The Guardian

How I fell in love with video games | Patrick Lum

When real-life failure was difficult, video games were a place where all I lost was imaginary points and minutes of my time
A young Patrick Lum plays Ski Free on his parents’ computer. Photograph: Patrick Lum for the Guardian

The very first one I remember is Ski Free. It’s pretty simplistic; you race down a hill, pursued by a yeti, avoiding obstacles and trying desperately not to crash. In my distant memory, others follow: a blur of pixellated colours and basic sound effects by today’s symphonic standards. Tyrian. Jazz Jackrabbit. Duke Nukem 3D. Doom. I was entranced.

Video games.

The truth is, I don’t recall there being a single defining moment, a falling

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