Meet The Staff: Raen

Sorry. The celebrities are currently overwhelmed with work so you’ll have to settle for us again this week. We’ve tried protesting and even stealing their cookies, but nothing. They just won’t leave their desks.

Last week you met Peter, aka ColossalBlue, and now we have Kris, or Raen to our readers, in the interview room (What? He got to stand by the microwave). So without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Me and Kris.


Name: Kris Lipscombe
Age: 22
Birthplace: Canterbury, Kent
Living now: Brighton
Gamerscore: A measly 2,170

Q: You provide TSA with excellent Lunchtime Discussions everyday, but when you’re not thinking of how to get our readers thinking what do you do to relax?

A: I read a lot. I mean a lot. I have a wall of books and I’ve read most of them. Currently just finishing off Free Culture which is a really cool look at copyright law in the US and how it could (and in my opinion should) be changed. I’m also really into comics, which you probably know if you follow me on Twitter, and I adore music. Simply could not live without music.

Q: Raen and halbpro are just a couple of your online nicknames but have you had any weird and wonderful ones in real life?

A: I’ve had a raft of nicknames. At college I was called Kris-With-A-K (just so people could tell) and Kristoffski a lot. Those names some how stuck through Uni, even though no-one from my college was there, and I gained the Kris Face. My girlfriend also calls me lots of nick names like Muffin Top, Waffle, Peanut for a start. However, in general, I’ll respond to “Oi”, “Bastard” or “You There.”

Q: Having finished University quite recently there must be some embarrassing stories to tell. Care to share?

A: University stories? Sure! Lets see I have thrown up on myself (waking up in your own sick is not cool), been thrown up on, thrown up in a lecture, passed out on the beach, passed out on the bus, worn a pink hat, and rocked at Tekken. I could probably say more, but it’d violate my dignity. Ask Davs, he’ll probably tell you.

Q: We’ve all heard the whispers that you are quite the ladies’ man so have you found your perfect girl yet? Does she game?

A: My girlfriend is pretty much perfect – cue everyone saying ‘Awww’ – although she doesn’t game heavily. I don’t care though, it makes us more interesting as a couple. She does play Professor Layton and she really enjoyed Blue Toad Murderfiles, but that’s about it really. She’s happy to learn though and it gives us a lot to talk about.

Q: What game started your gaming hobby and was it better than Manic Miner (Peter’s first game)?

A: My first game was the official ‘Best Game Ever’ Sonic the Hedgehog, certainly better than Manic Miner. I can still remember it pretty clearly, although I don’t recall getting the console like Peter did. It was on a cartridge, as we had one of the Mega Drive IIs that had Alex Kidd built in, although I really wish it had been Sonic. I think I enjoyed it so much because my dad used to play it with me a lot, he even used to get stuck in the same place I did, the jungle level. It was one of the levels where the screen moved for you and you had to time jumps perfectly as logs fell down waterfalls. Pretty awesome. I don’t think I played much else on that console, although I can recall playing Batman Returns for hours on end, and pausing it whilst my parents dragged me outside somewhere. The days before save games were so hard.

Q: I know you are mainly a 360 gamer now but what is your favourite game on the Xbox and what is so good about it?

A: See I’m quite bad at favourites. I can name Sonic as my favourite game of all time, and High Fidelity as my favourite movie, but that’s about it. Out of loyalty I really want to say Halo 3, it’s a great game. Fast paced, fun and the storyline isn’t as weak as most people make out. However in all honesty it’s probably a tie between the original Assassin’s Creed (I haven’t played the sequel yet) and Shadow Complex.

Assassin’s Creed really was great, the story was interesting, the world felt massive – probably because you were on foot most of the time – and figuring out how to get past the guards was a fun puzzle. It had its downsides, mostly the repetition, but you could overlook them quite easily and just enjoy the game. As for Shadow Complex, it’s just awesome. The upgrades you get are so much fun, the way it encourages you to go back to earlier points in the game is great and the whole level and enemy design feels tight. For a game with only a few, short cutscenes it manages to convey story well although it doesn’t bog you down in it. The only downside is that the final boss is sprung upon you abruptly and doesn’t feel like the end of the game at all.

Q: You seem like quite a big tech geek and I’d imagine your job reflects this. What do you do in this big bad world?

A: I’m a coder, soon to be an unemployed coder. I work on web platforms like PHP and Ruby on Rails mostly. It’s not all that interesting if you’re not up on tech or programmer speak so I won’t say too much.

Q: And lastly, anything you’d like to say to our readers and podcast listeners?

A: To everyone who reads TSA and listens to podcasts – yes there will be more – thank you, it’s a genuinely good feeling to know there’s someone on the other end. Special mention to anyone who regularly posts on Lunchtime Discussions, you make them what they are and spark my brain off in new directions for new discussion. If you’re not getting involved then do! We don’t bite.

Indeed, we don’t bite. Except Michael, but that’s for a whole other interview. Thanks to Muffin Top for being second in line, I wonder who’s next. Keep a look out next week for How To Become and hopefully the celebrities will be biting on our cookies.