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Past European Tournaments


Kid Chameleon Editor


21st April 2011


Jimbo "The" Plumb has been battling in the tournaments since the Nineteenth Mega Drive Championship. Now he offers us his view, opinions and rants on the topics dearest to his heart. The Plumb lives in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, plays Bass Guitar and was almost once a rockstar. Larger makes him happy. Vodka makes him mean. In this second edition The Plumb discusses his video game history and the terrible affliction: Smallpox Computeritis.

You may find this a bit of a ramble, but please bear with me, it may be worth it. It probably won't, mind, but you never know…

Anyway, my gaming career (I can’t believe I refer to it as a career. What a dweeb!) began one Christmas, when my brother, six years my senior, got an Atari. You know the one? Turney paddles, stiff little joysticks with one red button, and of course, who could forget the wood panelling? I spent a great deal of time playing on this machine, on some classics such as Frogger and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Is it just me, or does Indiana resemble a Frankenpenis?

The excitment bubbles over as Indiana Jones (bottom-left)
attempts to collect the... a... thing?

This screenshot is taken from level 2 - does my awesomeness know no limits?

Danger awaits upon the road and then in the river.
Our bouncy hero attempts to make it to safety.

Eventually I was deemed old enough to warrant a computer of my very own, and since my brother was now into his teens and chasing girls and the like, it would be all mine. That Christmas morning I unwrapped a ZX Spectrum 128k, with the built in tape deck... Well, you could say I was hooked from this moment on. The games came on cassette tapes, and could be copied by tape to tape recording (Not that I would ever condone Piracy – Yarr). They tended to cost between £2 and £11, which was very reasonable. So, of course, I stacked up my game collection, and as a small child, devoted almost every waking hour to the small tube TV in my bedroom.

My old man grew frustrated with this very quickly, constantly threatening to pull the fuses if I didn’t come down for food, interact with the living, or go to sleep. Then he came up with a whole new illness by the name of ‘Computeritis’. Allegedly the stricken would fall under the following symptoms: one’s eyes would become first bloodshot, then black bags would appear which would grow and contort until the eyes were square in shape. The lips would protract, and become massive and ruby red. All social skill would evaporate. Acne would multiply a million times beyond the usual amount experienced by the average spotty teenager. The hair becomes lank and greasy. The final indignation is that one must be labelled a ‘nerd’ and ruthlessly be pounded by ones brother, and scorned by ones father, who should be unable to prevent himself from hurling sarcasm and abuse at every turn.

Computeritis in Action

Needless to say, these warnings proved enough to wrench me outside. (Actually I seem to think the worst of it was during the winter, and spring allowed outdoor play to resume.)

So I endeavoured to play outside more, which included lots and lots of football. Shame I was never really any good.

Then disaster struck, in the form of my best friend at the time getting a NES for his birthday. Needless to say, the old passions re-emerged, and eventually I had one of my own (Foolishly I sold my spectrum at a car boot sale for some stupid amount like a fiver!) which threatened to consume my time and perception of reality, until my brother bought something home one day...

By this point he was living in Germany with the armed forces, and in one month of flush madness, he bought an item he thought I might like to buy from him. Needless to say, I did. It was a shiny black plastic casing, with a slot on the top for cartridges. It had two joypad ports and an on button. For some reason it also had a volume control and headphone port on the front. I speak, of course, of the might and power of the Mega Drive. From the moment the power went on I thought I was in the arcades of Skegness [A tacky seaside town on the east coast of England, enjoyed by both children and chavs - Admin], fuelled by the amazing 16 bit graphics, the ultra real sound (Since mine was German, for some reason the sound would not work through the TV, so I had to rig up a speaker to the headphone jack) and the immersive quality of games like Shinobi, Streets of Rage, and Sonic (that said, I still hate the stupid blue spiky thing!), Aliens, Predator 2, The Terminator, all masterpieces of their time.

Some original Streets of Rage wholesomeness

Axel prepares to take on the hordes
from Stage 3, the beach level

You Shall Not Pass!!

The Shinobi stands his ground as the Blue Lobster,
guardian of the passage into Stage 2, moves in to attack.

Then along came the Amiga. Everything changed. The Mega Drive fell into the back of a cupboard, forgotten and forlorn [For which The Plumb shall be docked 10-points at the next tournament – Admin], and new challenges arose, playing Kickoff 2 with mates, and spending hours on Sensible World of Soccer.

By now I was old enough that my dad’s warnings and made up afflictions had no effect. However, the lure of alcohol, girls and loud music coupled with the fascination of standing or sitting for 90 minutes every Saturday through the winter in freezing cold or pouring rain had won over my attention. I had a SNES for a short time, and even got the old Mega Drive going again, but thanks to college and work, time was at a premium.

Years passed, then there was a shining light, bright like a Christmas star of old. My brother in law passed on his old Xbox to me. This ignited my passion slightly. Then the call came to join the ranks of Mega Drive Championshippery.

Life has a habit, they say, of coming full circle. I occasionally get an hour to play on the Wii, and for one day, once or twice a year, the three button pad makes its way centre stage and the cartridges are slammed home.

But consider this a cautionary tale, for the next time you fall into the trap of gaming for as long as you can stand it, check the mirror for signs around the eyes, swelling of the lips, or lankness of the hair.

Computeritis may be a terrible thing, but it’s not terminal!

If you want any Mega Drive related lifestyle advice or guidance, please e-mail us at admin@megadrivechamps.org, with the subject ‘Trust The Plumb’