Monday, 31 March 2014

My Pre-Aprils Fools Day Aprils Fool

So, it isn't April 1st here yet - but I wanted to do a post ready for April Fools Day!

So, what I've done is listed a number of things about me.  See if you can guess which one of these is an Aprils Fool!

1) I can't swim or ride a bike.
2) Sneezing out of a window seems logical to me.
3) I once eBayed a cherry that had been kicked by Dylan Moran, the Irish comedian.
4) I massaged a Moroccan chap called Abdul.  Multiple times.
5) Stephen Fry once called me "Mark" instead of "Mike".
6) I once planned to travel around the country in a van.
7) I wrote a skit about Tony Blair.
8) I wrote a short story about a fruit machine, and a mans love for it.
9) I once conversed with Robert Llewellyn about the state of Starbug in later series of Red Dwarf.
10) As I write this, an uneaten doughnut is on a plate next to me.

See if you can guess which one of the above is false, and drop me a comment with your answer - all will be revealed later in the week!

While I'm blogging, there will be a little hiatus for my series of YouTube interviews - I don't have another YouTuber lined up to interview just now, but I would urge you to read back and check out my previous interviews:
Nick Crompton
Jason Fisher
Scott Tumilty

All these guys I particularly recommend, they're well worth a watch on YouTube, all for different reasons.

Finally, I am working on a new YouTube video which I filmed at the weekend with my good friend Andy from Bad Dog's Gaming Blog, it will be a few days before the editing is finished (and it doesn't help that I keep putting it off because it's going to be a big job!) but hopefully it'll be well worth a watch when finished.

Let me know your guesses on the April fools!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

I discovered a new career - Placenta Specialist!

Allow me to clarify that I am not, and do not intend to be, a Placenta Specialist.  I just saw it on a business card today and it surprised me.  As far as I was aware, the placenta was basically the thing that keeps the baby alive before it is born, and once it is born the placenta is basically not required any more, and is somehow disposed of - how, I don't really care.  I seem to remember that you can get useful cells out of it, so maybe that's a reason for a placenta specialist?!?

In other news, I realise that it is heading for the end of March, but did you know that March is Hexagonal Awareness Month? Yes, indeed, be aware of all of the hexagons in your life, and give thanks, for the hexagon is the most even six sided shape you can get.

If it's not already clear, I don't really have anything to blog about today. But I will have!  I'm writing scripts at the moment for filming that I am doing at the weekend!  So expect a new, epic (there's a hint) video next week!

Finally, if you're really bored, you can do a quiz now, about me!  I wouldn't recommend it except that they also allow you to make quizzes about yourself too.  Here's mine:

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Not having a Personal Trainer

So, I went to the gym last night.

This may surprise some of you, who may think that my physical appearance isn't of the utmost importance to me.

I am in shape.  Round is a shape.

I must admit that I was tempted not to go - it was about a quarter past eight when I went, and the idea did pass through my mind to, instead of going to the gym, perhaps:

  • Go to a bar and drink beer / rum / jagerbombs
  • Go to the cinema - I quite fancy seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Sleep
  • Sneak out to the petrol station and buy cake and chocolate, and sit on the sofa drinking Guinness and eating sweet stuff while watching NCIS.

(By the way, I've got a new video out about drinking Guinness for people that don't like the taste of Guinness)

But, I did it.  I went to the gym.

Now the gym I go to is an inexpensive one.  It's £9.99 a month to use the gym and includes all of the classes (not that I ever go to any of them), and it suits me pretty well.  But the way I like to use the gym is to get in there, do my workout without interacting hugely with other people, and then leaving.

