I get a lot of pleasure out of the restoration process. I was made redundant from my work in the City and took the opportunity to explore a lifestyle that brought more happiness. I had capital, so I bought Space Invader machines and started tinkering. I now work a few days a week in investment banking and spend the rest of my time with Pac-Man and Defender.
Machines tend to find me, and most clients are of a similar age to myself. People have that memory - that feeling they can pin back to when they first got their hands on a machine. That sense of nostalgia is awakened. Compared with the games of today, the main distinction is the duration. Now games can take weeks. My games are quick fixes of pleasure - five minutes as opposed to three weeks. There are no big instruction manuals. It's linked to the pleasure of quick response - the engaging and absorbing simplicity.
I'm not a massive player. I get my kicks from problem-solving - seeing how these things tick rather than how long I can play them.
In my life now I have happiness and challenge. I like that contrast. When I worked on Space Invaders full-time, I missed the people and pressure. Banking utilised my problem-solving skills and my social skills. I didn't burn out. I just had a chance to pause and think about balance. Three days in the City, two days on Space Invaders: that's happiness.