Who am I, you ask? Well, I’m not about to get existential here, so I’m exclusively going to talk about who I am in relation to Geeked Up, and especially Gamed Up, seeing as that’s likely why you’re here, especially if you clicked on the link in my Twitter description.
Anyway, I’m a 34 (or thereabouts!) year old Anglo-Irish bloke who resides in London, who has been here for over 12 years now, having initially come here to study computer games development at university, although I never quite finished my degree! In any case, what I have learnt has given me more grounding with the subject in general, so it wasn’t a total loss at least. My “game developer’s mindset” has never left me, so I would still have some idea on how to design a game, and break it down into its base components (for analysis), and I would also be able to pick up programming languages with relative ease, although admittedly, it would take me a bit longer to do it in my current situation.
I’ve been a gamer for most of my life, having started at 2 (although I don’t recall this), but properly getting started in 1989 at the tender age of 6, starting off with the game Rogue (yes, the Rogue that lends its name to roguelikes/roguelites) on the PC, and graduating to a Commodore 64 in 1990, though I ended up having to get another at a car boot sale because of an unfortunate incident with it, though that C64 also suffered from an unfortunate incident around the mid-late 90s! I also had a “Contra System”, which was essentially one of those NES clones with multiple games built in, though I did also have a handful of games for it, such as Mario III, and Operation Wolf (which is still in Ireland somewhere), though I ended up mostly getting into PC gaming around the early-mid 90s, and I mostly stuck with it, even though I had picked up a PS2 (still have it, though I brought it with me from Ireland), Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS in that time.
I never really got properly into the 16-bit era (though I had played a few games over a few systems), either via console or home computer, because I was primarily a PC gamer back then (and still) am today; I still remember monochrome screens, single speed CD ROM drives, having no sound card (until my stepdad at the time bought me a Sound Blaster 16), and also my first proper PC being a 486 DX2 66 MHz with the aforementioned CD drive and sound card. I just about remember playing many older games when they were not long out, such as Command & Conquer, Doom II, Wolfenstein 3D, Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, and the Catacomb Abyss (to name a few).
As far as retro gaming goes, I never really got into it properly until I saw a feature in a PC gaming magazine (Computer Gaming World, or something like that) talking about Final Fantasy VII coming out on the PC, which is about the time I started getting into the Final Fantasy series as well; being curious about the other games in the series (though I’ll openly admit, when I first saw the TV ads for Final Fantasy VII, I wasn’t particularly keen about the game – how things change!) ended up getting me into emulation, primarily on the NES, SNES, and C64 – with very occasional visits to the Mega Drive. Still, it was that event that ultimately acted as a catalyst that got me into retro gaming, and subsequently looking back on gaming in its earlier years. Of course, I still was mainly into PC gaming then, but I do recall spending many nights on ZSNES, playing Final Fantasy 4 or 6, or trying out some other SNES games, of which there were so many… some of which never saw release in Europe!
As far as things go, the Irish market wasn’t too dissimilar from the UK market, seeing as a lot of companies viewed the UK and Ireland as a single market, though I’m sure there’s differences here and there. I do recall going to Virgin Megastores and HMV in Dublin to get most of my games, although I occasionally shopped in my hometown for them too; one of my biggest regrets is that I had to get rid of my collection of big boxes for my PC games, because my mum felt they took up too much space! I still have the manuals somewhere, I think (hope), as well as the games themselves, but the boxes as far as I know are long gone! I am however making up for it now, and building up another collection of big box PC games, seeing as they’re getting somewhat rare. In any case, this is ultimately just a snapshot of my gaming experience and knowledge (even if it is pretty long!), because I’ll no doubt convey more of it in videos where I can!
As well as being a gamer, I’m also a big trekkie, and am effectively a walking Star Trek encyclopaedia! I also like Star Wars, Stargate, and quite a few other sci-fi shows. I’m also a big fan of Raymond E. Feist’s books, and have a pretty massive collection of them though I do read other things on occasion. I also am interested in movies and music, and I’m a big fan of Steven Wilson (and his associated acts), Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Assemblage 23, Coldplay, David Gray, and many others that don’t come to mind right now. I’m aware that this is going on for quite a bit, so I’m going to keep this quite short, but like my gaming stuff, I’ll expand upon what I have said here in future videos, including some Q&As, if people are really that interested in picking my brain!
What do I bring to the table?
Well, for starters, as the owner of the Geeked Up Network (GUN), I hope to use it to allow people to bring their own brand of geekiness (or nerdiness) to the table, in their own inimitable style. For the time being, I’m the only one properly involved with GUN in general, though as you are already aware of, I also have two of my own channels for things that have a more niche appeal, or are related to me on a more personal level. Naturally, as time goes on, in addition to my own Let’s Plays and game previews (under the “Played Up” sub-brand) which go on my channels, I also hope to also do videos for the main GUN channels, such as reviewing games, movies, or music… or even doing a few shows with other people as well! As far as things go, I’m still in the early stages of everything, so things aren’t going to go smoothly, which I’m very much aware of. My first actions are really to research things better, as well as learn new skills that I can use in my future endeavours.
Of course, given the way I’m researching things, I’m using my Geeked Up channels as testbeds for certain things, in order to pave the way for other team members, as well as for the GUN itself, such as experimenting with things on Twitch. I also occasionally engage with people on Twitter (@StormkeeperGU) and offer my opinions on topics I like to think I have knowledge of, but sometimes I just have chats with people about things they’ve tweeted about; I’m very much aware too that I’m acting as GUN’s representative under that account (and rightly so too, as it has GU in it, and I’m owner), so I try to be as professional as I can. That said though, if you ever want a quick chat about something, feel free to tweet at me!
In closing, I’d like to say that given it’s early days yet, it might be difficult to see the impact that GUN has (or will have) right now, but that’s only because things are still in development. Ideas are still being formulated and applied into working projects, so it might be a bit longer before anything happens, outside of activity on my own channels. That said however, I will be doing a collab or two in the future, and I’m open to doing more, provided I’m able to do so, but it never hurts to ask me about it to see what happens.
That should give you a better understanding of my “geek credentials”, and hopefully I didn’t go on for too long discussing them… I’ll try to shorten this if I can, but it may take time for me to do so.