In particular I've never liked the idea of having a personal trainer.  Logically, I can see the point of one - if you make an appointment then you have to go, you can't get out of it, and I'm sure that they are very good at teaching you the best way to exercise and making you push a bit further than you might do by yourself.  Nevertheless, I like to go and do my thing, by myself. (Don't misunderstand me, if you know me and you see me, feel free to say hi and chitchat if you feel the need, I won't be radiating hatred because someone has interacted with me.  But the exercise itself I generally like to do just with my music for company)

I've always been slightly wary of the people that look like personal trainers at my gym, as though they might try to engage me in conversation and then offer their services, because I would have to decline, and I'd probably feel bad about declining.  So I don't go out of my way to look overly approachable, and from the moment I enter the gym to the moment I leave I have Cascada blasting out of my earphones at a volume level just below the amount necessary to cause a small earthquake.

I'll make you evacuate the dancefloor.  When I bust a move the structural stability of the building cannot be guaranteed.

Anyhow, I started on the cross-trainer, aka the "fake skiing machine", for my warm-up.  My warm-up is usually about six minutes in length, and gets my heart rate up so I'm burning fat throughout the rest of the session.

I had planned to try to go a little slower and longer this time, but little did I know that all of my plans were to fly out of the window, when about four minutes into my exercise one of the chaps from the personal trainer area (they have a little space with a table and chairs all to themselves) came over and started working out on the machine next to me.  I began to worry that the guy had spotted me and considered me the equivalent of an injured wildebeest - an easy target.  He'd probably think that all he had to do was get me to do some half-assed exercise three times a week and at least a stone would drop off in a couple of months.

He wouldn't know that he would have to keep me away from these bad boys too.

Clearly, I thought to myself, he'll be planning to wait until I stopped exercising, then compliment me on my workout, and move from there into asking if I'd ever considered having a personal trainer.

Now, I did consider jumping off the cross-trainer and running for the exit, but I had a towel on the ground that I was reluctant to abandon, plus there was some guy running up and down the space behind my cross-trainer dragging a couple of chains around (no idea why, perhaps he was a sort of emergency backup when a car really needed towing) so I'd probably trip over a chain and smash my face into a flexing muscle.

So I reasoned that the only option open to me was to keep on exercising on the cross-trainer until the personal trainer got tired, stopped, and left to find other prey.

Now, I'm not sure if this guy was "ripped", but he certainly had muscles in places where my body did not (I presume that my body made a decision some years back to let most of them die, and focus on the important typing and mouse-clicking muscles), and was unsurprisingly thinner than me.  But I went for it anyway.

I exercised.  And exercised.  And exercised.

I kept going at a rate of around 6 to 6.5 kilometres per hour, on level 6.  I don't know how fast this is, or how tough level 6 is, but it's a slightly slower than what I normally do - that said, what I normally do, I do for six or seven minutes.

About a quarter of an hour in he started mucking about with his mobile phone whilst exercising, making him look cooler and increasing my hatred of him, which was already being amply fuelled by being forced to sweat.

At the twenty two minutes mark, I glanced across and noticed that not only was he going slower than me (he was on a leisurely 4.4 kilometres per hour), he also had his cross-trainer set on a lower level.  So he was both fitter than me and doing less exercise.  This wasn't going to be easy.

At twenty eight minutes, after resorting to taking a couple of swigs from my water bottle to replace the fountain of water that had erupted from my forehead, I faced the faint possibility that my strategy of tiring the guy out might not work.

So, I made one last roll of the dice.

I accelerated.

To the sound of "Angel" by Ralph Fridge I sped up.  I passed 7 kph, and went up to 8.  8 doesn't sound like a big difference from 6.5, but trust me - it is.  I hammered away at this pace for 180 seconds, feeling like the toughest guy in the world.  My mind filled with clips of me pumping improbably large weights with 80s power ballads blasting away.

Did I do it?

Well... no.

At 32 minutes, after "travelling" 3.2 kilometres (actually further than if I had walked to the gym from my house), I gave up.  On the plus side the guy didn't stop and approach me, which makes me think that he was probably just exercising, because an overweight personal trainer probably isn't what you need.

Nevertheless, I'm quite pleased at how far and for how long I managed to exercise, and fingers crossed I can repeat it next time.

