What Video Games Do SEOs Like? A Superboss-sized Survey!

Intro from Steve: Although I’m a big advocate of guest blogging, I told myself I probably wouldn’t host guest posts on SEOno. But after chatting to Emma Barnes about a potential post, I couldn’t resist. Emma is a Data Analyst at Branded3 and runs her own blog about video games called Gaming Memoirs. I’m extremely lucky to have such an awesome post as my first guest post and – as you’ll see below – Emma put A LOT of time into this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Hello Faithful readers of SEOno – I’m Emma, who Steve has kindly let write all over his blog.

Likelihood is, if you’re reading this – you work in the SEO industry, hooray! So do I. I am one of those rare people that fits into the middle part of this Venn Diagram:

Stuck in the middle with me
Stuck in the middle with me

A while ago I saw this awesome post by Alessio about SEO taste in music and then I totally stole his brilliant idea because I’m not very creative had a chat with Steve and we thought it would be cool to do a similar survey across SEO people who play video games.

Starting Stats

  • 27 SEOs
  • 14 Questions about games
  • Interesting Stats that don’t really mean anything
  • Pictures what I drew
  • Some very fun memories of games from within the SEO community
  • 1 big table of thanks

What do you mean “stats that don’t really mean anything”?

I can show you a nice graph like this:


And tell you something like

  • More than half of SEOs consider themselves casual gamers
  • Only 12% of SEO gamers consider themselves “Hardcore” gamers
  • 4% of people who took this survey don’t consider themselves to be gamers

But I can’t tell you that. I didn’t interview enough SEOs for this to be representative of the entire community, nor did I exclusively interview SEOs who consider themselves “SEO gamers” – as you can see, one of my interviewees doesn’t even consider themselves to be a gamer. You must also keep in mind, that not everyone answered every question – I asked 27 SEOs 14 Questions about games, but only 25 answered the question above.

So like I said “Stats that don’t really mean anything” except “this statistic shows this many SEOs who answered this question think this”. So when I say “most people” – keep the previous sentence in mind.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be fun things to learn. What I really want you to see is stuff like “Wow, I didn’t know he played Call of Duty, maybe he’ll add me!” or “I played that game as a kid too!” and get really nice memories from it.

Console Ownage

The people I asked owned between 0 and 11 (Michael Auty!) consoles. Most people owned 1-2 consoles – however people seldom counted things such as PCs, portable consoles and mobile phones as a console. So I am inclined to think the average values (learn about averages here or obligatory authority link to Wikipedia because that means my links will count more right?) might be higher than those below:

  • Mean number of consoles: 2
  • Mode number of consoles: 1 (this means it was most popular to own just one)
  • Median number of consoles: 2

Of the people asked, 82% only owned current generation consoles (PCs, XBOX360, PS3 and Wii) – the only old consoles that remained were:

  • SNES (Peter Attia, Michael Auty, Oliver Mason)
  • N64 (Oliver Mason, Michael Auty, Steve Morgan)
  • PS2 (Myself, Michael Auty, Steve Morgan)
  • Gamecube, Game Boy Colour (Myself, Michael Auty)
  • Sega Mega Drive (Michael Auty, Steve Morgan)
  • PSX, Game Boy Advance (Michael Auty)
  • Sega Dreamcast (Steve Morgan)

The interesting conclusion from this is that most retro consoles are Nintendo consoles – SEOs seem to have a love for Nintendo that holds them.

However, look at current ownage of current generation consoles:


Nintendo seems to have lost its hold over the years. Many of us have fond memories of Nintendo – 46% of people I asked said a Nintendo (of some sort) was their first console. Yet only 27% of people who answered currently own a Wii.

Speaking of first consoles and generations of gaming (we are currently on the 7th Generation moving into the 8th with the introduction of the Wii U) – let’s take a look at where our SEO group began their gaming adventure:


It seems that most people began their gaming adventure in Generation 2-4. However, this doesn’t take one important thing into account – The people who first played in an arcade! A massive shout to AJ Kohn and Debra Mastaler who grew up with arcade games and have memories of pockets full of quarters and playing Centipede in college bars.

Place your bets!
Place your bets!

What are you currently Playing?

This was asked back at the start of December 2012 so I imagine some answers have changed.

The most popular series to be playing at the time were:

  • Call of Duty (Phil Broadhead, Dave Peiris, Kevin Wiles, Bill Sebald, Kev Strong)
  • Skyrim (Mike Essex, Barry Adams, Steve Morgan)
  • Assassin’s Creed (Phil Broadhead, Matt Redford)
  • FIFA (Jon Cooper, Ben Jones, Joost de Valk, Joseph Griffiths)

Other games being played at the time:

Arkham City, Bastion, Donkey Kong, Digital Devil Saga 2, Fallout 3, Far Cry 3, Fieldrunners 2, Halo 4, Ingress, LA Noire, League of Legends, Metroid Fusion, Persona 4, Pokemon Yellow, Red Dead Redemption, Shadow Hearts, Super Mario Bros, World of Warcraft, WWE13, XCOM

Is it just me or does the guy on the front of Fifa 13 look really really excited to be playing football?
Is it just me or does the guy on the front of Fifa 13 look really really excited to be playing football?

