Sunday Thoughts: Our Friend Peter

Regular readers well may well remember a piece Peter wrote back in July for my birthday. He was incredibly nice about me, probably far nicer than I deserve, and given it’s now his birthday it’s time to return the compliment. However, not content with just giving my own thoughts on Peter, I asked some of the rest of TSA’s staff to chip in. Before we get to the other guys though, it’s my turn.

Peter was the one who brought me into the TSA fold, and somehow hasn’t regretted it every day since. I’m always amazed that he not only puts up with me, but actually encourages and gently nudges me forwards. I’m not sure what more you can ask of an editor and a boss, but he genuinely makes me a better writer, editor and all around person and for that I thank him from the bottom of my heart.

[videoyoutube]Although he may be outstanding in the way he runs TSA and helps his staff, it’s nothing compared to how he is as a friend. Despite his protests that he doesn’t like people very much, he’s one of the most welcoming, kindest and warmest people I know. He’s also got a frankly ridiculous sense of humour that nicely mirrors my own, and treats tasks like finding all of Jay-Z’s 99 Problems with the appropriate mix of light heartedness and deadly seriousness.

He’ll also run with a joke like almost no-one else I know. When I mentioned to him the fact that everyone knows that Busta Rhymes closes shop (a reference to the All-Stars Remix of Labrinth’s Earthquake), he invented an entire fantasy where Busta Rhymes’ entire rap career is just a way for him to build up the funds to buy an old fashioned sweet shop. It was, in all honesty, probably the funniest email I’ve ever received.

Peter, I absolutely love you and I hope you have the happiest of birthdays.

This isn’t just about my thoughts on Peter though, and it’s time for other people to chip in. First up is a man that Peter only met last year, but has welcomed into the fold at a remarkably rapid pace. I am, of course, talking about my podcast co-host and Nathan Drake look-alike, Kev Adset:

Peter is a man with an air of humility that would humble the proudest of kings. His compassion, and his passion for the industry we’re a part of, are matched only by his eloquence and tact. Without him, the site couldn’t exist, and – more importantly by far – I’d have nowhere to stay in London for the Eurogamer weekend. A gentle giant at nearly 6 and a half foot tall, I suspect Peter’s height is only just enough to contain the size of his kind heart.

Next, we turn to someone who will forever remain part of TSA, despite focusing on Screen Demon more these days. You probably also know him from the podcast, but for me Lewis will always be known for the Abridged Too Far series:

I’ll keep my opinions short and sweet because I’m sure you’re all aware of what kind of guy Peter is, especially if you’re reading this article, but I owe a huge amount to Mr. Chapman. A few years ago I sent him a guest article called Abridged Too Far. I didn’t expect a reply let alone anything else but Peter took it and ran with it. His generosity, honesty and support has increased my confidence and allowed me to do things I would have never done had I not ‘met’ him. It’s a true pleasure to know him and work with him and I hope to do so for some time to come. Happy Birthday, Peter. Have a coffee, whisky, cake and cigar on me.

Now we can shift on to someone who currently writes for TSA, Blair. Perhaps in this context it’s best to call him Blairosaurus:

It might seem insignificant to all of you out there, but Peter has given me the best opportunity of my life. He’s stood by me, helping me become the writer I am today. He’s helped me through all of this and done so much more, and most importantly, he’s been a great friend through all of it.

Peter isn’t a coworker or a boss, Peter is a friend that I’m extremely glad to see when I get the opportunity about once every year. He’s someone I can trust and share much more than just words about games with. He’s given me some of the biggest laughs in my life and some of the biggest smiles with his genuine kindness.

It’s not easy to put into words much of a great person, a great inspiration and a legend that Peter is, but I’ll always try to when I get the chance. He’s my favourite writer on the internet and has been for a good few years – he’s the main reason I stuck around TheSixthAxis in the first place, but I like to think that our friendship goes much further than the site, even if it is the thing that brings us all closer together; I hope it stays this way forever.

I’m really, really, sorry if this is a bit rambly and cheesy and not at all funny, but that’s just how it is. I’m going to stop now or I’ll probably be rambling on all night, because the truth is that I could write a thousand reasons about why Peter is awesome.

