Hey cHEwY gum gums

The second most asked question I get from my school visits is, ‘Do you play Fornite?’

For those who don’t know what that is, I’ll give you a second to google it up. Basically, it’s the game craze that all the kids (and plenty of adults) are playing RIGHT NOW. It’s like Candy Crush Saga, Minecraft, and um Angry Birds haha.

2 years ago, kids were asking me about Pokemon Go, the hot new fad of 2016 and blogged about that too. In case people were wondering, I still play that (I’m on level 37 now haha). But a lot of kids ask me about video games because it comes up in my author talk and I have video game plushes, Nintendo toys and a Nintendo Switch on display. Sometimes it gets to the point where a teacher has to pip in and say ‘only questions about books and writing please.’

I don’t mind though because video games is a huge part of my life. For the longest time I wanted to be a video games journalist, brought up on a diet of Sega Megazone, Official Nintendo Magazine and Hyper as a kid. I thought, how cool would it be to play games all day and write about them. I know the reality is much harsher than that, but still…you get to play games FOR A LIVING! Sign me up haha. So in high school, I did ponder doing a degree in journalism, with a view to get into writing for video game magazines.

Fast forward to 2018 and media has evolved, news and reviews for video games news come through social media, websites and YouTube/Twitch streams. When I write, I have some of my fave YouTube channels like Gamexplain or ReviewTechUSA on in the background. I still read print magazines like Hyper, which has become an essay/feature magazine now, and Edge from the UK, who also do in-depth analysis and deep dives into games.

So…I don’t know if I would still be as keen to be a journalist. Sure, I can write for the handful of print magazines, or established websites. Or I could start up my own video games blog or YouTube channel. But it’s the for the same reason why I haven’t started a burger blog. I just love eating burgers, but I couldn’t explain to you why I love it, outside of yum and the patty was juicy. Others can, and they’re very good at it. I enjoy playing video games, but analysing them may just kill the joy for me. So I’m happy to read or watch others do it.

I think I’ve found my calling with writing fiction. I still get to mention video games in my stories and talks, and it’s not because I want to be ‘hip and groovy’ with the kids. I am a lifelong gamer. And yes, I will be playing Fornite when it gets announced on the Nintendo Switch this week. So, stay tuned on my Instagram for my first time very soon. I didn’t say, I’d be good at it haha.

Oliver ‘Winfree’

Instagram/Twitter/Xbox Live: @oliverwinfree



About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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