What was the first game you played?

3 Series made it into the “Most commonly played as a first game”

  • Alex Kidd (Phil Broadhead, Matt Redford, Dave Peiris)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Myself, Joseph Griffiths and Kevin Wiles)
  • Mario (Kevin Wiles, Kev Strong, Jon Cooper, Steve Morgan, Michael Auty, Dan Cristo, Oliver Mason, Mike Essex)
Don’t take SEO advice from Sega characters. You all remember what happened to the Dreamcast, right?
Don’t take SEO advice from Sega characters. You all remember what happened to the Dreamcast, right?

Other games that were “First” games:

Adventure, Asteroids, Carrier Command, Centipede, Chase HQ, Dizzy the Egg, Duck Hunt, Fiendish Freddie’s Big Top of Fun, F-Zero, Lode Runner, Mega Man 3, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Spy Hunter, Techmo’s World Cup 90, Tetris

What is your favourite game

There is a massive variety of “favourites” here! In order of “most put into favourites lists”

6 Favourites

  • Final Fantasy – (Richard Shove, Joseph Griffiths, Steve Morgan, Michael Auty, Dan Cristo, Peter Attia) – Surprising no-one, VII comes out top. Peter Attia is the odd-man out, choosing FFIII as his favourite

4 Favourites

  • Mario – (Kev Strong, Mike Essex, Rhys Wynne, Sean Revell) Super Mario 3 and MarioKart feature often
  • Metal Gear/Metal Gear Solid – (Dave Peiris, AJ Radburn, Peter Attia, Kev Strong) – The original is most often listed
  • Street Fighter – (Bill Sebald, Richard Shove, Kev Strong, Rhys Wynne) – Always Street Fighter II

3 Favourites

  • Civilisation – (Barry Adams, Jon Cooper, Rhys Wynne)
  • Grand Theft Auto – (Andy Parker, Kev Strong, Sean Revell) –GTA III features most often, but more on that later
  • Mortal Kombat – (Bill Sebald, Kev Strong, Rhys Wynne) – Mostly the Original is the favourite, Rhys is the odd one out
  • Sonic the Hedgehog – (Matt Redford, Ben Jones, Kev Strong)
  • Tetris – (Richard Shove, Kev Strong, Sean Revell)

2 Favourites

  • Call of Duty – (Kevin Wiles, Kev Strong) – Maybe it’s a thing for people called Kevin to like CoD
  • Elder Scrolls – (Barry Adams, Michael Auty) – Both Skyrim and Oblivion
  • Fall Out – (Michael Auty, Sean Revell) – Both selected Fallout 3 as their favourite
  • FIFA – (Kevin Wiles, Jon Cooper)
  • Halo – (Ben Jones, Peter Attia)
  • Mass Effect – (Barry Adams, Rhys Wynne)
  • Quake – (Richard Shove, Rhys Wynne)
  • Red Dead Redemption – (AJ Radburn, Andy Parker)
  • Resident Evil – (Joseph Griffiths, Sean Revell)
  • Shenmue – (Matt Redford, Mike Essex)
  • Starcraft – (Peter Attia, Jon Cooper)
  • Twisted Wheel – (Bill Sebald, Rhys Wynne)
  • World of Warcraft – (Barry Adams, Richard Shove)
If Mario, Chun-Li & Snake had to fight for 2nd and 3rd position, who would lose out?
If Mario, Chun-Li & Snake had to fight for 2nd and 3rd position, who would lose out?

Other series that were listed as favourites:

Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed, Baldur’s Gate, Battlefield, Blackjack, Broken Sword, Chopper Command, Command and Conquer, Contra, Dead Space, Deus Ex, Detective Game, Diablo, Dizzy Series, Don’t Shit Your Pants, Doom, Elevator Action, EVE Online, EVO, Flimbo’s Quest, Food Fight, Football Mananger, Galaga, Goldeneye, Grand Prix, Heavy Rain, Lemmings, Madden, Max Payne, Mega Man, Metroid, Monkey Island, Need for Speed, NiGHTs, Paperboy, Pilotwings, Pirates, Pitfall, Planescape, Pokemon, Pole Position, Portal, Project Gotham Racing, Qbert, Rayman, Road Rash, Sensible Soccer, Sim Ant, Sinistar, Skies of Arcadia, Smash Bros, Solitaire, Soul Calibur, Starmaster, Streets of Rage, Super Meat Boy,Team Fortress, Tekken, Tomb Raider, Transport Tycoon, Uncharted, Wolfenstein, WWF, Yoshi’s Island

What is the worst game you’ve played?

Now, this question had a 70% response rate compared to “What is your favourite Game?”’s 100%. I presume it’s because favourite’s stay with you for longer than worsts which can be easier blocked from your memory.

An interesting point here was that no one shared the same “worst” game or even from the same series.

