Hello and welcome back to my parlour! Today I have a very special guest and I am so happy to have the famous, incredible king of burgers, aka Somanyalts aka Jay here with me! Thank you for accepting my invitation!
We are all gamers here so shall we start from the very beginning? How did your passion for video games begin?
Gosh now that does go a long way back in time! I was in high school when the first computer came out in schools. It was an Apple IIe and had ping pong on it. But the first real game I played and loved was a weird thing called Joust. Can’t remember what machine it was on but it was 8 colour, loaded from a cassette tape and 2 player. You had to try knock the other person off the very pixelated ostrich things. I was always into electronics however. Dad used to curse me for always taking everything apart to see how it worked.
My passion for MMO followed on from a passion for Dungeons and Dragons, when they made that into a computer game.
From there I started trying out all sorts of games. Fable was one of my favourites purely because the character look changed due the decisions you made in game.
So you are not only the king of burgers but you are also the king of nerds! You are only my second guest who played/plays D&D! Tell us more about your experience in this area of the nerd universe!
The D&D universe! I would still play it IF I had enough nerd friends around to play. I started playing D&D back in the early 80s. A few boys from our street used to play every weekend, all weekend. Ravenloft would have been our biggest campaign we ever did. I can’t remember an awful lot from it, other than it took ages, and more than one effort to complete the campaign successfully. In my late teens I started playing Star Wars RPG which I played for years with flatmates and my brother. We used to order pizzas and coke from Dominoes around the corner. It was what we did most nights actually, until becoming of an age that being an adult was a real pressure.
I’ve still got all my dice somewhere. Funny the things we keep.
What are the video games that have left a mark in your life and heart?
Fable for sure. Civilisation was one I fondly remember. I used to go in to Dad’s work and play it on the office lady’s computer, until Dad bought me my own copy. Ghostbusters on the Commodore 64, Spyro on the original playstation, and of course Warcraft II. I also got into the emulation world and loved Pokémon Red. Final Fantasy VII I loved. Fighting those Aeons… ahhh. Final Fantasy X and X-2 were also favourite. I loved unlocking costumes..and the moodiness of it all. Oh, there was also Soul Calibur. The fights in that were awesome to watch let alone be part of. Today, all I play is World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV.
Let’s talk about World of Warcraft! How did it all start?
That started much later than I would have personally liked. I didn’t start playing that until the beginning of 2007, just at the launch of the battle chest. My life was not in a good place at that time, and leading into the darkest times of my life in all honesty. I was living in New Zealand and coming out of a very toxic relationship. I hadn’t played Warcraft since the ex decided the playstation was not suitable for me to have anymore shall we say. After we finally parted ways the first thing I did was go out and buy the best PC I could at the time, and Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Battle Chest. I started off by playing on The Underbog, a PVP realm of all places. I started with a blood elf rogue. Still got him actually. The last time I played him he was in Squall on Illidan. Not sure if he is still there. Haven’t played on the US account for quite some time now. Warcraft is how I filled my days after losing my job. I’d play all day everyday because it was my escape from the issues in my own life. It’s seen me through many dark times, probably caused some of the dark times too in fairness.
How did the experience change over the years?
It went from an escape to an addiction before I left New Zealand for the UK back in October of 2008. I came here with two bags of belongings, about £1000, no job or prospects of one, but fortunately had an uncle I could live with until I found my feet. By May of 2009 I had found myself a job in an English boarding school and a flat. A few months later I had saved up enough to buy a PC and was back to playing Warcraft by the start or 2010. I had to start from the very beginning again because at that time it was near impossible to be able to play a US account in Europe as far as I knew. I had made some huge life changes during that break and found that I could actually enjoy playing for playing sake. It was no longer the only thing I had any assumed control over in my life. It didn’t take long until I was in a guild and raiding Naxx and ICC. We were never world first or realm first worthy but certainly pushing progression early. I’ve watched so many changes over the expansions. Some have been great, others not so much. You’ve got to look at it now as a completely different game to what it started as. The difference between classic and retail now show how much the game has changed. It has become a much more achievement based, got to be pushing end-game content style game than it ever was up until the end of WotLK. I still love it, and strangely enjoy classic for what it is too. Classic is harder, so I laugh at celebrating the small things, like looting a small 4 slot bag on a level 15 toon who has no coppers to repair the grey item upgrades that are smashed from dying constantly.
You’ve talked about the Final Fantasy universe too, how did your experience with FFXIV start?
FFXIV was something I thought about playing when it first came out, but for some unknown reason I didn’t. I was right into raiding in WoW when it launched so it could have been that. It then dropped off my radar for a few years. I did have Final Fantasy Tactics on my iPad so wasn’t completely separated from the universe. Thinking about it now I can remember why I started with FFXIV. Again it was a difficult time in life. I’ve struggled with depression and no self esteem since my early twenties. I had just been asked by my boss to apply for a promotion. Everyone believed it was a matter of course I would get it, including my boss. Little did either of us know that the say over the appointment was going to be made by someone else who had only started there a month before. I didn’t get the job so it knocked me for six so to speak. I went right back into fantasy over facing reality, but I decided the demons of my past with WoW were still real in my mind. I chose to start playing Final Fantasy. I’d seen it on Instagram of all places and it had caught my interest. There were a few people on Instagram that helped to talk me into it, and I’ve been subscribed ever since. It is totally different to WoW and that’s the main reason I enjoy it. It is such a different universe, and the diversity of the FFXIV community is huge. It’s far more rainbow than the blue and red of Warcraft.
We’ve met thanks to the IG gaming community, how did you end up joining it?
