Name / Twitter handle:
Stewart Gilray @stewartgilray
What do you do now?
CEO of Just Add Water (Developments), Ltd. & Development Director of Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc.
Where are you based nowadays?
Otley, West Yorkshire, UK.
What’s your favourite video game of all time?
It’s probably got to be Journey by ThatGameCompany, yes it’s new, and yes I’ve been doing this for 26 years, but there’s something about it that’s just magical.
What was the last game you enjoyed and why?
The Cave by Ron Gilbert and the team at Double Fine Productions. It was a weird mix of modern gaming and a classic adventure/puzzle gaming.
Describe some of the bullying you experienced.
I was always a shy quiet kid and still am to a degree, and because of that I was picked on, I didn’t really mix well with others in that I liked my space and my time, I was also incredibly gullible and naïve so would easy believe people and situations. So at school some of the usual suspects would deliberately pick on me because of that.
When did you finally learn how to manage the bullying? How?
I didn’t really, it just sort of stopped when I left education. When I was at school, especially in the last year I’d just do a bunk and hide outside of school to avoid certain lessons where I knew particular bullies would be, just to avoid them. But back in the mid-80s your parents weren’t informed if you were off etc.
What effect do you think bullying had on you?
I still suffer from massive self-esteem and self-confidence issues and I do get panic attacks when I’m put in situations I’m not comfortable in. As such until relatively recently I deliberately avoided public speaking, but now I try to do as much as I can to prove to myself that I can do it, not just others.
How is your life better now?
Life is cool because I get to create some awesome video games and I get to play with amazing technology. The people I have around me are all very special to me, and yes ok so I’m the boss of the company, but I do NOT like the company to have that perception that we’re all on different levels or we shouldn’t talk. When I was younger you never spoke to your boss, and it was always a bit of a “yes boss” type thing. I completely hate that view point so we don’t have that here. So I have friends and colleagues and we get to work on some great stuff.
Did you think your life was ever going to be this good?
Never, I had the perception that I might be making games for about 4-5 years then I’d have to get a “real job™” but here I am 26 years later, all that’s changed is I have people working for me now who are HALF my age and they are very clever people. Don’t get me wrong, we should always strive to improve life, so right now it’s good, but it will get better!
What would you like to say to a youngster thinking about getting into video games who is experiencing bullying right now?
If you’re into video games and you love video games and you’re already playing around with ideas etc. then keep at it, as long as you have REAL determination and ambition to make games then you will make games. Make sure you know everything you need to know about and want to know about, and most of all don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t, as they’d be wrong. We can do anything we want as long as we apply ourselves to it. As for the bullies themselves, it’s all well and good saying ignore them, but it’s true, by reacting to them you are giving them what they want, which is a rise out of you, they want others to see they have power over you. Don’t let me, ignore them, they will soon get bored.
As for the bullies themselves, it’s all well and good saying ignore them, but it’s true, by reacting to them you are giving them what they want, which is a rise out of you, they want others to see they have power over you. Don’t let me, ignore them, they will soon get bored.