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RS Ventures

About this Writers Block

Welcome to RS-Ventures - a collection of articles covering get-to-know features with content creators and other general day to day musings!

Entries in this Writers Block

Thoughts of an Anxious Man - S0201


I've never been one to show emotion publicly, always erring on the side of some things are better kept personal. But ever since I started writing 'Thoughts of an Anxious Man,' I've found the whole process somewhat therapeutic, and really cannot recommend it enough. Writing is an excellent way of venting frustrating and sharing things you might otherwise find difficult putting into words. It's been a particularly trying couple of months for me. A rollercoaster of emotions that, for once, I have really been struggling to keep in check.  

Some will remember how we left at the end of Season 1 - verging on the edge of *radical acceptance* as a means of getting past anxious thoughts. To summarise - rather than fighting the anxiety every step of the way, the theory is that you just accept it. You accept that this is just the way you are, make your peace and live with it - the idea being that once you start to go with the flow, then there is less resistance and therefore less anxious thoughts. 

I started reading a couple of books which centre on this ideology. If you get chance, I would highly recommend checking out 'F**k It - The Ultimate Spiritual Way.'  Things were going great, and I was finally happy with the progress I was seeing.


But then, I hit a bit of a stumbling block.

As some will know, I've had some health concerns over the past couple of months, been poked, prodded and examined and had been told that I have a condition that basically affects what and when I can eat. Food is my life. Being told that I should avoid all the things I actually enjoy, and eat all the things I don't like, was honestly a bit crushing. Alcohol isn't really allowed, which means my significant stash of beer/whiskey must now be given away! But I'm trying to take it in my stride, so we'll see how that goes. 

I was a nervous wreck for a long time, doing the one thing you should never do and Googling my symptoms. I woke up several times just thinking 'F**k. This is something really bad.' My anxiety skyrocketed and I didn't leave the house for a good couple of weeks except to go to the doctors. I found myself shaking like the metaphorical shitting dog, whilst I had to repeatedly go through all these consultations. One on one situations are one of the worst triggers for me mentally, so going to the docs over and over and over again...well it wasn't fun! Luckily for me, it ended up not being anything too serious, yet serious enough that I would have to make some lifestyle changes. Fair. My dim outlook suddenly got a whole lot brighter, and I began to make ground on my confidence again. 

AND THEN. And then. Right when I was finally feeling positive, I cracked a f**king tooth. Sitting in the dentist's chair is one of the worst situations I could possible ever find myself. It's a serious anxiety trigger and even as I write this I can feel my hands shaking. Last time I had to go to the dentist, I had to have a filling. Normally takes 20-30 minute procedure - nice and simple eh? Nope. Mine took one and a half hours, simply because I cannot sit still in the chair for longer than 5 minutes at a time. 

I mean no, it's not the end of the world. Some people might read this and laugh at my inane fears, but to each their own. I'll likely be sedated, embarrass myself in a drunken stupor, and laugh it off for the next couple of weeks. But if anything, this whole episode has served as a reminder that life is too short to worry about things you cannot control. I'm more determined than ever to crack on the road to recovery. Anxiety is, and likely will always be, a part of me. So what can we do? What can we say?

'F**k it.'

We take small steps. We do the things that we want to do, with the people we want to do them with. F**k anxiety. It might seem like the biggest obstacle you will ever have to overcome, but don't ever let it get in the way of your physical health, or you enjoying life. No matter what your head tells you, whether its worrying that you're going to vomit in front of someone, that they'll laugh at you or that you will embarrass yourself. Just try saying 'f**k it.' 


RS Meets - The Geek - 20/07/2019


Welcome to The Geek! Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hello, Im a scifi geek (predominantly Whovian), dad of 3, husband and Twitch streamer gamer/interviewer.


Awesome - so let's start with streaming! Who/what inspired you to start doing it?

I was inspired by my good friend Thedoghouselive to stat streaming after seeing him start and being on his stream as a fellow gamer in his games, He helped me set my channel an stream up and has been a soundboards for me ever since.

We also have your 'Geek Live' show - how did that come about?

I stumbled across a streamer by the name of Vanjamme and his overlays and scenes were amazing, he was amazing and he had like 2 viewers, i felt he should be having a hell of a lot more in there than that as he was entertaining as hell, I chatted with him during the stream and kept coming back each stream and getting to know him, i started tweeting him out when he was going live and talking about him to others to get him some more coverage... I then had a thought of creating a feature on my stream showcasing streamers I've found that had nowhere near the people around then that they should have, so i invited him into my stream to join the game i was playing and was talking about him and to him to find out more about him and his stream, we called it streamer of the week and as it grew, we made it so people could nominate streamers to be interviewed, we went from questionnaire answers read out, to audio interviews, to a virtual studio with cam call interviews..
Nearly 2 years later that has now evolved to opening it out not only to streamers, but to other content creators, game devs, musicians, etc... This is now a fortnightly interview and has a new name Geek Live.

If you could interview anyone, alive or deceased, who would it be and why?

I would say the late Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), because she was such a fun character and a great laugh!

Good choice! What question would you ask her?

If you were a real princess, what would your first Royal Decree be?

What about 'The Geek' brand - how did you come up with it?

I have always been a geek and a nerd, so instead of being just a PSN handle for my Twitch name, I decided to theme my channel in January 2018 and typed in TheGeek - waiting for it to give me ideas of what to have, but then it came back saying the name was actually available...NO WAY!! So I clicked yes and checked it 3 times to make sure it was real and I had the name.... then I had to rush to get all the graphical overlays and stuff done as I was still pretty shocked!




What's something you wish you'd known back when you started out streaming?

I wish I had known how to use my streaming software properly, so I could have done video interviews from the start, and not 5 months down the line before I had figured out a stable way of doing it!

Lucky you! As far as long term plans are concerned, what are your goals? What would you like to achieve?

I have no plans or goals to go for partner or anything like that, I just want to build a fun and friendly community and to grow my viewership to give my interviews a lively chat for the guests I get in. I actually prefer doing interview streams to the game streams to be fair, but it would be hard to keep the number of guests flowing to last very long, so I have worked out the best schedule of every Wednesday being my stream team group game, then alternating the Thursday streams to be interview one week then a solo play game or collab stream, to keep it fresh.

Aside from creating content - what do you do for fun?

I juggle hanging out with the wife and kids, playing PS with my friends and hanging out in other peoples stream chats, I work a lot of hours so its a fun thing to juggle!

You're stuck on a desert island can only have three items with you. What do you choose?

A photo of the family; a solar panel phone charger and my phone with unlimited data!

Rapid fire question time - don't think just answer! What is your all time favourite movie?

Back to the Future

TV Show?

Dr Who!


Battlefield V


Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Pizza! Specifically - BBQ sauce base, cheese, pepperoni, ham, tandoori chicken strips, ground beef and sausage! Even better as a calzone!

Did Thanos really do anything wrong...?

Kinda... I can see the reasoning, but he went about it all wrong, if he had the power to pretty much do anything, why make half of all life dissappear bacause resources are finite, why not just make resources infinite?

Are you part of any teams/networks that you'd like to give a shout out to?

WE ARE HIVE!! PUGMUNITY!! GLASSJAW!! OTSS!!  All are amazing communities which I have made a lot of lasting friendships in.


And finally, when can we find your content?

Website - www.thegeektwitch.co.uk
Twitch - twitch.tv/thegeektwitch
Twitter - twitter.com/thegeektwitch
Instagram - instagram.com/thegeektwitch

And that wraps up another edition of RS Meets! If you'd like to get involved, you can do so by completing the questionnaire here!

RS Meets - Down The Badger Hole - 05/07/2019


After a short intermission - we're back with a bang! Introducing - Down The Badger Hole!

Guys - welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself!

The most important thing to know is that we're two failed radio presenters from Lancashire. We've been friends for a long time now and have a common interest in rock music and annoying each other.

We started working together when Joe asked Mark if he wanted to co-host a radio show after a few beers. Mark doesn't remember this conversation, and woke up to a text asking if he was still interested. Feeling unable to get out if it, we started a weekly rock show on a local radio station before migrating to podcasting. We wanted the freedom to create content without barriers and being tied down to specific hours, as it was getting difficult to fit around our lives.

We're a nice mixture of having many similarities (e.g. failed radio presenters with nothing better to do) yet having contradicting views on the important things in life (e.g. Mark having a meal deal strategy to save the most money). 

The podcast is just us two sitting in a room and talking about current news items and personal stories. We're totally unscripted and unorganised, and just try to have a light-hearted conversation.



Who/what inspired you to start doing it? What would you say you enjoy most about it?

We began as presenters on a radio station. I suppose our main inspiration to start podcasting came from our old manager, who told us we had a great natural chemistry, but then told us to talk less and play more music. We really enjoy annoying each other, so felt the best next step was to lock ourselves in a small room with no one telling us what to do. It also gives us an excuse to hangout and be creative.  

In regards to podcast inspiration, it has to be the Ricky Gervais show. By far the best podcast out there, and their unorganised rambling is defiantly something we've unknowingly replicated.

