Let's Talk with Marc Pilkington

By Cindy Minguez, 3 years ago
Hello, everyone! I'm B1ueSeptember, and we're here with the latest installment of the Community Interview. This week is our very own Marc Pilkington, a fellow newshound who joined the TA staff at the same time I did and has been diligently churning out news for our readers ever since. So let's all give a big welcome to Marc Pilkington!

Hi, Marc! Welcome to the Community Interview!

Marc: Hi, Cindy! Thanks for having me!

B1ue: Tell us about your gamertag. Is Marc Pilkington your real name?

You’d be half right! My real name is Marc (note the “C”), but Pilkington is sadly not my surname. That part comes from a man called Karl Pilkington. A very funny (and stupid) friend of Ricky Gervais, who is the star of the An Idiot Abroad TV show. Apparently, an old friend of mine said I reminded him of Mr. Pilkington, and thus the gamertag was born! If you want to know my real surname, you’ll have to ask nicely...

mark and megan

This is me and Megan. Although this is about two years old, I've barely changed! And don't jump to conclusions, people, we aren't a couple :P.

B1ue: How long have you been gaming?

Since primary school, so in essence, the majority of my 22 years! Whether it’s console, PC, or whatever else, there’s always been gaming in some form lurking about in my life.

B1ue: Do others in your family game, or are you a first-generation gamer?

I would say that I’m the only true gamer in my family. My older sister has only ever liked The Sims (nothing wrong with that!), and my twin brother owns a 3DS which he sometimes plays on, as well as being a huge fan of the Tekken series. In fact, I think I’m the only gamer in my entire family, unless one of my cousins plays the odd bit of COD (urgh) or something.

B1ue: What do your parents/significant other/friends have to say about your gaming?

That sometimes I spend too much time on the Xbox? laugh Really, though, they’re fine with it. They all know I’m an avid gamer and am well and truly devoted to my Xbox. In the past, my dad was annoyed that I played too much as he was concerned about the electricity bill...Can’t wait till I get my own place!

B1ue: Do you think that will be anytime soon? It’s always an exciting time moving out on one’s own.

Maybe in a few years. I'm in no (immediate) hurry to go yet as I'm only just getting settled into life outside of education. While still in uni, I got a message over Facebook from my friend about getting a flat in Manchester near where I live. I was just thinking "whoa, one thing at a time!".laugh I will say this, though. Whenever the time comes, I can't wait to live in my own place!

B1ue: So, what's it like at home?

I live in a house of five, which is...fun. Being in this house with my parents, a 25-year old sister, and SHARING A ROOM with my (unidentical) twin brother makes for an interesting home life. Now, you can imagine there is conflict in a family like that, which is true. We get by though...somehow. Bring on a year or so when my sister moves out (not in a mean way)!

B1ue: There were five of us while I was growing up, too. I remember those days fondly. Well, mostly...

What part of the world do you live in? If I were to visit, what sights should I see?

I live in the Northwest of England in a town called Wilmslow, but do you really want to visit the place? If you’re a fan of cafes, cafes, and even more cafes, then sure! It’s a nice looking town, but it has a bit of a snobby reputation with rich people sitting in coffee shops all day. It would be better getting the train to Manchester and going shopping!

B1ue: What's your day job?

I work in my town’s main supermarket, which is Sainsbury’s. I sort out all of the produce department and deal with the fun of re-stocking, reductions, code-checking, and other bits and bobs you really don’t care about. It’s not the most thrilling job, but for the time being, it’s getting me money!

B1ue: What other hobbies do you enjoy?

Gaming isn’t enough for you!? Ok then... Well, in a way, I’d say that my duties here on TA as a newshound and walkthrough supervisor are hobbies, and eventually I’d like to turn that writing into something professional (more on that later). With friends, I tend to go to a fun cocktail bar in Manchester (Sex on the Beach cocktails ftw!) and random day trips shopping to the place as well. You can’t beat cheap clothes from Primark! At least one item of clothing I wear each day most definitely will be from Primark...

B1ue: Mmmmm, the cocktail sounds yummy. lol. We don't have Primark here. Is that a department store?

