What do you do at Ukie?
I’ve been at Ukie for 11 years and have tried my hand at quite a few things in that time. I started off as Head of Communications and Public Affairs, was then COO and am now Special Projects Lead. This all means that I’ve led on lots of interesting projects including the successful original bid to the GLA to create the London Games Festival, the introduction of the video games tax relief and the creation of the industry-wide ‘RaiseTheGame Diversity Pledge.
At the moment I’m working on creating some support programmes for UK games businesses, including setting up the new Games Scale Up and early stage Games Accelerator Programmes (in partnership with Creative England who I also work for) and I’m leading on Ukie’s work around the environment - I was one of the authors of our recent Green Games Guide and pulled together last month’s international Green Games Summit.
What made you want to work in the games industry?
Games have been a true constant in my life. From first crowding round a glowing arcade cabinet trying to get a glimpse of what some other boys were playing (it was Defender) to scaring myself in some space-mine in Deep Rock Galactic or some time-shifting cluedo in Obra Din, they remain the most exciting medium (entertainment or otherwise) that humans have created in the last 40 years and I love working in a role that supports and helps grow the sector.
What are you playing at the moment?
I still manage to squeeze in a bit of game time and love to play most genres. In the last few weeks I’ve been jumping into some Minecraft servers with my sons, had some fun with Hades, have tried my best (but failed) to win lots of Halo Infinite multiplayer matches and got super-stressed out competing in iRacing (I know, I know, it’s a sim, not a game, for all those in the iRacing community).
What do you do in your spare time, apart from playing games?
I’m lucky enough to have a shed where I’ll occasionally be found making various things out of wood (long bows, chairs, bowls, spoons etc) and practising the prehistoric craft of flint knapping where I’m still trying to make the perfect stone axe head. I also enjoy board games and tabletop RPGs, I’m currently planning a session with my family using the new RPG rule set Quest.
Do you have a pet? (Show us a picture!) If not, what pet would you like to have one day?
I love animals but my wife doesn’t so sadly no pets. As a result though I’m always on the lookout for any injured animals to help out. A few damaged birds have been healed back to fitness and I had a squirrel, Joey, for a while, that I saved from a dog, but my wife made me turn poor him in to a local animal rescue centre. I still miss him.