'Down the Badger Hole' is a pretty unique brand. How did you come up with it?

On our radio show we interviewed rock bands. Our last question was to ask them 'who do you think could throw a badger the furthest' (for those wondering, Mark won). 

When trying to decide a name for the podcast we wanted to incorporate that into the name somehow. After minutes of debate we got bored and just went with the least crap idea. The name makes no sense and is factually incorrect (we're  aware badgers live in dens), so we though it matched our content perfectly.

We also hope it's odd enough to stick out.

Room for a personal dig? Who has the worst irritating habits in the studio? What are they?

The whole show and chemistry is based on our enjoyment of annoying each other, but 100% Mark. Mainly because he doesn’t need to edit the recording, so is blissfully unaware of his long pauses and poor volume control. He also enjoys asking pointless questions and trying to derail monologues for no other reason than to be annoying.



Mark (left) doesn't seem to have a clue... At least Joe (right) does!

If it came down to it, which do you prefer more - radio or podcasting?

We love them both, but podcasting has to be the winner. We have full creative control, we aren’t censored with the topics we talk about, and we’re not tied to a specific time and day to record. It also means our listeners can download at any time and have a back catalogue to pick from. One main advantage though is we can actually see how many people have downloaded each episode, and get a thrill when we know people in other countries are listening frequently. We have listeners in most of the continents so far, but yet to break Antarctica and Africa.

What about goals - what would you like to achieve from it all? Either as part of the brand or IRL?

Our goals are simple - world domination and a breakthrough in our research to perfect creme brulee.

Truthfully (although a perfect creme brulee is important), we'd love to get our ramblings to as many people as possible. The show is something we do for fun and we generally just like talking nonsense to each other; if others like listening then great. 

We don't have an ultimate plan to make a living from it, the reward is finding new ways to annoy each other. Knowing there is an audience out there for it though makes it a little (lot) more worthwhile. We have quite a lot of listeners from other countries giving us positive feedback, which is both incredible and incredibly strange for us.

How do you go about marketing your podcasts? Obviously you will have some followers come over from the radio show, but how do you reach a new audience?

It’s a hard market to break, so we started by asking our friends to share it and promote on social media. We also use soundbites of the show  on social media to give people an idea of what to expect. We try and make ourselves as accessible as possible, by being on all the main podcast directories, Spotify and iTunes.

In the future we plan to use the Amazon model, by buying out all our competitors to achieve world domination. This is a long term vision though, as Mark hates spending money and Joe refuses to get another paper round to fund the plan.

Podcasting aside, what do you guys like to do for fun? How do you relax?

We have a feature each episode where we buy each other the worst charity shop gift we can find. It's always fun getting confused and disgusted looks from staff when you're buying a naked fertility doll and used foot-brush. On an individual level:

Mark - I have numerous hobbies, such as listening to audiobooks whilst acting out scenes from ''Ghost' with my cat. Rock climbing with friends, pretending I have friends, and pretending to know what a rock is - as I say, numerous hobbies.

Joe- I don't believe in such things. Fun is for children and David Attenborough.

Classic desert island scenario - you can only take three items. What do you take?

Between us? Okay, we'll pick one each then flip a coin for the 3rd.

Mark would take Ray Mears (or if that's not allowed, his book '    
Essential Bushcraft by Ray Mears'). 

Joe - I've thought about this before and I'm never happy with my answer. Going with my gut feeling, I would take as much toilet paper as I'm allowed.

Mark won the coin toss, so he's taking his painting of a hybrid Jesus/Russel Brand. This was a gift Joe gave during our Charity Shop gift game, which could become the new 'Wilson'.

Wilsonnnnnnnnnnnn! Ok - rapid fire time! Don't think, just answer! What is your all time favourite movie:

Joe: Blues Brothers
Mark: The Lion King

TV Show?

Both: Flight of the Conchords


Joe: Warhammer 30k
Mark - Lemmings


Joe: Pizza
Mark: Thai!


Joe: The Hobbit
Mark: Mr Tickle


Are you part of any teams or networks you'd like to give a shout out to?

No one will have us sadly. We're lone wolves/badgers. 

We do really enjoy @EyeballPaulHD (mainly for this accent when he gets angry), and your ventures into gaming, beer and mental health. It's something that needs to be talked about more and takes a lot of courage to do so (mental health that is, not beer)

Thanks guys - that really means a lot! Where can the readers find 'Down the Badger Hole?'

We publish a new episode every other Tuesday. You can listen here:

Spotify - http://ow.ly/s7re50pE80y
iTunes - http://ow.ly/8weS50pE80B
Podbean - http://ow.ly/orhB50pE80A

On social media you can find us here:
Twitter - https://twitter.com/badgerpodcast
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/downthebadgerhole


Thoughts of an Anxious Man - S0107


I'm back with a brand new rap.

Well, it's not so much a rap, as a renewed sense of well-being. For the past two weeks, I've done a tremendous amount of soul searching, trying to figure out where I am, where I want to be and what I want to do. One of the few positives that comes with anxiety is that it gives you a unique perspective on yourself, those around you, and other anxiety sufferers. You begin to realise what makes anxious people tick and you can relate to them. You create a silent bond. 

For years, I felt alone and isolated. My triggers are quite specific and in all that time, I had never met anyone that suffered in the same way. And then one day, I spotted a post in the /r/anxiety subreddit. This person was going through exactly what I was going through ten years ago. Reading it was like looking into a time machine. I could see all the decisions they had made to lead up to that point, and all the decisions I had made thereafter. I felt I had to do something, I had to reach out to them and tell them not to keep treading the same beaten path. 

It felt good to finally connect with someone who knew what it felt like. It felt even better to be able to tell them where I went wrong and what I had learned from my (many) mistakes. It turns out I'm actually really good at sitting and listening to others, lending a helpful ear or shoulder to cry on when needed. So I'm planning on becoming a counsellor. Giving back to the therapy services that have given me so much. My DMs are always open to anyone needing to vent or chat.

I'm also trying out a new method of dealing with my own anxieties - radical acceptance. That is, "about accepting experiences, beliefs, and perceptions, often without offering judgments or believing that things should be different than they are" (GoodTherapy, 2015). The idea is straightforward. Rather than seeing your anxieties as entities you want to be rid of, you simply stop fighting it. Anxieties thrive and feed on negative thoughts, so you simply accept that this is just the way things are now. No judgement. No self-criticism. No self-berating. Go with the flow and stop constantly trying to wrestle control back, because in the end, none of it matters. 

We are insignificant specks on a living rock, hurtling through time and space. 


Recently, I've been doing some dog-sitting for my parents. They have the most amazing view over the Blackmore Vale. One evening I was watering the plants and was struck by the thought of 'I wonder how many leaves are on this hedge. Thousands? Millions?' I looked up, seeing trees and fields for miles, and asked myself the same question - 'I wonder how many leaves are in my field of view right now? Billions? Trillions?' And this was only a miniscule proportion of the world. Existential ponderings do wonders for straightening a mind out.

Now, whenever I feel my anxieties rising, I go back to that thought about leaves and remind myself that the worry, the need for control, is all so insignificant. None of it really matters. I could drop dead tomorrow. None of it matters. Why worry about something you cannot control...

Of course, it is so much easier to write or read, than to put into actual practice. It's a hard step to take. Believe me. I've only been practising this theory of acceptance for the past week or so and it is incredibly hard to break such an ingrained routine. But I feel I'm on the right track. I finally feel like I can make some difference, to myself and to those around me.





Thoughts of an Anxious Man - S0106


One step forward, one step back.

After last week's thoughts, positive thinking and planning a course of action to recovery, I hit a stumbling block. Which is annoying because, even when I'm doing so well and forcing myself to move forwards, the smallest setback feels like being hit by a ton of bricks...

I was in Liverpool for a stag do - a college friend and former work colleague was having his big blowout. Friday and Saturday morning went by without drama I'm pleased to report. Many drinks were had, much mini-golf was played and a slight hangover inevitably followed. But, with all the drinking, I mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to skip my meds. For those that don't know, I'm currently on some anti-depressants to help reduce anxiety, acting as a crutch to aid the cognitive behaviour therapy I'm currently undergoing. I think if I had been at home, or somewhere quiet, it would have gone without incident. But no, I was in a busy, bustling city and my anxiety was very keen to remind me of that!

Dinnertime came about and we went for a meal over the road. Something didn't feel right and I could myself getting more and more worked up about nothing. A two minute walk away from where I was staying turned me from a calm, collected individual - ready for another night of boozed up debauchery - into a sweating, itching, fidgeting wreck. I tried to get a couple of beers down me to calm me down, but the off switch was nowhere to be found. I tried and I tried and I tried.... It's so unbelievably frustrating to sit there, slowly feeling yourself losing control and not be able to do a damn thing about it. I became the very stereotype of mental health problems - someone smiling on the outside, trying to have a good time, whilst on the inside the walls were closing in. After about 40 minutes, I cracked and had to excuse myself. Fresh air, and a welcome wave of relief rushing through my body but, from that point on, I couldn't stop berating myself. Why? Why are you like this? What is wrong with you? 