So let’s have a look at “worst” games and their scores from Review Aggregator GameRankings.com:

  • 40-50%: Duke Nukem Forever, Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 (Joost de Valk, Mike Essex)
  • 50-60%: E.T., BurgerTime (Bill Sebald, Peter Attia)
  • 60-70%: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Primal Rage, Kinect Adventures (Matt Redford, Richard Shove, Mike Essex)
  • 70-80%: Jackie Chan Adventures, Mag, Rocky, Wetrix, Doom (GBA version) (Andy Parker, Dave Peiris, Kev Strong, Steve Morgan, Myself)
  • 80-90%: UFC, Viva Pinata, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddesee (Kevin Wiles, Ben Jones, Joseph Griffiths)
  • 90%+: Grand Theft Auto IV (Michael Auty)

So, although we did unearth some horrible games (anything under 60%) the majority of games that were considered “worst” got favourable reviews – so in the end it’s all down to taste. Perhaps someone plays something that’s outside their genre of choice, and they don’t really like it (I know that’s the case with me not liking Doom anyway).

Your game was bad, you should feel bad
Your game was bad, you should feel bad

Some other horrible games we unearthed that did not have scores on GameRankings:

Barbie, Dungeons and Dragons, Police! Camera! Action!, Street Machine and Transport Tycoon

A common theme I noticed with “worst” games was games based on something else (Indiana Jones, Jackie Chan, Rocky, Barbie, Dungeons and Dragons) as well as well known franchises trying to re-launch (Duke Nukem, Sonic the Hedgehog, Grand Theft Auto). People seem to prefer the originals and films don’t often make good games (Goldeneye being the main exception).

Naming and Shaming!

With a response rate of only 59% many people struggled to answer the question “What was the most embarrassing game you’ve ever owned?”. I suppose the definition might be “what game would you be embarrassed to have your friends see you play?” or “what game are you embarrassed to admit you liked”.

So, time for some naming and shaming (in alphabetical order because it’s easier this way)

Both Andy Parker and Kev Strong think that popular real-life simulation game The Sims is embarrassing. What can I say, I love the Sims.

Ben Jones thinks that the colourful Croc: Legend of the Gobbos is embarrassing but fun.

Bill Sebald admits to having played adult-orientated Leisure Suit Larry (which is getting a remake, if you’re interested…)

Dan Cristo cited the Dragon breeding simulator DragonVale as his most embarrassing game.

Emma Barnes (that’s me) openly admits to playing Princess Maker 2 on a regular basis. Basically, you find a 10 year old girl and raise her to be a princess. Yep.

Joseph Griffiths is embarrassed to admit that he’s played Pokemon. Nothing to be ashamed about in my eyes…

Kevin Wiles owned a Peppa Pig game once upon a time. He says he bought it for a partner’s daughter and has never played it.

Mike Essex thinks that the mega-cute housework based game Chibi-Robo is somewhat embarrassing.

Oliver Mason lists both Pokemon Snap! (which is fun, but embarrassing) and JFK: Reloaded (yes, that is a game based on the assassination of JFK) as his embarrassing games

Peter Attia says that childish Japanese game about rolling rubbish into space Katamari Damacy comes to mind along with the word “embarrassing”.

Peter Handley lists American Football parody Blood Bowl as the most embarrassing game he’s ever played.

Rand Fishkin mentions the video game version of Dungeons and Dragons was pretty embarrassing. (AJ Kohn listed this as the worst game he’d played, so maybe you guys are onto something).

Rhys Wynne is brave in admitting he’s played Samantha Fox’s Strip Poker. This is for the Commodore 64 and you get to see pixelated boobs if you win (back in the days when kids had to work hard for their porn).

Sean Revell thinks that cutesy Animal Crossing is one of those shameful games.

Steve Morgan is quite embarrassed about owning all-singing, all-dancing, dress-‘em-up spin-off Final Fantasy X-2. I’ll give you his words:

I think X-2’s probably the most embarrassing game I’ve ever owned. I was living away at the time in a flat full of lads and we only had a PlayStation in the communal area. I knew I’d get some stick anyway (being a geeky RPG rather than some manly guts-everywhere shoot-’em-up) but when it got into it, it was painful. I mean the dancing… the dancing… I still get nightmares…

I don’t think Steve really minded that much
I don’t think Steve really minded that much

An easy Statistic

59% of people asked said they played games online. If you do, be sure to add some of your fellow SEOs to your Xbox Live/PSN accounts so you can shoot each other up in Call of Duty or whatever you online CoD players do.

Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, Legend of Zelda & Pokemon

I asked the question “Have you played any of the above series, and which was your favourite” so, results are in:

Final Fantasy


Final Fantasy is an ongoing series that currently have 14 entries spanning 25 years. However, of the 16 people that had an opinion on Final Fantasy games, only 6 of the titles made it into the favourite spot.

