Now that I am 30…

A nostalgic look back at the childhood of a small English kid.

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The Lock-On Days…

Posted by iwata33 on Wednesday 20 February 2008


What some people may not know is that Sega, didn’t just make video games back in the nineties, they also made electronic games such as this fine time waster, Lock-On. Between 1994 and 1996 myself and key friends from my college days used to play this pseudo zap zone/paint balling game on a dog walking path in the Sherwood area of Preston, Lancashire.

The game consisted of a gun and a headset. When playing the game you would shoot the gun at the headset which would then make a noise to tell you that you had lost a life and a little LED in the headset would tell you how many lives you had left. There would also be an eye piece that would hang from the headset that would reflect how many lives you had so that you could keep track of them. Now bare with me, I know how it sounds, and for those of you that know me, and already think I am a huge geek, this will do nothing to persuade you otherwise. However we did try and inject a certain coolness into the whole thing. For a start we tore the eye piece off, then it just became the headset. Secondly and you might notice this from the pictures, we covered both the bright blue gun and headset in black tape. This had a duel purpose, firstly they looked much better and secondly it allowed us to hide in the undergrowth and behind trees much better, remember I’m a geek!

There would be about 7 or 8 of us that would play so we would split into 2 teams and basically play a paint ball style hunting game where we had to defeat the other team by slowly taking lives from each other. (Hey at least we weren’t stuck in doors all the time playing video games :-)). Now if this weren’t bad enough there were a number of what you might consider politically worrying things that would occur during the course of a game. For a start the teams would often just be Catholics versus Protestants, yeah I know, but that sort of thing was still important then. We were also running around with black looking guns in a public place, can you imagine that happening now and the kids being allowed to get away with it, not to mention most of the time we looked like terrorists with balaclava’s and black jumpers on.

When I look back at these days I can’t help but smile, they were ace, we were carefree, we would spend a good chunk of our Sunday’s running, jumping and generally having fun in the fresh air and it was free which to a student make whatever it is worth doing in the first place. Lock-on will always live in my heart as one of the geekiest things I have ever done and yet sometimes I wish I could go back to those days.


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