Nothing sums up anxiety like this.
In the heat of the moment, I think I'd prefer to be in a vat in the garage...

The night went on with the rest of the guys continuing on their crawl. I forced myself repeatedly to get back out and meet them somewhere, but each time felt completely and utterly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people on the streets and the noise. Every time I felt on the edge of an attack, I'd have to leave the group and try again later. In the end, I decided to just call it a day. On one hand, I was happy that I'd forced myself to keep on trying, but at the same time disappointed that I hadn't been able to see the night through, and that I'd actually let my closest friends see that part of me. 

But it's not all bad. I survived the weekend. I spent time walking with my worst triggers and lived to tell the tale. It's encouraged me to go back and continue my research into mindfulness and meditation. No matter how bad things feel, they will always get better. It's hard to remember that ,mid-attack, but that's where mindfulness helps. It creates space between yourself and your anxiety, being able to take a step back and calm yourself - instead of getting caught up in the whirlwind.

I know those guys read this, one even going so far to tell me that he could completely relate to everything I had written previously, so - thanks for understanding. And thanks for the great weekend, it was a blast. 

To those that have experienced similar moments, it gets better. I promise. My door is always open for a confidential chat. Don't suffer in silence.

Don't worry if you don't know what to do,
I've spent a little time in worried shoes,
I wore them out through walking,
It wasn't any use,
Don't worry if you don't know what to do.

Frank Turner - Don't Worry


Thoughts of an Anxious Man - S0105


Today I had an epiphany.

"Nothing in this world can torment you as much as your own thoughts.”

I tend to spend so much time in day to day life, trying to control the things around me. Trying to reduce their impact on my psychological well being and ultimately, trying to reduce the possibility of things going wrong. It never really works. Sure, some days are better than others, but they always come at a cost. An opportunity missed out on, so I can feel safe and secure in my bubble of self-contentment.

Like many people say, "you are your own worst enemy." Every time you give a little ground to avoid anxiety, you take a step further down the slope. The more you avoid, the steeper the slope becomes, and the further you find yourself from the top.

Today I decided enough was enough. It's time to let go of that control, because we are never truly in control. It's a goal we chase but never really achieve. So why add additional stress? And you know what? I feel better already. I don't expect the feeling to last all that long. My anxiety is so deeply rooted, ingrained, that it's become second nature and involuntary. 


“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”

I'm going to start doing things I want to do, rather than the cop out things that make me feel comfortable and safe. Being given the role of Ember Community Manager has opened so many doors for me, and I really want to create something magnificent with it. It will no doubt push me to being a nervous wreck, but perhaps if I can make the small steps now, the bigger ones won't 

Not one for baby steps, I'm diving straight into the deep end by signing up to volunteer at this summer's TwitchLDN event. I'll be on the SpecialEffect stand, spreading the word about the amazing work that they do. So if you see me there, please do say hi. It will have taken me a lot effort to get to that moment and I guarantee I'll appreciate it! You might even learn something!

I'm going to try and travel more this summer with my partner, another key trigger for my anxiety. It might only start with a few 20 minute drives from home, but it's a starting point. I want to reach 45 minute drives by Christmas. 

Either way. I got this.



RS Meets - EyeBallPaul - 09/06/2019


Hey EyeBallPaul! How's it going? Tell us a bit about yourself!

Where shall I start? My name's Paul and I'm from Dagenham in Essex. No, I don't like TOWIE and no, I don't know Joey BLOODY Essex! But seriously, I'm just a chill guy who loves a good laugh and meeting new people, going to game expos and, of course, playing a variety of games. I work as a carer at a nursing home, supporting people suffering from dementia and I love it. Fun fact: Where I lived in Dagenham is where the Ford fiesta was built hence the nick name 'Dagenham dust bins'. I played for West Ham Juniors between the age's of 10-12 and I was an extra in a film alongside Martin Delaney called 'Amar Akbar and Tony' [it's on Netflix]. If you wanna know more about me and my personality pop over to my stream.


So how did you get into streaming?

I started to watch a lot of TheRunningManz [TRMZ] on Twitch playing DayZ and, after a while, I was hooked on the whole social interaction. I'm very social person myself  and thought what better way to make new friends and interact with people with the same interests! It excites me, plus I like making others smile and laugh, both at me and with me - because who doesn't right? Besides if my streaming inspires more people to it then that's cool too.

You've been doing it for some time now, what do you wish you had known when you'd first started out?

I suppose I never really knew how much time and effort it would take to get the right setup for a live steam i.e graphics, linking software/websites etc, not to mention all the networking that's involved, because I'm more of a face to face kinda guy! I struggle to sit and type my thoughts and opinions down. You don't always have to play the biggest and best games to find your audience sometimes all it takes is playing a lesser known game that people are interested in and grow from there, but the biggest thing i wish i knew before I started would be having to find time to sit and stream for 4-5 hours and have a proper schedule in place that suites not only for me but the viewers.

How did EyeBallPaul come about?

That's easy!  I'm originally from Dagenham, and when I moved to Preston with my partner Hojack, most of, if not all, her friends (who I like to think are now mine as well) started calling me EyeBallPaul [in a high pitched voice], so when i decided to start streaming it was kind of a no brainer! Although Paul's Deep was also thrown around at one point whilst on a drunken night out on a train from Manchester.

What about your goals? What would you like to achieve, either IRL or with your brand?

IRL - I currently work as a care support worker and the plan is to go college then Uni and train to become a nurse.

Streaming - Whatever happens, happens! I'm just gonna do my thing and see where it take me. I would love to use Twitch as a platform to raise money for charities, especially for those directly related to dementia care, that to me would be great.

Aside from streaming, what do you do for fun? How do you relax?

Playing video games with Hojack, going to the cinema, having a few drinks with her and our friends.

It's a classic desert island scenario - you can only take three items with you. What do you take?

A phone, a strong WiFi connection and some tissues....


Rapid fire time - don't think just answer! What is your all time favourite movie?


TV Show?

Game of Thrones


Call of Duty - before it was cool!


I don't read many books - my specialty is game dialogue and loading screens!


Indian. South Indian Chilli Garlic curry from my local curryhouse!

Are you part of any teams/networks you'd like to give a shout out to?

TheForge, TeamBeanie and WeAreHive!

Promo time - where can we find EyeBallPaul?

Twitter - @eyeballpaul
Twitch - @eyeballpaul

I'd also like to give a shoutout to the guys behind the 'Down The Badger Hole' podcast - a couple of close, funny friends of mine who like to cover random topics, current affairs and try to outdo each other for the title of 'Shittest Gift.' Well worth checking out!


RS - Thoughts of an Anxious Man - S0104


Holidays. Downtime that everyone looks forward to, right?

Wrong. Travelling and sharing spaces are two of the major triggers for my anxiety, so holidays have now become something I dread.  I haven't been abroad in years, due to the sheer terror brought on by the thought of spending at least two hours cooped up in a tin can, 35000ft in the air. This week is no exception. On Thursday, I will be travelling up to the Peak District with my (long-suffering) girlfriend for some peace and quiet, up in the wonderful heights of central England. We booked it earlier in the year, in a fleeting moment of a excitement about finally getting a few days away together. 

It's much like the christening example I gave in Part III. The 'normal' side of me, the side I share with virtually every other person on the planet, was excited. The prospect of some much needed time away in the Great Outdoors, with the one person that does actually make me happy, was something I just couldn't say no to. But then, as soon as I had hit the 'Pay Now' button, I was struck by this sensation of ominous doom. Thatis what anxiety feels like. The weight of what I had just committed to came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks. A 4 hour drive each way, going somewhere I'd never been before, total lack of control - a living nightmare.


The week has been a short and arduous one. Despite only being in work for two days, and taking part in an amazing talkshow - there has been only one thought on my mind. That ever so brief trip at the end of the week. It's been eating away at the back of my mind for a while now, like a pitch black hole moving gradually closer to swallowing me up. Of course, the logical mind knows nothing bad will happen on this mundane drive - but try telling the black hole that. It grows slowly as the date of travel gets nearer, devouring every single thought of possible enjoyment I might get out of the trip. At this point, it's almost as if I'm resigned to the fact that it's going to be a terrible trip, rife with anxiety and the lack of desire to get out and make the most of it... 



The day of the trip came, and it was a difficult one. No matter how I tried to distract myself, I kept on coming back and worrying about the trip. I don't even know why I was worrying - it wasn't even a long drive really! I did all I could to keep myself preoccupied; went to the gym, cleaned the house from top to bottom, went to spend some time with Archie - but I still found myself clock watching. As ridiculous as it sounds, it almost felt as if counting down to a jail sentence, the last moments of freedom. 

Anxiety can be a self-feeding spiral of despair. The more you worry, the worse it becomes. The worse it becomes, the more you worry. Friends and family will remind you again and again that there's nothing to worry about, but once that anxious thought has taken root, it's very hard to rip out.