Just hopefully without the pressure of a PT threatening to talk to me!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

YouTuber Interview #5 - CtrlGodDammit

Today's YouTuber interview features CtrlGodDammit, a sports video gaming channel with over 500 subscribers. The host of CtrlGodDammit, Rhys Douglas, is half-English, half-Welsh, and was born in Germany, but let's try not to hold that against him.
Rhys playing Football Manager 2014 - Liverpool causes an own goal, allowing Norwich to take the lead.  I'll steer clear of jokes around the Canaries as I'm going down to Norfolk in a couple of months and don't want to be lynched.

Rhys - thanks for your time today. So, how did you get into making YouTube videos?

Wow, that's a hard question to start with. I started YouTube at University where I took a degree in Computer Game Production. I spent my spare time playing video games instead of watching TV, it was my main form of entertainment. Minecraft had begun floating around my Uni class which led to me being introduced to the Yogscast and my first experience of gameplay entertainment. It just totally replaced TV with instant access content in convenient length episodes. The first full series I ever watched was Yogscast & TotalBiscuit play Magicka and I loved it so after saving up some money for basic equipment, I recorded some Magicka on my original channel months before CtrlGodDammit was formed. CtrlGodDammit was made to try from scratch with a cool...ish name meant to just be a hobby to play games over the summer and show our experiences, then over time it was just me uploading videos and I decided I wanted to upload some content proving I wasn't terrible at EVERY game I ever play. From there, Football Manager on the channel was born,

Your channel is mainly focused on sports video gaming, and one of the things that really stand out is how good your games commentary is, which is quite rare - there are a lot of "lets play" videos on YouTube, but it's the personality of the person playing the game that makes it watchable. Did it take time for you to be able to deliver such a high level of commentary or does it come natural to you?

I've always had great pride in my vocabulary and in being able to speak well, I still deny to this day that my commentary is any good but I keep being given compliments so I'm always going to be grateful. The compliments have been so amazing, I have wanted to look into how Radio Lincolnshire produces live commentary for Lincoln City football games. I definitely don't have a face for a TV pundit so I'll take a radio career any day haha. My game commentary comes naturally from years of loving Football and being tactically minded. My energy, excitement and reactions have taken time for me to get used to producing videos. It has taken me a while to get into a comfort zone and I looked into a lot of sports YouTube channels to learn about different approaches. I can only hope more people share your opinion to help the channel grow.

The videos on your channel are often quite long, in comparison to a lot of other ones, which is a refreshing change to the current fashion of shorter and shorter videos. Is this a conscious decision or do they just turn out that way?

Some decisions are conscious for example, in my Football Manager videos, I display highlights of a whole in game month so they are never going to be incredibly short. I try to aim for 25 minutes to be the very longest I make my videos unless I simply can't help it. I must admit that I would like to produce some series with shorter videos e.g. FIFA 14 as it can be produced at a faster pace so I can get excited about making the next episodes even sooner. With my Football Manager series, I am quite happy with its current format and I think the longer episodes work. Overall I would say that the length is very game dependent rather than dependent on me.

An occasional special guest of your videos appears to be your webcam. Is it truly evil? Where did you obtain it from - or did it just materialise one day wearing a dark cloak?

Considering the money invested into the webcam then I would say it is certainly evil. It does concern me the amount of times it has frozen since I've owned it. The HD quality is fantastic but I believe you are referencing to a recent vlog I tried to make where my webcam was having an particular off day. It just kept freezing and crashing so I thought hey lets go with it, I'd rather do this in one take anyways and it added some subtle comedy to an overly serious video by my standards.

And as a fan of Norwich City, how do you think the Canaries season is going?

We have been a complete embarrassment all season. We will be in the Championship next season but there's nothing I can do so I try not to let it bother me. I have wanted Chris Hughton out before the season began. He had one season in charge and so many fans were sick of his negative tactics which you can see were physically effecting the performances of the team. For 3 years of success, Norwich fans became accustomed to a never say die attitude and good attacking play with Paul Lambert as the manager. Now we go out trying to get a 0-0 draw which is humiliating. If you go out to win a game you may draw, if you go out to draw you will usually lose. I realise many readers may not be Football fans so I'll stop there.