You're telling me you don't have Sex on the Beach cocktails in America? Missing out, man! Primark on the other hand...it's a giant clothing store which sells tons of cheap clothing (tat) items. There are loads all over the country and people FLOCK there. I find the men's stuff rather decent, actually. However, a lot of the stuff can be absolute tripe. If you visit any city in England, you'll soon find out about Primark laugh.

B1ue: I'm sure we have sex on the beach here, too...I'm just in a land-locked state, you see. Dang it. wink

Of what real life achievement are you most proud?

In terms of actually gaining something, I suppose it would be getting my degree! I had to wait half a year since I finished my course, but hey, at least I’m a graduate! Oh, and before you ask, it’s in Film and Media Studies (watching films all the time wasn’t as fun and easy you might think!)

marc uni

Here's my brother and I enjoying the moment. I'm on the left.

B1ue: In your bio, you talk about wanting to be a writer. Which direction do you hope to go with that?

I’m hoping to go far! TA is an awesome start, and I am hoping that many more opportunities will open up for me as I progress through life. A good friend and guy that I look up to in my church looks out for editorial/writing opportunities if they’re about, and I have a mentor who provides wisdom in looking for a ‘grown up’ job. I want to be able to build up a good CV (or Resume to some of you) so that I can eventually find an apprenticeship/work experience/job to start me off. With this kind of work, it’s about gaining experience and getting your foot through the door. I’m open to a lot of stuff and whatever direction I go in is what’s meant to be.

B1ue: I wish you the best of luck. As hard as you work around here, I'm sure you'll go far. Remember me when you're famous!

I guess we better get back to some gaming questions now. What’s your favorite game of all time on any console? Why?

Marc: Wow, that’s a tough one! Can I be cheeky and say a series? I’d have to say Mass Effect (all three), as it is the first console gaming series that had me developing severe “fanboyism”. I’ve been a huge fan of The Sims for years, but Mass Effect tops it. I didn’t realise how much I’d love it. I’m always going to have fond memories of that trilogy. Bring on the next ME game!

B1ue: Do you remember the first game you played? What’s your fondest memory of it?

I honestly can’t recollect what game I definitely jumped into first, but one of the earliest gaming experiences I can remember is playing on the Gameboy Pocket. My brother and I had one each; mine was red and his was pink (haha), and we had Super Mario and a Star Wars game. It’s safe to say that we played them to death. To this day, I still haven’t beaten that Mario game!

B1ue: If some evil spell allowed you to own only a single game for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

My inner fanboy would want to say any of the Mass Effect’s but then it would make more sense to take The Sims (probably The Sims 2, with all the expansions). As I said, I love The Sims, and I could easily keep playing that because technically it never ends! Can’t get enough of making those little people’s lives a misery and taking away that pool ladder!

B1ue: But you can only have one - which of the Mass Effects would it be and why?

Nooo, don't make me choose! I could have any, but let's say the first Mass Effect because of one thing I love in it: The Citadel. I have spent hours exploring that place in Mass Effect and it really saddened me that it became some mini shopping centre in Mass Effect 2. Mass Effect 3 brought some of the magic back, but nothing comes close to the way the station was presented back in 2007. I seriously hope we see THAT Citadel in the next ME game!

B1ue: Since you're such a huge fan of the series, I must ask - what did you think of the ending?

The extended cut was the first version I saw of the ending, so that may have somewhat altered my feelings. However, I have seen what it originally was and after taking everything into account from all the internet debate, I still like it! The trilogy was so huge and it must have been tough for Bioware to bring it all to a close. I chose to "synthesise" everything at first, and I enjoyed it. It's such a shame that those last 15/20 minutes left such a bad taste in people's mouths that it caused them to not even want to go back. If I didn't like the ending, then I wouldn't be blabbing on about the trilogy so much!

B1ue: Any games you regret putting on your gametag?

There is one: http://www.trueachievements.com/Command--Conquer-Red-Al....htm. I completely suck at it, and I don’t really know why I bought it. Five missions into the easiest campaign on the easiest difficulty, and I can’t do it! I have barely any desire to try it again either, so I guess it just wasn’t for me. Note to self: Don’t play RTS games...

B1ue: Strategy isn't my strongest suit either, so I can sympathize...