We spent a couple of days hiking and I loved it. Being outdoors, away from all the stresses of day to day life, was a welcome relief. Whilst I did cave in to my anxiety on more than one occasion, I did manage to battle my way through a fear of heights, wandering across some gorge cliffs to enjoy some truly beautiful views. I was a shaking mess, but it was worth it. I even managed to pop the question to my better half and, strangely enough, that was the least anxiety-inducing moment of the entire trip! 


Jerry's Regal's Final Thoughts

One of the most crucial things to remember as an anxiety sufferer is that anxiety will always peak. If you sit and endure it for long enough, your body's 'alarm system' will eventually deactivate, you will feel better and return to being relatively calm. It's something that got me through the highs of hiking, and the lows of travel. The fight or flight adrenaline rush will only ever last a few minutes at max - so if you can wait it out, find your happy place and brave the coming storm, the anxiety will reduce on the other side. Your body simply cannot maintain that state of heightened tension.

I managed the trip and back, conquered some fells and managed to find myself coming home with a fiancée. Anxiety or not, it was a pretty good trip. Always find the positives.




RS Meets - Franchize1140 - 27/05/19


Welcome @Franchize1140 - great to have you on at last! So, for the uninitiated, tell us a bit about yourself!

I am Franchize. I have few titles including Master of Civil Engineering, Professional American Football Athlete, Self Proclaimed Nerd, Leader of Nerds and Entertainer.

Many will know of you as Franchize1140, home of FranchizeTV, the infamous Francheezy and Franchize-Approved tag! Where did it all begin? 

I was actually inspired by Dota 2, if that makes sense. I watched a lot of Dota eSports, and then personalities, so it made me think I'd be capable of doing it successfully....should be easy, right?
I thoroughly enjoy just trying to be creative and silly in ways to hopefully make people laugh, and forget about the struggles of the world, stresses of life etc. Most of all though I like bringing people together to game with one another. We all have the same interests so it's always good fun. No matter how good or bad you are.

I decided to make FranchizeTV because I just enjoy getting to know people. I always find afterwards I have this far better connection with the person than previously. I am one of a billion lives, I can't experience all of the world, I don't always enjoy everything but others do but it's great to see that passion in them and to see the world through their eyes. 

If you find the one thing someone is truly passionate about then you can easily get them to talk about it for hours.



If you could describe yourself in only three words, what would they be?

Creative. Friendly. Competitive.

What about the brand - how did that come about?

Franchize was actually the shorting of Face of the Franchise which I self dubbed myself at american football. Naturally people thought against it which only made me want to use it more.
Originally that was my twitch name until I realised I needed to shorten it! I wanted to keep streaming separate from IRL so I added the z since I already made franchise on twitter. Also, the Z makes me seem cooler...

Francheezy wasn’t really me. When I raid some people, mostly Americans, they miss read Franchize and Francheezy. Well people bought it was hilarious. I’ve just started trying to turn it into an alter arrogant ego. Shall see how it develops and goes.

100% legit. Aside from content creation, what do you do for fun? 

Currently I am in Prague playing American Football semi-professionally. So from practice, gym and games it's a great chance to focus on something else as well as keep my body in a good condition.


Nice! So if you could turn from semi-pro to pro, who would you like to play for?

As much as I love my Texans I’d have to play for the Patriots. They just know how to make the most of people and you can believe in the coaches.

What about your goals? Where would you like to end up?

I would love to get into esports if I could. Either as a personality or behind the scenes. For some reason I just love bringing people together to play against one another competitively. There is just something fun, even the hard work and stress of it. Gaming as a competition is a great spectacle so to be able to bring that to the world is just great. As for IRL, this is a tough one but I suppose just keep trying to improve physically, stay fit and healthy. Probably should really become a chartered engineer once I return to full time work...



Franchize looking to make some ground

Classic desert island scenario. You can only take three items with you - what do you take?

Gun, one bullet and rum. It worked for that one guy in the cinema...

Rapid fire time! What's your all time favourite film?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret of the Ooze

TV Show?



Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare


Dresden Files (complete series!!)



Did Thanos really do anything wrong?

He was wrong because he could produce more resources. However, his logic of there are slowly becoming too many mouths to feed is a real issue in the world. We are using up to many resources, damaging our planet and we are not doing enough to prevent future failures

Are you part of any teams/networks that you'd like to give a shout out to?

Why thank you. I actually lead a community called the NerdsBasement. The idea behind it is when gaming was starting out LANs were the rage. There wasn't a better meeting point that the cliche parents basement to nerd out, game and chill. 

Well now we have the internet so why not create the virtual basement for people to do the same. This includes myself and my team coming up with creative ways to get people to game together as well. Especially some classics.

If anyone would like to find out more, you can join the Discord server here


Promo time - where can we find Franchize and your content?

I can be found at either twitch.tv/Franchize1140 where you get to see all my antics, beautiful face and T-Shirts I bought off Facebook!
For everything else there is twitter.com/franchize1140 where I like to share what I am up to, what cool things I see others doing and random gifs I ever made or found amusing.
Oh - and Nerds' Basement on Twitter!


That's all for today! If you'd like to get involved with 'RS Meets,' do please get in touch either via DM or through this link!


franchize humour.jpg

RS - Thoughts of an Anxious Man - S0103


Another week, another roller coaster ride... 

Let's start with the positive. Last week - my life changed indefinitely for the better. I became an uncle for the first time, to 'an absolute pounder' (his dad's words) of a nephew. I've never been one to get excited about newborns or young children - I've always felt a bit awkward and 'umm - now what' around them, but this time was certainly different. Archie, named long before the Royal Archie came along,  was a bouncing bundle of joy and happiness, so it was hard not to get caught up in the moment. It was also weird seeing my parents, newly crowned as grandparents, interacting with him. My mum's reaction was that of being utterly smitten, as you might expect, but it was my dad's reaction, someone who has always kept his emotions close, that caught me off guard. So many smiles, photos and joy. It was weird to see, but enjoyable nonetheless. 

"One of the most frustrating things about having an anxiety disorder; knowing as you're freaking out that there's no reason to be freaked out, but lacking the ability to shut the emotion down."

From the peak of happiness, came the conversation about christening young Archie, and the crushing realisation that I would likely be involved in some way, shape or form. I'm already a godfather to my cousin. An experience that many would accept with pleasure. Don't get me wrong, I'm honoured to have that role, but standing up in front of 50-60 of my close family and relatives was nothing short of a nightmare. Being centre of attention as I recited my lines, was an experience that continues to haunt me - even when I know there's no reason whatsoever to be feeling that way. So much so that the last christening I went to, even though I wasn't involved, I couldn't physically sit in the ceremony. It's the irrational fear of needing to get up and leave during the ceremony, having all eyes on me, just thinking about it starts my heart racing.


It sounds so self-centred when I write it down. Me, me, me. But that's the difference between the rational and irrational, the 'being there for someone' and 'the fervent need to avoid a situation.' On one hand, I would love to become a godfather again, but on the other I just don't know if I can go through that situation again without utterly embarrassing myself.

“You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

This week also brought another first - I've started a round of talking therapy with my new, friendly, neighbourhood Spiderman therapist, Jim. Starting anew has its ups and downs, but I like to think of it as a new opportunity to make some ground, and get that little bit closer to 'levelling out.' After a lengthy discussion sharing my history, triggers, worries and previous diagnoses, Jim was very quick to relate. It really is a breath of fresh air hearing someone on the other side say that they know exactly what you have been through. He pointed out that I , like himself, may have generalised anxiety disorder. We went through the symptoms for it. Panic attacks. Check. Phobias. Check. Social anxiety. Check. Huh - hello there!

I had what I can only describe as a wave of relief at that point. It felt as if we had finally pinpointed my problem, and from there, there was hope that we could begin to try a few different techniques that had worked for Jim in the past. The next session should be fun, as we start to try rewind therapy. Who knows. Maybe we'll make some progress. The sun is shining, it's a beautiful day, and I'm finally feeling optimistic about regaining some element of control...

RS Meets - OBBICH - 20/05/2019


Well hello OBBICH! Tell us a bit about you!

Hey there! I'm Rob and my life seems to revolve around gaming both at home and at work; I'm the Store Manager of GAME in Shrewsbury and if I'm not already playing games in my spare time I'll be streaming them while walking on my treadmill.


That's an awesome idea! So who/what inspired you to stream? Why on a treadmill?

I never really wanted to be a streamer. Even though, just like everyone else,  gaming is in my blood and a lot of close friends were pushing me to give it a shot. It was actually SpecialEffect that inspired me to do streaming with my first 24-hour gaming marathon. GAME really gets behind SpecialEffect in February for GameBlast and I read on their website that a lot of people do gaming marathons to help raise money for the charity. This was my first ever stream let alone gaming marathon, I remember feeling quite anxious and not wanting to let anyone down for not finishing the challenge or end up on camera falling asleep! I was proud to finish my first stream and raise £870. That was it for an entire year until the next GameBlast where I did a joint 24-hour marathon with my wife which lead me to doing something big for my third year fundraising for Special Effect: I decided to walk a marathon while gaming. I finally decided to take this online and started regularly streaming from the beginning of this year and train for the big day in February and since then I've been streaming at least three nights a week.





