My Favourite Game

Snake­hips’ James Carter on the sur­pris­ing ap­peal of golf games

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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”

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