Confessions On Modern Gaming As It Passes Me By

In which I admit that sometime between Atari 2600 and PlayStation 2 or 3 gaming has passed me by, and that’s ok.

Andrew Donaldson
6 min readApr 27


Photo by Nelo Hotsuma, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

“Over the centuries” quipped Terry Pratchett, “mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil… prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon…”

Hey, I understood that reference! I played me a bunch of Doom, along with its spiritual, developer, and blocky first-person cousin Wolfenstein 3D. The late-80s through mid-90s was a magical time for video gaming, as PCs evolved enough to vastly expand past what the consoles and arcades could manage. What more could a teenage boy want than blasting early 3D graphics demons and/or pixelated Nazis while listening to the latest Metallica cd and trying to avoid actual responsibility.

And I was good with it.

But that was 30 years and seven Metallica albums ago. Eight if you count Lulu where the biggest metal band ever played overdriven yacht rock while Lou Reed did bad poetry as far off time as possible. Which you shouldn’t. We all agreed that didn’t actually happen.


I got to thinking about that simpler time before Up Yonder even had internet at all whiles reading some press about some forthcoming games coming out. One title coming in especially hot right now, Jedi: Survivor caught my attention. Not because I generally like Star Wars and played Star War games, but because so much of the media coverage is the mechanics of the release itself. There is a release date, but then there are preload times, and then the release times, and then the 140GB estimated size of the download. Any of the three expected and advertised can be a potential disaster, as other high-profile games have found out, not to mention bugs, bad designs, and the fact a bunch of folks playing something only limited tested might not come across as intended.

With high level games like Jedi: Survivor having the development time and budgets similar to theatrical movie releases, and considerable computing horsepower required just to download and play the cutting edge of gaming hotness, the days of…



Andrew Donaldson

Writer. Mountaineer diaspora. Veteran. Managing Editor @ordinarytimemag on culture & politics, food writing @yonderandhome, Host @heardtellshow & other media