An amazing effort. A lot of new streamers (myself included) struggle on their first live stream, but you do a 24 hour stream AND raise a huge amount of money!  How did you network the event and gain viewers on your first outing?

Looking back I don’t think I really put myself out there too much. I used the usual social channels; Facebook and Twitter just during the week’s run up to the charity stream. In terms of viewership I was really lucky, starting at midnight I picked up a lot of people from the word go but they weren’t necessarily donating. Another problem I had/have is that streaming through a PS4 has a lot of drawbacks, if you change the game the stream ends which wasn’t ideal but I did manage to reach out too a lot more people that way. At the end of the day it really was all down to my close friends, family and people who I’d met through working for GAME be it colleagues or customers.


Was there anything you wish you'd known/done prior to that stream?

Hmm... I think with the limitations of the PS4 streaming (no overlays, alerts to name a few) I would of preferred too have streamed through a PC. I should have done my research and watched a few Twitch streamers to get a better idea on how to interact and keep conversations following even when no one was potentially in the chat room.


How far through your current marathon are you? How far on average do you walk each stream?

I completed the marathon on the same day! I started from 9am and finished just before 6PM. I walked well over the 42.195KM to qualify it as a marathon playing Fortnite for the entire time raising £1,137.

I usually aim for 10KM minimum, that way I usually get well over an hour or two on stream and the treadmill.


A phenomenal amount raised - congratulations! What about Gameblast - can anyone get involved? 

Absolutely anyone can do GameBlast! It takes place every February and it’s the largest UK annual charity gaming marathon weekend. You can do a gaming event or your very own marathon whatever takes your fancy, it’s all about raising money for Special Effect and having a good time while doing it! If anyone’s interesting I’ll share the link so that can get involved next year: https://www.gameblast19.org.uk/



Rob fundraising for SpecialEffect


So what's the story behind OBBICH?

I wouldn't like to say it's a brand, I go OBBICH online and label my streams under Fitness X Gaming just so people can differentiate between a regular stream and myself on the treadmill.


What about your goals? What would you like to achieve, either IRL or online?

I'm hoping to lose weight! In my mid thirties now and wanted to get a bit healthier, I've gone vegetarian and needed to getting physically fitter too, this was the perfect answer to that. I'd love to meet more people through my streams, I love the idea of having a community of regulars popping in as I see so many times in other peoples stream. Anything else would be a bonus, one step at a time.


How do you spend your downtime?

If it's not more gaming then I'll be enjoying movies. I absolutely love going to the cinema and try to go as often as I can.


Rapid fire questions! First thing that comes to mind is your answer! What's your favourite all-time movie?

Shaun of the Dead


TV Show?

The X-Files





Final Fantasy VII



Graphic novels count, right? Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness



Mexican! Amazing flavours and spice, plus plenty of cheese!


Was Thanos wrong to do what he did?

Mate. I get that what he thought he was doing was right but ultimately I still think no one person can make that decision and ultimately is wrong on many levels.


Promo time - where can we find OBBICH?

Twitch.tv/obbich for all your streaming needs

@NobbyWalker (Twitter)

@OBBICH (Instagram)

If you'd like to get involved with 'RS-Meets,' please drop me a DM and complete the questionnaire here!

RS - Thoughts of an Anxious Man - S0102


" Anxiety is knowing however much you plan ahead, you still expect the worst to happen."

What is the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word 'anxiety?'

Attacks? Stress? Sweaty palms? Nervousness? For me, its the meticulous planning that comes with living a life around social anxiety. Lets say I need to go to the supermarket for a weekly shop. Before even stepping out of the door, I would need to plan for how I get there, if the shop is going to be busy, queues at the checkouts etc. Planning helps provide a little peace of mind in the lead up to the event, but at the same time increases anxiety - because you are thinking of all the bad things that could happen and trying to account for them. 

Last weekend I went to a local beer festival. I'd been looking forward to it for AGES - as many of you will know, beer is my one true love. As excited as I was, I just could not shake this feeling of anxiousness. I spent most of the week before planning, looking at the itinerary trying to figure out the exits. The rational part of me constantly berating the irrational side with the same question - "why?" It was only a 20 minute drive from home, and yet I was anxious about driving with my (long-suffering) girlfriend in the car with me.  Everything just seemed to pile up.

We got there, parked up and went into the site but, try as I may, I just couldn't let go. There's two things I really struggle with: too many people, and queues. The festival was packed, and it was a 5-7 minute queue for a drink.

Inside, I was screaming.

IMG_20190511_160142.thumb.jpg.66701f8a106a3c01f8e458f19a67a0ce.jpg          IMG_20190511_160155.thumb.jpg.2516832415cd5a12d00a45fb17aa7b2e.jpg

The 'Wild Beer Co' Beer Festival 

"It feels like your brain got switched from 40 mph to 140 mph and your body can’t keep up. You can’t breathe or think or run away."

It's hard to describe the physical and mental rush of symptoms when you trigger. Something seemingly insignificant can cause you to go from fine to a quivering wreck in a matter of seconds. When it hits, it's as if you are frozen to the spot, trapped in an invisible prison with your mind the only guard. You tell yourself over and over "I'm ok. It's fine," but the symptoms do not relent. For me, it's at this point I have to physically get up and move out of the situation - be it at a doctors appointment, out for a meal with friends, or at a beer festival.

Luckily for me, my partner is super understanding. She knows when I'm fighting and will often make the decision to move, simply so that I don't have to feel guilty about making it myself. Needless to say, I'm a little disappointed I wasn't able to see this one through, especially after looking forward to it as much as I did.

The thing with anxiety is that it has its highs and its lows.  Your emotional state may peak for a while, and the symptoms will be rough, but eventually it will level out and the anxiety begin to decrease. Your body simply cannot keep it up for too long - it's exhausting. Exposure therapy revolves around this, each time you stay in the triggering situation that little bit longer, waiting for your body to tire and the anxiousness to decrease.


This time around, I let it beat me. But I didn't go home and wallow in self-pity. I took myself straight back out into another triggering situation because I wanted to take something positive away from the day. Keep pushing yourself and you'll get there. One day at a time.


RS Meets - ShinobiNando - 12/05/2019


Today we meet Forge regular ShinobiNando and talk unboxing games, being a Youtube creator and cosplay!

Hey ShinobiNando! How's it going? Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Fernando but most people would know me as ShinobiNando, Shino or Nando. I am a Canadian living in the UK, and started content creation about 2 years ago! I started on YouTube where I unbox many of the Collector's Editions I'm addicted to buying and then started streaming 6 months after that!


Check out that Resident Evil 2 loot!

Shino it is! So, as I understand it - you're a cross between a Youtube content creator and a streamer?

I'm actually a horrible streamer when it comes to knowing the who's who of Twitch! I only found out about Dr. DisRespect and Ninja AFTER I started streaming myself! I never really watched or enjoyed streams before I started to do it. A few friends suggested doing it because I was such an achievement collector. Luckily, I'm a chatter box, I auditioned to stream for Xbox UK's stream team GameMasters and I got a slot! Our local Microsoft rep gave me the good news (I knew him from working at GAME!) It was a joint project between the 2 - The rest as they say is history!

Which do you prefer doing? How come you chose to stream on Twitch, after starting out on Youtube - which also has a streaming platform?

While streaming is easier than creating videos, I prefer doing content for YouTube. It's amazing what you can do from a home editing software and I like the fact that the videos are there so your audience doesn't really miss out!

I did in fact stream on YouTube for a year before going to Twitch. The main reason was it can really clog your channel. Where I did edited videos as well as streaming, it made the channel look really messy and hurt it overall.

Did you have any role models on either platform to draw inspiration from?

None for streaming strangely enough, I don't know or watch any partners or big affiliates. For YouTube oh yes plenty. An obvious one with the skits and effects is 'Angry Joe,' it's partially where the inspiration came from! 'Boogie' is a big inspiration especially as an overweight and older creator. Also 'Jim Sterling' and 'Jeremy Jahns' for reviews.


If you had to choose only one medium to create content for, would stream or make videos?

As much as a I come to really enjoy streaming I'd probably give up twitch first. Out of the two, YouTube has been the bigger platform, I'm currently at 1000 subs and over 205000 lifetime views. It would be, IMO, much harder to start over on YouTube.  Also a LOT of effort and time went into my videos, where for me at least, twitch is something I chill out to do, hit live, post a link and talk to some cool people!


Venturing into Reaction and Breakdown trailers

From what I hear on the grapevine - you also like to do Cosplay?

I always fancied cosplay. When I was younger and in shape I was too nervous to do it as I didn't have many friends that were as geeky as me. Now my weight holds me back, I'm annoyingly one of those that doesn't feel like I shouldn't cosplay a character I don't look like. I loved doing Nathan Drake, Mario and am looking to do more in the future.