If you were forced to change your gamertag, what would you change it to? What does the new tag reflect about you?

Hmmm...I think something regarding Mass Effect would maybe go in there, or because I’m a Christian, I would make an anagram of ‘Christian Gamer,’ which would be quite clever. Gastric Hire Man, Matriarch Singe, and Cashier Migrant are just three of many that have come up. Matriarch comes a little too close to a certain news manager, though...Can’t be having that!

B1ue: lol. You got that right!

Tell us about your gamerpic.

It used to be renegade Shepard from Mass Effect, which ultimately encompassed my love for the series for everyone to see. Now I’ve changed it to what you can see here. Orange is my favourite colour; I’m a bit of weirdo with my friends and at home with my family (no really, I’m a bit of a freak for a 22-year old), so a very random blue tuxedo and anything but content expression kind of make sense!

B1ue: Do you have any gaming pet peeves?

YES. Whenever a game freezes, I go nuts and shout the odd expletive at the TV (which I try not to...). I managed to complete The Sims 3 Pets last month, but, boy, did it make me work in those final hours. Constant game freezes, connection losses (my old wireless adapter was pathetic), and my main family basically becoming unplayable due to completely random glitches made for an annoying experience which should have been fun all the way through.

B1ue: What game are you most looking forward to?

Originally it was Grand Theft Auto V, but as that’s been out for a bit of time now (it’s so awesome, I can’t even tell you), I’d say Dark Souls II is next on the list!

B1ue: What game are you most proud of completing? Why?

: As we’re on the subject of Dark Souls II, the first Dark Souls would be up there for me. I loved it. I worked like mad to get all of the rare weapons (some of them were a real pain in the backside to create) and upgrades, and I showed a surprising amount of skill when progressing through the game. The achievements mirrored the effort needed to beat the game, and I managed it. I impressed my friend Megan (the girl in the picture), so that’s a success in my book!

B1ue: If you found yourself dropped into a video game, which video game character would you most want to have your back?

My own personal Shepard, Sebastian the Vanguard. Failing that, Alan Wake because he’s just an average Joe like myself!

B1ue: In the same scenario, what character would you least like to see headed your way?

If she was angry at me, then Bayonetta. I wouldn’t really want to get on the wrong side of someone who can annihilate anything with her HAIR.

B1ue: Any characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?

The social worker on The Sims.

B1ue: Ever had any bad experiences online? How did you handle it?

It wasn’t bad as such, (more funny, actually) but on the original Dead Island (Xbox 360), I came across two young American boys who created one of those infinite ammo/overpowered guns through some glitch for me, and I had to go on my headset with them (disaster in the making), and they sounded about 12. We then somehow got into doing co-op together and took a road trip through Banoi. I stayed silent for a while, and while they were talking, I dropped out of their game, got out of the Xbox LIVE party before they knew what had happened. I don’t particularly like having to talk to randomers over the headset because I feel a bit uncomfortable! Besides, their high-pitched American voices were starting to irritate me a little...

B1ue: So, what about American voices annoys you particularly? ;-P

Don't take it personally, American accents can be really cool! It's just that hearing two young boys who probably enjoy COD with voices that high pitched...you can only stand it for so long...Feel free to slate a Northwest England accent.

B1ue: Well...if you're not including Southern ladies like myself, I'm mollified.

Do you prefer single player or multi-player?

Single player definitely! Give me an immersive story where I can be alone and engaged over being surrounded by people in a battleground any day.

B1ue: Do you have a favorite group of friends you like to play with? How did you meet?

My friend Megan as she’s the only real life friend that shares my love for gaming. We met at 16 at school when we were doing our A Levels, and six years of sharing a lame sense of humour later, here we are!

B1ue: If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone in the world, whom would you choose? Why?

Marina Lambrini Diamandis, AKA Marina and the Diamonds. She’s my favourite artist and just seems like such an interesting woman to talk to because of not being a complete sellout in the music industry. The lyrics of her songs can be fascinating, and I’d love to personally get to know her while partaking in one of my favourite activities.

B1ue: Um…you know that last statement can be taken a couple of different ways, right? Just sayin’….

