I'm at Dad's house and, in this insomnia, have been looking through drawers for a letter that I received, literally half a lifetime ago, from someone who has been in the news recently. I didn't find it but there are other places to look yet.
However, I did find some exercise books from the late '80s and early '90s with pencil-on-paper designs for games and game systems: some RPG character attribute systems, a few adventures, but mostly pencil-and-paper designs that I might have got round to programming in Sinclair BASIC - or, later, AmigaBASIC - some day. It's unclear that any of them would stand up on their own merits, but fun personal nostalgia all the same.
A frequent theme is comparing games to each other in slightly unnecessarily complicated ways. One notebook has one particular comparison scheme for ZX Spectrum games, iterated several times in 1988, a couple of times in 1989, an "end of the decade special" and a retrospective edition from, gasp, 1997. Would it be fun to go back and create one more edition, comparing memories of games I haven't played for twenty years? Would it be worthwhile to run them through emulators to refresh my memory? Perhaps if I still can't get to sleep in another hour or two. Nevertheless, it's cute to know how I thought of them at the time, even if giving reasons to the scores was beyond me.
It's also a reminder - hopefully salutary, though I doubt it - that my taste in games has changed little if at all over the last two-thirds of my life. Ever since I became fully aware of the depth of the football pyramid system, I have loved the idea of a game where you manage a football club that starts in a hypothetical league made up of teams representing parts of Middlesbrough, then in successive leagues covering larger and larger areas of population still, onto the national stage and beyond.
What have I been doing on and off for the last couple of days when concentration has permitted? Why, trying to work out which teams would be in which leagues so that I might produce a customised data pack for the (pro version of the) Football Chairman management game for iOS and actually play out a much better version of the game that I idly dreamt of back then. Given that my pencil-and-paper notes from the previous version of the exercise had Liverpool as top team in the land, they probably date from late 1988, give or take, at a guess.
If you'd told me then that I would still have been actively interested in the concept when three times my age, I think tiny!Chris would have been amused. He would also have been impressed that my taste in computer games still hasn't grown beyond games that cost £2.99.
Please redirect any comments here, using OpenID or (identified, ideally) anonymous posting; there are comments to the post already. Thank you!