A new beginning.
Last week we launched a brand new podcast called TheGeekCentre Podcast on Podmage.com hosted by Olivia Carass, Tom Stickler & myself (RJ Davies). It’s all about games, or as Tom likes to put it “Gamez with a Z”.
TheGeekCentre isn’t anything new to the world, it’s existed in multiple ways since December 2011. I’ve been asked to run down the history of TheGeekCentre and why I chose to bring it back with the lovely team at Podmage.
What started TheGeekCentre?
I think a lot of gamers have had that dream of making gaming a career for themselves, back in the 90s and 00s this was kind of a fantasy beyond video game journalism but then once YouTube & Twitch became strong online contenders for video game content creation, it became much more of a reality.
It November 2011, I was working on a fundraiser with my college at the time to earn money for charity. This took place with us all setting up multiple consoles across different TVs and projectors. Tons of students across the college turned up to contribute and play different games. When we finally had a chance of a break, Benny Pang and I played Mario Kart Wii and discussed the idea of a gaming channel on YouTube. We fell in love with this idea, worked out how we would record and it even gave us more practice for editing.
We sat down at home and discussed over Skype what the name would be. I don’t remember many of them now, but I suggested “The Geek Hub” to everyone and it was instantly rejected due to it coming across like another website… In the end, I pitched “The Geek Centre” stylised as TheGeekCentre and it stuck. We started working on Let’s Plays as this was the majority of gaming content you found back in 2011. We pushed out a video a week for the next year until we all eventually went to university.
The 2013-2015 Era
In university, we tried to keep making new original content instead of just let’s plays, we started movie review shows, game reviews and even deep dives into games but with Benny being in Southampton, other than a few cameos he slowly left the channel behind.
We all understood, it was hard to maintain the balance of our lives and long-form content while studying, but that’s when Nathan Jones came into it.
We moved into the second year of university, other members on TheGeekCentre had moved on as they didn’t have the time and instead of lets plays, I focused on making in-depth game reviews along with top ten lists that would peak people’s interests. After taking a job working at GAME as a Sales Assistant, I stopped making content for the channel and took a hiatus for 3 months. Nathan and I were friends in the first year of university as we lived in the same flats, we worked on projects together and as I finished my last shift at GAME, we decided to start recording new Let’s Plays for the channel.
Even with the stress that we put each other under, (I definitely stressed Nathan out too much, sorry. Nathan…) I have to say those are the memories I looked back at our friendship for. Creating Shrek in every custom game we possibly played, being dumb friends sitting on a sofa having a great laugh. That’s what multiplayer is all about. Just enjoying each others company, and I have to thank Nathan a lot for that.
We kept this up until 2015, some of our best reviews were done in this period and I’m proud of the content we made. We had friends join us a lot for different games, we took on horror games, and had a lot of fun playing together (and often yelling at each other). As of July 2015, we stopped making videos together.
The long hiatus.
When we both graduated and moved out, TheGeekCentre stopped. We tried to keep things going, but I kept trying too hard with it and forgot what we started TheGeekCentre for. It was about having fun, sharing our thoughts and making memories with each other.
I tried to change the channel to be my own, to dedicate my time specifically as a gaming video creator in the steps of Jimmy Whetzel, The Completionist, and older JonTron videos. This was called PixelRated. (Like Pixelated but like, Rated as I review games. I thought it was funny.) Whilst working in a full-time environment and forgetting why the channel was set up in the first place, it kind of died down other than at E3 when I thought I’d get hyped on games again.
So, why the podcast?
My Google Drive has been sat there with multiple video scripts in it waiting for me to make, along with 3 different videos I have filmed to be edited but just haven’t felt any passion to do. I was wondering why this was and I remembered, TheGeekCentre was started with the plain idea of friends playing games together. That was it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
That’s when Olivia Carass and I started talking about games, and her passion for wanting to be a video games journalist. Seeing that passion for games and getting to talk to someone who loves dissecting the industry gave me the fire to ask her to host TheGeekCentre Podcast, alongside the reboot of the channel.
Adding Tom alongside on the podcast to have a lovely debate about games, I feel like we’re working well to make a fun and enjoyable podcast about games that does more than praises or shreds games apart like a snobby critic. We look at them from a gamers perspective and talk about them like we all would with our friends.
We’re going back to our roots.