I was over Facebook when I moved to UK, so I started an Instagram account instead. I posted photos of what I was doing and didn’t have all the other rubbish that FB had. As I got to know IG more and learnt about following hashtags I started to follow #worldofwarcraft and as I started liking other people’s photos the algorithm brought more and more Warcraft images up. I then though I might as well make a wow account and get involved with what seemed an interesting community. Crazyboomkin, Jenesis, Littlemisscowguin were some of the earliest accounts I came to follow.
What made you stay in this crazy place?
What made me stay? I’m part of this craziness now!! Crazyboomkin and I started the guild Immersion with a few others from Instagram. That was nearly a year ago now. We had all seen what Jenesis had created with Squall, and decided we wanted something similar in EU. But more than that, it is the interactions with other people on Instagram and in game that keeps you here. It starts with a common interest and doesn’t take long to get to know the people behind the posts.
This brings me immediately to the first question from the community! People want to know the story of the guild and how it was created! Tell us more about it!
Immersion started on 5th May 2019. It was set up for anyone to join who wanted a place they could hang out, do what they wanted to in game with others who also had a life outside of Warcraft. We were never intended to be end game or progression. It was, and still is about building a healthy and supportive ingame community “Seeking to extract all there is in Azeroth to be enjoyed.” It has changed a lot over the year but has never moved away from the original concept. We still get people joining us daily from both IG, in game and even a few from FB. We’ve got 191 accounts involved in the guild now. I didn’t realise we’d got quite that big. WoW. I wonder who the 200th person will be.
And you’ve totally nailed your plan! Also congratulations are in order! Now the second and last question from the community! Have you ever considered streaming?
I have considered it, and even dabbled a little bit. It is something I’m working on currently. My current system is okay and will hold up to streaming so while we’re in lockdown and I’m looking for things to do it could very well be happening sooner than expected. I might not say much because anyone who has been in voice with me knows I hardly ever talk. That would be a huge accomplishment for me to talk on stream knowingly, and even bigger getting a webcam!! I could always hide behind my hair at the moment, I’m working on it .
We’ve talked a lot about gaming and what it meant to you in the past but what does it mean to you now?
Right now it is my choice of entertainment, a major part of my social activity, especially during this crazy time we are living in. Gaming and being a gamer is a lifestyle choice that fits me as well as pineapple on a pizza and cheese in a burger!
You told us some things about yourself but who is the person behind the gamer? Tell us more about you!
What like? I’m old enough to be many of your reader’s father. I was born in England, but grew up in New Zealand. I started teaching after my mother made me enroll at teachers college. At the time she knew I need a kick in the butt to get on with life. I have a weird looking teddy bear named Solomon I bought in the Solomon Islands on my 21st birthday. I subscribe to Disney Plus and WWE. I hate brussel sprouts. I’ve got a beautiful horse that I learnt to ride in my late 30s. I’m a big softie and a completely nutter most of the time, never taking anything too seriously. Life is too short to worry about things I can’t change.
Talking about that sweetheart of yours! Tell us more about your love for animals and about your horse too!
Animals are the most honest and reliable beings in my life, with the exception of the Mrs. The Mrs is the only human I can 100% be myself with.You can always rely on an animal to behave in a predictable manner, even in their unpredictable moments. She’s my rock. But Jade, well she’s my 16h lump of piebald cob that has stolen so many hearts. We bought her when she was rising 5, and very green. Her passport is from the Dartmoor Pony Society which is hilarious considering her size. She is my biggest expense and worth every penny of it for the balance she brings into my world. I love animals, not so much the creepy crawly ones but yes all animals. You can learn alot about people from their interactions with animals.
So very true! And I’m sure we all would love to see her more often! Speaking of Instagram, what is your main source of inspiration for your screens?
I haven’t posted many on IG in a while now. Must go through a few more of the screen shots and do that. I don’t really have any set thoughts about what to post. It could be anything. It’s usually something that has happened in game that was a good moment I wish to remember and share with others. It’s not about being artsy or followed. I post what I feel like because it’s an expression of what I am doing and enjoying at the time.
Not always enjoying, sometimes just significant moments too. Like my post about my Dad’s passing some time back.
And we appreciate how personal and true your account is! What are some games that are coming out or have been already released that you would like to play?
FFVIII is getting my attention but I don’t know of anything coming out that would look to play. Strangely I’m happy with playing WOW and FFXIV. I don’t know how people have time to play more than those two.
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy reading. Helps with the four hour commute. I do enjoy cooking and eating, but not doing the dishes. I collect funko pops and love watching box sets. The Mrs and I have a sited caravan we love spending time at relaxing and fishing (me not her). We also try to go on a couple of cruises each year. The joys of both working full time.
That’s so sweet! Time spent together with the special one is the best kind of time! What are your plans for the future (both now that we are in this crazy situation and when all this will be over)?
She’s brilliant and so supportive. Plans for the future???? Hmmmm, after this crazy time I’m looking forward to getting on with living with a greater appreciation for all that I have in life. I’m planning on doing a cruise around Alaska in the future, and maybe flying back to NZ to meet my niece in person.
Wish you both the best of luck with your future plans!! And now the last question, the question all my guests have to answer to! Who are three accounts you would like to see as my guests in the future?
Only three? 360fov_ has an interesting story. Clodagh_lunaria is another fascinating person and because I’m sure it would be a real laugh to read the Aussie girl _fizzyelf_
Thank you for your time and for agreeing to be a part of this! Also thank you for the screens! It was a real pleasure to get to meet you a little bit better and I’m sure all of our fellow community members will be happy to do the same! Again thank you so much!
Thanks for the opportunity! It amazes me people are interested in all honesty. That’s what this community is all about, being supportive and showing kindness. You are one that personifies all that is good in this community. It’s been my privilege to have spent the afternoon chatting with you.
Thank you so much!
Also thank you all for being here with me for another interview! Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did doing it! This community never stops surprising me! See you later this month with another incredible guest!!