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  • When I was a kid, one of the video games I played a lot was Need For Speed II.

  • Actually, it wasn't even the full game. It was a demo version

  • that came on a free CD with a monthly computer magazine.

  • ANNOUNCER: "Three! Two! One!"

  • The demo only had one car and one track,

  • but I played that one track a lot, in the way that kids do.

  • Or at least, the way that kids did back before

  • the internet gave them massively multiplayer and regularly-updated games for free.

  • I knew how to take every turn,

  • I could make it all the way through the big downhill section near the end

  • without having to take my foot off the gas.

  • Or my finger off the up arrow.

  • And I knew all the short cuts and secrets.

  • The graphics seemed better back then,

  • although that's maybe just because they were on a slightly fuzzy CRT monitor.

  • And having spent so much time playing that one track,

  • as a kid, I wanted to somehow explore the world,

  • I wanted to park up, get out of the car and have a close look at, say,

  • the totem pole next to the car park.

  • It turns out the developers of Need for Speed II were based here in Vancouver, Canada.

  • That track was Vancouver and the area around it,

  • or at least, a very simplified version of it.

  • But I didn't put two and two together until the first time that I was right here

  • and realised that I've sort-of seen this before.

  • And now, I can do exactly what that young version of me wanted to do.

  • I can drive bits of that track, but more importantly,

  • I can get out and explore.

  • So I rented a car, and I drove roads that I sort-of recognised.

  • Admittedly in a sensible SUV, not a Ford GT,

  • and I can't actually cut a corner past Stanley Park's totem poles in real life,

  • but: it's a very strange experience.

  • After Stanley Park, the track goes on to Lions Gate Bridge.

  • And I remember thinking that a 270° right turn straight off a bridge would be ridiculous

  • but there it was.

  • The second half of the track is up the Sea-to-Sky Highway

  • and then back downhill at ludicrous speeds,

  • and then down Terminal Avenue, with the Skytrain speeding past and Science World on the left.

  • I didn't know what the names of those things were when I was a kid,

  • I just knew that I wanted to be in this seemingly-futuristic city

  • and go for a ride on that train.

  • Decades later, I did.

  • And then there was the section in the middle.

  • A long straight along a seawall, with a lighthouse at the end.

  • And I really wanted the option to look at the ocean view from there.

  • I thought that it would probably be spectacular.

  • And, yeah. It is.

  • I do have a point to all this nostalgia.

  • The designers of that track,

  • the artists from Vancouver who created that simplified, low-polygon version of their city,

  • I'm willing to bet that they never thought that, nearly a quarter-century later,

  • they'd have this sort of effect on anyone.

  • And I'm almost certainly not the only person who's played that game

  • and then stumbled across the real version, and found that

  • they have an odd connection to this place.

  • All the things that we create,

  • whether you have a big audience or

  • whether you're just making stuff for the folks close to you,

  • sure, maybe those things you make will be forgotten.

  • Or maybe the things that you create will get laid down as someone's long-term memory,

  • and affect them a lot later in their life.

  • So: make nice things.

  • Try to give people something they'll be nostalgic about,

  • not something they'll flash back to.

  • You never know what impressions you might be making for the future.

  • ANNOUNCER: "Best lap!"

  • GPS: "Turn left onto Stanley Park Drive."

  • I really just want to do 100, 150 round here.

When I was a kid, one of the video games I played a lot was Need For Speed II.


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幼少期に好きだったレースゲームをリアルに走らせてみた (I Drove My Childhood Favorite Racing Game In Real Life)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日