Twitter Profiling with GameTripper
I’ve never met GameTripper I’m sorry to say, so I’ll be learning as I ask the questions. He is in a Twitter DM group chat with me and recently visited Rome with his partner but after that I’m clueless so let’s find out more by Twitter Profiling with GameTripper.
- Tell me a little about yourself. Name age and where you live that kinda stuff
I’m Matt Gardner, 31, editor of GameTripper, and I live in Leeds. I’m originally from Hartlepool, but moved to Leeds for my first job, and stayed here ever since!
- So just going off the name GameTripper, tell me what that’s all about. Almost sounds like a beatles song.
Yeah, that was a rare moment of clarity after weeks of toying with names, only to find out the ones I wanted were taken by other people (even though those projects were generally dead). “Games of our Lives” was our original choice, as it described our MO a little better, but I’m a huge Beatles fan, and GameTripper came out of that!
Luckily, it still kinda describes the act of taking a trip down memory lane, or a trip with someone – for us, a gamer.
- Can’t believe I pieced that together, but it shows it works in real-time. So whose brainchild was the website? How many are invested in it?
Well, I kinda set it up as a co-operative vanity project; the chance to write for myself, and give other people a platform and support using my skills as a professional writer, so I can help them get their message across just the way they want to.
In real terms, it’s literally just me; I sub-edit all submissions, maintain the site and Twitter account, and work on image editing and so on. My friend from a previous job is pretty nifty with web development, so he designed the site based on specs and plug-ins we found, and we try to tweak it every now and again. Then, of course, we have our fantastic contributors; most return to do more than one, which has been great. Other than that, no-one!
- So you say you are a professional writer – a first for me. Who do you write for and what kind of writing is it?
At the moment, I’m just seeing out a job as the head of digital content for a large airline and holiday company in Leeds. I trained in journalism straight out of uni, went into digital news. In my first job, I had to write 30+ stories of 150+ words every day – in the two and a half years I was there, I did 15,898 stories, and sub-edited just as many. A trial by fire!After that, I moved to the US to work as a soccer correspondent in the north-east (based in NJ), then worked as a head of copywriting at an award-winning digital agency in Leeds for five years. I’m just about to move to another role as a business magazine editor.
- That’s quite an impressive portfolio. Sounds a touch ‘bus-man’s holiday’ to then come home and do more of the same. As an electrician, I guess that would be like me doing YouTube videos about wiring (which I have thought of doing by the way). How do you find the motivation to do more of the same? Is it just the love of games?
Yeah, I totally understand that. Actually, it’s pretty difficult to do, but the reason I took it up was because in my job, I’m much more of a sub-editor now than anything else. It comes with management, really. I still love that, and it obviously helps with GameTripper, but I just wanted to apply what I’ve learned in writing to something I really, really know my stuff about.
It means I can write for myself, by my own rules, and about what I love. I just didn’t realise it would get as popular as it has; I expected a couple of contributors, all only my friends. Already, I’ve had 14 individual writers, with another five or six planning to contribute on top of returnees. Luckily, it doesn’t feel like a second job just yet!
It’s actually the contributors and their fantastic stories that have made it such an enriching experience. I know my own stories and sure, I want to share them, but hearing some of the tales of gaming from people at all stages of their lives is just brilliant. A few people think we’re another game review site, but we’re not: we’re a gamer’s storybook, of sorts.
At this point we have a few giggles!
Neil – So if writing the storybook is exciting – does that make you a pop-up storybook 😉
Matt – Laugh it up 😛 . Not *that* exciting!
Neil – hehe just too many times in blackpool and too much Carry On film ‘innuendo’ still ringing in my head
Matt – “Best of British”, am I right…?
- I see you also have a big love of game music, what influenced the decision to put content for that on the site?
I used to review music as a hobby, but I have as much of a passion for that as the games themselves. The reason I set up the site was, eventually, in order to do retrospectives for my favourite games – like Sonic 1-3, Fallout 3 and FF7-9.
I realised that I’d not be able to give the games a shot on their own unless I spoke about the music elsewhere, because their soundtracks are absolute masterpieces – I bought the FFVIII original soundtrack from Japan with pocket money when I was about 14 for £80!
Music is so damn important for games to be real experiences. It makes or breaks any game, however simple the soundtrack may be. There’s too much focus on graphics, gameplay and even story; music ties everything together.
- Moving on to you Matt, do you have any other interests? I’ve seen travelling, games and music so far. Any other little hobbies going on, with what spare time you have left? Or is that family time?
Travelling, mainly! I just got back from Rome. In the last six years, I’ve done Germany x 4, US x 5, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Macau, China, South Korea (AKA good Korea), Hong Kong, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and a couple more.
Alongside that, I’m big on American sports; I’ve played American football and ice hockey and love them both equally. If I’m not wearing a gaming shirt, I’m wearing a jersey. Ironically, I’m wearing an EHC Red Bull Munchen jersey over a Sonic 2 shirt as I speak
- When you are sat there doing all these things you love, what kind of desk foods do you indulge in? What floats Matty’s boat?
Whisky, mainly. Craft ale. Having been 23 stone back in the day, I tend to have tea and avoid snack foods altogether if I can! Not that the drinks help, mind!
I lost the best part of ten stone, so snacks are best avoided for me
- Regarding home life, how does your partner feel about gaming? You probably saw my T-Shirt called ‘It’s a hard knock wife’
Haha, yeah, I think that resonates with her to a degree. But yeah, I don’t think she minds, actually; it gives her time to watch Netflix and the like, so she’s surprisingly supportive. She’s a writer herself too, so she’s also pretty happy for GameTripper to be a thing of the back of it. My man cave’s in the attic, so it doesn’t interfere with her life.
- It’s been a great chat Matt, my last question is a double-barrelled question. As we have never met, what exhibition’s might we find you at in the future and what console can we expect to find you sat at?
Thanks mate! And at the moment, I’m going to be at plenty in Leeds soon – the fantastic RetEvents literally lives two streets over from me and he’s organised Collectorabilia and a few other things in Leeds City Centre. Soon, though, the likes of Blackpool will be on the list. And console? I’ve hit 12,000 gamerscore on Xbox so far in 2018, and I’m getting my Xbox One X (finally) this month, so I’ll most likely be glued to that if you were to walk in!