Welcome to the Geek Files, the area of my website where I fess up to geekish activities that I have enjoyed indulging myself in, and sometimes still do. "And that's different from the rest of your website ... how exactly?" I hear you ask. Simple! Here I at least admit it ...

Axis & Allies
Axis & Allies is a huge wargame that was released by Milton Bradley during the mid to late 80's. The scale of the game is immense, covering global conflict beginning in the peak of World War II during the spring of 1942. This and two other games, Shogun and Fortress America, made up a trilogy of sorts and between myself and two other friends at school we had all three. Ah, happy days! Also, the complexity of these games makes Risk seem like Snakes & Ladders. Nothing against Risk ... but it's for weenies ... or chimpanzees ... or both. Anyway, there's nothing quite like rewriting history and having Germany invade the United States, which even back then had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Sadly, that was the one thing the original game lacked - the ability to slap a nuke onto the end of a V2 rocket and put Churchill's cigar out once and for all. I say the "original" didn't have this. Mine did! MUHAHAHAHA!

Nintendo Gameboy
The Nintendo Gameboy has been a real life-saver for me. Allow me to explain. I never owned the original release of this handheld console. I wasn't particularly interested. Then when I moved to the US in 1996 I was persuaded by a friend to buy the newly released Gameboy Pocket. Lucky for me, as my job requires me to do loads of travelling to other countries which equals many boring hours of airtime. Not anymore boy-o! Kids in the plane would be drooling all over the floor as they watched me sit contentedly with my Gameboy, light, headphones, and a stack of 20+ games. I've continued this fine tradition and now have a Gameboy Advance. Kids still hate me. So does the toilet seat.

Dragonlance and Fantasy Books
I first started reading fantasy novels in early high school and have done so ever since. Starting with Dragonlance, my addiction grew worse and worse until I was spending copious amounts of time with my head in the world of dragons and wizards instead of doing more important things like ... mowing the grass. That's what Dad used to say anyway. He took grass cutting pretty seriously though. I don't get hardly any time to indulge myself in a good fantasy book these days, what with being an adult and all. Too much crap out there at the moment anyway, like Tolkien & Rowling. Who the hell are they and what the hell are they doing in my local bookstore instead of Dragonlance? Hrumph!

Dungeons & Dragons
Did I really play Dungeons & Dragons? Well, maybe. Okay, yes I did. Only a little bit mind you and not enough to make me want to dress funny. The funnily dressed bit came about all by itself. I certainly didn't care too much for any characters I rolled up. My friends and I would spend the occasional weekend creating characters, then killing them off by exposing them to Savage Rabbits, a Sword of Killing, or a Spear of Guard Slaying +6. I haven't played in ten years which is a shame because I sorely miss incurring an alignment change due to hacking an NPC in half for no apparent reason. Ah, those were the days! I even attempted to reach the epitome of geekdom and painted miniatures for a while, but then realised this was never going to win me the Turner Prize and went back to being a Chaotic Neutral Half-Wit ... I mean Half-Elf.

Starcraft & Warcraft
The advent of real-time strategy games seems to have been targetted at people just like me because I've been sucking them up like crazy for years now. First came Warcraft, then Warcraft II, then Starcraft, and now Warcraft III. It's like Happy Hour at the local M&Ms factory! My favourite is still Starcraft, mostly due to the storyline but also due to the high body count. Not that I'm violent mind you, I just take exception to mutated dogs trying to tear down my base. Hopefully our friends over at Blizzard Entertainment will continue churning out the good stuff ensuring that geeks like me are kept off the street out of harms way.

Mazes & Labyrinths
Okay, mazes ... yes I do like a good labyrinth now and then. I enjoyed creating mazes alot when I was a kid, doodling away on a piece of paper when I should have been listening to my teacher blab on about Shakespeare, Chemistry, or something equally tiresome. When not locked in the classroom, I would build a maze out of lego and insert unsuspecting slaters in them in order to ascertain their intelligence level (which I can report is unsurprisingly low!). I've moved on from torturing insects though and these days I'm more into coding and perfecting programs which randomly generate mazes and solve them. But why??? Well ... somebody has to ... right???

Once upon a time (the 80's), in a place far away (Tamworth), there existed a computer called an Apple \\e. Though absolutely laughable by today's standards, this soon-to-be-door-stop did have one redeeming quality, the ability to allow me to play Ultima. As well as providing me with many (MANY) hours of entertainment as a lad, the Ultima RPG series has had quite a profound effect on my programming style and inspiration. Ultima is still very cool in my opinion, but then these are the Geek Files - thereby rendering my definition of "coolness" rather obsolete.