  • Final Fantasy (Bill Sebald)
  • Final Fantasy III (Rand Fishkin, Peter Attia)
  • Final Fantasy VII (Peter Attia, Peter Handley, Dave Peiris, Richard Shove, Joseph Griffiths, Kev Strong, Michael Auty, Rhys Wynne, Steve Morgan)
  • Final Fantasy VIII (Ben Jones)
  • Final Fantasy X (Mike Essex)
  • Final Fantasy XII (Myself, Steve Morgan)

Naturally, Final Fantasy VII was the fan favourite – I’d say it would be the same across any industry or group of fans. It appeared more than once in a question I ask later about video game memories. (Stay tuned)

Grand Theft Auto


Grand Theft Auto is the game people played because their parents would freak out if they found out. It’s spanned 15 years and Grand Theft Auto 5 is due to be released soon (many of you seem excited about it). All of the main titles have made it into the “favourites” category.

  • Grand Theft Auto (Bill Sebald, Peter Attia)
  • Grand Theft Auto 2 (Rhys Wynne)
  • Grand Theft Auto III (Phil Broadhead, Sean Revell, Joseph Griffiths)
  • Grand Theft Auto III: Vice City (Peter Handley, Richard Shove, Ben Jones)
  • Grand Theft Auto III: San Andreas (Michael Auty, Steve Morgan, Andy Parker, Oliver Mason)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (AJ Radburn, Dave Peiris, Kev Strong, Mike Essex)

So, Grand Theft Auto doesn’t have a dominant favourite – there seems to be a great divide between people who loved III and IV.

Legend of Zelda


I’ll admit it, I added this to the list because I wanted to make some SEO/Link jokes, but the results actually interested me quite a lot. This series is nearly 27 years old and the new games are vastly different from the older ones. There are 16 main titles, but only 7 made it on to favourites lists.

In chronological order we have:

  • The Legend of Zelda (1986) (Bill Sebald, Kev Strong, Ben Jones, Rand Fishkin)
  • A Link to the Past (1991) (Peter Attia, Rhys Wynne, Oliver Mason)
  • Link’s Awakening (1993) (Oliver Mason)
  • Ocarina of Time (1998) (Joseph Griffiths, Andy Parker, Peter Handley)
  • Majora’s Mask (2000) (Mike Essex)
  • Wind Waker (2002) (Myself)
  • Phantom Hourglass (2007) (Sean Revell)

Of the people that had an opinion on The Legend of Zelda series, only 3 of them had favourites that were released in the new millennium. Moreover, more than half of those asked preferred games with 2D graphics. This goes to show that a game doesn’t need the most up to date graphics to remain memorable (as was witnessed with Final Fantasy VII leading the way previously).


Now, I really love Pokemon. It’s a very special game to me and I thought I’d find out if it was a special game to any one else in the SEO Community.

I was very sad to learn that 55% of people surveyed had never played a game, and only 22% had on opinion of their favourite game.

Interestingly – the favourite games were all games from the first generation of Pokemon (Blue, Red and Yellow). With the Exception of Michael Auty who listed Pokemon Snap! As his favourite (it’s a spin off game, where instead of battling, you take photographs of Pokemon).

So, shout out to fellow fans with opinions: Oliver Mason, Mike Essex, Matt Redford, Joseph Griffiths, Ben Jones and Michael Auty

Favourite Genre of Game

Like having a favourite game, everyone has a favourite type of game. Here are the genres that cropped up as favourites with some examples of games that fall into that category.


  • Role Playing Games – Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, Fallout (Joost de Valk, Matt Redford, Dan Cristo, Myself, Joseph Griffiths, Rand Fishkin, Richard Shove, Barry Adams, Peter Handley, Michael Auty)
  • First Person Shooters – Wolfenstein, Doom, Call of Duty (AJ Radburn, Ben Jones, Dave Peiris, Kev Strong, Peter Attia, Barry Adams)
  • Action/Adventure – Legend of Zelda, Tomb Raider, God of War (Kevin Wiles, Bill Sebald, Andy Parker, Mike Essex, Matt Redford)
  • Sports – FIFA, Championship Manager, Madden (Bill Sebald, Jon Cooper)
  • Strategy – Civilisation, StarCraft, League of Legends (Oliver Mason, Peter Handley)
  • Racing – Mario Kart, Ridge Racer, Need for Speed (Phil Broadhead, Matt Redford)

Other genres that were listed as favourites were: Beat-Em-Up, Fantasy, Historical, Open World, Platform, Sci-Fi, MMO and the very unique “Sean” genre which is defined as “Games that Sean Revell likes”.

What did Gaming Teach you about SEO?

There is a big debate in the SEO community recently as to whether “What X taught me about Y” or “How X is similar to Y” posts are amazing or whether they are bullshit. So, I decided to test the waters to see who thought this question was worth answering.

Amazingly, only 4 people declined to answer this question so here we go! I shall let you decide who’s being serious and who’s taking the piss.

Mike Essex already wrote a post dedicated to this so his answer is a little longer, but he managed to condense it to “At its heart gaming is just a series of inputs that generate an outcome that you continue to tweak until you “win”. SEO is the same. You choose your moves, you read a guide if you get stuck, and then you wait to see what happens. If you don’t win then you change your strategy until you do.