Finally, what would you say to entice someone who is yet to discover your channel? What video would you recommend for a new discoverer of CtrlGodDammit?

I create YouTube sports video game content through role play and story building. I am in the process of creating a more entertaining trailer to the channel consisting of video highlights I have brought to the channel so far. I try to capture the viewers imagination and bring them into my gaming world. My success is down to you guys and I wouldn't be where I am or where I'm going to be if it wasn't for viewers believing in me or giving me a go. I may have mostly spoken about Football on this blog but I also intend to cover: Basketball, Driving games, Rugby, Pool and general games that I want to play to show you all my interests. I hope you all want to join me for the journey but the worst you can say is no and have a nice day.

Thanks to Rhys for his time, if you haven't already then go catch his channel now at

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Happy St Patricks Day!

Happy St Patricks Day!  Congratulations to the Irish in their recent rugby game beating France, apparently it meant something bad for us (England) but as I don't follow rugby I don't exactly know what! But well done to the Irish anyway, and being a day for the Irish, it seems appropriate for me to share a story from the last time I was in Dublin.  I should say that the story is from a few years ago, and I was tired and emotional so I apologise sincerely if I have got any of the details wrong.

Now let me say, I love Dublin.  I haven't been for about maybe seven years, and to be honest it's far too long, I definitely need to get myself there. And yes, Guinness tastes different there to anywhere else - anywhere else, it has a sort of burnt aftertaste, while in Dublin it's more like mild, a very easy to drink beer.

So, I went to Dublin by myself for a long weekend, not long before I moved out of my parents house.  I got to my hotel around lunchtime, had a spot of lunch and a couple of drinks in the hotel bar, and decided to walk into the city centre.

And I thought it might be quite jolly to stop at each of the bars on the way to the centre, and have a pint in each one.

However, I had stayed in a hotel maybe half an hours walk out of the centre, and in Dublin there are quite a few pubs.

So, by the time I got to O'Connell Street, which I seem to remember is where the main shopping area is, I believe that I had had somewhere in the region of seven or so pints, mostly Guinness but I think there was maybe a pint of lager in there as well, just to mix things up.

And I came across one of these chinese health shops.  If you've been to any decent sized town or city you'll have come across one of these, they do acupuncture and herbs and all kinds of things to cure everything from weight problems to baldness.

Being somewhat merry, I noticed that the person stood at the entrance to the shop was holding out some leaflets. Hey, I thought to myself, lets grab a leaflet.  We're on holiday, lets go wild.

So, I grabbed a leaflet.

Now the usual social process for such a situation is that I take hold of a leaflet, and the person with the leaflet lets it go.  Maybe there's a smile or perhaps even a "Thanks" uttered, and that's optional.  But the letting go of the leaflet so that the punter can take it with them - that seems to me to be a key part of the event.

She didn't.

Instead, she walked backwards into the shop while holding on to the leaflet that I attempted to take, dragging my inebriated self with her.  She sat me down on a chair, and then after a couple of minutes went by I was taken into a small room at the back, where there was a Chinese doctor (I assume) and a translator.  The translator said a lot of stuff which basically came down to "You're fat, so we're going to do acupuncture on you, we're going to give you a shoulder and back massage, and do cupping for 35 euros."

I should explain that cupping isn't some bizarre fetish, it's a therapy which involves putting glass jars on your back, with tealight candles lit in them.  The candles burn away the oxygen, creating an area of low pressure, which sort of sucks the skin into the jar.  I think that it's supposed to be good for blood flow.

I remember one point of bizarreness being that after the translator left, the doctor starting talking English.  Maybe she wasn't the translator, maybe she was just the doctor's boss.  And when I'm referring to the doctor, she probably wasn't a doctor, I just called her that.  She might have been the cleaner for all I know.

