When I was born, my parents were firmly in their forties. I don’t know whether they decided to spare me some of the modern world because they didn’t know about it or because people, in general, try to raise their children the way they were raised or what, but I didn’t watch an ounce of television until I was five.
Even then, my mother tried her very best to keep me away from it, in case it damaged my eyes or, more likely, my brain. Video games were few and far between, and demanded a level of imagination to be played with any real fervour. I can’t give you a timeline on video games because I was more of a Lights Alive girl.
However, when I was ten or eleven, and getting into skating, I took a tumble on the ice and almost broke my wrist. To assist in my convalescence, my buddy Alex, with whom I used to skate, loaned me his Atari console. I remember a giant spider and an endless effort to retrieve big pink crystals, but that’s about it. I’m sure it did help to renew the strength in my wrist, whatever it was. When I got back into my skating, I really didn’t give it another thought.
When we went to Canada, my cousins played a lot of Super Mario Kart. I didn’t get it. It was getting in the way of my reading ‘Little Women’. Maybe it’s for this reason that I’ve always thought of myself as older than my years.
And then I met Aimée.
Quite soon, she introduced me to her friend, Jack. He got to know me as someone who was interested in ancient civilisations, culture, mythology, and such. Soon, it was Christmas. I surprised Aimée with a games console because I knew she was into that sort of thing. I was probably re-reading Daphne Du Maurier, and Jack surprised me with a copy of Fable II.
Fable II is a video game with castles and rock trolls, magic and a gazillion villagers who the player needs to get on side, or firmly off-side. Either way. There are monks and shadow worshippers, so the player can be a goodie or a baddie, depending on mood, or personality. To top it all off, the narrator and advisor to the main character is voiced by Zoe Wanamaker, who has the finest voice in the country.
I lost days to Fable II.
It’s all Zoe Wanamaker, I’m sure of it. She’s tremendous.