Here at Midlife Gamer we pride ourselves on our awesome community spirit. Our community continues to grow bigger and better. So, as one of the Community Managers I thought it was high-time that we sit one of its members down every few weeks, turn off the lights, turn on the spotlight, open a beer and ask them about themselves.
Baron Von Pleb (BVP): Welcome Darren. Come in and make yourself at home. Tell me and everyone else a little about yourself.
D5120: I’m Darren, 39 living in the town of Rugby, but northern born (Huddersfield) and moved down here for work around 10 years ago. I live down here with my lovely lady Christina, and work as a Software Tester.
BVP: How did you come across the Midlife Gamer Community?
D5120: I got into the MLG community back in 2009, and possibly the same way as a lot of people. I used to listen to a lot of gaming podcasts, but they weren’t pressing my buttons. After a quick search on iTunes, I found the MLG podcast, and after the first episode I was hook. I then skulked around in the back end of the forum for a little while, finally plucked up the courage to make my first post, and instantly felt the love…..and stayed in the warm embrace of the community since.
BVP: Good on you! Five years as part of the community, that’s an achievement/trophy all on its own. Up for another five years?
D5120: Absolutely! I’ve never felt so at home as part of the community, I know I don’t frequent the forum as much as I’d like, or play multiplayer with the guys and girls, but know there are some great people out there, a few of which I’ve become really good friends with over the years. A stereotypical gamer is some spotty teen with an attitude problem, so it’s so refreshing to be part of such a great community of like-minded people.
BVP: A classic question, which you should have answered in your very post in the forums; what’s your Biscuit and Beverage of choice?
D5120: I seem to remember my B&B of choice were a little controversial at the time, as it was and I guess still is ‘Gold Bar’ and ‘Bottle of Newky’
BVP: Newky!? Oh my, that IS a drink. What’s your record amount of bottles of that stuff in one night?
D5120: Well you see, I seem to have the same super ability (disability) as a few of the other Midlife Gamers. I seem to be able to get that voice in my head, (you know the one that says ‘you’ve had enough, time to call it a night’), really pissed so it’s passes out, and then continue drinking until I finally pass out where I’m sat. Whether that be a at home on the sofa, in front of the mac, or even out in public!
BVP: You don’t have to tell me about falling asleep at the wrong time… I’m known for it.
But to answer your question, a steady night would be around 5-6 bottles, and I’m sure I’ve done 7-8 bottles of Newky, before then hitting the Sambuca and other spirits. In fact, I remember one Thursday evening of a Eurogamer meet up (2012 I think), where I had the pleasure of staying out unsupervised, with the community. I sort of remember ending up in some random bar and getting so drunk, it took me 2 hours to get back to my hotel (when it was about 15 minutes from the pub) and had to be guided home by Christina using the ‘Find My Friends’ app.
BVP: Right then; Games. How did you get into gaming?
D5120: Gaming has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. My parents used to have one of these bat and ball games with the two controllers on a coiled cable, with only a circular knob in the middle. Loved that! From then I went to the Commodore VIC-20 and used to spend most of my spare time punching in lines of code from a magazine to get the likes of missile command to work.
BVP: That’s going back. So what was your first gaming setup?
D5120: Kind of answered above, but it went through the following patch, Bat and Ball machine, VIC-20, Master System, Mega Drive, Spectrum +2, Amstrad CPC464, PS1, PC (many generations), PS2, Xbox, NDS, PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS, Vita, Xbox One, PS4
BVP: Totally ball deep into the new gen! Well done. Not a Nintendo kind of guy? (I’m not so don’t feel bad)
D5120: I have nothing against Nintendo, I love their innovation (apologies, seem to have missed the Wii off the list, it was after the NDS and before the PS3), but really struggle with their first party titles. I guess owning Sega consoles as a youth, I never got into the Mario/Zelda games, so today they are lost on me. I know they do 3rd party titles, but I normally pick these up on the Xbox.
BVP: What has been your favourite title so far this year (any format)?