Anyway it was all quite fun, the massage was pleasant enough (all above board and the like), I don't really remember anything about the cupping, and the acupuncture was quite weird - if you asked me before if someone could stick a load of needles in you without it hurting I would have said no, and even now I would probably say no, but I have to say that at the time it was fine, I even remember waving my hand and watching the acupuncture needles wobble.  The doctor seemed to think it was funny that I could look at the needles without cringing.

After the treatment, I went out to the main part of the shop to pay, and they told me that they would have to book me a new appointment.  I explained that I was on holiday, so they suggested that they could book me an appointment at their London branch in England.

London is about four to five hours drive from where I live.  Not going to happen.

So, they then attempted to sell me 270 euros of teabags, herbs, oils, and assorted paraphernalia because I wouldn't be able to attend another treatment. I made some excuse (I think that I might have said that I was bankrupt), paid the 35 euros for what they'd done, and left to find another bar.

So the moral of this story is... don't try to drink in all the bars in Dublin.  You won't do it and it won't go well.

Now, I need to get some Jamesons Whiskey so I can make a hot whiskey.

Happy St Patricks Day!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Pi Day! (I love pie...)

March 14th 2014 is Pi Day!

I can't believe that I don't have a photo of pie to enter here.

Here's a photo of a chocolate orange danish I ate with a knife in lieu.

Joking aside, Pi is basically the biggest discovery ever in the world of mathematics.  Pi (represented by the greek symbol П) is an irrational number (it can't be expressed by a simple fraction eg 1/4 or 5/10) that represents the ratio of a circles circumference to its diameter.  Because it's an irrational number, no one actually knows its exact figure - it has been calculated to millions of digits, but it (theoretically) will go on for an infinite number of digits. I remember when I was doing my GCSE Maths that 2Пr was a really important formula for measuring something to do with circles.

I also remember mucking about with the circumference of a circle and formulating a way to almost get the right answer by slicing the circle up into 360 triangles, measuring one of them, and multiplying by 360.

Again, can't quite believe that I don't have a picture of a pizza.  Here's pate on a cracker instead.

It was a lot of effort to get the wrong answer.

Anyway, if you're a mathematician I hope you have a good П day!  If you'd like to celebrate П day then apparently common ways to do this is by discussing the relevance of the number П, and eating or throwing pies.

Again, no picture of a pie!  Here's a bacon sandwich.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

6 things only YouTube Creators understand...

So, making YouTube videos is an art.  Something for a natural creator to undertake. But there are experiences that all video makers will share, whatever their video style, regardless of whether they make short hardhitting films, music, or perhaps just videos of a monkey riding a vibrating pig.


6) Recording the video will be unreasonably difficult.

I have a variety of equipment to record with.  None of my equipment is top of the range, but it includes an HD webcam, a camcorder, and my smartphone.

The webcam is basically the cheapest 1080 one that I could get, and although it works, it isn't great.  In my computer room it inevitably gives an image too dark, unless I select the "Low Light Compensation" option.

Which solves the problem brilliantly!

Except that this option then makes the speech go out of sync, so you look like a poorly dubbed french film.

If I had a live stream from my webcam, it would look like this.  I haven't had that beard for months.  And I haven't even used that headset since I first got it dancing like a night elf.

Next up is the camcorder.  The camcorder isn't HD, and what's worse records in 4:3 aspect ratio, which probably means nothing to you unless you make videos on YouTube - basically it means that, for it to fit in YouTube nicely, you lose a chunk of either your head or your gut out of the video.

Meanwhile the smartphone is actually the best piece of kit, except for one odd feature.  If you have a modern smartphone, you'll know that the display rotates to whatever way you are holding the smartphone. Got it upside down?  Not a problem, the display will flip round.

However, the camera records a certain way up, and even though the display may look fine, if the smartphone records the "wrong way up" (which isn't obvious as you generally record YouTube videos with your phone on its side) it'll record your video upside down.

Which makes editing REALLY easy.

I hate technology.

Of course, I don't have the best kit to record with, but even if you do...

5) Your video will have a tiny, but critical, mistake in it that means after waiting four hours for it to render, it will be absolutely dreadful and will need amending.

