to wave goodbye to 1997. Why don't I have a Net Yaroze yet? Well, although the idea appeals to me, let me list the reasons in great, boring detail:

1) I don't know how to program in C

2) I can't afford the thing, anyway. I blew my 21st birthday money on a (damn cool!) hi-fi separates system.

3) I'm in my third year of doing a Psychology Masters degree at Edinburgh University and I've got too much to do - work is building up, lectures are getting longer, essays trickier

4) I've also noticed that at 21 years of age I can no longer sit on my arse all day long and maintain my buff physique (better make some serious use of that gym membership)

5) I've got a flat that needs major DIY…

6) and a girlfriend who thinks video games are the devil incarnate

Oh well, maybe next lifetime! I resign myself to the fact I will forever march on the consumer's side of the videogaming walk of life. I take comfort in the knowledge that someone, someday, will produce a game better than Rare's 'Goldeneye' (God, I love that cart). It just won't be me, that's all.

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