Thursday, 27 September 2007


Than used to have a watch which he wore for a whole decade. He was really happy with his watch, it was his watch and he wouldn't change it for another, even though its face had cracked and he'd had to change the strap a few times along the years. But one day I got him another one, which was just like it, but new. Not just a new watch, but a new model of the same Casio one, with exactly the same functions but a new, 00s design. As he's said in his own words, it's like a special time-ray shone on his old watch and made it 'new'. Like magic. And that's exactly how I felt when I saw the new Command and Conquer game.

I remember playing the old ones 'back in the day', mainly because it made me happy, back then, that my father would get involved while I played, and thought of strategies and how to best get past the level we were on while he was with the 'other woman in his life' that I was so envious of, his work. In fact, I could never trade that phone call I got from him, while he was at the office, to tell me that he'd thought about how we would get Tanya, in Red Alert (yes, the first one), to do what we needed her to do, for anything in the world. Yes, it may sound crass, but a passion for strategy and micromanagement was always one of the things the two of us shared, even back then when we didn't share much else.

And imagine my awe when I saw the new Command and Conquer game, so many years later, when I hadn't played a strategy game on the PC for many a year. I actually became interested in it because of its damn FMVs (that's Full Motion Videos, for you gaming acronym illiterati), made fresh by casting actors like Michael Ironside, Lando Calrissian (yes, that's actually his official name by now), Josh Holloway (that's Sawyer from Lost) and some of the cool Battlestar Galactica cast. And going back to the whole FMV thing in the year 2007 was one thing, which they did in fact go about the time-ray way.

But what actually impressed me, enough to rant about it here, is the mere specifics of the gameplay, which have remained exactly the same, only with 'current' versions of the visuals. The same setup, only its 2007 version. Little 3D models of the troops etc where they should be, moving how they should move, with the 'way of thinking and playing' behind them remaining constant, and the only thing that's actually changed is what your computer's graphics card and general processing power can take now.

And all this made me feel like time is irrelevant. People are people, underneath it all, no matter how much time has passed, how many new things are invented or discovered to change it all. I'll still be a girl who grew up remembering a moment she shared with her daddy, whether it be a PC game or trout fishing that brought it across.

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