My daily commute to work consists of a 2 mile walk to my local train station, followed by a half hour train ride into the city.
It's usually a pretty low key dull affair, but recently i've noticed a video games related change in the train journey.....Back In The Day
When I first started doing this commute back in 2005 the world was a different place.
People owned phones just to talk and text on......
Nowadays it's a different picture altogether as everyone seems to have embraced the smart phone and tablet culture that prevails across the world.
9 out of 10 people on my train are using a phone or tablet device and 7 of those people are playing games on their devices.
That's a lot of gamers on one train....
The SIlent Arcade
The train therefore resembles a silent video games arcade where people don earphones and have a silent video games party every morning and evening as they travel to and from work.
You would never have believed this 10 years ago, maybe even 5 years ago as the dawn of smart devices has made video games more accessible and more acceptable in mainstream culture.
The gamers range from your 18 year old school leaver first jobber to your 60 year old Candy Crush addict.
The range of games played on my carriage seems to firmly be in the casual games categories such as your match three shapes shovelware BUT there seems to be a growing contingent of people playing quality games much like I prefer to play.
Caught In Limbo
As I took my seat on my morning train one Thursday a guy next to me was using his iPad to play the touch screen version of the awesome LIMBO which I own on NEXUS 7.
At the time I was stuck on a particular puzzle involving a tyre and some kind of platform pulling mechanic. For the life of me I couldn't work out how to solve it ....... that was until I looked over this blokes shoulder to watch his game of LIMBO to see where he'd got to.
LO & BEHOLD he was also stuck on that puzzle!
I felt happy that someone else was just as stuck as I was and I spied him struggling to solve the puzzle for the next 10 minutes. I was half hoping that he wouldn't solve it so that I could think at least someone else was stuck. But then I thought, actually if he solves it and I see it, at least I didn't watch it on You Tube!
Then he starts to look like he was going to solve it!! Should I look away or do I keep watching?
Is it cheating?
I felt like tapping him on the shoulder to tell him I was also stuck. BUT I remained silent and then he solved it!!!!!!
I looked away. The random dude on the train had just unwittingly helped me to progress in a game I love.
It was a bit like when you were younger and you went round your best mates house to watch him beat that Boss that you couldn't beat. That wasn't seen as cheating so the way I saw it was that this the same but without the talking and actually knowing the guy.
Games On A Train!
It got me thinking.......wouldn't it be great to have gamers carriages on trains where all the gamers could sit, play games and swap tips. It would make the journey into work so much more fun!
You could have nice comfy gaming seats with power points built in. Maybe some kind of multiplayer games for everyone on the carriage to get involved in. Each day could see a different game being played e.g. Monday Mario Kart, Tuesday Titanfall etc
It would essentially be a video games club on a train carriage, speeding into London!
The problem is, us British people (especially Londoners) don't really tend to speak to strangers. This is especially the case in the morning as grumpyness tends to be the order of the day! Therefore my dream gamers carriage probably wouldn't work in reality (or would it?)
For now then, the secret gaming community of the commuter trains will have to remain a secret and i'll just keep peering over peoples shoulders to glimpse a few hints & tips to help me on my way!
Do You Play Games On Your Commute Into Work?
Would You Like A Video Games Carriage?