Debra Mastaler: “Can’t say gaming has taught me anything about SEO specifically but I do think the industry as a whole is a great one to watch for trends and marketing insights. Have you noticed how many brands now have a “fun” app for download or are doing product endorsements in games? Case in point: Sonic and Progressive Insurance, it’s a great tie-in and opens Progressive to an entirely new and upcoming audience. Kids grow up and need insurance don’t they? How about Unchartered 3 and Subway? Another solid co-endorsement where each brings valuable exposure to a different demographic. Everyone needs and wants to take a break, apps and games are a great way to slip your brand into a captive audience and make an impression.

Rand Fishkin: “Figure out the system, tinker with the edges of possibilities, and use cheat codes if you can’t beat a level 🙂

Richard Shove: “Gaming like anything requires patience and practice to get better at it. I’ve always been quite a patient sort of guy and I think a lot of that is down to gaming. You’re not going to pwn the best after a few goes, you have to practice and test new things in order to get better. Also, cheating is ultimately dangerous in the long term and doesn’t give you the same satisfaction. As an aside, you always have to keep up to date (patches) in order to avoid problems.

Oliver MasonGaming taught me that I can stop learning SEO and just play video games. I learned that I don’t actually have to read anything as long as I can retweet some articles with sagely non-committal statements. Thanks Vidya!

Ben JonesGoogle is the final boss. You have to slowly work your way up even losing the odd life on the way to be able to defeat them and be at the top of the scoreboard (rankings)

“Don’t be evil” they said, “We’re your friends” they said...
“Don’t be evil” they said, “We’re your friends” they said…

Peter AttiaI think gaming helped me become sensibly competitive. I always hated losing when I was a kid and would get so mad I’d have to walk away. Now, I’m able to take that anger and concentrate on getting better; doing whatever I can to beat everyone else. I think this has helped me in SEO, because in a very broad sense, it’s just about beating your competitors.

Kevin WilesI’d have to say that playing call of duty is a little like SEO in the fact you always want to get no.1 and it takes a lot of time and effort to get there also the fact you get the campers who are just like the black hat seo guys.

AJ KohnIf I were to stretch things to come up with an analogy I’d say it taught me how to focus on the right opportunities. Walk into that arcade with 20 quarters and you want to maximize your game time. So you go for games where you can have fun but also where you are going to be half-way decent and be at the controls for a while.

Bill SebaldIt taught me that if a campaign doesn’t go well, or if you are struggling for an answer, you can easily share the one truth of SEO, a special secret not many people know, and that secret is….LOOK BEHIND YOU A THREE HEADED MONKEY!!! **runs away**

Dan CristoThere might be some SEO lessons learned by the benefits of fully exploring an environment/system, mastering competition and bending the rules of a created universe, but I think the biggest lessons for me are business lessons learned from WoW. Specifically the people management skills involved with running guild. Most important is the need to organize, motivate and deal with large groups of people. There are also lessons to be learned with game mechanics and how things like leader-boards are played out in real life with search results rankings.

Steve MorganLink building is like an RPG: leveling up takes time. But the more you level up, the better chance you have of taking out that superboss (#1 position site for head term).

Emma BarnesHaving a lot of well balanced characters is better than having one really strong character and all the others are shite. Same goes for links? DEBATE

Kev StrongProblem solving would be the main one. The whole Cause & Effect mentality comes from many hours playing games such as Broken Sword, searching meticulously for the solution in riddles and problems that I would normally have never experienced riding round the streets on my mountain bike pretending to be in BMX Bandits. Also, playing online in gaming clans during RTCW taught me how to be patient and not rush in, communicate clearly, think objectively and try to think several steps ahead. And when the shit hits the fan how to react quickly, succinctly and with clinical finishing.

Matt RedfordPuzzle solving, patience, hand / eye co-ordination, creativity, relaxation, design influences… all useful SEO skills 🙂

Michael AutyThere’s only one thing gaming directly taught me about SEO and that was when I joined a gaming forum and noticed the users at the bottom with names like Google & Bing, first time I’d come across spiders. It’s the skills that gaming taught me that helped me in SEO Such as being able to approach a task at a different angle or look at it from another point of view, also it teaches perfectionism (or at least if you end up doing all item x99 runs on FFVII). Imagination is another key element I took from gaming, generally if I’m away from ‘stimulation’ such as gaming/books/GOOD TV shows, then I end up locking myself down and looking at things in a very linear and analytical way whereas if I’ve been playing a good game or reading a good book I can aproach my work in a more more creative and fluid manner (All work no play makes jack a dull boy). Also playing the lesser known JRPGs has taught me to speak to every random person in the street just in case they have a long lost daughter or something I can go find for a fiver and a rusty sword.

Not about SEO specifically but these ones are still good:

Joost de ValkIt taught me (most of my) english 🙂

Joseph GriffithsPc gaming taught me how to type super quick!

Phil BroadheadProduct placement has to be in the right context

Sean RevellGaming taught me that winning can be a lot easier if you know the cheat codes.

Someone I am not going to name: “If you look hard enough you can find people in GTA that look like THAT annoying client, then you can drive over them in a dustbin lorry.

Look how well drawn that dustbin lorry is.
Look how well drawn that dustbin lorry is.

