I’m not sure what it is about racing games of the simulatory fashion, but I find them utterly engrossing without actually being particularly enthralling. You may have seen on the grown-up news (CROW-N UP NEWS EGG EGG EGG) that Gran Turismo 5 has been released, and I am currently playing it for review.
I won’t go over some things I went a bit mental about earlier, instead I just want to talk about that one particular element that strikes me as weird. It’s a game about travelling at high speeds in a ton or two of metal, taking sharp corners (that you aren’t supposed to take at said high speeds) and generally making a nuisance of yourself. Yet I find it completely calming. There’s ebb and flow to the thing, and it washes over me like a warm cup of Ovaltine.
Except nicer, as I don’t like Ovaltine.
With other racers I find myself constantly having to concentrate, perched on the end of my seat and yelping when I lose my train of thought for just a second or two. Don’t get me wrong – I love that a lot of the time. But it’s so bizarrely relaxing to go back to the simmier driving games – Forza as well as GT – and find myself in something of a happy waking coma while playing them.
It also helps that I’m not really paying that much attention while taking on the long races, rather I’m being hypnotised. Then 30 minutes passes without me even noticing. Ah, games. They’re well good.
Anyway, back to playing for a bit.
Today is my birthday. I am now 27 years old. This may be quite old, or it may be quite young, or it may be neither young nor old. I don’t really know or care that much. Still, I’ve got a few birthdays under my belt so far, so I think I’m confident in my opinion that they’re… well, they’re alright actually.
It’s not like Christmas, which has been mainly shit for me, and it’s not like [INSERT OTHER OCCASION HERE] where I usually end up battling nine flaming cock(erels). Birthdays tend to be pleasant, if not downright fun. Even last year’s complete non-event was good, just because I got drunk with Anna. Pleasant. Even today is good – I’m ill and had to go to work, but I like my job and I’m not dead, plus the aforementioned Womana came down and is now cooking for me. Pleasant.
But there have been less simply pleasant times, more ‘fucking stupid’ times. Ben falling asleep at the table of the Mexican restaurant we were at because we’d been on the lash since about 10am, only to be woken up by me shoving jalapenos in his facial orifices is pretty high on that list. As was the trip my uni mates made to Swinton and Sheffield for – I think – my 19th. I fed them tinned ready meals and we were so bored we played cricket in my mate’s house in Sheff. But it was good fun in the end.
I don’t much care for ceremony, gift-giving and all that nonsense – I like it, but I’m just not a major player of the game. I just like birthdays because I’ve had fun on the vast majority of them. How could I do anything but like them?
Wow, this sounds a bit sentimental. Sorry.