Good Game is starting back up next week, in five days to be precise! The new season kicks off with a one hour special at 8.30 this coming Tuesday, but alongside the weekly edition of the show, the Good Game team is also launching something new: Good Game Pocket, a daily show available online and on iView. With a new show comes a new host: Michael "Hingers" Hing. We caught up with Hingers and asked him a few important questions.
Actually, we didn't. We asked him a ton of questions about video games. I guess that's important if you're going to host a show about video games.
1. What's the first video game you ever played?
In the early 90's, maybe it was 1990, my dad brought home an IBM computer with a little 286 processor in it, to do work at home. Foolishly, the guy he bought it off installed both Snake AND Space Invaders on it, and as a result this man unwittingly set me on a path that saw me drop out of uni and achieve very little. So really, it's my dad's fault I don't have a real job. Probably.
There was a weird bug in this particular version of Space Invaders that meant if you played with the mouse (as opposed to keyboard) and held down the left button (as opposed to repeatedly clicking), it would just infinity fire lasers into the ether, mowing down the marauding aliens.
And combining that with the counter-intuitive "shoot-through-your-own-shields" strategy that my older brother Chris taught me, meant the game just became a bit of a tedious marathon. Seeing which one of us could sit at the computer the longest, watching the high scores rack up. I don't remember it ever actually being enjoyable, but I do remember the undying hunger to beat Chris. In many ways, I think I’m still playing games in order to beat my older brother - and to be clear, not beat the man he grew into , but beat the ten year old who still exists in my mind. I see him now, mocking my stubby, not-yet-fully-formed child fingers, and their poor motor skills.
2. What's the last video game you played?
This morning we got to take a first look at Project Cars for the show. I'm not much of a racing guy. Upon reflection, I could well be the worst racing guy. I kind of just crashed my way around a few courses and struggled in the wet - I don't even know if I finished a race. it was a real disgrace. In fact, it got to a point where our editor John (who happens to be a very keen and competitive racer) got so frustrated he just kicked me out of the chair. It wasn't a great day for my pride. I'm vaguely concerned that if that footage surfaces the RTA might rescind my actual driver's license.
3. What video game can't you stop playing?
Hmm.. the big one for me over the past decade has been WoW. I played it from launch and through the glory days of vanilla. I got very addicted to PvP back then and I think my girlfriend at the time came close to planning an intervention. It was kind of a low point.
I planned on quitting after BC came out, and then again after Lich King, and after Cata, and after Mists and now I'm playing WoD and it's probably time I admit that WoW is in my life to stay, even if all my friends have sworn off it and my guild disbanded years ago and it barely resembles the game I fell in love with in 2004.
I was thinking the other day about how you so rarely meet anyone who's into WoW anymore. There are apparently 10 million subscribers but no one is ever keen to talk about it. They’re always about to quit, or they've just quit because they had a moment of clarity or they’re thinking about re-subbing but they’re worried or something but I dunno - I feel like I've just spent a decade building and crafting and levelling my warlock and I can't just abandon him now. I think maybe I've fallen victim to a terrible sunk-cost fallacy.
4. What video game do you love that everyone hates
Ugh, this is so lame, but I really love SimCity. And I know it's the dorkiest game for the biggest dorks who ever dorked. I know. I don't even play it for the cool wilful destruction of towns. I'm just really into tax rates and supply chains and traffic management. I play it with the graphics turned down and the sound off. I just load up a city and listen to a podcast while I slowly tinker and watch numbers tick over. Now that I'm seeing these words written out in front of me it seems even sadder than I imagined, haha. My goodness, am I uncool?
5. What video game do you hate that everyone loves?
I don't know about a specific game, but I am terrible at shooters. I played a lot of Quake and the first Team Fortress mod early on, and would occasionally get motion sickness. Eventually I stopped playing shooters and even now that they’re less nauseating I find some of the more full on violent ones a bit too confronting for my tastes.
6. What video game would you take to a desert island?
Starcraft 2. My goodness. What a beautiful game.
7. What's your favourite video game of all time?
It'd probably be Starcraft 2 or Brood War. All the Brood War hipsters would say Brood War is more balanced, but I feel like that's kind of unfair. Like, I assume Blizzard'll spend years balancing Legacy of the Void like they did with Brood War, so we're kinda in limbo now with the game. So, I guess I'll say Brood War, but I'm one of the few (potentially naive) people who has high hopes for Legacy of the Void.
8. What was the most disappointing game of all time?
I still remember the visceral heart-break that was the Nintendo Spiderman game in like 1995. I never even owned it. I just remember my friend Jonno got it for his birthday and I raced over to his house to play it. We booted it up and it was so far below what we imagined that Spiderman became a code word for disappointment between us in high school. “How was Dave’s Party?” “Ahhh, no one really showed, it was kind of a Spiderman”.
9. What video game are you most looking forward to in 2015?
Maybe Legacy of the Void will drop this year? Maybe? There are always rumours. Every year, I look forward to the new FIFA when it comes out and my FUT club (AC Illawong) becomes barren and useless again. Y’know what, there’s a chance I’ll buy a Wii U just to play The Legend of Zelda. That looks amazing.