SEO Gaming Memories

You may or may not know that I run a video game review blog called “Gaming Memoirs” – the idea is for me to put all my favourite memories of games onto a blog. So, this is a collective memory pool for SEOs.

Spoilers are visible if you highlight them – some beautiful memories here.

[I’ll mark spoilers with [SP] [/SP], otherwise in some cases it might just look like a gap in the text – Steve]

Matt RedfordA favourite memory, childhood based, was going to play NBA Jam on a friends Mega Drive. It was so much fun at the time – getting all the spectacular dunks – along with the commentary. Road Rash 2 / Streets of Range multiplayer return fond memories too.

Jon CooperAbout a month ago I got to play one of my good friend’s little brother in FIFA on his PS3 (I’m a native XBOX guy), and I was quickly losing 0-2. I managed to tie it up in the 85th minute, then score the winning goal in extra time. The win was almost as glorious as the taunting that ensued.

Phil BroadheadBattlefield 3 Online

Emma BarnesRecently I was playing Digital Devil Saga 2 and one of my characters had just learnt a really powerful healing spell. [SP] He died in the next cutscene. [/SP] I was close to tears.

Joseph GriffithsBosses in FFVII

Peter AttiaFinal Fantasy 7 when the main protagonist [SP] realized who he really was [/SP]. It was an unexpected twist that fit the story well.

Peter Handley‘Go for the eyes Boo, go for the eyes, yaaaargh’

What too much Excel does to a man
What too much Excel does to a man

Michael AutyI love the feeling when you finally beat something you’ve been struggling with or is difficult as hell. Best moment in single play was probably FFX getting 0:00:00 on the chocobo race for Tidus’s ultimate weapon – or any of those damn ultimates.

Favourite online play moment: Chilling at a bomb site in counterstrike waiting for the Terrorist team to come plant the bomb, see movement just behind the stairs I’m looking at, fire three shots get three headshot, That felt awesome.. well until one of their team-mates snuck up behind me with a shotgun.”

Richard ShoveI think the most ‘OMG WTF’ moment I’ve had in a game is the twist to the plot in Star Wars: The Old Republic – ([SP] You are Darth Revan [/SP]) And [in FFVII] [SP] Aeris Dies [/SP]

Rand FishkinIn Planescape, there was a recurring question about “what can change the nature of a man?” If I recall, there’s one ending where it’s revealed that the answer is [SP] “regret.” [/SP] Weirdly, as I’ve grown up and observed the world around me and the behaviour of human beings, that seems like a pretty accurate statement. Mere trial and error doesn’t change someone’s nature, but regret truly does.

Mike EssexMost of my favourite moments come from games I’ve played with friends – whether that’s with my wife helping solve problems in Zelda from the sofa or her saving me from a zombie dog attack in Resident Evil 6. Likewise when I first played Halo I played the entire game in two player with a friend and it made it an even greater experience. It was our first taste of that console generation and having someone else say “woah” at impressive moments made them all the sweeter. My first Halo LAN party was also amazing. Seeing 16 people filling a house and huddling around four consoles was such good fun.

Rhys WynneProbably a few months ago was finally completing The Dective Game on the C64. For the unaware it’s probably the toughest game I’ve ever played. You play a detective in a mansion with various characters, one of which is the murderer. Over time the guests are bumped off, so you need to get information about the “Evidence” (12 items hidden in the house) out of them before they are bumped off. After getting them you need to confront the murderer, who is armed, and arrest him before he either murders you or escapes. It is a game that took me YEARS to beat, as it is completely unforgiving. Miss a clue and you lose, and you don’t know you lose until you are murdered by the murderer (which is two hours later). It is such an atmospheric game, and the ending is one of the best twists in video games ever. I won’t spoil it, get a spoiler free guide and play it 🙂 My favourite moment in a game as such is [SP] Aeris’ death [/SP] in Final Fantasy 7. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried.

Andy ParkerScoring a diving header on FIFA INTERNATIONAL SOCCER 1994 from the half way line. It was in a knockout tournament at a birthday party and turned out to be the winning goal in the final. I think it was a bug and a few people agreed and suggested the game be replayed. I didn’t and a mass brawl broke out and ruined my mates 10th birthday party. Well worth it. Also kicking my dad’s ass on PGA Tour Golf on the Amiga.

Oliver Mason[SP] Snape Kills Dumbledore [/SP]

Dan CristoTaking a 40 man crew down to Molton Core in Warcraft and downing Ragnaros for the first time. That to me was the pinnacle of achievement, and it took a large group of people many months of raiding to do it.

Ben JonesThat damn dog in Duck hunt that laughs at you when you miss.

Dave PeirisThe boss fight with Psycho mantis in Metal Gear Solid where he can read your mind, so you have to [SP] plug the controller into port 2 instead [/SP].