I would love to see a classic Dr Mario! ShinobiNando is a pretty unique brand name - how did you come up with it?

Well I always play the stealthy rogue characters. If I can sneak around, back stab or avoid direct conflict that's the character or play-style I'll go for. What's more stealthy than a ninja? NinjaNando sounded too on the nose so I choose ShinobiNando. Plus it was a throwback to an MMO character from City Of Heroes.


What about goals? What do you hope to achieve with the brand? 

I would love to get big enough to showcase more on my channel or get invited to events! I have worked behind the scenes when I use to do events at GAME and I liked the idea of showing a personal or another perceptive on them. MCM London was fun to vlog behind the scenes!

While I'm not looking for fame or fortune, to turn this into at least a part time job would be amazing. Again more for the opportunities. If I can help my fellow Collectors avoid or find editions or collectables they would miss then I feel I have done my job. Same with my reviews. The best comments are the ones where people say they watched a movie for the first time in the cinema in ages, or bought/played a game they might have skipped and thank me for it as they really enjoyed it!


Mmmm.... collectables....


Yeah I imagine that is a pretty awesome feeling! So how do you relax at the end of the day?

I was a on and off martial artist for years, which probably also influenced the name. I practised Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Ninjutsu, Karate, Tae Kwon Do and even dabbled in Capoeria! I got injured a few years ago and now have a chronic infection that fatigues me, so unfortunately I've had to put it on hold. 

I really enjoy movies and the cinema experience! Especially super hero movies or horror films. I'm really looking forward to Burn Bright as it combines the two.


It’s a classic desert island scenario - you can take only three items. What do you take? 

Oh god... I dunno! Everything I enjoy uses electricity...

Umm a sword... A lot of rope ... And a bow with arrows? 

A...a sword??

Why not! Lots you can do with a sword! Ya never know when one might need a sword....


Ok! Rapid fire time. What's your all time favourite movie?

My mind is a blank!


TV Show?

I dunno....






Haven't read one in years!



Changes everyday?


Haha great answers! Are you part of any teams/networks that you'd like to give a shout-out to?

Not really, I float between a few including Forge! I use each Discord differently. Ember and the Forge, I find are great places to ask for creator help and opinions, or vent frustrations that only fellow streamers/YouTubers would understand!

Promo time - where can our readers find ShinobiNando online?

@ShinobiNando on Instagram and Twitter!

RS - Thoughts of an Anxious Man - S0101


One of the hardest things I've found as an anxiety-sufferer is how best to explain it to non-sufferers. Those people that manage to get by in life without, seemingly, a care in the world. What do you say to someone, whose first response is often 'Oh it'll be fine,' or 'You've got nothing to worry about?'

So how about this:


"Anxiety is having a wonderful day ahead of you but not enjoying it because you’re thinking about that 2 minute phone call you’ll have to make in five days." 

Imagine one day, you wake up to find a fat, succulent, bacon sandwich waiting for you on the breakfast table. It's Spring, the sun is shining and that film you've been waiting a year to see is released. Except you can't enjoy it. You want to, but you can't. Why? Because there's a little demon called Anxiety, sat on your shoulder, reminding you of that innocent, little situation coming up that you've been dreading. 

You're sat there, with a plate of bacon in front of you, its aroma wafting through the air - and all you can think of is that thing you have at the end of the week. It's beyond nerves. Your mind becomes convinced something terrible is going to happen there, something completely and utterly out of your control. 

On one hand sits the rational part of your mind. Deep down, this side of you knows nothing is going to happen. It knows life will go on as normal. But on the other hand sits the irrational part of your subconscious - that ancient part of you that still cares only for one thing - your safekeeping. It's a pure, animalistic, flight-or-fight reaction, under inappropriate circumstances. A spiral kicks in - the more you think about this particular trigger, the worse you imagine the outcome to be, the more you worry about it and so on, and so on. 

Sound familiar...?



"Anxiety is always knowing where the exits are."

Different people have different triggers. For me, it's certain social situations and interactions where it might be awkward for me to get out of. These are typically one-on-one situations, such as a trip to the doctor, dentist or barber, where I would feel awkward or embarrassed to leave. Yep, my anxiety stems from being too damn polite. It's because I think I would be wasting those people's time if I needed to get up and get out. It's the same when driving in a car with others - and to this day I would rather incur a petrol cost and drive myself to an event, than to car pool with friends. I hate it. 

That said, I'm learning how better to deal with it. I'd spent years in conflict with my anxiety, often seeing it as something I wanted to expel permanently - but one of the biggest turning points was the realisation that, in order to move forward, I had to accept that my anxiety was driven by a subconscious desire to keep my body and being safe. 

My mind was simply looking out for me, and that I really should be thankful for it. I've gone from being in an internal struggle to a coalition of sorts. Now we're working together and I finally feel like I have some element of control back.


RS Meets - Bravster - 30/04/2019


Back with a bang after a short Easter break; today we're meeting @bravster , international man of mystery and voice-over artist extraordinaire! I've known Brav for some time now, since the early days of BNN, and have been looking forward to getting this one on paper for some time - enjoy!

Bravster! Welcome! Let's start with a bit about you.

Well, I'm Bravster or Steve whichever takes your fancy and I'm a voice actor.


A voice actor eh? That sounds fun! How did you get into doing that? What do you enjoy most about doing it?

I was inspired after the late 80s and 90s cartoons with the array of odd and differing characters that were created at the time. Things like Johnny Bravo, Dexters Lab and lots of early Anime. Not to forget my first love - gaming, Voice acting in gaming, I could talk for hours on the subject! I love really getting to grips with a character whenever I'm asked to work on a project.

I love that I'm able to be free and have fun with what I'm doing, be it a larger production or something relatively small scale. Voice acting allows me to be as imagineative as possible and really embody the characters and worlds they inhabit, from castle ruins and dank dungeons to cyber punk neo fantasy - it's all appealling and great fun to me!

I love really getting to grips with a character whenever I'm asked to work on a project.

How do you go about doing that? 

It depends on the character. Most of them I will try and get into the headspace of the character and think about how I'm similar, or even how I'm different to that person in particular, usually this helps as it gives me something real to draw from. Most important to me is to really feel like "I am this character." For example, if I'm playing a sneaky goblin, I will hunch myself to his height and contort where I need to. If he has a bad leg, I'll give myself a limp - really try to embody every aspect of that character.

As for the emotional state, I think about what I'm most scared of and what my biggest dream is, be it riches or any other motivation. There has to be an element of belief and honest to every character or it simply does not work.



Bravster - aka Chatfield Voice


If you could take part in any gaming series as a character, which would it be? Do you have a favourite character?

There are two series I would LOVE to be a part of:

1. Final Fantasy. I would love to be in a Final Fantasy game, there's just something about the worlds Squareenix create that speak to me, and they were one of the first series I really fell in love with. Even as a child I would give the characters voices as I read the text on screen.

2. Warcraft. Blizzard set the standard for voice acting in their cinematics and I was privileged enough to spend some time with Senior Casting Director, Andrea Toyias, who brought ou the best damn 50 year Wizard I've ever done! As a fantasy fan, I love the idea of being an orc or a dragon and Warcraft really speaks to my love of all things Tolkien.

Choosing a favourite character in gaming is a lot harder, as there are so many good ones! I think I have to go with Clementine, from Telltale's 'The Walking Dead.' Melissa Hutchison's performance was outstanding and Clem is just such an amazingly well rounded character.


What about voice acting role models? 

I have a few. Matthew Mercer is a god in the field, his range and clarity is something that I quite happily aspire to! Chris Sabat, who voices both Vegeta from Dragon Ball and All Might from My Hero Academia, is another very strong contender. 

And of course who could forget Andy Serkis, up there in my books for his works on Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes and King Kong. Melissa Hutchison for the reasons previously mentioned. There are plenty of others but honestly I see them all as valued colleagues and masters in the acting field.


Cool! So let's talk about your brand. How did you come up with it?

Chatfield Voice - I always hated my last name but I guess its finally good for something that's vocal related. Kinda has a nice to ring to it. 
And the Brand is me, full details on this are available on my website www.chatfieldvoice.com.




Check out the Chatfield Voice website here


What about goals? What would you like to achieve as a voice actor?

My goal is to be able to live as a voice actor as my main job, not having to dip between multiple employment. I'll get there but it'll take time and I'm rarely a patient person.


What kind of jobs would you see yourself doing in order to live that dream? 

That's a very long and complex question!! Ideally I'd love that one break away job and be noticed right away, much like anyone else in the industry. Realistically I need to continue to hone my craft and put myself out there more and more. 

I can see myself doing other voice over jobs - I already have some corporate clients but ideally I would love to have a list longer than both my arms, of both gaming and animation voice overs. For me, character voicing is where I'm strongest and have the most fun. 

I do also have a project I'm working on with a fellow Scottish actor, although I'm not quite ready to share that just yet!

Ooh. Love a secret project! How does the Bravster wind down after a long day of voice acting?

