Archives

What’s Up XTRA: Eddie Nestor, comedy acting and life in Hackney

This item was filmed as part of the Sky One-commissioned show, What’s Up. You can find more of their videos here.

Eddie Nestor is a veteran sketch comedian and radio host, currently appearing on BBC London 97.9 radio station.

This video clip is part of a larger interview with Eddie Nestor for the Arts & Culture magazine show, What’s Up. The main interview can be found in Season 8, Episode 1.

I acted as Researcher and Item Producer for this item. I hope you enjoy it!

Everybody has a story – Comedian Matt Price on the art of storytelling

This feature was written and shot for What’s Up, found here.

When it comes to live comedy, everyone is familiar with stand-up – but storytellers are bridging the gap between poets and comedians, providing an entertainment experience like no other.

What’s Up met with Matt Price, a storyteller/comedian that has been wowing audiences with deeply personal stories for over 12 years, to get an insight into the art form.

“I like the truth of storytelling,” he said.

“It’s not just about being funny; it’s about people’s personal truths.”

Continue reading

Review: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

This review was originally written for 3DS Blessed, found here.

Videogame sequels walk a tightrope – especially ones in popular series. Developers have to decide if they want to build upon the past experience or forge a new one, and both choices have drawbacks.

A game too rigidly modelled after its predecessor risks stagnation. A game breaking new ground risks alienating an existing fandom.

With over a decade’s worth of games behind it, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate walks this same tightrope. There’s no doubt that it’s a bigger, better version of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (like, duh), but does it stand out against the increasing numbers of rival Hunting Action titles out there?

The answer is yes – barely.

Continue reading

What makes us scream? We get strapped in to test the science of fear

This feature was originally written for the Daily Star (and an alternate version for the Daily Express).

A BRAVE Daily Star Online reporter gets turned into a lab rat in the name of weird science.

SPOOKED: Researchers used a screening of upcoming film As Above, So Below to find out about how we feel fear [UNIVERSAL]


I have always loved horror films and at an event set up by Brunel University London I got the chance to put my nerves to the test.

Health and fitness boffins at the university wanted to look into how both body and mind react to being spooked.

We all know that, when we’re scared, our heart rate goes up – but is there method to the madness?

Christopher Stock from the Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Brunel University London decided the best way to find out is have a group of subjects watch a scary film, and observe their heart rate.

Being a subject in an experiment tends to make you feel more like a lab rat than a human, but the heart rate monitor strapped to my chest had me feeling a lot more like a robot.

It was cold, tight, and had a green light that blinked softly every few seconds.

By wearing it I was, technically, a cyborg – which is both spooky and awesome.

Continue reading

iTunes Festival 2014: Mary J. Blige steals hearts with timeless hits at the Roundhouse

This review was originally written for the Daily Star, found here.

R&B queen Mary J Blige can always be counted on to pack out a concert — and fans both new and from her 90s heyday packed in to see her at this year’s iTunes Festival.

5425b6dd124e3_MaryJBlige406455044x3363_MaryJBligeDN1417Press_2124522

The stunning singer songwriter has a platinum-covered history of 11 albums since 1992 and she clearly knew that the audience at the Roundhouse in Camden, London craved some soulful nostalgia.

She strutted out in her iconic glam style, massive shades, miles of gold-studded leather and stiletto shoes sharp enough to kill a man.

Continue reading

Forget scouring the high street – PRINT yourself a pair of heels or pants!

This feature was originally written for the Daily Star, found here.

IN THE future rather than trawling the rails in Topshop or Primark you’ll be able to instantly print yourself an outfit! Amazing, right? We get the lowdown at London’s 3D Print Show.

3d-printer-fashion-Francis-Bitonti-402169

The London 3D Print Show had many things I would expect from a technology expo: slick entrepreneurs with glasses and iPads, large machines whirring away and more references to Star Wars that I’m comfortable with.While the show’s aim was to explore the many ways the technology of 3D printers are enhancing our lives — from car factories to kitchens — I was pleasantly surprised to find a section devoted to style and fashion with some absolutely beautiful pieces on show.

Continue reading

Subversion Through Destruction: Embracing The Queer Power Fantasy

c918be86c72432bdd57c9e51e148f120

This feature was originally written for One Hit Pixel and can be found here.

Sometimes you just feel like breaking something.

