Why bother flying when you can escape to the Himalayas, or into space, from the comfort of your couch

When I was a child, each year without exception our family would drive to Cornwall in a wheezing Ford Sierra for the summer holidays. We’d stay with my great-uncle, a retired army major (gruff bachelor, suspected womaniser, borderline alcoholic), who was perhaps the last person I’d ever meet who earnestly deployed the phrase: “Children should be seen and not heard.”

In order to preserve quiet in the house, we went out a lot. Routine became ritual. We’d visit the same beach, whatever the weather. We’d eat the same sandy ham sandwiches and shoo the same crabs from under the same rocks. Familiarity might have bred contempt, were it not for the Game Boy my brother and I brought along for the ride. The machine’s luminous green screen was a tiny portal to other worlds, a holiday from the holiday, when the holiday started to drag. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is, in my mind, a part of Hyrule that’s for ever Cornish.

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