jay barnham
Oct 2, 2018 · 4 min read
Shadeslay — Real name: Matt

London Gaymers Spotlight is a new fortnightly introduction to one of our members, where we get to know them and their thoughts on all things gaming. If you would like to be featured, get in contact on our Discord, Facebook or email at info@londongaymers.co.uk

Let’s start with an easy one, what’s your favourite game and why?

Adam Jensen, the augmented super-agent protagonist of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

That’s not easy at all! I think my favourite series would be the Deus Ex games. The original was the first game that I purchased myself with pocket money. The idea of different ways to approach each situation: guns blazing, stealth and hacking, persuasion and bribery — it was unique and, at the time, new — and it paved the way for a generation of non-linear role-playing games. The first game hasn’t aged well; but it still has sentimental importance to me — and there have been several good quality sequels.

In a very close second place are both Portal games for their ingenious design and brilliant comedic writing.

How did you discover London Gaymers, and when did you join? What does it mean to you to be part of this community?

I discovered London Gaymers via Reddit — before there was a Facebook group or a website, and before Discord was even on the radar. At the time I was curating Reddit content for a mobile gaming website. I guess I followed a few links and ended up in the Gaymers subreddit.

I’ve met and played games with so many amazing people that I’ve met through London Gaymers; and contrary to what some people might believe, it has got me out of the house a lot more to meet like-minded people and attend events. People sometimes wrongly perceive gaming to be an isolated, anti-social hobby; I couldn’t disagree more.

What game are you currently most enjoying, and why?

Two Point Hospital, released in August 2018 to favourable reviews, is a modern-day reinvention of the classic Theme Hospital.

Now, this is an easy question — Two Point Hospital!

Bullfrog’s original Theme Hospital, released in 1997 during the heyday of sim games, was such a memorable game. But the industry changed, the audience moved on, and Bullfrog was merged into EA.

Fast forward to today, and a small group of developers who were formerly with Bullfrog and then Lionhead Studios (Fable, Black & White), have come back together to create a spiritual successor to Theme Hospital.

What one thing would you change about the games industry as it currently stands?

If I could take one thing out of the games industry as it stands today, and cast it into Room 101, it would be ‘Early Access’. It’s a concept I find entirely anti-consumer, and I see it as a way for developers to shift their own risk onto gamers.

Do you have any heroes in the gaming industry? Who are they and why?

I have never really had heroes from the traditional spheres of television, music, film or sport — but the late John Bain, better known as TotalBiscuit, was absolutely a personal hero of mine.

John was much more than a Youtube ‘star’ — he held the gaming industry to account; he was a pioneer in the development of eSports, he supported so many other people in the industry — and continued to do so long after he was diagnosed with cancer. He was also imperfect; and plenty of people disagreed with his strongly-held opinions — I certainly didn’t agree with everything he said — but I believe that, on balance, he was a force for good in the gaming industry. His passing saddened me greatly.

What is your favourite gaming event / con / expo, and why?

The International — Dota 2’s annual world championship is held every summer. This year’s event had a prize pool of $25m — funded mainly by fans.

I love eSports and especially professional Dota; so, The International, Dota’s annual world championship, is always a big deal for me. I’ve been to several ESL tournaments in Germany and was at ESL One: Birmingham, the UK’s first major Dota 2 tournament, in May.

The atmosphere at these events is amazing. And, because gaming is a big part of my identity, being in a stadium filled with like-minded people is a really great experience. As somebody who has never had much of an interest in mainstream sport, I’ve only really discovered that experience recently through eSports.

London Gaymers

The LGBT+ community for board and video gamers in London and across the UK.

Thanks to Matt Hardwick

    jay barnham

    Written by

    Art, Illustration, Video games, geek and carbs

    London Gaymers

    The LGBT+ community for board and video gamers in London and across the UK.

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