Fun and games

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gaming

A lifelong passion for gaming has seen Dr Ben Schuster, veterinary officer at Auto & General Insurance in Toowong, QLD, set up his own website.

“I’ve been playing video games ever since I could hold a controller. I have three older brothers who were all gamers and I followed in their footsteps. It’s been an influential part of my life.

“At times, I had to step back on my gaming to allow for studies—vet school is very full-on—but I’ve always been incredibly passionate about games. I definitely use gaming as a way to decompress after a hard day at work. It’s almost a way of forgetting about some of the difficult things that you’ve experienced that day.

“Recently I set up a website called Qualbert (qualbert.com) where I review games, post news and host retrospective articles. I approached developers all around the world and they were willing to provide me with review codes. These codes are redeemed online so you get access to the game before it comes out. I’ve since added an Australian reviewer and a couple of reviewers in the USA. I’m also writing reviews for another gaming website.

“You have to play a game before you review it and that can take some time. Some of the shorter games might only need five hours of playing but a big-name game would probably take a week of playing. 

“Qualbert gets a few thousand hits each month which is really satisfying. It’s taken off faster than I expected. I want to keep growing the website and use it to showcase great games, particularly those made in Australia. Two fantastic Australian games are Hollow Knight and a really silly game called Untitled Goose Game. Both have been huge successes internationally.

“A good game has to be very engaging, incredibly fun, or able to send an important message. Basically, it’s got to be something you enjoy. A well-designed game allows you to experience many different stories with many different characters. Virtual reality is going to have a huge impact on gaming in the next 10 years.

“In my opinion, the best game ever is Okami. It was made in Japan and released for the PlayStation 2 but is now available on multiple platforms including PC. You play as a Japanese god in wolf form and the wolf has a magical paintbrush that can draw into real life. It’s a very creative and artistic game that I’ve played many, many times. I would feel like there’s a big hole in my life without gaming. It’s similar to how the older generation enjoy movies, except gaming immerses you in a story that’s completely interactive.”

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