We all have or had an enclosed space purely reserved for gaming. A dedicated hub for all our non-societal predilections. For me that space was my ancestral bedroom that I absconded from over 2 years ago. It’s where I plied my craft, where I developed my angry, grouchy shoutey techniques that is still registered as my most earnest gaming conception, displaying an insatiable capacity for abject cynicism and inability to lose gracefully. Much of my days were reduced to securing ample absence from the series of external distractions designed to prevent me from playing games all day, otherwise known as a “life”. It’s only recently that I finally revisited my hereditary home that I had moved from a couple of years ago, sad to discover that the house did not display a plaque depicting excerpts from my life, instead receiving confirmation that my room had been converted into a utility room, replete in spare clothing and a washing machine, implemented without my expressed consent. I had presided over much of my childhood home like a conquering hero, surveying the familiarization of a place I had spent over 3/4 of my life in, but felt vaguely numb at the sight of my former residency.
I’d been notified that my room hadn’t been entirely preserved for future generations to marvel at my humble beginnings, but was still shocked by the vacuity. It bore the same shape, similar structure to what I remember, yet it appeared smaller, almost feeble in comparison. It had been my home for as long as my neglected memory could recollect. It had been the subsidy of all my gaming inhibitions. The inert sustainment for my sanity as well as the effervescent enabler for all things gaming. Even now I can still remember the set up in here, such as the wires slinking across the wooden floor like snakes eagerly seeking refuge from a predator. It was a place of such humble attributes, like shielding me from my nights out drinking until 4am, returning home with a headache, half eaten burger and enough surplus change scattered across my floor that it was no wonder there wasn’t middle-aged men with metal detector walking through. These are memories of such evocation, of misspent adolescence and virility sadly expressed with succinct lamentation. The preferential treatment my ex room has received is certainly indicative of my mother’s predilections. There have been some rather exultant alterations applied to much of the house’s interior, but none so dramatic or with such hastened deformation than that applied to my absence. The curtains, anointed with vibrant floral motif cast a grisly veil over the odd arrangements of ferns, which I have been reliably informed is a temporary application. The walls have been stripped bare as various household appliances sit idly as huge corrugated receptacles that contain various unwanted items impose themselves on the wall. It’s no longer a room but a space occupied by box’s, castigated memories and a small tree?! The loss of its innate sophistication is jarring, encroaching on my childhood until its effluent sparsity begins to retain an idle familiarity as I derive fleets of fragmented imagery that are soon constructed into memories.
The bed that still resides in corner of the room is my bed. The same bed I spent many hours having, uh er, sleepy night night-time? The mattress, that still retains the slight indentation from when I’d spend hours gaming was the exact location that I first engaged in nocturnal congress with my girlfriend (mercifully not the same mattress ugh!) finally expelling any lingering chastity. The room itself, in all of its reserved nakedness provided images of sick days I had, one which resulted in me tossing a copy of PES out of the window like a Frisbee! I’ll blame bacterial manipulation for that one. There is also much enamoured notoriety too, the things you wish you could forget, like the labouring solemnity I felt when I discovered my adulterous father had cheated on my mother and all the resentment for that judgement that had led to the segregation of the family I had known. But it was also indicative of the resolve my mother, sister and I had. I remember when I was a kid looking out the window and imagining the sky being one continuous ocean, with planes riding on the crest of waves, skirting across the canopy sea. Even it’s nakedness vestiges, beset against the conformity of complicit change ushered in by my mother evokes context sensitive intimacy that binds these four walls to my endeavours. This isn’t just a room in an indistinct semi-detached house amidst equally innocuous suburban street, this was a personalised archive that retains the most significant moments of life. Moments forever solidified by four indistinct walls.
Let me know what your most memorable place for you to game? Cheers.