The Video Games That Changed My Life (Dave Ben Lee // Accidental President)

It’s not particularly news, but your favorite bands and musicians almost certainly play heaps of video games. From Trivium’s Matt Heafy livestreaming Fortnite to Mike Shinoda livestreaming just about every single day, it’s almost a given that some broke musician, somewhere, is passing the time fragging n00bs on COD or revenge killing some superpowered Pokemon on Pokemon Showdown. Thanks, Smogon!

Anyway, we’re stoked to bring you another edition of our series The Video Games That Changed My Life, where a musicians sits down with us to discuss some of the most important video games that have influenced their life. Simple, really, but you can easily get a good glimpse at a person’s personality when hearing about what games they played growing up. This time, we’ve got Dave Ben Lee from Aussie hard rock trio Accidental President joining us. The band recently released a video for their song “Last Breath” (which you can watch below), off their debut full-length which released at the beginning of July. Merging goth, hard rock, and metal influences, this is a band to put on your radar, and fast.

As a friend of dedicated gamers I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of an also-ran these days. One guy I know – Lachie – buys every version of XBox released & that is some serious commitment to all things gaming, equaled only by his commitment to Formula 1 excellence!

My first exposure to computer games was a ZX Spectrum in the house when I was a little kid. I remember games like ManicMiner, Frogger & Horace Goes Skiing that were quite magical to play even if they were a nightmare to load using a tape recorder. You could spend ages watching it fail to load but once it did you could spend hours banging on that little rubber keyboard. Thinking back those games were literally so ‘BASIC’ but were the embryonic stage of gaming. The resolution was pretty poor as you’d play them on your TV, but to think that they only had something like 48k ram is crazy.

Later on we had a 486 which was like moving into a whole new dimension. I guess everyone takes it for granted these days that they have a HD or 4K tv in their house or a high res screen but the PC came with it’s own VGA monitor which meant colour and resolution wise it was an amazing advancement over your TV. It also had a joystick and I remember spending hours on flight simulators and driving games, which at the time seemed to be so realistic it was unbelievable!

I remember the SEGA console being around but I really got into playing guitar at an early age and following on from that I was playing in bands, so as none of my mates were really into gaming, my first Console experience was when when I started work & the IT guy – Marco, was able to get a PlayStation with loyalty points from his main supplier that we shared around between 4 of us, 1 week in every month.

I think the PlayStation probably set the standard for modern gaming & I certainly spent a lot of time playing it. The first & I think only game I’ve ever completed was Tomb Raider & it was such a relief that I’ve never really played that kind of level game since because I just wouldn’t get any music done. I think we had the first incarnation of Doom, but the other games I started to get into were FIFA & Formula 1. Marco managed to get enough points to get a steering wheel to share around with the console!

When the PS2 came out I had a bit of money coming in and got one. It was an obvious step up and was great because it also doubled as a DVD player, which I still use, so that’s longevity for you! I upgraded to FIFA 2003 and another game I remember really enjoying was Ratchet & Clank. I think games really started to develop at that point and titles like Grand Theft Auto & Lord of the Rings are games I have on my shelf that were big at the time, but I didn’t play them anywhere near enough to get good at them.

My next & last real engagement with games was with the release of the Wii. I know it got derided in some quarters because it wasn’t considered a real ‘gamers’ machine, but as someone who with music & work very much going on, I struggled to find time to really master a lot of the intricacies of hand held controllers. So the Wii with its breakthrough controllers & things like Wii sports was something you could pick up and play pretty easily- especially just for a bit of fun with friends or your girlfriend. Again I upgraded my FIFA to 2008, 2010 & I still absolutely love Excite Truck. Mario kart is also brilliant and was the first time I did online gaming. I realised pretty quickly that some gamers out there are seriously committed and it’s such an amazing innovation in such a short amount of time. The one game that I spent far too much time playing though was Tiger Woods Golf. To stand there swinging your controller & feel like you were playing Augusta National in your living room was hilarious.

I’ve kept my eye on the console evolution & a couple of times seriously considered upgrading to either another PlayStation or jumping across to an X-Box. Most my mates tend to be on X-Box and I have really been hoping over the last couple of years that VR would really take off and be developed into something a bit more wire’less’. My daughter is 18 months old and with her as an excuse, I’ve indicated my interest in buying the futuristic looking PS5. I do wonder how long it will be before she’s whipping my tail!

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