Name / Twitter:
Steven Barber / @igotmy9milli
What do you do now?
SCEE Developer Relations / Game designer / Blog writer / Beer drinker
Where were you born?
Harlow, Essex boy.
Where do you live nowadays?
What’s your favourite video game of all time?
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I’m an adoring fan….
What was the last game you enjoyed and why?
This is a tricky one; I’ve recently started writing a blog and will not be playing any console games from after 1995…. My favourite title from that experience would have to be Alcazar – The Forgotten Fortress on the Commodore 64 which released in 1985 when I was only one year old. It has some really great game design features, awesome graphics and for me some truly memorable nostalgia points.
Honourable mentions – Night Sky (Android), Seaman (Dreamcast), Legend of Grimrock (Steam), Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon (Steam) and Super Hexagon (Android), plus too many more to mention….
Describe any of the bullying you experienced.
My bullying experience started in early secondary school. I was a little eccentric as a young teen and decided I wouldn’t get a haircut for a few years; I had a crazy long curly mess on my head! Unfortunately this made me stand out a bit and that’s when the bullying started. It was mainly just name calling which I wasn’t too bothered about but there were a few times where I had my hair pulled and got into various fights for no real reason. My hair was pretty extreme and even random people in the street would sometimes comment on it.
In my later teens I started to dress a bit “Goth” or “Greebo” and listened to Marilyn Manson and had six inch spikey hair, I didn’t make it easy for myself! But I found being part of a group of people similar to me definitely made life easier. I’ve never really been a fan of mainstream culture whether it be music, games or whatever. And that always makes you an easy target or stand out.
When did you finally learn how to manage the bullying? How?
At the time you think the bullying will never end but you just get through it, usually with support from close friends (who tend to be in the same situation). Just be yourself and don’t worry what other people think about you.
What effect do you think bullying had on you?
It made me slightly more introverted, but looking back it helped me make tighter bonds with the friends around me and makes you stronger as a person for getting through it. If anything I might not be where I am today without going through those situations. Turn the negatives into positives.
How is your life better now?
I wouldn’t say life was bad as a youngster, not having to go to work, spending everyday with your mates; there was definitely some good times. I would say try and enjoy this time because you only get one shot at it. Don’t let bullies ruin this time for you. Life now is pretty good though, working with people with a passion for video games is great. Everyone has the latest games, gadgets and technology it’s a really fun environment!
Did you think your life was ever going to be this good?
At the time definitely not, I think as a kid it’s very hard to know what you want to do when you grow up. Yes I had an interest in games but no one ever said I could work in that industry, in fact no one ever told me what I could or couldn’t do. I’ve had to work very hard to get where I am today and I think being bullied as a youth has given me that extra drive to succeed. My gaming career started as a warehouse box packer, packing PS2 games and I’ve managed to work my way to where I am today.
What would you like to say to a youngster thinking about getting into video games who is experiencing bullying right now?
Video games are a great industry to work in. My advice would be work hard and focus on what you want to achieve, that goes for whatever you decide to do and not just video games. Just remember with hard work and focus anything is possible, just map out a plan, do your homework on what it will take to tackle the plan and then tackle it.