Cindy! I'd never take you for one so dirty minded! I OBVIOUSLY meant gaming. The point here is Marina is awesome. You should listen to some of her stuff if you don't know it. Bubblegum Bitch and Shampain are two of my favourites.

B1ue: Moi? Au contraire. I'm the most innocent thing you're ever likely to meet. No...seriously!

What other consoles do you own? Favorites on those?

I’ve owned a Gameboy Pocket, PS1, PS2, the original Nintendo DS, and Xbox 360. Tekken Tag Tournament on PS2 was just immense. Could NOT get enough. Then of course we have my WoW/Runescape days...

B1ue: In looking through your games, you seem to be a fan of horror and RPG's. What draws you to these types of games?

RPG’s are what I love the most. I want a big world, I want exploration, I want lore, everything! RPG’s are so immersive and they provide hours upon hours of content, which is what I look for in a good game. I also love atmosphere and an engaging story which pulls me in like Alan Wake, so survival horror would fit in that respect.

B1ue: What's your scariest moment in a horror game?

This is more of a "sudden fright" kind of scare, but I was playing Alan Wake (on my own in the dark, as it should be with that game), and while exploring a shed, I heard footsteps getting louder and faster. I freaked out and paused the game. Then when finally resuming it, I turned round, and one of the taken enemies pounced on me and...let's just say I was pretty surprised.

B1ue: I'd have keeled over on the spot. I'm a real chicken about scary stuff.

Tell us a little about your game set-up.

marc game collection

Marc: It's not as big as a lot of other people's collections, but at least Shepard is keeping it safe from harm!
marc game setup

Marc: This certainly isn't very glamorous by any means, but it gets the job done! And yes, I have the same Shepard poster twice, but that's because I got it as a Christmas present from both my brother AND my friend.

B1ue: It looks like a perfectly fine set-up to me. smile

*Lightning Round*

Favorite 360 game?

I’ll cheat again and say the Mass Effect series

Favorite non-360 game?

The Sims (on PC, obviously)

Least favorite game?

Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (on my 360 anyway) purely because I suck and can’t get into it whatsoever.

Favorite game developer?

Probably Bioware

Favorite game weapon?

A magical staff of infinite power

Most hated game enemy?

I love to hate Dead Space ’s Necromorphs (don’t we all?)

Favorite game character?

Tali/Garrus/lots of the ME companions, I guess?

Favorite game ending?

BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360) (just wow!)

Most hated game ending?

Nothing in particular, but the Gears 3 ending didn’t do much for me.

Favorite game music?

The Sims for nostalgia’s sake

*End of Lightning Round*

B1ue: Anything particular you want the TA community to know about you that we haven't talked about?

I touched on it a little earlier, but along with my brother and sister, I’m a Christian. My mum and dad aren’t, and we three are the only Christians in our entire wider family.

B1ue: Does that ever cause tension among family members?

You'd think so, but no! My parents are pretty supportive, especially my mum. She actually went to my brother and I's confirmation, which is a ceremony publicly declaring you're a Christian in your church. She's extremely happy for us all, and in time, I would be filled with immense joy if she joined our church as well, along with my dad. He leaves us to it, though, which is still better than being against it!

B1ue: Oh, that's lovely. I'm so glad.

Any shoutouts you want to make before we go?

Just the one. Again, my friend Megan (she’s getting quite the shoutout!), who solely shares my passion for gaming and other geekage (well, a couple of others like general geekage) in the real world, otherwise known as MegsonGrove here on TA. So, hi, Megan! I’ll make sure you read this :P

And that's it, boys and girls. Join me for a giant THANK YOU to Marc Pilkington for taking the time to share with us. Join me back here in a couple of weeks for our next guest. Come and see me, and...let's talk. wave

Think you're a good candidate for the Community Interview or know someone who is? Send me a PM and let me know why you believe that. Convince me. Please keep in mind that I've been inundated with requests. I tell you this not to discourage you from writing me but to explain why you might not hear back from me for a while. See you later! B1ueSeptember.
Cindy Minguez
Written by Cindy Minguez
Cindy has been writing for TA/TT for three years now and is the Assistant Manager of the Newshounds at TrueTrophies. She's an English instructor at a small college and considered a remarkably cool teacher for knowing all about Mass Effect, Skyrim, and Diablo III.