Barry AdamsWinning my first Civilisation game was a pretty epic moment. More recently the final, final bit of Halo Reach is pretty poignant. [SP] As a gamer you don’t really expect your player character to die, especially one that you’ve played the whole campaign with. And all throughout Halo Reach you know it’s going to happen, because it’s such a pivotal aspect of the Halo series’ backstory, but actually fighting to the death with your character as the planet burns around you… [/SP] that was a tough one

Sean RevellBlowing up Megaton on Fallout 3 is pretty good fun”

Kev StrongEarliest favourite moment was saving Princess Peach on Super Mario Bros II. I remember jumping round like Fred Savage in The Wizard (even though that was before it was out :s). That was the first game I clocked. First moment of “utter frustration” and “OMG so cool!” was Metal Gear Solid where I spent ages trying to kill Psycho Mantis – I mean HOURS – before a mate told me what to do: [SP] Swapping to controller 2 to stop him reading your mind [/SP]

Joost de ValkGetting a Level 99 Amazon in Diablo II online, this was before I got a real job and lost the time to play like that 🙂

AJ KohnMost of my best memories are in just being in an arcade hall for hours playing something awesome with everyone else hanging around and watching.

The Best Soundtrack from a Video Game

I’m a massive nerd – most of the music I listen to on a regular basis is video game music. So, we had to ask: what’s your favourite game soundtrack. Here are the series that came out top:

Final Fantasy (5 Favourites: Joseph Griffiths, Michael Auty, Dan Cristo, Richard Shove, Steve Morgan)

Mario (4 Favourites: Bill Sebald, Jon Cooper, Rand Fishkin, Sean Revell)

Assassin’s Creed (2 Favourites: Phil Broadhead, Matt Redford)

Grand Theft Auto (2 Favourites: Richard Shove, Kev Strong)

Jet Set Radio (2 Favourites: Oliver Mason, Ben Jones)

Tetris (2 Favourites: Bill Sebald, Rand Fishkin)

Other favourite series music included: Advent Rising, Burnout, Carmageddon, Chrono Trigger, Fallout, Gran Turismo, Halo, Ingress, Marble Magic, Mass Effect, Megaman, Motley Crüe (Crüe Ball), Need for Speed, Outrun, Persona, Portal, Red Dead Redemption, Smackdown Vs Raw, Street Fighter, Tony Hawk, Wipeout

Another Simple Stat

I asked if we had any mobile gamers. 65% of people who answered said yes.

The best mobile games are:

  • Angry Birds (4 Favourites, AJ Radburn, Kevin Wiles, Joost de Valk, AJ Kohn)
  • Fruit Ninja (2 Favourites, AJ Kohn, Joseph Griffiths)
  • Infinity Blade (2 Favourites, Peter Attia, Dan Cristo)

Other worthy mentions are: Bejewelled, Broken Sword, DragonVale, Fantasy, Fieldrunners, Fire Emblem Lunar Racer, Lushington Springs, Machinarium, New Star Soccer, Peggle, Ping Pong, Plague Inc, Rayman Jungle Run, Spiderman, Super Stickman Golf, Tales of Monkey Island, Tiny Wings, World of Goo, Zookeeper

Finally, which SEOs are most ‘compatible’?

Do you see that I’ve listed who likes what often? Some people keep cropping up in the same brackets. So, our most compatible SEOs are:

Kev Strong and David Peiris

The memory of fighting Killer Mantis is strong here
The memory of fighting Killer Mantis is strong here

Michael Auty and Steve Morgan

Lots of Final Fantasy nerding here
Lots of Final Fantasy nerding here

If you want to see which SEOs were most compatible with each other check out this Google Doc I made.

So I hope you’ve found something cool and interesting in this post – please feel free in the comments to engage and answer any of the questions I’ve posed!

Special thanks to everyone who got involved:

SEO Twitter Site XBOX PSN Steam
Emma Barnes @ www victorvictim
Steve Morgan @ www
Dan Cristo @ www
Peter Handley @ www ismepete ismepete
Debra Mastaler @ www
Jon Cooper @ www CheerwineFTW
Rand Fiskin @ www
Bill Sebald @ www billthemountain
AJ Radburn @ www
Matt Redford @ www Mr Matt 84
Kevin Wiles @ www kev0490
Barry Adams @ www GrumpyOldDude
Ben Jones @ www Mr Benopolis
Dave Peiris @ www illdave
Peter Attia @ www
Mike Essex @ www Gamerswave
Sean Revell @ www
AJ Kohn @ www
Joost de Valk @ www
Andy Parker @ www parkbeans
Rhys Wynne @ www rhysieboy84
Kev Strong @ www Goosh2005
Richard Shove @ www Bravetart360
Phil Broadhead @ www Toycel03 Toycel03
Joseph Griffiths @ www
Michael Auty @ www ElliotMajor ElliotMajor
Oliver Mason @ www OHGM

Emma Barnes on Google+


  • Emma

    January 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm Reply

    Thanks for letting me post here Steve! If anyone wants to chat, catch me on Twitter 🙂

    • Steve

      January 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm Reply

      No problem – likewise, thanks for the post! 🙂

  • Philip Broadhead

    January 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm Reply

    Great post and some of them games bring back some memories, some good some not so good…

    • Emma

      January 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply

      Yep! Some good reminders of my childhood here!

  • Victor Pan

    January 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm Reply

    Oh man. Emma sure can draw. Was this done in good ol’ paint?

