Tom Armitstead owner of the SeriousGamer shop in Nottingham speaks to ItsMuchMore about his upcoming gaming event #BigScreenBattle that’s soon to be held at local Cinema Screen22, his greatest moments in gaming, and some possible future plans for his shop.
Having not visited the West End Arcade in Nottingham before, i’d hadn’t come across the SeriousGamer shop, but having heard about it from an gaming event being posted on the ‘Smallest Cinema In The World’s website, Screen22, i decided it was time to go check them out.
As i got closer to SeriousGamer, it reminded me of the indie game shop of old. Small, unique, personal touches, and run by gamers for gamers. Everything here is gaming related, and its how it should be for a little independent gaming shop.
Immediately the size of the shop hits you.It’s small, very small, but that’s what independent shops are about. Fortunately its fitted out with everything you need from a gaming shop and there are even ideas for possible expansion in the future to try and make this your go-to games shop in Nottingham. With a collection of new and old games, SeriousGamer is catering for the retro as well as the current. Games consoles are also set up for anyone wanting to have a quick go of the chosen game on that day, with this aspect seemingly having a bit of a cult following, with gamers turning up, even with their own controller of choice (arcade sticks mainly), to show their skills.
This customer involvement part of SeriousGamer is a continuation of their previous efforts when they helping out with the UKs First Pro Tekken Tag 2 Tournament, which went smoothly with everyone involved. This is why some of the best players out there, drop by SeriousGamer to have a bash on the game on display to play, which in most cases seems to be, that pro favorite, Tekken Tag 2..
SeriousGamer is located in the West End Arcade, Nottingham, NG1 6JP, which is a 5 minute walk from Nottingham’s Market Square. Check out the SeriousGamer shop when you’re next in the area or visit the SeriousGamer website.
James : So, you have a new gaming event coming up called #BigScreenBattle which is being held in local small cinema, Screen22. You choose the game Injustice: Gods Among Us. Why?
Tom : “Well its not one of the main fighters, it’s not too demanding and its fun to watch, plus I didn’t want to scare off people by putting on a well established more hardcore beat em up like Tekken or Street Fighter . The comic book style of Injustice suits the big screen, and it appeals to a broad audience.”
James : Personally are you a DC or Marvel fan?
Tom : “I would have to go with Marvel. My dad was a comic book collector, and i always liked Spiderman above all, so I was a fan ever since, and Marvel vs Capcom is a game i have always enjoyed”
James : With the #BigScreenBattle looking to be a success, can you give us a sneak peek idea of what else you want to do or whats next in the pipe line?
Tom : “Would like to get professional / high end tournaments taking place in Nottingham with games like Street Fighter and Tekken, bringing some of the best gamers down to take part. We have also had some really good feedback and questions about other games like Time Trial Racing games, as well as Fifa, which we would be happy to run at Screen 22 Nottingham. We are looking for bigger venues and locations for FPS tourneys like Halo, Battlefield and Call of Duty. I have been testing stuff out with the screen at Screen22 and it’s pretty cool, i reckon we can do a good variety of events”.
James : Im an old school fighting fan, with a personal preference to Street Fighter II Championship Edition. How do you feel about today’s fighting games and how they square up to the classics from years gone by?
Tom : “Well, they all are just evolution’s of each other in a way, they refine some mechanics and completely change others/add new ones. The key is the community behind them, keeping them going, and trying to keep the feel of the arcades alive. It’s strong at the moment so they must be doing something right.”
James : So how about going retro with a Mega Drive Classic for your next tournament? Rise of the Robots maybe 🙂 ?
Tom : “That’s the joke question I see, I will just say …. Lol …. But we will look at retro game events, but for fighters it will be the classics. Rise of the Robots may appear as a side game for a laugh”
James : What games are you into or playing at the moment? I’ve just got back into PS3 gaming, and gave the likes of Killzone 3 a play through, which i thoroughly enjoyed.
Tom : Steam games really , Magic of the Gathering 2014 , Universe sandbox , and on PS1 I’m replaying Breath of Fire 3 for the 1st time in 15 years. Oh I almost forgot, The Last Of Us as well, 55% through and loving it.
James : What was your most memorable gaming moment of all time?
Tom : “In Zelda: Link To The Past I couldn’t get that Library book off the shelf, but soon realised that the Pegasus boots were needed, as a kid that was a personal achievement. But my greatest memorable moments has to be finishing the Japanese import version of Metal Gear which happened to be in Black and White got me due to my pal TV. You needed to blow a wall using c4 to progress which you only knew by the colour difference on the walls, or the hollow tapping sound, so like Zelda’s sword poke, that’s how i figured it out eventually!.
James : What has been your toughest game you’ve ever played?
Tom : hhhhmmmm ….. Finished a lot of Shooters on Legendary/veteran etc, but Dark Souls for the simple fact it doesn’t hold your hand throughout, or failing that, it has to go to the classic Flashback, now that was a game and a difficult one at that.
James : The last and final question. You have this promising #BigScreenBattles event being held at Screen22 Nottingham on Wednesday 17th July. Is there any more details for people who are going, or people wishing to go, need to know, like event times, game information, or food/drink/refreshment details?
Tom : Everything you need to know can be found on my website SeriousGamer, as well as the Screen22 website. However, for added information. The doors open at 6:30pm and we plan to get the tournament started at 7:00pm. Each game should last about two minutes and we plan to finish around 10:30pm. This will make it easy for anyone that attends who use public transport to get home, as public transport will all still be running as normal at that time. As regards to food, I don’t think you can bring your own, so best to contact Screen22 beforehand to double check. You can bring a few beers or drinks if you want to, as Screen22 have a licence (still check the details on the site folks). However i think its safe to say that the person who wins, will be one of the sober ones.
It was also interesting to hear some future plans that Tom has for his SeriousGamer shop. Ideas including the likes of a hang out lounge/area where like minded gamers can chill, meetup and share their passion for games. Tom also spoke briefly about the possibility of an Internet Cafe on the second ground of his shop location, plus the more immediate and feasible idea of the inclusion of an Arcade Machine in his shop, with a numerous games for anyone to play, to generate more interest into his shop
ItsMuchMore wishes Tom, his colleagues and SeriousGamer all the best of luck for success in the future. If you want to find out any more information about the upcoming #BigScreenBattles event, then please click on the local event link on the right hand side of this website or visit SeriousGamer and Screen22
Interview By : James Jarvis