Sometimes, you’ll feel better once you’ve absolutely dominated your aggressors, laid waste to the weak, and are told that you’re a force to be reckoned with. Doing that down the pub on a Friday night will put you in a holding cell, but thankfully we have video games to provide that experience instead.

It’s the power fantasy, being whisked away to somewhere where you’re stronger, smarter and more capable than what you can achieve in meatspace, and you’re awed for it. It’s probably the easiest experience to obtain in our current gaming landscape – almost every action game is about empowerment beyond your normal means.

sodiverseverywhite

However, this empowerment comes in precious few flavours. Either you’re a dashing white guy with a cocksure attitude or you’re a grizzled white guy with a macho attitude.

It’s not random coincidence – the image of the ‘bald space marine’ been an in-joke among gaming enthusiasts for years. To indulge in a power fantasy in a game is to invariably be straight, white and male.

Being only one third of those things, I find those experiences rather restricting in multiple ways. From a purely academic standpoint, having the same protagonists regurgitated is woefully trite. But emotionally, it’s rather chilling – even alienating – to not see someone like you act in a role of power.

As a black person, am I not allowed to see myself lead (in ways other than raw muscle)? As a gay person, am I not allowed to goddamn see myself in any capacity?

Fortunately, Porpentine’s games raise two middle fingers to that, with long fake nails and chunky diamond rings.

Continue reading

Duelling In The Digital Age: Hearthstone And Online TCGs

This feature was originally written for One Hit Pixel, found here.

Throughout my years, I’ve been a big fan of trading card games. From playing Pokémon in primary school though to drunken nights of Magic: the Gathering at university; it’s something that tickles my gaming senses of collection and customisation. Though admittedly it’s possibly one of the dorkiest past-times this side of LARPing.

Even if you wouldn’t be caught dead at the gaming table of your local hobby store, it’s very likely you’ll soon be encountering decks and duels in your gaming future – trading card games (TCGs) fit astoundingly well into today’s video game market, and developers are starting to take notice.

Continue reading

Truth or Ludum Dare: How I Survived the Game Jam

Ludum Dare, Indie Games, 10 Seconds, Pizzapocalypse 20XX

This feature was originally written for One Hit Pixel, found here.

Over the last month, I have transformed.

I went into the cocoon as a mere journalist, and emerged as something strange, new and beautiful. A games developer.

The best part is, you can too – all it takes is a mixture of gentle encouragement and a games development event to give you a good hard kick up the ass.

Enter Ludum Dare (The vowel in ‘dare’ is long, like in ‘car’, so my witty headline doesn’t work, but whatever), an indie game making event that happens a couple times every year, and most recently on August 23rd-26th. People from all over, professionals and newcomers alike, step up to the challenge to make a game over the course of a weekend, adhering to a special theme.

Continue reading

Review: Soul Sacrifice Delta (Vita)

Soul Sacrifice, Review

This review was originally written for One Hit Pixel, found here.

The Monster Hunter series sitting in Nintendo’s pocket left a hole in the PlayStation Portable’s heart. Monster Hunter’s style of mission-based multiplayer (often called Hunting Action) was a major draw to the Sony handheld. So when the PlayStation Vita arrived and Monster Hunter wasn’t around to claim its usual spot, a surge of competitors arose to take the throne.

And surprising everyone, Keiji Inafune got involved. Yeah, the Mega Man/Mighty No.9 guy. His entry, Soul Sacrifice, was one of the earliest titles for the Vita and it did… underwhelmingly. As with any new IP, it had teething problems.

The challenge in Monster Hunter is how limited your abilities can be – attacks are slow and leave you open. Running and dodging consumes stamina. You spend as much time chasing your target as you do fighting it.

Soul Sacrifice has its challenges, but they rarely overlap with the Monster Hunter framework. Your attacks are agile and rapid, you can run and roll indefinitely, and quests put you right up in the target’s face with no scouting required.

Ultimately, it wasn’t the exact experience veterans craved and that left it critically lacking.

Soul Sacrifice Delta is the result of a return to the drawing board – taking the base game and tweaking the mechanics but more importantly adding new content. While it didn’t magically become Monster Hunter in the transition, the experience has been polished to a sheen, enjoyable in a context wholly separate from its peers. In fact, the presence of Delta renders the first game thoroughly obsolete, and has, in a way, a second game’s worth of new things to play.

Continue reading