What generation of gamer are you?

Online gaming is fine, but still feels a bit like witchcraft

When this current console generation proudly boasted that online play was the future, you were cynical. You remember forking out for a PS2 Network adapter and patiently waited for the games to roll in. Years later you recall offloading that same, unused Network Adapter to an old lady at the local charity shop, telling her it was a special type of wireless radio. You still prefer to play alone, and still yearn for a time when multiplayer games were all split-screen.

Youre still quietly impressed when game characters speak in words rather than noises

Games characters talk--they dont just make silly noises during cut-scenes--and caption text is just there for people who play with the sound low. You know that. However, you remember a time when games werent all talkies, and you distinctly recall a period when nobody had even heard of Nolan North. Hearing Sonic talk sounds odd to you, but it isnt quite nails-down-a-blackboard infuriating.

You still feel uneasy balancing your games console on its side

All the cool kids have their PS3s tower-style, proudly protruding into the air, but youre still a little nervous about even touching your console while its switched on. You remember when your mum tried to tidy your PSone away while you were playing Metal Gear Solid. You still remember the terrible noise as your console scratched that disc beyond repair. You remember the tears. Snaaaaaaaaaaake.

You were surprised to discover that not all real cities are foggy

It wasnt until you actually visited places like New York that you discovered they werent permanently shrouded in fog, as they appeared in your games. Now youve started to wonder whether or not Silent Hill is in fact a leafy city with a lovely picnic friendly lake. You were also surprised that objects didnt suddenly appear in front of your car as you drove down the street. Weird.

You're a... Gaming Teenager

You grew up with either a PSone or a PS2. Hey, maybe you had a Saturn and a Gamecube. When you were a little older, and stronger, you and a friend managed to heft an Xbox into your living room. You thought the Dreamcast was pretty good, but dont really understand what all the fuss was about. 2D games are just retro fluff to you, and Prince of Persia is simply a decent 3D platforming trilogy.

Still not you? Press on then...

You see every controller as a rip-off of the SNES pad

All of them. Every last one. The PlayStation controller? Just a SNES pad with extra shoulder buttons. The DualShock? Just a SNES pad with extra shoulder buttons and a couple of analogue sticks. The DualShock 4? Just a SNES pad with extra shoulder buttons, a couple of analogue sticks, motion control, a touch-pad and a share button. THEYRE EXACTLY THE SAME.

Your definition of physical media is really physical

They call those flimsy discs physical media? And now people are complaining that digital downloads dont feel real enough compared to a DVD or Blu-ray? They dont know the pain we felt when we traded in our precious armoured game-shells for those stupid, tiny, scratch-happy mirrors. Entrusting games to those things was like putting your baby on a rollercoaster and not pulling the safety bar down.

You remember when FPS required a map

Back then the enemy wasnt the enemy. The real killer was the possibility of getting lost in a Martian labyrinth, never finding the blue keycard and eventually starving to death 200 million miles from home. Youd welcome the sight of the toothy, slavering horrors intent upon knowing your flesh. At least if they were still alive it meant you were going in the right direction.

You could scare off a real alien invasion by waving your lightgun collection around

Given that everything in the 90s was darker and gritter, it was probably inevitable that the humble NES Zapper would evolve into a rocket launcher. And never to be outdone on the battlefield of badassery, Sega--home after all of the hedgehog with attitude--responded by providing the Mega Drive with a plastic P90 with detachable binoculars. You know, for when you were playing games on a TV a really long way away. Like, if you were trying to shoot through your neighbours window or something. Shortly before getting arrested.

Thank God we dont have to deal with any of that nonsense now.

Andy Hartup