    Nothing beats ol’ time bonding like a inhouse LAN party for geeks like me.

    That, or finding the ol’ Altari/Nintendo/Sega/3DO (Who remembers this console?) and busting out the CD’s or cartridges.

    • Emma

      January 29, 2013 at 11:12 am Reply

      Hi Victor! Thanks for your compliment! Believe it or not it was done in Photoshop (I envy people who can draw using Paint!) – I am actually no good compared to my artist friends! I just like drawing cartoons and playing games.

      I miss my childhood Sega. I don’t know what happened to it. 🙁

  • Bill Sebald

    January 28, 2013 at 7:38 pm Reply

    This was fun. Love that you included gamertags at the end too. There’s a lot of games that this post reminded me I also played. Maybe I’m a bigger gamer than I thought.

    Oh, one edit – it’s Twisted Metal, not Twisted Wheel, and part 2 was an awesome game that made me miss a lot of college class.

    • Emma

      January 29, 2013 at 11:13 am Reply

      Yes, I think I figured it was Twisted Metal (not Wheel) when I Googled it (mind went kooky) – but a good addition!

      Glad it reminded you of some cool stuff 🙂

  • Rhys

    January 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm Reply

    I am fully respectful of my fellow SEO’s, but oh my goodness, they are so wrong.

    Grand Theft Auto 2 was the ULTIMATE sandbox game. It had a shed load of freedom and you could manage gangs. None of this impressive 3D crap. Best game of the series.

    Thanks for featuring me 😀

    • Emma

      January 29, 2013 at 11:15 am Reply

      It was a pleasure to have you and all your gaming knowledge!!

  • Pedro Pereira

    January 29, 2013 at 9:43 am Reply

    Where´s Battlefield 3?!

    Baaaaa 😛

    • Emma

      January 29, 2013 at 11:16 am Reply

      I’m sure Battlefield came up but obviously not as much and CoD!

  • Alan Charncok

    January 29, 2013 at 9:59 am Reply

    Nothing beat COD in my eyes, Kevin is on the true path!

    • Emma

      January 29, 2013 at 11:16 am Reply

      There are a LOT of CoD players! Get them on your XBOX and try not to shoot them!

  • Harry Gardiner

    January 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply

    What a fantastically insightful article, as many have said before it’s a proper trip down memory lane with some games!

    Have very fond memories of staying up until the early hours of the morning trying desperately hard to complete Donkey Kong Country and all the games included in Super Mario All-stars on the SNES.

    I also still use the sound of Sonic running out of air as my alarm to get me up in the morning, the panic from hearing that sound has been forever ingrained in me after years of trying to beat Sonic 2.

    They definitely don’t make them like they used too.

    I would love to see this done on a much wider scale.
    I can definitely see and SEO/Video Game crossover convention happening in the future.

    • Emma

      January 31, 2013 at 3:20 pm Reply

      OH MY GOD. MOST TERROR INDUCING ALARM TONE. I swear, Sonic 2 is the reason my palms sweat any time I play an underwater level. They freak me out so much because of that game!

      My alarm ringtone used to be the random encounter music from FFVIII – nothing works to get me out of bed quite like “OH SHIT A MONSTER!”

      If you want to investigate more – please do! I’d happily receive a follow up 🙂

      • Steve

        January 31, 2013 at 7:31 pm Reply

        I read this comment while queuing for a bus and I was chuckling so much that my fellow commuters now think I’m crazy. So yeah, cheers for that, Ms. Barnes! 🙂

        Actually, that reminds me… I’ve been meaning to show you a link – here it is! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        You’ve got me thinking about alarm tone possibilities now… “One Winged Angel” maybe? Hah!

        • Emma

          February 1, 2013 at 11:19 am Reply

          NO NO NO not that video!

          Also the music from Sonic 2 when you’re running out of time (is it that same music? It’s still worrying)

          One Winged Angel is a good one. The boss music from FFX? That could work. My ringtone used to be the victory theme from FFVIII. My girlfriend’s alarm is the victory theme from FFVII.


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  • […] there’s no harm giving people a heads-up or apologising afterwards. Emma (who recently guest posted on here) did this after her […]

  • Emma

    March 20, 2013 at 9:20 am Reply

    Yo, I just realised that I actually have an XBox tag thing, since I have a windows phone (who knew) – it’s victorvictim – can you add it to the table plleeeease 🙂

    • Steve

      March 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm Reply

      Done! 🙂

  • Charlie Southwell (@charliesaidthat)

    August 20, 2013 at 11:54 am Reply

    How did Mario Kart not do better in this?!

  • Adam Collins

    July 29, 2014 at 9:44 am Reply

    Haha this is hilarious and so interested to see how much SEO consultants have in common. Basically we all love call of duty! This is brilliant, you should turn it into a infographic.

  • […] my ‘sister from another mister,’ to re-work the classic saying… She’s guest blogged for me and I’ve guest blogged for her. So being able to interview her as well is just […]

  • ReviewSolved

    March 14, 2018 at 9:58 am Reply

    Great post and some of them games bring back some memories,

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