Seriously, this happens far too often.  If you aren't a video creator, you might be forgiven for thinking that actually, percentage-wise, a large chunk of the video makers time is spent recording the video.


Although you might spent a bit of time recording re-takes, and rerecording certain scenes, the vast majority of time is spent mucking about with the video on the computer afterwards.  As an example, I made a ten-minute video talking about video games, as a sort of audition for a gaming channel.  I really enjoyed doing it, but for the two hours I spent recording stuff, I spent about twenty editing the video.

And it still turned out bad.

But there will be some setting in the video editing software that you'll forget to change.  As a result your speech will be out of sync with the video, or the video will end up with black banners around it, or just be plain bad.

Yes YouTube, that's what I wanted. Some big black frames around my video, just to give it that "condolence card" look.

Oh. My. God.  That's the professional quality that has attracted an entire thirty two subscribers to me.

But rendering a video takes an age.  And if you do anything with your PC, it'll slow down and take even longer.  So, as a result, you'll have to wait at least half an hour, watch the video, discover what you did wrong, and repeat.

But eventually, you'll get the video rendered, it looks fine, and you'll start uploading it to YouTube.  Which takes hours if you're uploading a decent quality video, so you'll probably use your PC for other stuff in the meantime.  And you may well do the next one.

4) You will log out of Google in one of your browser windows, whilst your video is uploading in another window.  This will mean that you have to start the upload process again.



3) Any time that you tell YouTube to publish a video, there will be a problem in that video, meaning that a shedload of tweets, Facebook statuses, and Google+ notifications go out, with a link to a video that you don't want people to see.

YouTube tries to be helpful.  It tries to automate the social media promotion stuff that you do, but it will either not work, and make you do it anyway (particularly when trying to post to Facebook), or when it works, about ten minutes later you'll realise that there's a problem with your video, and have to take it down, and restart the whole process.  And when the new video goes up, and is promoted, everyone will think that you're just spam posting about your video and hate you.

Obviously a joke - who could hate a chin like that?  Covered in cuddly grey spikes.

Finally, your video is live.  It looks okay, it has a custom thumbnail, it has annotations, you've done hours of promotion, you've done all the things you're supposed to do.  This one is bound to go viral, right?

And yet...

2) After publishing your video, for about the next six hours you grab your phone every time it vibrates in the hope that it is a nice comment about your video, or perhaps even a new subscriber.  Every time it will be an update from Candy Crush Saga.


After a few days, you decide to check out the videos statistics, and see if there's anything there that will help soothe your battered ego.

What do you see?  A dislike.

1) You pretend to be okay when a video gets a dislike, but inside you want to kill.


Of course not everyone in the world will like your video, you tell yourself.  Of course they can't.  Psy's Gangnam Style has around a million dislikes. You have just one.

Plus, you've got more likes than dislikes, so on balance it's all good.

It doesn't matter. Someone disliked your video.

Time to go hunting.

You can't beat a wooden sword for revenge.  Splinters hurt, boy!

All's said and done, I still love making videos.  If you do want to watch any of my videos, which contain a lot of eating and a significant amount of vibrating pigs, they're over at - thanks for reading!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Evil Purple Ball

Here is a picture of my sons playroom - halfway through a tidy up.

In the middle of the picture no doubt you'll see the purple ball.

The evil purple ball.

The purple ball we originally bought when my other half was pregnant, and it has basically hung around since then, acting as an emergency chair as well as just a huge ball to throw at people.

But when you tidy up, it will not leave you alone.

As you tidy up, you'll push the ball out of the way.  It slowly rolls away, hits a wall or sofa or set of drawers or something, and rolls back.  This vaguely irritates me, so I give it a slightly firmer push to get rid of it.

And of course it rolls away a little faster, bounces a little quicker, and impacts upon me with slightly more force than before.

My annoyance increases, and before long the ball is picked up and launched across the playroom - which isn't that large, and it will continue to bounce back into you with increased vigour.

