I’m Lightwave Al. Or Lightwave. Or Al. I live in the UK – as you’ll hear from my commentaries – and I was born in the 1980’s.

That makes me old. But I’ve also played a lot of games on a lot of platforms. Before I tell you a bit about that, where does the name “Lightwave Al” come from?

How I got my name

As you’ll see from my gaming history below, I began playing multiplayer games in the 90’s with my friends. The first games didn’t require a player name, but as soon as we started to play games which did, all of us had to come up with something.

Image from tfwiki.net

One guy already had his name, “Soundwave” (taken from the Transformer of the same name). I thought that sounded cool, so I went with Lightwave. It was that simple.

But when other friends needed names too, they all joined the Wave bandwagon, and we all ended up with Microwave, Mexicanwave, Heatwave, Tidalwave, Brainwave and others.

When I signed up for my Xbox Live account originally, “Lightwave” was already taken as a gamertag, so I added my nickname to the end, and it became “Lightwave Al”.

My avatar

So if you see me post a comment on my website, you’ll see a car wheel.

This has been my gaming avatar for about 15 years, on platforms that allow you to upload your own avatars. These are Do Luck Double Six chrome wheels, hand made in Japan, and the wheels I had on my car at the time. That car was my black 1994 Toyota Supra Twin Turbo Aerotop, which was my pride and joy until I tragically wrecked it one rainy night. 😭

I’ve got history

I’ve been playing video games for a long time. Many years. Here’s my journey through the decades so far…


I started off with a PC my dad brought home from work, which had DOS and a handful of games which my dad got on 5.25″ floppy disks. Those were super simple, but got me into computers as well as gaming.

The neighbours where I grew up had a NES, and I always wanted to go round and play on that.


A lot happened in gaming in the 90’s, but I’ll try and keep this brief.

Our PC’s went from 286 to 486, Pentium II and Pentium III. The games got more colours, better graphics and came on CD-ROM. Special sound cards became a thing, and I did my first PC hardware upgrade. Peripherals like joysticks were important if you wanted to get the most out of the emerging flight sim genre at the time, and multiplayer LAN games came along. And the MP3 was born, but that’s not gaming!

Image from game-oldies.com

My parents separated when I was young and at my mum’s house I had a Sega Master System II in 1990, which was cool, but still pretty basic. I then got a Sega Megadrive (“Genesis” in the USA) and played that a lot. Playing John Madden ’93 I had to work out the rules of (American) football.

Goldeneye was the game to have on the N64, and was the only reason I bought one of those. I played that game to death, and I remember it looked so good at the time. Not so much now though.

I also bought my first PC in 1997. Not the first one I had – we always had a family PC since about 1988 – but this was mine. For games work and stuff, of course.


I am trying to keep this brief.

Towards the turn of the millennium I got an original Xbox, mainly to chip and use as a media center.

I built some powerful PC’s in the 2000’s, and internet multiplayer gaming took off. All us ‘waves would play FPS and strategy games online, and still unplugged our PC’s and big CRT monitors and took them round to each others houses for regular LAN parties that would last days.

Image from moddb.com

I got into console FPS with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (COD4) at some point, and got an Xbox 360. I barely played PC games after that. I had all the instruments for Rock Band on the Xbox 360, though I only played the drums.


I’ve spent this decade mainly playing nothing but Call of Duty on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. And now Ghost Recon: Wildlands of course. 👍🏼

I’m planning on going into this all in much more depth in a blog series called Decades Of Gaming. Subscribe in your browser to receive push notifications when I publish new posts. 😃

So that’s me. I’m old.