The what and why of Gatadame

Gatadamea scrambled portmanteau of data and gaming – is built with the intention to uncover a little more about the data and science behind this unique entertainment form.

It’s by no accident that these two themes came together. I started gaming when I was about 5 years old and for the most part, my professional career revolves around data analysis and reasoning with science, hence the mashup. 

As an inaugural post, I felt it appropriate to reflect on how I am playing video games extensively even into my 30s.

Like many gamers of my generation, we started gaming more than 20 years ago. I remembered switching on an unassuming gray box with purple accents and diving straight into titles.

The Adventures of Batman & Robin, Biker Mice From Mars, Megaman X, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. Even at that age, the characters were instantly recognizable, but that’s as much as what I could make from it. The only other thing I knew was that unlike today, games were immensely difficult at that time.

Mario Kart was released in 1992, but this 1994 gem from Konami was the real deal.

The difficulty only compelled me further to try again, and again, and again. The process was basically an unforgiving cycle of pain – occasionally literal. Despite that, 90s gamers would probably agree with me that it was still a lot of fun.

As a kid, I’ve figured that video games are one of the most perfect blends of art and science.

It’s been quite astonishing to see how they have evolved since the days of Super Nintendo. How much I’ve gained too, from being exposed to the many different titles during my adolescence.

I had Heroes of Might and Magic to thank for introducing me to mythological creatures and lore, while the original Half-Life provided me an imaginative first-person glimpse towards the possibilities of science fiction and technology. Metal Gear Solid taught me that genetically enhanced soldiers and nuclear weapons are a messy combination, and Final Fantasy IX was just simply epic.

Skip to 1:04 for pure Big Daddy carnage from BioShock.

For me, the most impressionable game must have a solid story and quality delivery. The critically-acclaimed BioShock series is a masterclass in this. It also convinces me that great stories need not only exist in cinematic forms. 

We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us. — Andrew Ryan, BioShock

Ultimately, to say that gaming did make a huge impact on my day-to-day would be overly romanticizing the situation. I would say though that it has helped me gain a deeper understanding of stories and the art of storytelling.

Now that is something relevant for my day-to-day profession. The ability to listen and discern what’s beneath the surface and to turn facts and insights into a format that’s interesting to the intended audience.

Featured photo by Jens Mahnke from Pexels

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