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How To Become: Tim Clark

OPM's Editor In Chief under the spotlight.

Seems our protesting worked, or maybe it was our cookie stealing. Whatever it was, we managed to secure Tim Clark, Editor in Chief of Official Playstation Magazine UK and apparent cheeseburger connoisseur, in the process. I’m not sure how he got this title but I bet he goes for more than just a plain one.


Name: Tim Clark
Age: 33
Birthplace: Wimbledon, London
University: University of East Anglia to study English Literature and Philosophy
Background information: Tim is someone who we at TheSixthAxis admire quite a lot. We would each kill for his job and love his work for the Official Playstation Magazine. So what do we have to do to avoid killing?

Q: I believe you haven’t always been in the gaming industry, but what was your very first job?

A: Working at a pub called the Rambler’s Rest in Surrey, which was very young and lively at the time, but has sadly devolved into a miserably generic gastro place. After graduating I ended up at the now defunct L!VE TV, home of the News Bunny and Topless Darts, where I naturally wound up on the late night desk booking strippers for The Sex Show and editing cheesy softcore US erotica. When that went bang (fiscally) I wound up at Playboy TV UK, which was actually dull (it was based in Hayes, near Slough – oh the glamour) before joining the Network Of The World. That was a multi-channel Broadband portal, paid for using tens of millions of pounds from an investor in Hong Kong, which not entirely unsurprisingly is also now defunct. Initially we had a holding page warning only broadband users should enter. Given that this was the late ’90s, no-one had broadband.

Q: So how did you start in the industry?

A: I joined the gaming channel, the web editor had just quit, and as I had written in the past and didn’t much like the TV side of things I was nominated. From there I built a proper editorial team, and although no-one heard of us (the TV side was only being broadcast in Asia) I learned an incredible amount about newsgathering, review writing and managing contributors. I also learned that no man should drink eight cans of Pepsi in a single shift. (The fizzy pop was free. Good old dotcom madness.)

Q: You are currently Editor-in-Chief of Official Playstation Magazine, which is a great achievement in itself. How are things in the office and do you have any big plans for the magazine?

A: Things in the office are fine thanks for asking. (Why, what have the others been saying?) The magazine is actually run on a day-to-day basis by new Editor Ben Wilson, who’s doing a cracking job. Wait, I now realise this sounds ominously like I’ve been shifted upstairs into the cursed director of football role. Most of my energy is focused on a digital launch we’re doing this year, focused on PS3 and delivered via PSN. We should be able to reveal all on that very soon.

Q: With the internet taking such a big role these days, at least in terms of news distribution, do you think the focus of printed media has shifted towards more feature-based content?

A: Yes, absolutely, and I embrace that. The magazines which I love reading all revel in doing deep, well-researched features that utilise the strengths of the printed page rather than apologising for them. By which I mean clever boxouts, stylish page design (our art editors are absolutely outstanding) and the kind of access magazines are still able to leverage. Clearly it’s a different world to the one I started out in, but I think there’s a huge hunger from gamers for all kinds of content.

Q: And besides the magazine, do you have any other projects within our glorious industry?

A: Well, see my previous answers. But let’s just say I’m balls-deep in HD video right now. Although reading that back it sounds all sorts of wrong.

Q: Obviously you write for a PS3 magazine but that doesn’t mean you can’t support the other side. Do you have both and if yes, which do you prefer?

A: I own both the competing consoles, and always have done in previous generations. Largely because I hate to miss out on playing games that other people are talking about. That said, I honestly haven’t switched the Wii on since the fortnight after I bought it (at launch). The games on it just aren’t for me, which is a shame as I was a massive fan of Pikmin, Killer7 and Resident Evil 4 on GameCube. As for 360, obviously there’s a huge amount of crossover, but the one game I genuinely regret isn’t on PS3 is the Mass Effect series. Just stunning stuff from Bioware. (Although that said I couldn’t stand Dragon Age.)

Q: Do you have any weird habits or tricks? Everyone does.

A: Always kick rather than roll the ball out from the keeper. Never get drawn into arguments online. Always order a Gin & Tonic as your first drink when abroad. Never let the team see you panic. Remember that if you get it wrong no-one dies.

Q: And lastly, anything to add?

A: Do your best to follow Orwell’s rules of writing and you won’t go far wrong.

Thanks again to Tim. A great insight into the journalism surrounding gaming and some interesting points on HD video. Could Tim be the next Veronica? (I mean a UK Qore, not gender) All will be revealed soon apparently, and I think this site might have something to do with it. And, since he never did it, give him a follow on Twitter and remember to grab the latest issue of OPM. There’s some great features in there.

As always, you can read our previous ones here and if there is anyone you want to see us interview don’t be afraid to ask.

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