It’s not very often that I feel compelled to write about someone passing away but today feels different. Bob Wakelin will either be a name that means nothing to you or like me, a name that is synonymous with your childhood. The funny thing is that I hadn’t got a clue who Bob Wakelin was when I was a kid, but he was responsible for not only capturing the imagination of many children, but selling thousands and thousands of computer games.
As I’ve mentioned many times, I am a child of the 80’s and have been playing videogames for most of my life. Part of the pleasure of playing videogames was also deciding which one to buy. Some of the most special memories from my childhood were walking into Software City in Wolverhampton and spending hours perusing the shelves of the latest computer game releases. It was much like going to your local video shop (Hollywood Nights and Moonlight Video for me) and spending ages deciding what movie to rent. This is sadly a pleasure that many will never get to experience as we now live in the digital age.
I didn’t have much money so my choice of what game to buy would usually come down to which had the coolest box art. This is where Bob Wakelin came into my life! Throughout his career Bob was closely linked with Ocean Software. Ocean released some excellent games and if I’m honest also a lot of duffers, but the one thing that was always great for them was the artwork created by Bob Wakelin.
I genuinely believe that Ocean wouldn’t have had the success that they did if it wasn’t for Bob Wakelin and his sublime creations. I’m not an art lover by any stretch of the imagination, but I would gladly hang his artwork on every wall in my house.
This article isn’t meant to be an in depth obituary or break down of his career. I just wanted to share my thoughts on a man who helped to shape my childhood. I never knew Bob but he left an indelible impression on my life and the lives of many others. The world is a sadder place for his passing and it is a stark reminder that I am getting older. Please now join me and take a moment to appreciate the stunning artwork that Bob created with some of my favourite computer games. RIP Bob Wakelin.
Photo ©️Anna Bäckström
Article by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With)