Something Different, My Passion For Gaming

My Gaming History

Since a young age I have had a keen interest in home computing (for that, read gaming!). My journey began way back in 1981 (age 4) when my parents bought me a brand new shiny Commodore Vic 20 for Christmas.

I still remember the excitement of seeing the colourful VIC=20 logo as I tore off the wrapping paper like a frenzied dog tearing away at a chunk of meat. Best Christmas present ever (well until the next best Christmas present anyway, but I’ll get to that in a bit 😀).

2 games live lodged in my memories from that golden time of home computing, Raid on Fort Knox which I had on cartridge and Blitz (which to this day I still maintain is a classic). Many hours were spent sitting in front of our television screen, controlling these mere sprites by tapping keys on the keyboard (or joystick) with what seemed back then to have been witchcraft. A much simpler, but also I remember, much happier time. The Vic 20 was great however it’s lack of game releases led to my interest waning and soon I was glancing enviously at the new(ish) kid on the block.

The new kid on the block

Step forward to the festive season of 1984 when Father Christmas brought me that new kid on the block, Commodore’s latest creation, the Commodore 64 (or C64 for short). Now this was truly a wonderful machine and will always hold a very special place in my gaming heart.

The “Breadbin” shaped C64 was accompanied by 2 games, Daley Thompson’s Decathlon which was the first button masher or joystick jiggler (ooer) but a heck of a lot of fun and the shameless Pac-Man clone, Chomper Man which was again (at least to my mind) a brilliant, brilliant game. Those two games were frequently in my beloved C64’s tape deck such was the appeal of their gameplay.

In 1987 (I was aged 10) my parents bought me the recently revised newer version of the C64 (the “slimline” C64C). The future was here! Although I was still enjoying my time with my Commodore’s newest revision my head was being turned by the future of gaming technology, the shiny new 8-bit consoles with their fancy insta-load cartridges (who wanted to be waiting 20 minutes for a game on a cassette to load? After all we were only 13 years away from flying cars and hoverboards (or so we believed).

That being said I reluctantly sold my C64, (something I regret still to this day, I had built up a collection of over 500 games!) and put the money aside to order my next step in gaming hardware from my mum’s Littlewoods home shopping catalogue.

Step forward the Sega Master System…

So in August of 1988 with the funds from the sale of my beloved C64C and some savings I purchased my very first console, the aforementioned Sega Master System. It came with a built in game, a Pacman type game where you controlled a snail. I also purchased a blatant Spy Hunter rip off called Action Fighter, and these were the only 2 games I could afford for quite some time! Although later on I did own some classics such as Golden Axe and R-Type!

Needless to say after a little while I became restless so I swapped my Master System with my brother-in-law for his Breadbin shaped C64 (which had a very temperamental power brick that wouldn’t turn on every time) just so that I could afford to game again.

True 16 Bit power

This saw me through until Christmas of 1992 when my parents bought me what to this day I can honestly say was the greatest computer I have had the pleasure of owning, the Commodore Amiga A600. “The Wild, The Weird & The Wicked” pack which included “Push Over” “Grand Prix” “Putty” and the art package “Deluxe Paint III”.

The Amiga had it all, graphics, gameplay and the sound. Sonically it was unlike nothing before it. And then it had…

The games!

Alien Breed will always be a stand out for me, playing 2 player co-op with my cousin was one of the greatest gaming experiences I have ever had. But I’ll go more into this in a future blog post.

My journey after the Amiga took me through Nintendo’s Super NES and onto the original PlayStation. The PlayStation 2 followed, then Nintendo’s GameCube and the original Xbox. From there it was PlayStation 3, (a slight detour to build my own PC to play Half-Life 2) Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii through to the consoles of today, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. That’s neglecting to mention the stack of handhelds that I came through on my journey also.

Gaming has played a crucial part in my journey through mental health issues, it helps to take my mind off of worries and stresses and therefore it will always hold a special place in my heart.

