My Favourite Game
Snakehips’ James Carter on the surprising appeal of golf games
James Carter is one half of electronic duo Snakehips, which he formed with Oliver Lee after the pair met on a business trip to Hong Kong. Snakehips found early success after posting remixes on Soundcloud, and since then the duo’s profile has spiralled rapidly. When did you first get into games? I think I got the original Game Boy, and one of the Super Mario games with it – I can’t remember which one. I was pretty young at the time, and I remember that my parents only allowed me one hour each evening to play on it. I used to try and lock myself in the bathroom to get a little bit longer. It was worse because you couldn’t save on it, so I had to get as far as I could in the game each night, and then start again the next time. It was an absolute nightmare actually. After that I got a PC, and I used to buy… Well, to be honest, go into newsagents and pinch the demo discs from all the PC gaming mags. They’d be full of freeware games and demos. Then I got a demo of Duke Nukem 3D, and it was my first ever FPS, and I loved it. Somehow I managed to persuade my parents to buy me that. Were you allowed to play for more than an hour? [Laughs] I was getting a bit older by then, so I was allowed to play a little bit more. But there was still a cap on how long for. I don’t think they thought it was very good for me. This was before games were seen as an art form – a lot of people just saw it as teenagers wasting time. Now it’s respected on the same level as films. Plus, it’s very good for your dexterity! Do you still play PC games? Well, after the PC I got an N64, then a PS2 and Xbox 360, and now I’m back on PlayStation with a PS4. I never really got into playing online – I played Call Of Duty a little bit, but it never quite clicked. So I tend to play older, offline games. I’m currently playing Resident Evil 4, which I downloaded from the PlayStation store for, like, £4. It’s so good – I’ve been playing it every night for hours. Do you and Oliver play games together? He plays a little bit, but not as much as me. He has an N64 and Mario Kart 64, so we play that whenever I’m at his. But we recently did a tour of America for a month, and we were in a big bus that had a PS3 at the back of it. At one point we went to some secondhand game store over there and ended up getting Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. I’d never played a golf game before, and I fell in love with it. It was so much fun. That’s something I really miss, too: local multiplayer. I used to play the Skate games a lot, and even then it was frustrating that you couldn’t do twoplayer split-screen – you could in Tony Hawks. I think it’s a reflection of our society that everyone’s hyper-connected, but spends more time alone than ever. Have any videogame soundtracks had an influence on your own work? Well, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time was a huge influence on my love of melodies. I just loved Zelda. I actually bought an ocarina when I was younger. I loved everything about that game, especially the music. All of the tunes were single-line melodies, and they showed me that just playing five notes in order could be really nice. The simplicity of it that was really powerful. You mentioned Resident Evil 4 – are you a fan of horror games in general? I am, absolutely, but I haven’t actually played that many of them. I really liked Dead Space, but I haven’t played any of the Silent Hill games even though I’ve always wanted to. But Resident Evil 3 and 2 are on the PlayStation store, so I’m going to move on to them once I’ve finished 4. And what’s your favourite game? It has to be Ocarina Of Time. It absolutely made my childhood. It was the first exposure I had to fantasy and magic and supernatural stuff. And I experienced it at a time in my life when things were still magical. I probably didn’t still believe in Santa at that point, but as close to that time as you can get; when you’re still a kid and you still have your innocence. And because of that it was just such an amazing experience. I’ve played through it loads of times, now, and I did again recently – I still love it. I have an odd setup: I’ve got this emulator on my Mac, with Ocarina and GoldenEye, and they run perfectly on it. So I play Ocarina whenever I’m on aeroplanes using a PS2 controller. It’s wicked.
“It’s a reflection of our society that everyone’s hyperconnected, but spends more time alone than ever”