Wandering Thoughts

January 5, 2009

C-c-c-computer Games!

Computer games have always unnerved me. Not in the standard ‘contribution to the Decline of Western Civilisation’ kind of way, mind you. Instead, I’m just afraid I might start playing them someday, discover how wonderfully good they are, become addicted and then spend even more of my life in front of a computer.

Anyhow, in the London Review of Books, John Lanchester has confirmed all my suspicions.

In doing so he also reminded me that I’m already addicted to him (ok, actually, I’m only addicted to his writing but allow a blogger some hyperbole every once in a while, really!). This is a man who writes with grace and authority on everything that could ever possibly matter – from hedge funds, to climate change, to life on Mars.

It’s pretty clear that he suffers for his craft too:

Resident Evil 4, to name the generally agreed peak of the [survival horror] genre, is a better scary entertainment than any horror film made in years, and if you can play it at night with the lights out, you have steadier nerves than I do.

I can’t shake that image; somewhere, in a small bookish village, a small bookish man lays on the floor of an unlit room, gin beside him to steady his nerves, and tries once again, without success, to play Resident Evil with the lights off.


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