Another week, another meet the staff. This time we’ll be meeting James. Er, Jim. No wait, is that Teabags? One of them, anyway. He’s not US-based this time, so expect a good ol’ British tale. Onwards, chaps!
[drop2]Name: James “Jim” Hargreaves
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Living now: Oxford, England
Gamerscore/Trophy Level: 10,000ish/Level 18 (48%)
Random fact about yourself: Since buying my PlayStation 3 back in December 2007 I have only traded in one game, and that was Street Fighter IV (not a big fan.) It’s not that don’t see the benefits of trade-ins, in fact I’m quite the advocate of pre-owned games; I just like to have a persistent, tangible library which has recently crawled past the 105-mark (and that’s only counting boxed retail games.)
Q: What were your first steps into the world of gaming, that eventually led to the massive collection of PS3 games that we’ve been hearing about?
A: Up until the age of around 12, video games didn’t play a major role in my life. As a 5-year old I remember being introduced to the Super Nintendo courtesy of my uncle and mother along with Super Mario. Some years and a Gameboy later, my brother and I had taken interest in a friend’s PlayStation console. I recall sitting for several-hour sessions at his house playing the Hercules movie game which is still one of my all-time favourites. I was lucky enough to receive a PlayStation the following Christmas and being the average 8-year old kid I was, my original video game library was mainly dominated by wrestling games as well as the impeccable Spyro series.
It wasn’t until I was around 9 or 10 that I was able to define between a “good” and “bad” game thanks to both intuition and monthly doses of GameMasters. Somehow I had gone from being casual gamer to a die-hard Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid zealot, and it didn’t stop there. The first game that I had been researching heavily before it released was SquareSoft’s Kingdom Hearts. Usually word of mouth would dictate which games would end up in my stocking at Christmas, or simply whatever caught my parents’ attention, though this time I was determined Kingdom Hearts sounded like the right game for me. The level of satisfaction I got from playing the game is indescribable, though since the sequel I have completely avoided the series altogether.
Q: Apart from playing all of your games and writing for TSA, what other hobbies and interests do you have?
A: With sixth form college and a weekend job, sometimes I find it hard to get an ample amount of gaming time in, let alone anything else.
When I was younger I used to be a huge fan of tabletop strategy games including Warhammer (of all varieties,) and the lesser-known Marvel/DC Heroclix. Unlike conventional Warhammer players, the whole collecting and painting process was what I despised the most, I was entirely into the game itself, my army of choice being the Dwarfs. I originally got into the hobby when I was 8; since then the prices on the miniatures and other gear has risen dramatically. In some ways I was lucky to “grow out” of Warhammer when I did, though I could possibly get back into it one day.
My current hobbies include writing, and not just for TSA; if not a journalist when I’m older then I hope to become an author or screenplay writer. I also used to be incredible at drawing when I was a kid, and hopefully over the Summer I will pluck up the courage to buy a graphics tablet and try my hand at it once more.
A couple of other interests include music and walking, which go nicely hand-in-hand, especially with my new 4th Gen iPod Touch. I also play the Ukulele, and if Peter and Lewis want to establish a three-piece tribute band, they can call me.
Q: You must have had your fair share of embarrassment and hilarity throughout your life, so is there any moment in particular that you’d like to share?
A: Luckily, I have yet to experience a moment of true embarrassment, mainly due to youth. If I had to mention something, however, I do have a particular incident I can elaborate on. I’ve always been a big lad (now standing at 6’’5) and one day when shopping with my parents in Oxford I stepped out onto the footpath. It was New Year’s Eve and everyone was rushing about, snapping up booze and bargains as you do. Suddenly, something clipped my foot and seconds later there was barrage of smashing bottles as I had somehow stepped into the path of a cyclist. Soaked in red wine yet physically unharmed, the middle-aged woman went into a fit of rage, though I was nowhere to be seen. Of course, ten years after the incident, if it was to happen again, I would substitute doing a runner with a much more apologetic approach.[drop]
Q: I’m hearing you’ve had numerous jobs, so what do you currently do for a living?
