This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints!
One of my favourite parts of doing this show is discovering the ways people played games in countries all around the world, In this special episode of the show I speak with a listener and linguistics lecturer Andrej Bjelaković about growing up with games in Belgrade, Serbia.
Part of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia has had a tumultuos half century. During Milosevic's reign in the 1990s, the country was sanctioned by the UN meaning imports like video games would not be allowed through by any legal means.
The ways in which games did find their way into the country, and how people like Andrej were first exposed to them and grew to love them is a unique and fascinating story and one that I had never heard before.
We talk about Sega Clubs, a nationwide solution to the problem of having no access to games, pop up PC stores ran by grandparents from their flats, discovering a love of English through blackmarket imports of PC Zone and PC Gamer, playing games while your city is bombed, and how the first legitimate video game he was able to buy was World of Warcraft in 2005.
Andrej is a passionate and engaging guide through all of this and so much more. A unique and fascinating take on the games that shaped many of our lives. A genuine treat, and something I’m thruked to share.
"We've got a wave in the air, radar love."
PATREON - patreon.com/checkpoints
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Theme song by Samuel Baker
Art work by Craig Stevenson