Picture of Emad Ahmed

Emad Ahmed


Emad Ahmed is a freelance writer covering games (among other things) and what they say about our world. His desk usually has one stack of unplayed games and another of unread books.

Featured articles

FeatureLovely Planet and the joy of frustration

Things are never quite what they seem.

FeaturePassing on the gift of games

And keeping tears at bay.

FeatureSega Mega Drive Classics makes me pine for a blue sky future

The greatest hits are great, but what about something new?

FeatureWhen Sonic and Mario dominated children's television

“If you make seven million kids laugh, that must count towards something.”

If you ever have to drive as much as I do, your mind begins to wander as your body enters autopilot. Somehow simultaneously, you consider each decision you make behind the wheel while thinking of everything else going on in your life. Sometimes you connect the two: will slowing down at this amber light make me late for my appointment? Will the car opposite avoid the cat at the edge of the pavement? And will I skid the car off the edge of the nearby cliff?

Today, if you start playing a game on your smartphone that places a heavy emphasis on music and sound, chances are you'll receive an advisory warning. It'll ask you to please insert your headphones for the "best experience". It doesn't matter if you're home alone on the sofa or your head is scrunched between numerous standing thighs on public transport, headphones are important. And we can all blame this warning on Lumines and the way it helped change our relationship with games.

Nostalgia and expectations are both saviours and dangers for the gaming industry, sometimes simultaneously. For example, Nintendo is bouncing back thanks to their trusted mascots and a new console, yet somehow every game in existence is being remastered except for Burnout 3. Mirror's Edge Catalyst has arguably been the greatest victim of bloated expectations in contemporary gaming.