Actually, I might do that:

  1. His nickname for me is Blairosaur.
  2. He shares the same admiration for Ron Swanso-

What? I’ve to stop? Oh well. Happy birthday, Peter!

Finally, we move onto the big dog, someone’s who’s been at TSA longer than anyone else. To be fair that’s because he did actually co-found the site, so it’d be tricky for anyone to be around any longer than him. That’s right, it’s time to throw things over to Alex:

Last week Kris asked me to write a little bit about Peter. Apparently it’s his birthday, and nothing says “hey, happy birthday” more than a few hundred words from people you’ve only actually met about three times. So: Peter, Happy Birthday mate.

The curious thing is, of course, is that I could probably write a whole book about everything that’s happened since Peter took over running TheSixthAxis. From the humblest of beginnings (he actually sent in an MP3 of him singing a cute rendition of Sweet Home Alabama about PlayStation Home) to where we are now, Peter’s vision and drive has meant that the site has continuously held true to the core concepts that were set in place by Michael and myself well over five years ago.

We don’t fire stories up without any content. We don’t endlessly pull quotes from interviews. We don’t twist developer quotes in our headlines. We don’t spread a hundred words over four pages. At least, not all the time. On the flip side and as a result, though, we don’t enjoy huge amounts of server-breaking traffic, we don’t get invited to all the industry parties and we’re snubbed in the worst ways on an alarmingly regular basis. We are, for want of more accurate terminology, not part of the ‘industry’ clique. And we probably never will be.

Likewise, for every crazy idea I (or, indeed, anyone else) may suggest, Peter drills it back down to a single question: how would this affect our community? It’s this singular notion that ensures that (despite what some may think) TheSixthAxis has only one audience: you. Without the need to pander to PR, please some stat hungry publisher or satiate anyone but our readers, we write our articles, our blogs, our reviews because we think you want to read them. We’re not journalists, we’re gamers, with an outlet to talk the things we love.

And that’s all because of Peter, and his unwavering verve.

Sometimes I just sit back and look at what we’ve done, with nothing and from nothing, and laugh at all the times Peter’s talked me out of just throwing the whole thing in the bin. Crushing disappointment seems to have been waiting for us around every corner over the last twelve months, but there’s a spirit here, a desire to better ourselves with the limited resources and time that we have, and that all comes from the editor. Without Peter, this site would be dead.

At some point, of course, all this will end. It might be another five years away, it might be in a few months, it might be tomorrow. And when it does I, and everyone else that’s ever submitted an article to pending that’s full of holes and typos, or anyone that’s emailed Peter (and got an immediate reply) at 3am in the morning can walk away proud knowing that, through everything we’ve ever done, we’ve always done what we thought was right.

I don’t think there’s anything else to say about Peter, that hasn’t been said above. So in conclusion all I can add is that I hope you’ll all join us in wishing Peter a happy birthday today.

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39 Comments

  1. You’re all a bunch of nobs and there’s something in my eye, excuse me. *sniff*

    <3

  2. From the time that I have spoken to Mr Chapman there is generally the same few words that appear on his Emails/DMs/Tweets. “Dont worry about it”. Very laid back and approachable.

    With all due respect to the other writers I find Peters particular brand to be the best on this site and that goes to show that as a leader he also leads by example.

    Simply the best. Happy Bday dude.

  3. Amazing piece, being a ol member since 2009 and lvl 7: Commentuer of Spamshire (can’t seem to get any higher grr…) I am so proud to have stick around so long..

    Happy Birthday Peter!

  4. Yeah, so Peter’s alright, I suppose. ;)

    Happy Birthday.

  5. In the short time that I met the big guy at EGXP 2011, I had more respect and admiration for him than most of the people I see on a weekly basis.
    Simply put, enjoy your birthday CB ;)

  6. I am outraged that I wasn’t asked to contribute my feelings about that twat Chapman.

  7. Peter is the nicest man that I don’t really know.

    • Of all the people I don’t really know, Peter really does seem the nicest.

  8. Happy birthday, Peter. :)

  9. Happy Birthday Peter.

  10. That’s so sweet. You’re all so lovely! Happy birthday peter :) x

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