Graeme Mason

By Peter Ward


I have been writing about games for over 10 years for publications such as Retro Gamer, GamesTM andFusion Retro Books. I also write online for Eurogamer, Antstream Arcade and Amex Essentials. My dadstill doesn’t believe I write about old games for a living.

Would love to see your book.
Thank you! It’s called ZX Nightmares and it’s coming to haunt you soon!

“What got you into writing books about retro gaming?”
I’ve been writing retro gaming features for over ten years now so thought it was about time I had a go at writing a book.After thinking on a few ideas over the last few years, I finally decided to focus on something close to my heart, theZX Spectrum. As a kid, I loved reading the reviews of terrible games in Crash so thought it would be fun to write aboutthose games.

“How long has it taken to research for the new book?”
Ages! And I had to play a lot of absolutely terrible games, or terribly hard games, so it’s not always been fun.

“What is in the new book that will tempt retro fans to hand over their cash?”

The book is split into four chapters. Chapter one is about those special games that were simply awful, the absoluteworst of the Spectrum software scene. Chapter two is similar, but focuses on terrible licensed games. Chapter 3 is about those games that were so
tough they drove us to tears while chapter four is on Spectrum-related controversies. That was fun.

“Tell us more about the Kickstarter?”
My publisher and I are currently in discussions as to whether we will go down the kickstarter route or not.

“When is your book due for release?”
Hopefully by the end of the summer. I’m currently editing and all screenshots have been done.

“How long have you been writing books?”
This is my first book but I’ve been a freelance games writer for over 10 years.

“What are your plans after this book is published?”
Retire to a Carribean island! Seriously, if this goes down well, I have another idea for a Spectrum-related book.And I’m currently working on a book with Fusion Retro Books about Graftgold, a games developer from Essex.

“What was your first gaming experience?”
Like many folk in their late-Forties it was all about the arcade games in my youth. Whether it was the Space Invaders at my dad’s cricket club, the
cocktail cab Missile Command at the hotel we used to holiday at or the many wondrous arcades of Southend-on-Sea, I loved – and still love – arcade games.

“My favourite computer was my Amiga, and my favourite console the Megadrive.  Do you have a favourite?”
Favourite computer definitely the Spectrum. I can say for sure I wouldn’t be where I was today without it!

My favourite console is also the Sega Mega Drive. So many wonderful games such as Desert Strike, the original FIFAs, Streets Of Rage 2 and all those fantastic
arcade conversions.

“What is your favourite retro game?”

That’s a tough question! Either Chaos on the Spectrum or Streets Of Rage 2 on the Mega Drive. I still play both regularly.

“Do you still game on the current consoles and if so what is your favourite game?”

Yes, although sadly I don’t have much time to do so these days. I loved the Xbox 360, but now I play on a PS4. I’ve just finished playing a VR game calledThe Persistence, which was pretty scary!

“Whats the worst game you have ever played?”

Sqij! It was so bad you couldn’t even play it due to a bug. How it ever got released we’ll never know.

“Finally who would you like ZX Spectrum Now to interview?

Mervyn Estcourt. Good luck with that one!