I've never snapped and tried to puncture the ball, which is probably for the best as these balls are reinforced somehow and I have visions of stabbing it, only for the knife to bounce off it and plant itself in a wall or carpet or face or something.

On my YouTube channel I have a new video up, and I need your input!  In this question I ask four questions that can't be googled (at least that is my view, feel free to try to prove me wrong), and I'm looking for people to reply with what they think the answers are.  Fire your answers back to me at

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

YouTuber Interview #4 - Scott Tumilty!!!

Today I'm extremely fortunate to be interviewing my favourite Geek & Sundry Vlogger, Scott Tumilty.  Scott vlogs all about retro video games for Geek & Sundry on his channel, at He's also punched recently through the 1,000 subscriber limit, as only a guy training to be a professional wrestler could.

Scott is also the first person I've interviewed that sent me a picture.  I'm slightly unsettled by his choice of 'selfie'.

Hi Scott. To kick things off, how did you get into vlogging for Geek & Sundry?

It was all a drunken accident.

I started off making something called 'Scott plays bad games, while hammered' where I'd drink heavily and play through some of the terrible games my brother had bought me over the years.

After six months of that, the Geek and Sundry vlogger search came along. I threw in an episode of 'bad games' for a laugh, not really expecting anything of it, so when they mailed back saying they enjoyed it, and could I enter a new/original vlog into the competition, I started to take it more seriously.

Not by much though.

After two gruelling rounds that also involved a massive work project and buying a house, I got picked, and the rest is history.

Retro gaming is very much live and kicking, with shows such as Co-optitude on the main Geek & Sundry channel. Why do you think retro games are so popular?

I think it's inevitable as time goes on. The longer gaming exists as an art form, and the more it grows, the more you'll find that people have strong, positive childhood associations with gaming. With that, you also get certain games and characters that latch on to childhood memories.

Another thing about retro games is that they can be incredibly difficult and frustrating. Watching someone lose their mind at a game they could complete as a child is fantastic fun.

One regular feature of your videos is an absolutely huge amount of games on shelves behind you.  Just how many games do you have?

I have absolutely no idea. Seriously. Not a clue.

What is your all-time favourite video game? And what game do you think we're going to be playing in twenty years time as a "classic of the early 2010s"?

My favourite video game changes every week, and it's difficult to pick just one.

For the sake of argument, I'll say Monkey Island, but the CD talkie version. I always thought the writing was superb, and I loved the way that it took out the unfair deaths that were the hallmark of other point 'n' click adventures.

I'm looking at you, Space Quest 3.

As for future classics? I'm afraid time will have to tell on that, but I'd imagine that it'll be a game that was either ridiculously ambitious and took gaming forward as a concept, or it'll be a simple game with a core of pure fun.

Let's say Gone Home, or Paddle War from Commander Keen.

And looking forward, how do you see the games industry in the future? Are consoles doomed as computing gets increasingly mobile?

It's not so much that consoles are doomed. I think that anything that doesn't adapt to fit with the needs of its audience is doomed.

I'm going to be taking my life into my hands by saying this, but the core of the Xbox One's move towards more or less total digital distribution wasn't an entirely bad idea.

Where it went wrong is the way in which that idea was mutilated, to the point where it wasn't of any benefit to the consumer, and in fact sought to punish them for potentially being a pirate by existing. It was a dumb move.

Also, every time they brought out Don Mattrick, it reminded me of why dancing bears are frowned upon in modern society.

One of your regular activities is Garlic Bread Monday, where a chunk of the internet gathers to watch you play a retro game and eat garlic bread.  I have an issue in that I never seem to have garlic bread, but apart from that it makes for a brilliant Monday night, and being UK-based myself it's really nice to be able to join in on a live stream at a decent hour for me. Where did the idea come from for Garlic Bread Monday?

No problem, it's nice to see you in the chat each week.

After doing the Extra Life charity live stream with the other Geek and Sundry vloggers, I still had the kit and the software. One day I decided to play some Dreamcast when I got home from work, and on a whim decided I'd live stream it.