If like me you have a passion for gaming then please do drop a comment below.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – A Poem

A poem detailing what it is like to be a sufferer of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Check check check
wash wash wash
check check check and then,

Wash wash wash
check check check
wash wash wash again,

OCD some may know
as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,
Forces people who suffer from it
to do things in a certain order,

Pressure builds up inside your head
and causes anxiety,
Alone with your thoughts its almost like
you’re an outcast from society,

Seeing things through until the end
is driven by a compulsion,
Dark black thoughts inside your head
that cause you some revulsion,

Rituals you have to complete
with seemingly no end,
Making people so crazy that
it can send them around the bend,

A small insight lies here within
to this poets OCD,
I need to end this torture
so can’t you please just let me be??

A poem about OCD by Ricky

If you think you may suffer from OCD then your first port of call should always be your family GP. They will be able to help and advise on the best method of treatment for your symptoms.

A few methods are as follows…

  • accessing treatment
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • exposure and response prevention (ERP)
  • medication

Never suffer in silence. This debilitating disorder can be beaten, and at the very least it can be managed. Tackle it head on, you can win!

“You can’t control the thoughts, but you can control your reaction to them. React with indifference..”
Unknown

Further reading

What My Future Holds – A Simple Poem

What My Future Holds

Sitting alone worrying
About everything
About nothing
My mind a mess of jumbled thoughts
Not knowing what my future holds

Despairing, panicking
Everything overwhelming me
Something in nothing
In a never-ending cycle I’m caught
Terrified of what my future holds

Anxiously sitting silently
Head spinning whilst sitting quietly
The weight of anxiety crushing me
Feeling my life is all for nought
Crying at what my future holds

Fearful, frightened
Cannot concentrate on things
Heart beating faster now
The hardest battle I’ve ever fought
Scared of what my future holds

A poem by Ricky

When depression strikes it often feels as if the demons in the darkest reaches of your mind have surfaced simply to torture you. Self doubt creeps in and then the whole world feels bleak and that you have nowhere to turn. I’ll often find that even as a middle aged man the thoughts from this poem enter my thoughts at an all too alarming rate.

Although humans as a species like to be prepared and have a plan in place, some of the most interesting people I know still don’t have life’s journey planned out.

Worrying about the future, does it actually achieve anything?

Life is a journey and as with any journey there will be obstacles. There will be parts of the journey that you enjoy and parts that you don’t. The trick is to not worry about what is ahead of you, live life in the moment and take each day as it comes. Try not to fixate on something that is happening in the future as generally the thing that you are worrying about is never as bad as the worry makes you feel. Oh, and always be nice to people as you never know where they are in their journey.

“The main thing that you have to remember on this journey is, just be nice to everyone and always smile.”

Ed Sheeran

Read more by clicking this link.

Today Is The Day When You Push Forward

We all have a day like this from time to time…

It’s 6 am and the alarm starts to sound
Your first thought is “Damn” and your head starts to pound
Pick up your phone, turn off the bell
Your heart turns to stone, start feeling unwell
Realisation hits, another day facing hell

Waking up in the morning your mind filled with dread
Still tired and yawning as you get out of bed
Wanting to hide from the day up ahead
So anxious inside “Can’t I curl up instead?”
It’s a school day remember? The kids need to be fed

Your stomach feels queasy, your head’s in a spin
The struggle’s not easy, don’t know where to begin
The voice in your brain, adding stress, adding strain
It’s happening again, feels like you’re going insane

Every day is like this, it’s a recurring theme
Something amiss, like a nightmarish dream
Feeling alone, no-one there on your team
You let out a moan, no strength for a scream

No energy to hurry with this stress and this strain
The cause of this worry is anxiety again
Every minute the same with no respite in sight
Your will being drained, feel like giving up on the fight
Feeling weak, feeling pain, losing every ounce of your might

So what do you do? Do you go back to bed?
Or is today the day when you push forward instead?