Copious amounts of tea and video games, a good RPG or a rogue like usually gets me relaxed. I quite like green tea, but ideally just a standard English Breakfast tea with a splash of milk is fine! Simple, although milk is not great for the voice! Boo!

Fair one! Ok - It’s a classic desert island scenario - you can take only three items. What do you take?

A plastic sheet, some rope and a blade of some sort, I'm a survivalist at heart!

Brav Grylls. It has a ring to it! Rapid fire time - don’t think just answer! What is your all time movie:



TV Show?

Red Dwarf!


Excellent taste, Mr Lister sir! Favourite game?

Final Fantasy VII


Favourite book?

Lord of the Rings


Favourite food?

Curry. As an ex-chef I love every kind, as long as it's not overly hot and kills the taste buds! But I am very partial to a Kashmiri, Korma or Jalfrezi!


Are you part of any teams or networks you'd like to give a shout out to?

One in particular springs to mind, but I've actually got an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) on it currently! Oops! 


Promo time - where can we find you online?

My website - https://www.chatfieldvoice.com , or via my Twitter - @Bravster_

Thanks for your time matey!


If you'd like to take part in 'RS-Meets,' please send me a direct message through Ember or Discord! Hopefully speak soon!

RS Meets - Rabenkatze - 17/04/19


Hey Rabenkatze! Welcome to RS-Meets - tell us a bit about yourself!

Hello! My name is Ulrike Katalin Zsikin aka RabenKatze, a German-Hungarian female who lives in Germany with her very noisy but fluffy cat, Lily. I´m also a self-taught artist  and love to create art through different mediums - especially when making art for others - I love putting smiles on their faces!



Say hi to Rabenkatze!

Different mediums eh? That sounds...complex?!

Well, different art mediums like digital art, traditional pencil, paint illustrations etc, but I also like to work with craft mediums and other stuff to show my creative mind. Most members of my family are also very creative people so you could say I grew up in a creative environment. My older sister worked with the Bauhaus and has done many outdoor projects. My half-brother is a hobby illustrator and some of my cousins and uncles love photography. My mother likes to sew and craft and I could go on and on. It felt natural! As long as I can hold a pen, I can draw and create.

Wow. A family of artists - that's definitely a nurturing environment! And you stream as well? 

Yes! I started streaming to share my art with a new audience, as well as to practice my English conversation and above all, to meet new people! One day, I just woke up and wanted to give it a go. So far so good!! I think my English is quite good, but I never really get a chance to speak it in over here. Streams are definitely helping and I'm getting lots of positive feedback ^^ It's a big confidence booster! 

So how did Rabenkatze come about? How did you come up with it?

My brand name RabenKatze means Raven Cat. Two of my favourite animals - ravens and cats! But in my name, I like to think the Raven stands more for the colour black so its a black cat. In Germany, we have a saying - "Rabenschwarz" (Ravenblack) to describe something very dark, like the feathers of a Raven. So I combined it. Nothing more really to say about it ^^

Nice! Rabenschwarz, I'll have to remember that! What about your goals for Rabenkatze? What would you like to achieve?

I would be really happy if I could get my art out to even more people, and develop more support for my art and myself. My next goal is to open up a Online Shop with my own Designs, but that needs time and I will have to work hard to get there!


Some of Rabenkatze's custom designs for @Sakuru93


Aside from content creation - what do you do for fun? How does Rabenkatze wind down at the end of a busy day?

Sometimes I like to play video games like World of Warcraft, Stardew Valley, Pokemon, My Time at Portia etc. Other times, you will find me watching other Twitch streamers, scrolling through Youtube videos, Netflix or just reading something in the bath! Next month I will be going to Düsseldorf to join in their annual 'Japan Day' celebrations with an old friend! There's a big Japanese community in the city and they celebrate culture exchange - lots of Japanese food, themed shows and a huge firework display! I can't wait!

It’s a classic desert island scenario - you can take only three items. What do you take?

Sketchbook. Pencil. Water.


Rapid fire time! Don't think, just answer! What is your all time favourite movie?

10 Things I Hate About You


TV Show?

Sailor Moon!



The Legend of Zelda



Watership Down



Any kind of soup! 


Are you part of any teams/networks you'd like to give a shout out to?

I´m a happy member of the Ember Gaming Network and the Hive. But I'd like to promote my current art project. I recently started up with some friends on DeviantArt called "Color4Everyone". Its about spreading creative freedom amongst young artists and fighting against "Cringe Culture" in the art community.

I'd also like to share this amazing podcast some friends of mine run:


Promo time - if you have an online presence, where can you be found??

Here is my Link-tree link to all my social medias/ Websites: https://linktr.ee/rabenkatzeartstudio. You can also reach me here : 



Works for @DeadHeadDraven

RS Meets - GeekforgamingDK - 14/04/2019


Tell us a bit about yourself!

Well I'm @geekforgamingdk, I'm 42 yrs old and father to a beautiful 15 year old girl. Going to get married to my long term girlfriend some day, we hope. I like to think of myself as a gamer extraordinare. You get gaming, streaming, fun...but, with years of hard-earned experience! I also hope to get out with that personal experience to teach others that there´s more to life than just what they see.

You're a streamer? Who/What inspired you to start doing it? What do you enjoy most about doing it?

Lady [my fiancée] did actually. I love gaming and she had just found out about streaming, and watched it virtually 24/7...so she encouraged me to try it! I enjoy talking and having fun with others - especially with the chance to make people laugh and smile! That, and the fact you get to meet so many new people!



What's the story behind your brand? How did you come up with it?

I have always been called a geek/nerd and what ever. In the last few years, I've started taking it to heart and decided to incorporate that into my gaming and branding. I love games in all shapes and sizes. Oh. And I'm Danish!


What are your goals? What would you like to achieve?

My goal? Well I've already hit my first goal. Being a part of a streamer/gamer community. I LOVE to make people laugh and smile. So given the chance to entertain - on a bigger stage. As in seeing 50+ on my stream having a good time...just once. That would mean the world to me. IRL - I have two things I would love to do:
1) Go to a convention. Comic-con, Twitch-con; it doesn't matter which - I just want to meet like minded people and have fun!
2) To watch Tottenham Hotspur play live!


Aside from Content Creation - what do you do for fun? How do you wind down?

I cook and bake. I LOVE standing in the kitchen. Just having fun trying out new stuff with some good music in the background...Best feeling for me. I love trying out new recipes - whether it´s a pie, cake, dinner or dessert, it does not matter. As long as i know that people will enjoy it.

It’s a classic desert island scenario - you can take only three items. What do you take?

Lighter. Knife. Spotify.


You mentioned earlier that you were part of a Community - would you like to give a shout out?

I'm part of the Forge and TeamBeanie!




Rapid fire time - don’t think just answer! What is your all time favourite movie:

Stand By Me


Favourite TV Show:



Favourite Game:

Cards Against Humanity


Favourite Book:

'My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle' by Marcel Pagnol


Favourite Food:

Burgers. Denmark style!


Promo time - if you have an online presence, where can you be found?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/geekforgamingdk
Facebook: https://facebook.com/GeekForGamingDK
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/geekforgamingdk
Youtube: https://youtube.com/viksfar [Gonna start up a Geekforgamingdk there also, but haven't got that far yet]



RS Meets - Wochinimen - 19/10/18


So. @wochinimen - tell me a bit about yourself! What do you do? 

My name is Alberto, Italian by birth but have been living in UK since 2011. I own a tabletop gaming shop in Chesterfield. In my spare time I mostly play MMOs, first person shooters, and card games, but my interests are vast & span across multiple genres (except horrors, I don’t like jump scares!) I try to stream every day at least once! 

At what point did you decide that you wanted to open a shop?

I decided that I wanted to open a gaming shop when I was 11. I’m 38 now – so it was a long build up!

What’s the story behind your brand? How did you come up with it?

The name ‘Wochinimen’ comes from my first World of Warcraft character, a Tauren Shaman and it means “I eat you” in chinese (wo = I chi = eat nimen = you). The “chi” part pronounced the same of the “chee” of cheese! This then created the “Wochimonster” which is the mascot of my channel now!



The Wochimonster!



I like it. So how often does the Wochimonster come out to play IRL? Do online and IRL personas clash?

Most of the people watching me are also my customers, so yeah – the two personas do come together quite often. Especially if I am playing ‘Magic the Gathering! 

So you stream? What inspired you to take it up?  

Yes I stream! Mostly as relaxation therapy and to entertain my wife and friends! I started with the inbuilt Facebook go-live for Diablo 3, back in December 2017. People enjoyed it so I decided to invest in a second monitor and opened an account on Twitch. I reached affiliate in March 2018 and have basically streamed every day since then! 

Do you have any advice for people looking to take up streaming? 

If anyone want to make streaming as a full time job, they shouldn’t expect to become the next big thing with the snap of a finger. There is a lot of hard work, networking, media managing and money investment involved. It is a serious thing even if is just “playing video games”, but everything in the long run pays off. Do not try to imitate other streamers, be yourself! 

