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?

Kirby’s Dream Land, 1992

Hardly an easy one hahaha! Ok, so there are a lot of choices here. I think I’m going to go with Kirby’s Dreamland. I was addicted to that game. I used to steal my brother’s Gameboy so I could play it and I kept playing it until I finally beat the boss! Which was no easy feat, at least for me, because if you lost all your lives you had to start from the very beginning! And I was pretty young and forever bad at games. I think that game definitely fuelled my love for games!

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 this community around September 2017. A few friends had mentioned a Gaymer community to me and I found out that one of my friends was part of LG’s EGX Overwatch team, the Hoggyhogs. I followed LG on Twitter for a while and finally mustered up the courage to come to a meet in December 2017, the last Loading of the year. I came alone and was terrified! But I ended up really enjoying myself, so much so that I nearly missed the last tube home! I made a few friends and eventually joined the Discord server. This community means a lot to me as it’s given me a lot of like-minded friends who are LGBT+, which I had little to none of before. I have more to say on this, but I’m currently writing my own blog piece on this! So watch this space!

What one game do you wish you could play again for the first time?

Ace Attorney, 2001

Honestly, the whole of the Ace Attorney series!! The Ace Attorney series are some of my favourite games ever made. The storylines are completely insane and an emotional roller-coaster! They have some of the best storyline twists ever and being able to experience those twists again for the first time would be amazing! Cue me bawling my eyes out all over again!

If you could create any game, what would it be?

I actually have an idea for this as I wanted to go into game development. I wanted to create a horror game, more reliant on suspense and building tension than jumpscares and typical tropes, with a great story arc and possibly decision making elements. But more than this, the game would come with a heartbeat sensor. The sensor would monitor your heart rate and change the difficulty of the game on this, getting harder as you get more scared. So the key would be to stay calm as you play! Good luck, hahaha!

What are your passions outside of gaming?

Oh, tons of things! I’m a big anime fan, although don’t expect me to be some kind of anime encyclopaedia! There’s a lot I have yet to watch haha! A big horror fan, Stephen King is…King hahaha and Buffy is the Queen! Huge Star Wars fan, I’ve even been to Ahch To, where Luke lives! I also like to write, I have my own blog…have I mentioned that yet? Oh I have? Well I’ll mention it again haha.

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

The toxic work conditions. The gaming industry is notorious for having a bad working culture. In fact, the reason I never tried to pursue a career in gaming was because of all the horror stories I read! People working 12 hour days every day, crunch time lasting way longer than it should, no paid overtime, poor base salary, staff being treated as disposable. And that’s not even to mention how difficult it can be for LGBT+, women and people of colour to work in this sector. It’s upsetting to me that a hobby that I love so dearly can be making so many people miserable. I hope these conditions can change one day. I would rather wait another year for a game if it meant everyone working on it had a good work/life balance.

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

Iwata’s Nintendo Direct pose with Mario and Luigi

I did. Satoru Iwata, rest in peace. Starting in HAL as a programmer, he worked hard to become the President of the company and, eventually, the CEO of Nintendo. He was the first CEO that wasn’t part of the Yamamuchi family and before that was a well regarded developer. The story of how he manage to solve the storage issue on Gold and Silver, from barely fitting Johto to being able to fit Kanto, was outstanding. He resided over the most successful period in Nintendo’s history. And, when their fortunes declined, he took a massive pay cut so they wouldn’t have to make any staff redundant. I had, and still have, a lot of respect for him.