D5120: As I’m still catching up from a particular challenge I did, Tomb Raider absolutely blew me away. It was a freebie on PS+ and I completed it in only a couple of sittings. There’ve been very few games recently that have made me do that. I guess as it’s essentially an old game, Titanfall is my bag at the moment and the sole reason I bought an Xbox One.
BVP: Ok, thanks Darren. So now it’s “Retro Remake Time”: If you could have any title from the past giving a definitive version which meant all new graphics and sounds but kept the original gameplay mechanics what would it be?
D5120: This is a tough one, as a lot of the older games have been remade or version of them. I guess a game I loved back in the day was the Wing Commander series, I guess if I had to pick one, it’d be Wing Commander 3 – Heart of the Tiger. It mixed a cinematic acted cut scenes (Mark Hamill was the lead role), with a decent story, with cracking space combat. I have it on my machine now, but doesn’t hold up to well.
BVP: Good choice my friend! Good choice.
D5120: Yeah, really good games. I even loved that cheesefest of a film based on the games by the same name :)
BVP: Do you listen to the Midlife Gamer Podcast? If so, can you tell me/us about your favour moment of the podcast so far?
D5120: I do listen to the podcast and haven’t missed an episode since I started listening. As for favourite moment, there have been loads, but a line by Daren from the first episode I listened to (and what sealed the deal) was a little discussion with Matt after the outro music had played. I went something like “I can’t believe how hip and trendy Microsoft Office is. I opened up a text document the other day, it went “Word!”, I went “Yo!”. Still tickles me to this day, and the fact the Matt simply laughed for a minute afterwards.
BVP: I remember that one too. I don’t LOL often… but when it’s that good, you have to right?
D5120: Agreed, the guys have made me LOL many times, but that one particularly stands out. Thing is, I normally listen at work, and with that being a software development office, you can normally hear a pin drop. So you can imagine the looks I get when I burst out laughing!
BVP: Serious Question Incoming…With the next gen consoles reigniting the console wars of years gone by, what are your thoughts on the consoles wars?
D5120: I find the console wars a little silly to be honest, but I guess as human beings we need/want something to back, and there is always going to be an opposite. I remember back to my childhood days of the PC wars going on in the playground, as some kids has Spectrums, some C64′s and some Amstrads. I used to sit in the Spectrum camp and used to get the piss ripped out of me for the colour clash issues it used to have. But as it was then, as it is today, and will be for the future, simply buy the console that suites you the best and has the games on it that you want to play, and just ignore the fan boys. I currently use a Mac for my ‘PC’ gaming, and still to this day get flack for it not being ‘a proper gaming machine’.
BVP: What has been your proudest achievement/trophy moment in gaming thus far?
D5120: Proudest gaming achievement, I guess this could be answered a couple of ways. From a gaming point of view, I once spent a week off playing Borderlands non stop and completed the game solo. Had a cracking time, but it was tough solo. On another front, pretty much any game I complete with Christina in co-op mode makes me happy, there’s nothing quite like spending the day powering through a game with your better half, only to come out of the other end victorious and spend the evening discussing the days play.
BVP: And lastly…What sauce for your sausage and/or bacon sandwich? Take your time and think wisely.
D5120: I’m a red sauce kind of guy, I do occasionally try a little bit of brown, but it just doesn’t feel the same. I have however started pushing the boat out a little, and been splashing on a little reggae reggae sauce to give it a little kick, but this is probably due to my taste buds being shot due to all the curry I eat.
BVP: Ha! I like it. Thanks for that Darren. Remind me again, what’s your gamertag and twitter handle so the rest of the community know how to find you?
D5120: It’s been a pleasure matey, You can find me pretty much everywhere under the username of D5120, apart from the Xbox where it’s II D5120 II (capital i’s). I do actually own the D5120 PS gamertag but can’t remember my password/login details to reclaim it.
BVP: Thanks again Darren. It’s been a pleasure as always. Remind me to buy you a drink at Eurogamer Expo.
Right, people of the Community. If you would like to take part in this Community Corner please feel to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and I will see you around.