Planet Earth – A Poem

Planet Earth

This beautiful blue and green planet as observed through the darkness of space

Spinning on its axis with a beautiful grace

How blessed with fortune are we as a race

To live on this Orb, such a wonderful place?

A poem by Ricky.

 

Life is a strange thing. One day it can be brilliant, the next not so good. On the bad days it is so important to remember everything good in your life. If you cannot think of one good thing then turn your attention to our beautiful planet. None of us would be here if Earth wasn’t here to provide us with everything that we as a species need to survive and thrive. At our most fundamental we should be extremely grateful for this.

Learn more about Earth here…

Life Can Hit Hard – Hit Back Harder!

Life can hit you hard.

Life can hit very hard. Fight back.

It’s how you respond to getting knocked down that will ultimately shape you as a person. If you take the punches without putting up a fight then inevitably things will get you down. If however you keep on pushing forward, no matter the weight of the punch then this will help to define you as a person. Once people realise that you aren’t their punch bag, simply there to be abused, and you will feel much better about yourself. Push yourself, it doesn’t matter if it only seems like the smallest of steps, to achieve your goals. A small step forward is progress, standing still is not.

Self criticism.

Our biggest critic, our own worst enemy is often our-self, overcome that hurdle and anything is possible. Don’t underestimate the power of positive thought. Sometimes it’s the only tool we have to help us through the day. If we don’t see ourselves in a positive light then why would anyone else?

Always try to push forward and fight back no matter how hard life is eating into you. The moment you stop TRYING to fight is the moment you lose.

I’ll leave you with a quote…

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that. – Rocky Balboa

Fight back hard and keep moving forwards
Take some advice from Rocky Balboa.

Don’t Procrastinate – It’s Just Wasted Time

Procrastination – Stop Wasting Your Time

Procrastinate: to keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring:

“I know I’ve got to deal with the problem at some point – I’m just procrastinating.”

Above is the definition of something that I have long been guilty of, procrastination, I’d always find an excuse to procrastinate and generally it wouldn’t matter what I was trying to put off until later, be it chores, shopping, gardening or even writing (which I greatly enjoy). All have been on my “I’ll do it later” list.

Creating my own Blog has been on my list. Up until now.

So what’s changed?

Simple…my mindset. Life waits for no-one.

I have long dreamed of having a blog, somewhere to write down the things on my mind, a place to let others read (and hopefully enjoy) my thoughts and poetry. But mostly a place where I can give out advice on overcoming the issues surrounding mental health and the steps that people can take to help motivate and push themselves to achieve anything they set their minds to.  I could leave it no longer, I am determined to turn this dream into a reality.

Each and every new follower of my blog is helping me to achieve this dream and to every one of you fantastic people I would just like to extend a truly heartfelt thank you.  Please do feel free to also leave comments.

So my message is don’t delay. Live your life for the moment, live for the day.

One life, live it.

Thought Provoking Quotes

Thought Provoking Quotes to provide inspiration and lift your day…

Though provoking Inspiration road sign
Thought provoking Inspiration is never far away.

Here is a selection of hand picked quotes that I hope you’ll enjoy.

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein, Physicist

If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.” Claire Cook, Author

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison, Inventor

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” Mark Twain, Author

You are what you think. So just think big, believe big, act big, work big, give big, forgive big, laugh big, love big, and live big.” Andrew Carnegie, Industrialist and Philanthropist

You are confined only by the walls you build yourself. – Unknown

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Unknown

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought. Peace Pilgrim

Mankind has always had the will to succeed, just some people have more motivation than others. I sincerely hope that at least one of these quotes provokes you to take that first step on the journey to making your dream(s) a reality. All it takes is the will to succeed.

Never let anybody tell you that you cannot achieve something. Everything is possible with grit, determination and the right state of mind. The largest ideas start from the smallest of thoughts. If you can imagine it then it is possible.

Never give up and who knows, one day it could be you who is provoking inspiration in somebody.

If you have any favourite quotes of your own then why not drop them in the comments?