Also, I decided I wanted some lasagne and garlic bread for dinner. I am a fiend for lasagne, like a sweary Garfield.

One lovely twitter follower, I think it was a guy called Niall, suggested the hashtag of #garlicbreadmondays. The rest speaks for itself.

What is the best garlic bread?

Tesco garlic bread doughballs. You need to get in on that shit.

Scott, as someone regarded as the second prettiest G&S vlogger (I wanted to say prettiest but Nika Harper just wins I'm afraid), how do you keep in shape? (hint - good opportunity to talk about your wrestling training!)

You flatter me sir.

I do it by going to karate at least twice a week, and pro wrestling training at least once a week.

The flip side is that I have the diet of a 12 year old who has his birthday every single day, so it generally balances out.

I generally suggest that you google the 'deck of cards' workout, and invest in a chin up bar.

For those yet to encounter the juicy goodness of either Garlic Bread Monday or your brilliant vlogs, how would you describe yourself and your videos?

I am the darkness that lives within the soul of human kind. Also, I'm a retro gaming enthusiast.

Sometimes I'll want to share things about retro gaming that make me happy.

Sometimes I'll want to show you things about retro gaming that make me angry.

Sometimes I'll be on an epic journey of discovery as I try to catch up with retro gaming moments that have passed me by.

There will be cake. There will be garlic bread. There will be swearing.

Catch Scott on his YouTube channel at and take part in the awesomeness that is Garlic Bread Mondays on Twitch on Monday nights, 8pm GMT at

For more information about Geek & Sundry, its shows (I particularly recommend Co-Optitude and TableTop), and its vlogs on all kinds of topics from gaming to DIY, check out the channels below as well as the main website:

Monday, 3 March 2014

The beauty of a weekend chillout

I've been chilling out at the weekend.

Not all weekend, of course.  That would be extremely lazy (and lovely).

Basically, my Saturday and Sunday morning chillouts take up the first two to three hours of the day.  I get up with my son, make us both some breakfast, and then eat said breakfast whilst watching Glee.

Yes, I know, Glee is a dreadfully cheerful and uplifting piece of televisual entertainment, but sometimes I just want to feel good!  It's a modern musical and the one thing musicals do is touch your soul.

And breakfast is essential for absorbing the alcohol from the night before.

Breakfast was especially good this weekend, due to buying bacon last week.

And when I say I bought bacon, I BOUGHT BACON.

In the interests of supporting my local shop, I went to the butchers, with the intention of buying somewhere between four and eight slices of bacon.  However, they had a special offer of two pounds (about one kilogramme) of bacon for £5.70.

That's not actually a special offer, it's actually the going rate for bacon, but I couldn't resist - I bought it.

Now I have lots of bacon in the house.

Two bits of news - firstly, I have a video collaboration being organised as I type, no details yet but hopefully a new video will be arriving in a couple of weeks (apart from any others I knock together in the meantime)

And secondly, fingers crossed I have a new YouTuber interview coming through very shortly, if so it'll be featured this week!  Stay tuned.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Struggling with inspiration

Not my usual sort of blog post today, but nevertheless onwards we go...

I'm struggling a little with inspiration at the moment, for ideas to make up future posts.  I have a handful of draft posts on stand by, but none of them are really that good (yes, amazingly the posts that go up on my blog do actually go through some kind of vague quality-review process before going live) and I'm aware that I'm not blogging as regularly as I like to, but am kind of stuck for ideas at the moment.

I was involved in a creative thinking workshop as part of work last year and maybe I should try some of the exercises talked about there.  What do you do when you're short on ideas?

I wanted to flag up that my friends blog,, has kicked back into life after a quiet spell.  Andy is a very funny guy and well worth a read.

One thing I did manage to do the other day was make a video of how to make the perfect mocha, which of course includes alcohol.  Hope you like it.

And my guess the accents video made my dad fall off his chair laughing.  See if you can work out which ones they are.

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