[drop2]Name: Joshua Hood
It’s the turn of Josh this week in Meet the Staff. You might have heard him on the podcast before, or seen his frequent news articles or even some of his opinion. But who wants that, eh? We all just want to know the little details…
Birthplace: Margate, Kent
Living now: York, North Yorkshire
Trophy Level: 13
Random fact about yourself: My first word was “duck”.
Q: To start, we’ll take a look at your beginnings… in gaming. What started it all?
A: When I was pretty young, my uncle bought me an old Acorn PC running Windows 3.1, and I spent a whole load of time messing around on there (including in The Lion King game on floppy disk), and so always really had a computer in my room growing up. I played all the old Theme Hospital-esque games, Age of Empires, Total Annihilation, the amazing RollerCoaster Tycoon and so on. It wasn’t until I got a bulky old PS2 with the GTAIII/Vice City double pack in about 2002 or 2003 that I really got into console gaming though.
Q: I hear you’re into films, not just watching them but making them… so what hobbies aside from gaming do you have?
A: Well I’m a film production student, so naturally making films takes up a fair bit of my time. It’s the pre-production preparation work that takes up more time than anything else, from scripts and storyboards to licensing locations and the more tedious, paperwork side of things. Naturally as a student, I find myself being dragged out a fair bit too. When I have time though, I like to write – whether it be short stories or basic starts of scripts, it’s nice to get away from a computer and scribble on paper for a bit.
Q: Had any embarrassing moments in your life? Got any of them on tape?
A: Probably when, a couple of years back, my dad walked in on myself and a female acquaintance in a compromising position. The actual embarrassing moment though was when I came downstairs later to hear him excitedly telling someone on the phone that it “turns out he’s not gay!” I also managed to fall asleep on a film set a month or so ago too (hey, it was a long night shoot!), but that’s not as bad. And yes, between sharing a HD Handycam with my friends and I for a year or so before I came to Uni, and the fact I’m now surrounded by film students with their own cameras, there’s plenty of embarrassing stuff on film – not that any of you will ever see it!
Q: What do you do for a living? Are you a stereotypical student or do you actually work hard?
A: I’m a full-time student (that’s 30+ hours a week, compared to some of those so called “courses” out there!), but I have a part-time job at a fashion retail chain that I in no way enjoy, but money’s money. I’m not gonna lie and say I’m the most hard-working person in the world – I usually flick between a whole bunch of projects and never really sit down and concentrate on one – but when an assignment deadline is round the bend, I will be up all hours working on it.
Q: Do you have any nicknames from the realm of the real world? We only know you as JoshHood round here.
A: Erm, my internet aliases are usually some variation on JoshHood, joshlhood etc… I went by Simple Oblivion for a bit in my awkward teenage years, but that is truly shit. I got branded ‘Seven’ for basically the entirety of my secondary school career by some kids in the year above for no apparent reason, but given my ginger locks, it was normally some variation on that!
Q: Do any of your family or close ones play games, or is it just you?
A: I’m pretty much the most corrupting influence around; my sisters now have a Wii and DSes, my girlfriend went out and got a 3DS, and even my mum steals my PSP to play obscure untranslated Japanese puzzle games that she clearly communicates with on some higher plane, because I don’t understand how the hell they work.
Q: How did you find TSA and why exactly are you still here? Not that we want you gone *cough*
A: That is a very good question. Basically, I was once investigating an old abandoned arcade and discovered that behind one of the cabinets there was a secret room. I accidentally pressed a button on the computer in there and got transfarred into lines of code. Bored one day, Nofi started writing nonsense into WordPress’s theme editor, accidentally summoned me, and I’ve been here ever since.
No, seriously, I’ve no idea how I ended up here, but I was reading for a fair bit before Peter put out a call for writers and chose me to join the team, and since I love the people and sense of community here so much, I still write here whenever I find the time.
Q: What’s the one game that sits above all the others?
A: You know how the question says ‘one’? Can I say three? No? Okay, GTA: Vice City. Like I said, it was one of my first console games, and I still absolutely love the atmosphere of that game – my mum basically brought me up on eighties music, so blame her. But aside from that, Shadow of the Colossus for awesomeness and Uncharted 2 for variety, perfection and the witty Drake. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Burnout Paradise are awesome too… I’ll stop now.
Q: To finish, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
A: Just that you’re all awesome, and it’s the team and community at TSA that make being here so enjoyable (and Peter didn’t even pay me to say that). You can always contact me via the usual means if you want to get hold of me for any reason – I’ll be happy to chat – and I’ll see as many of you as possible at Eurogamer Expo later this year!
So, there we have it. I feel as though we’ve learned a substantial amount about Josh, maybe even more than he knows himself; particularly the fact that his parents thought he was a duck for the first year of his life. Don’t worry, Josh, they’re probably just quackers.