The comedian and actor on Commodore 64 bootlegs and looking for emotion in game.
Kumail Nanjiani is a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian, actor and writer. Featuring in television, film and also a few games, he is best known as Dinesh in HBO’s Silicon Valley. While shooting its fifth season, he took some time out to talk about narrative and diversity in games, his performance-capture debut, and dubious Pakistani piracy.
What is your earliest memory of playing videogames?
I had a Commodore 64 when I was very young. I would play a game called Street Surfer, and Paperboy. There was a game called Barbarian that I never figured out but I would try and play just because the graphics were cool and I like fantasy.
You grew up in Pakistan. What was it like getting hold of games there?
My Commodore 64 games were all bootlegs. What would happen is, you would look in the newspaper, and in the Classified sections there would be different people advertising games. So my dad and I would go to some random guy’s house – it was different people each time – and you’d tell them what you want, and then wait around while he copied all these games for you. I’m not proud of it, but it was the only way we could get those games.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
A meeting with Hidetaka Miyazaki to discover the treasures of Elden Ring
From card tricks to juice shops: telling stories with one of Germany’s premier indies
Mecha and fantasy mix in a forgotten but vital chapter of FromSoftware’s history
A little knight music
From Green Greens to Grammys: the story behind an award-worthy Kirby remix
The best way to play Game Boy games? That’s just the beginning for Analogue’s retro handheld
Exploring stories in games and the art of telling tales
THE MAKING OF... OXYEN FREE
How over 30 years of friendship, and a persistent love of ’80s cinema, culminated in a spooky adventure
Shoot first, ask questions later
A progress report on the games we just can’t quit
Year of reckoning
Reviewing another difficult 12 months across the game industry
GLOBAL GLITCH: SWATHS OF INTERNET GO DOWN AFTER CLOUD OUTAGE
Dozens of websites went down briefly around the globe Tuesday, including CNN, The New York Times and Britain’s government home page, after an outage at the cloud computing service Fastly, illustrating how vital a small number of behind-the-scenes companies have become to running the internet.
From Pakistan with Love
Pakistan sees a victorious Taliban in Afghanistan to the west and a partner in China to the East. But the U.S. is at odds with both, pushing leader Imran Khan into a delicate balancing act.
America Can't Ignore Afghanistan
Exclusive: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan says the Taliban can be a partner for peace, not a terrorist threat - if the U.S. stays engaged.
Demand for SpaceX's Starlink Satellite Internet Pushes Wait Times to 2023
Demand for SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband system may push wait times into 2023.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World
A new game builds on the addictive appeal of Sid Meier’s Civilization.
CHER'S SINGING IS ELE-PHANTASTIC!
Special recordings bringing peace to pachyderms
Beyond the Reddit of the Apes
Social media is more than bros pushing meme stocks. Smart, fresh voices are out there
Finance – The Dogestock Generation
Get-rich-quick trading is partly about entertainment, but it’s having a very real impact on markets
GAMESTOP'S SAGA MAY BE OVER; ITS EFFECT ON WALL STREET ISN'T
The frenzy around GameStop’s stock may have quieted down, but the outsized influence small investors had in the saga is likely to stick around.