Whilst we might have enough readers at TSA for our Meet the Reader feature to go on forever, our staff list isn’t quite as expansive. That means we can only do short runs of Meet the Staff, though I suppose that makes them all the better, right? Well, let’s start off Meet the Staff 2012 with one of our newest recruits, Aran.[drop2]
Name: Aran Suddi
Living now: Kent
Trophy Level: Level 13
Random fact about yourself: I ran in a university election once. Didn’t win though.
Well, Aran, to kick off the first Meet the Staff of 2012, what started your love for games?
Well my love for gaming kicked off in the ancient days of 1993, when SEGA & Nintendo were the titans of the games industry and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was the best show on Earth. It was my 5th birthday and I woke up to a huge present wrapped up and waiting for me in the living room. I looked up to my parents with a smile and ripped the packaging open. I stood back in awe as I looked at my first ever console, the SEGA Mega Drive II. With it was the original Sonic and another cartridge that contained Golden Axe, Streets of Rage and Italia 90. That day my eyes were opened to the gaming world and I haven’t looked back since.
What other hobbies do you have? Gaming can’t be your only interest, surely?
There are 4 other things that I count as hobbies. Reading, writing, watching excellent TV shows and Taekwondo. My love for reading has grown at the same pace as my love for gaming, I even did half of my degree in English Literature. I think reading has had a profound effect on my gaming preferences because I love games that have a good story and a fully realised world that story can exist in.
I’ve also wanted to be a journalist and writer for a long time, the other half of my degree being Journalism. I’m currently working on a project at the moment, which is in its early stages. If I can keep on track I hope to have a final draft, possibly even a published copy, of my first book by the end of the year. I think my Strongfury feature for TSA got my creative juices flowing again. TV shows wise, I’m currently watching all of Battlestar Galactica on Blu Ray.
Taekwondo I took up in November as a way to get out of the house and keep in shape. Time has gone fast and I have my first grading next Saturday. Bit nervous about that but I think I’ll pass.
To properly break the ice, tell us about your most embarrassing moment(s).
Just one? Okay. A few years back I was out for a birthday party of a friend, a large group of us drinking in the pub. Someone started a game of God Save The Queen. Now for those who don’t know what that is, let me explain. The aim of the game is to drop a penny into someone’s drink without them catching you. Once the penny is in place you point it out to the drinker and they must down their drink while everyone else sings the national anthem. I became a victim of this game so as per the rules I downed my drink. It was only after that we noticed the penny was no longer in the glass. Yes, I had swallowed the penny. From that moment on I was known as the guy who swallowed a penny around town.
Our readers know TSA isn’t a full time thing, so what do you do to pay the bills in the real world?
At the moment I’m working as an admin assistant for a small company. However, I have that urge to move on and so I’m looking for a new place to go to. If anyone’s hiring, give me a shout. [Here you go: FUS ROH DAH – Blair]
I hear you’re the Original Jonty, is that a nickname in real life and do you have any other interesting nicknames?
Jonty is a real life nickname which I got on the first day at university. My new flatmates and I were drinking and getting to know each other. At one point one of my flatmates decided that we should all have nicknames. Jonty became mine. After a few days everyone else’s nicknames fell away but mine stuck. It became my official university name. If anyone called me Aran, my friends would correct them and call me Jonty. Even now, after uni, I still get introduced as Jonty by some of them.
Do any members of your family share your love for gaming?
My younger brother is also a big gamer. He seems to be on the PS3 more than me nowadays. I can confidently say it was because of me that he got into gaming. He likes his FIFA, UFC and now hooked on Saint’s Row 3. My younger sister is an occassional casual gamer, preferring the dance games on Wii, though she did enjoy Super Mario Bros Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns.
How did you find TheSixthAxis, anyway? Did we leave the front door open again?
Actually it was a window I climbed through. Seriously though, I used to lurk and read the articles on the site. I found them informative and entertaining. Over time I think the What We Played feature has become a favourite. I love to see what others are playing and check the comments too for any recommendations.
When the call was put out that TSA was looking for writers I fired off an email with my CV and brief description. A few days later I got an email from Dan saying I had got the position. And now here we are.
Finally, what’s your favourite game of all time?
GTA: Vice City. I know the popular choice is San Andreas but the atmosphere and characters in Vice City were much better in my opinion. If a HD remake of that is released I’ll be buying it day one.
Do you have anything you’d like to say to those reading this?
I just want to thank the TSA staff and community for being a brilliant bunch and making me feel welcome to the site. This year I want to meet a bunch of you, so bring drinks! You can keep the pennies though.