Lovely find this. When he was a struggling writer in the early 80s Martin Amis wrote a piece of hackery about the booming arcade video games scene for some barrel-scraping publisher. He’s reportedly disowned it and literary types have sought it high and low. This review dives in head first.
Curiously, for a writer so deeply preoccupied with stylistic refinement and playful innovation — who elevates the pleasure principle to a sort of aesthetic moral law — Amis favors a no-frills approach to gaming. The following piece of Polonian advice pretty much encapsulates his whole arcade ethos: “PacMan player, be not proud, nor too macho, and you will prosper on the dotted screen.” I’m no expert, I’ll admit, but I’ll go out on a critical limb here and suggest that this might be the sole instance of the use of the mock-heroic tone in a video game player’s guide.