I had a happy childhood. Though my dog got run-over by a bus when I was five, my grandfather choked on a nut and died on my seventh Christmas and started haunting my house on the eighth, I can still make that statement easily.
For I was brought up in the constant company of video games: they were the friends I never had, or I wish I never had. They wouldn’t bully you for being small, they wouldn’t steal your breakfast box every morning and they certainly wouldn’t traumatize you for life by bursting your bubble about Santa at the age of nine.
Video games were as inseparable as a limb for most of us as we grew up. We threw tantrums, got grounded and made our parents want rue the day they ever considered making themselves a little family.
Even more than that, those delightful plastic cuboids of raw delight have made the world what it is today. Without Contra, we’d still be fighting WWII; without Mario, men would continue to languish under the illusion that facing a dragon wasn’t worth it for your beloved damsel; and without Road Rash the streets would still be a lawless hinterland.
As a respectful homage to these video games, here’s a list of ten such that the world will always remember and love.
10. Wolfenstein 3D
One man. A couple of guns. Crazy men out to kill. Blood-thirsty attack dogs. A fight for survival. This iconic first person shooter took The Beatles’ ‘Run For Your Life’ to a whole new level. And that wasn’t even the best of it.
Aptly described as the ‘grandfather of 3D shooters,’ Wolfenstein 3D is a game that has simply refused to age. It was probably the first game of its sort that made you palpitate and clutch the mouse with a nervous frenzy – as if your life depended on it. The setting was bleak and that compounded the fear. The walls, floor and roof were all in varying shades of grey; with the former sometimes turning into equally morbid colours of blue or brown. The bullets were limited and had to be used with care.
The expression on B.J’s face was well-etched; it conveyed the exact emotion that you were supposed to be feeling. Danger lurked behind every corner. No game ever made you want survive as desperately as Wolfenstein did.
And though the game inspired many copycats, it was the stuff of legends that will go down in history as so.
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