I should probably begin with an admission: I'm a little bit addicted to Battlefield 1943. It's my favourite online multiplayer game and I've been playing it fairly heavily ever since it was released as a digital download almost four years ago. Yet even I was surprised - and slightly embarrassed - to discover just how much time I've spent on it. One thousand and sixty hours. That's more than 44 days of solid play.
Never mind Bad Company - welcome to Dimwit Company. Nobody's talking to one another - hardly surprising, since the guys to either side of me are Italian, French and Spanish - and once the landing craft hit the beach, we've all regressed by about seven years. Italy's landed a biplane upside down on an anti-aircraft gun, and I'm stuck fast in a trench. In a tank.
The grass is a brilliant green, the sky a perfect blue, and down towards the sandy beaches, with their artfully ragged lines of gently swaying palms, I can just make out a hint of bleached white rock. Looking around, this could be the Greenhill Zone, were it not for a few important distinctions, the first of which is the thick plume of black smoke rising ominously from the distant jungle. And the second? The second is the fact that I'm currently under fairly heavy gunfire. Who knows? Maybe Shadow's knocking about nearby.