With How To Become’s success, we thought we would try something a little different this week. Welcome to Meet The Staff, a new interview feature where you get to… er, meet the staff. We’re not as interesting as the celebrities featuring in How to Become but at least you’ll learn new things that you can use to mock and berate us.
HTB and MTS will now alternate each week until we run out of staff (or Alex fires us all). So how did the staff end up such fine gentlemen and why do we have no women? Maybe we should ask Veronica to join us?
Q: Being Editor for such a magnificent gaming site like TSA must get stressful, so what do you do to unwind and relax?
A: I play guitar, I write things (slowly), I have a dog that needs constant walks and belly-scratches and I’m married. You don’t really get extra hobbies when you’re married.
Q: Among our readers you are known as colossalblue, or ol’ cb, but have you had any other embarrassing nicknames in your life?
A: I had all the usual name-variants in school, Chappers or Chappy. I used to get called Psycho at football because I had a bit of a tendency for the old “Roy Keane” approach to midfield play. Being six feet and 5 inches tall and living in Northern Ireland generally means everyone, from your granny to your doctor calls you “Big Lad”. Nothing else I can think of. At least nothing else that’s fit for publication.
Q: Sticking with embarrassing things, what is one of the most embarrassing things to happen to you?
A: I once broke my zip in a nightclub toilet and didn’t realise until I felt the cool breeze of a smoke machine… Nobody noticed though so I guess that’s not really embarrassing. I don’t really embarrass easily, I’m more the cause of embarrassment really. I often wind my wife up when we’re walking around shops by asking loudly if we need laxatives or cherry flavoured sex lubricant. She loves it when I do that.
Q: What does your wife think of your gaming? Are you a geek to her?
A: She doesn’t really get it at all. Apart from Pac Man, Mario, Sonic and Ratchet & Clank she tends to avoid games. I don’t think it’s the gaming that makes her think I’m a geek, it’s probably the Star Wars fascination and the love of American politics. She was highly amused when I stayed up all night several times throughout Obama’s successful campaign.
Q: Being one of the older members, you’ve experienced your fair share of games. Which one do you still have
wet dreams about?
A: That’s a really difficult question to answer because I have so many fond memories right through from my days as a toddler trying to play Atic Atak on the Spectrum to last night when I had Mass Effect back in the 360 for a recap. I still dream about Sonic and Grand Theft Auto regularly and just last week my head played the sound effects from Super Mario Brothers for an entire day. Every time I stood up from my chair I heard the 1up mushroom noise. I think such a big part of my life is invested in games now that it’s just a normal thing to reference, like other people would with movies or songs. So it’s hard to catch it happening.
Q: And what was the first game that started your hobby and what age were you?
A: I was three and a half and this enormous brown box arrived in our living room. My dad had done something to his back and was on a makeshift bed on the living room floor not able to move. So to pass his hours of boredom he had bought a second hand ZX Spectrum 48k from the paper to replace an older one (with rubber keys) that I think my brother must have broken or something. I think he must’ve got the seller to deliver it too because it just appeared. I’d never seen anything like it, all the wires and that box full of tapes were fascinating. After a few minutes of scratchy squeeling there was a brightly coloured screen and a little white man with a cap. It was Manic Miner.
Q: Obviously TSA isn’t the only thing in your life, so what puts you so high up Britain’s Rich List?
A: I mug old ladies as they come out of the post office on pension day. Actually, I don’t but sometimes it seems like a viable business plan… I’m a photographer, I shoot houses mostly. I also do some graphic design work, mostly menus and marketing material. I’ve done all sorts of jobs though. I’ve been a chef, a cocktail bartender, a barista (I won awards). I’ve worked on a market stall selling silver, in a nightclub on the door and in a youth centre as a PR writer and youth counsellor. Oh, and I worked in an estate agent’s trying to sell people houses for a while but I try not to talk about that…
Q: And finally, anything you’d like to say to your adoring fans?
A: I doubt they’d hear me over the screams. Seriously, I’m honoured to be the first staff interview, even if I’m basically boring and a bit weird. This might be a bit of a shock for people who wanted another of your “How to Become” interviews, I hope they’re not too disappointed. I know I’m not as talented as Robert Bowling or as cute as Veronica Belmont but you can’t have steak all the time, sometimes you have to put up with hamburgers!
What a fine, young man. Thanks to Peter for volunteering (begging) to be first. Maybe now you’ll know why he’s grumpy so much of the time. You’ll have to wait another two weeks for the next staff member because it’s our celebrity’s turn next week. In the meantime, why not check out all of the How To Become’s so far.