What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve - IRL or online? 

Growth and a bigger audience are the main goals, Partner status is way out of reach (at the moment) so I settle for goals I can achieve 😄

What’s the thing you enjoy most about what you do - IRL or online?

My IRL is my day to day work in my shop, I love it but the escape in the video game world is what relaxes me!  

What do you do for fun? 

Boardgames and Roleplaying Games in my shop in addition to the video gaming I do at home!

So as a self-confessed board game fanatic and shop owner, you must have seen thousands of different games. But which are your favourites?

- Pandemic Legacy Season 1
- Carcassonne
- Gloomhaven



A wild Wochinimen in his natural habitat....


Rapid fire time - don’t think just answer! What is your all-time favourite: 

- Movie?                Matrix
- TV Show?           Scorpion
- Game?                World of Warcraft
- Book?                 The Lord of the Rings
- Food?                 Fried Chicken

Are you part of any teams/networks you’d like to give a shout out to?

I am part of the admin team at #TheForge - a great place to talk about geek stuff, and meet likeminded geeks! We also have a sizeable The Division 2 clan, so if anyone wants to join in - give me a shout!

What’s next for you?  

A stack of decks of Magic The Gathering I have just built!

Promo time - if you have an online presence, where can you be found?? 

You can find me at https://twitch.tv/wochinimen, and my twitter handle is @wochinimen!

RS Meets - JoeR247 - 12/10/18


In the first of the 'RS-MEETS' series we have @JoeR247. Joe is one of those people who always seems to go out of their way to help someone and, surprise surprise, was the first to reach out and volunteer for this segment!


Part of JoeR247 Empires


Tell us a bit about yourself! What do you do?

I am JoeR247 of JoeR247 Empires. I am and have been predominantly a Twitch.tv streamer since December 2017. I also dabble on YouTube with exports of streams, and frequent Clip/Highlight montage videos. I'm a variety streamer, having started out streaming games I loved growing up, and have since branched out into more and more games, indie or Triple A and everything in between.


What’s the story behind your brand? How did you come up with it?

JoeR247 isn’t really a fancy name. I took aspects of my real name and tried to make and Xbox Live account back when the 360 came out. I tried a few combinations but all were taken. Xbox then suggested JoeR247 and I rolled with it. Here we are in 2018 still rocking it. Only now I have a logo, clothing with said logo on, 500 stickers, a Bottle opener engraved with JoeR247 and a website/Twitch/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube channels all branded up to the hilt with my design.

So you're a content creator?
Yes! I stream every other night, UK evening times and afternoons on weekends! Done so ever since December 2017 and I have loved every minute of it. Safe to say it is one of my new passions in life and when not sleeping I am generally working on or thinking of new ideas for the channel. In terms of my streams, I mainly stream video game content. I started with Football Manager and Battlefield 4, games I played at the time. The first ever stream was just Football Manager as a test that my PC could run it. Just the game, no Mic, no Cam, no overlays, no panels or anything. After that, I tried some Battlefield 4, with an old Mic headset I had. I did a stream for an hour, did alright in the game and tried not to be shy (this was all new and weird to me at the time…).

I come to watch the VOD back. I was muted…. The game capture screwed up. You could only see ¼ of the game screen. FML…

Back to the drawing board. I invested some money in the PC, got a basic cam and made some overlays and started a Lets Play of Need For Speed Most Wanted from 2005 and Theme Hospital. Some Classic games from my Childhood. Things started to pick up from there. Before I knew it, it was January, I had 50 odd followers and got the invite email to be a Twitch Affiliate!

Right now, I’ve completed a few Let’s plays of different games, Need for Speed Carbon, Pokémon Soul Silver, Burnout Paradise, Forza Horizon 3, COD Modern Warfare 1, LEGO Star Wars, GTA V, Driver San Francisco, Cities Skylines and Two Point Hospital.


What would you say has been your highlight?

My proudest moment so far, was being involved with SEGA Europe and Two Point Studios on the Launch day stream of Two Point Hospital, and being hosted on the Official SEGA Twitch channel.
I had been in constant communication on Twitter with the official page of Two Point Hospital ever since they revealed the game and kept being involved and interacting with them. Eventually, 2 months before release, they contacted me about going to London to SEGA Europe HQ to play a preview of the game and record an Interview with the developers! I booked some time of work and made arrangements to get to London and back! 

On the day, I turned up, met some real famous content creators (aka 2 million subs on YouTube style famous) and got to play this game I had been secretly wanting ever since 1997 and record footage of it. Eventually, they asked if I wanted to go interview some Developers. Little old JoeR247 vs a proper game dev… recording with just my Mobile phone… The video is on my YouTube if you want to see it, but I wish I had a proper Mic… 😄

Anyway awesome day at SEGA, took my photo with Sonic and then went away. I then got given an early access Key of the game to stream and then go invited to take part in the Launch day stream. Me on at 10pm on the SEGA Twitch channel following a big Twitch partner. 
Doubt I’ll ever do anything like that again in my life. It was amazing. Shout out to SEGA for inviting my 400-500 follower channel to their awesome event.



Getting a host from the Official SEGA account is always a win!


Who or what inspired you to take streaming up? 

I had always been a big fan of YouTube and gaming content online, but never had the confidence or tech or good upload speed to even consider it. Eventually, I moved house to a home which had Fibre broadband and a good upload speed. I had my gaming PC and was falling out of love with Video games. I decided to give it a try and see if I could get back into gaming. It worked.

I had watched channels such NerdCubed, ManyATrueNerd, DoctorBenjyFM, Two Best Friends Play, Funhaus for many years and wanted to see if I could do it too. I gave Twitch ago as I though it was the easiest method. No recording, editing and uploading videos, just straight Live recording.
How hard could it be…

What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve - IRL or online?

I don’t really have goals other than to keep having fun and getting to know and meet more people in the gaming community I can spend a good time with. Obviously getting to a stage where I can do this full time is the dream, but I can’t ever envisage that happening so I just concentrate on making the best most fun content I can make and grow my community.

Do you have any advice for people looking to take up streaming?

Just do it. Research as much as you can and take it one day at a time, one stream at a time. There is a reason they call it “The Grind”, but it can be a fun grind.

Never focus on the numbers and just concentrate on making bonds with viewers and other streamers. Spend 60% of your free time Networking and 40% actually making content.

Obviously, make sure IRL always comes first and try to avoid burnout. If you get negative comments or trolls, ban them and move on. I’d rather have 0 people in my stream than 50/100 trolls.

Concentrate on being entertaining. Imagine you are broadcasting to millions, even if nobody is there. Nobody wants to listen to silence so keep talking, describe what you see, what you are doing, why you are doing what you are doing. Ask questions in hope that someone lurking would answer.

There’s millions of guides and resources out there filled with loads of knowledge, just don’t be shy. Go join a team or community and network until you can network no more!

Streaming aside - what do you do for fun?

I am a nerd/gamer/geek. I do nerd/gamer/geek things. I do TV boxsets, I do film, I go socialise with friends and family. I enjoy visiting game and comic cons. Just your bog standard pop culture enthusiast. I recently also got a posh camera so I’m still trying to work out what all the buttons do from time to time as well – when the weather is nice… in the UK… So not that much really…

It’s a classic desert island scenario - you can take only three items. What do you take?

Phone with unlimited data and Twitch/YouTube apps
Solar powered Power Bank
Big bag of WhamBar sweets

Rapid fire time - don’t think just answer! What is your all time favourite:

- Movie? Shawshank Redemption
- TV Show? Game of Thrones
- Game? Theme Hospital
- Book? The Secret Footballer
- Food? Chinese Takeaway – Chicken Green Peppers and Black Bean Sauce, Salt and Pepper 
  Chips, Egg Fried Rice, Spring Rolls, Prawn Toast and Prawn Crackers. Nom

Are you part of any teams/networks you’d like to give a shout out to?

Urm, I am Co-Founder of WeAreHIVE. We are a community which I started in June/July 2018 with fellow Streamers BekahBear101 and CKiiDD. I have loads of awesome friends in their, streamers, youtubers, musicians, artists, you name it, we probably have it.

Plenty of resources for helping you grow and network and make friends for life! I got to meet up with loads of them at UK Gaming convention EGX 2018 which was amazing to finally do!
So yeah, @WeAreHIVE, on twitter for all the details. I enjoy being part of the Swarm
But I would say that, I’m slightly biased 😛




What’s next for you? 

Just keep on the “Grind” and keep having fun doing my weird hobby on the internet. Keep finding new people to game and talk about gaming and all things pop culture with, and maybe, just maybe, one day get that little Purple tick next to my name in Twitch. 
I can dream right?

Promo time - if you have an online presence, where can you be found??

Time for a Link dump! If you’ve made it this far, well done. If you’re mad enough to want more JoeR247 in your life – I salute you – then click these links

Website – https://www.JoeR247.com
Twitch – https://www.twitch.tv/JoeR247
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/JoeR247
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/c/JoeR247
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/joer_247


Lots of Love
JoeR247 Empires

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