A: I’ve worked as a waiter, kitchen-hand, construction worker, and volunteer amateur journalist which is quite a peculiar mix. Nowadays I work as a sales assistant for a nationally-renowned retail outlet, hoping to become a journalist after finishing my education.
Q: Teabags; that must have originated from somewhere. Care to explain and share any other nicknames you may have?
A: I’ve had dozens of nicknames, but none of them have stuck, my friends often referring to me as “Jim,” or simply, “Hargreaves.” The name Teabags came about when I was looking to set up a new PlayStation Network account. My previous alias, MightBoosh23 obviously lacked originality, and I wanted a name which denoted the presence of a British hardcore gamer. As most will know tea is a beverage commonly associated with the English peoples, so when the word “teabag” earned its secondary meaning, especially in the realm of video games, it seemed like a no brainer. Here’s another random fact: when deciding on my new PSN account, I spent at least ten minutes deciding between “Teabag_Titan” and “Teabag_Torture.”
Q: So, how about your family: do they play games or is it all up to you?
A: Good question, and though I am the gaming centre of the family, they all have their tendencies, my siblings in particular. My older brother, 20, likes to think himself a bit of a hardcore gamer, but I continue to disagree. Every year he will purchase the same cluster of games, including Call of Duty, UFC, FIFA and maybe PES, which in his eyes are “the only games worth buying year-on-year.”
With my little sister, it’s a bit different. She’s 9 now, but when she was around 7 she used to sit around the house, and instead of messing around with dolls or watching CBBC, she would come and look at me playing the PlayStation 3. At 7 she couldn’t understand the mechanics and controls of the majority of games I was playing, so I sat her down with Dynasty Warriors, and she has loved every one of them since.
Q: How did you find TSA and what made you stick with us?
A: Last Autumn, after resigning from my post at a previous site, I had just about given up on my passion for video game writing. TheSixthAxis had always been a site I was interested in writing for, and I knew my work would get viewed and appreciated, though I was a little apprehensive towards the actual structure of the site. Call me anal, but I love to work with databases in which there is a visible link between written content and the games themselves (somewhat like the system used on Giant Bomb or IGN.) I came to a point where I realised that my expectations were somewhat selfish, and that TheSixthAxis was naturally the next step forward.
We have a talented, dedicated team of writers supported by a fantastic community. I feel somewhat cheeky for throwing myself into the TSA ranks; where other members such as Peter, Alex, and Kris have had to build this site from the ground, I have just waltzed onto the scene, receiving the same benefits of getting to preview and review games before they fall into the hands of the public. Now I hope to be a long-standing member of the team, supporting my colleagues and our site as we become better known across the industry.
Q: Which game fills you up with joy more than any other and why is it the best for you?
A: I have many favourite games, though there is only one which I would grant the perfect 10, that game being Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Nate, Sully, and Elena are incredibly simple yet well-developed characters who haul you through the full emotional cycle, though always ending with a good laugh. It’s not just the settings and story that makes Uncharted 2 my all-time favourite video game, the online multiplayer is also a total blast. Having been deeply disappointed, and to a level shocked, with the changes made by Infinity Ward in Modern Warfare 2, Uncharted 2 was my online fix for 2009, and I can’t wait to get my dirty hands on the Drake’s Deception beta later this month.
Q: Lastly, anything you’d like to say to our readers?
A: Mainly, thank you. As I’m sure my fellow writers would agree, you lot are the sole reason why we actually put any sort of effort into both the written content and operation of the site. I would also like to extend an apology; among the staff I have probably been the one to hardly visit our designated forum. During the long summer I hope to remedy this and join you in some fantastic Meets!
There’s Jim for you, then. The English eighteen year old with the huge PS3 collection is the best way to describe him, I think. There’s not much else for me to say except from that he should definitely keep up the good work!
You can friend/follow Jim across the web at these locations:
- Twitter/ Jim_Hargreaves
- Raptr/ teabag_titan
- PlayStation Network/ Teabag_Titan
- Steam/ those_damn_teabags