In 2005, when my brother Euan was still a schoolboy, we used to play a lot of Tekken 5 together. If you’re new to this famed video game series, it’s a one-on-one martial arts simulation – a ferocious yet endearingly flamboyant experience in which kangaroos trade blows with Bruce Lee clones, and winged demons grapple with Mexican wrestlers. And I’m fairly sure Euan is the most savage, unprincipled Tekken 5 player ever to lay his traitorous fingers upon a PlayStation 2 controller. Some combatants prefer to open a bout with a stunning punch to the lower body, but Euan was rarely that noble. “Wait a minute, I want to show you something,” he’d declare, scuttling out of reach. I’d dutifully wander over to his side of the arena, all patronising solicitude, and he’d kick me in the face.
Euan is a dirty fighter. But he’s also one of the most fearlessly imaginative people you’ll meet. And in its own small way, our shared gaming hobby is proof of this.