It’s been a while since we’ve posted an interview, hasn’t it? After all, the previous one (with Slopes Game Room) was back in late November. What happened?
Well, personal life and stress happened I guess. But that’s all irrelevant now, since we’ve now got another interview with a popular YouTuber! This time, the ever so British gaming wrestler Top Hat Gaming Man!
Yeah, you heard that last bit right. In addition to touring the world and making video game videos, he’s also been involved as in pro wrestling under the name Rich Parliament! It’s… quite an interesting backstory really, and very different to that of other internet game critics I’ve seen online.
But hey, enough of that for now. Let’s begin the interview!
1. Namely, with the standard personal background question these things always have. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Well my name is Richard, I am 30 years old and hail from London England. I own copious amounts of video games in which I have been collecting for many years. I am currently enjoying the finer things in life which consists of drinking fine wines, travelling the globe, all whilst playing some of the finest handheld games history has to offer. I document my bizarre life through my YouTube channel known as ‘Top Hat Gaming Man’.
2. And for that matter, how did you get interested in video games? What was the first game you ever played?
I was born into it, moulded by it, whilst many may not have ever played a game until they was already a man. It is hard for me to pin point my first game as I have literally been playing them for as long as I can remember. I have memories of my Father taking me to play the Arcades on holiday in the Mediterranean on holidays in the likes of Spain and Greece, whilst I also remember playing them in the local pubs in London on Sunday afternoons. From the moment I was born there was also an Amstrad CPC464 in my house hold, so I use to play with that a lot at home too.
3. Onto a bit of a personal question now. What’s the whole deal with your wrestling career? Cause from what I see, it seems your YouTube character is based on your wrestling alias in some sense…
Ah Yes, my ring name is Richard Parliament. I am well known for being the UKs only wrestling politician. I competed up and down my fine country for nearly a decade. Whilst many may not necessarily agree with some of my practices in the ring, there is nothing better than giving an uncouth ruffian, a bloody good thrashing! I have competed for the likes of TNA, don’t you know!
4. And where did the ‘archetypical’ British gentleman theme come from? It’s carried through into your gaming video persona as well…
You see here in England in my opinion there is nothing more important than keeping up appearances young man. If you can dress the part, can talk the part, you will be the part.
5. It also seems you’ve been wrestling less and less recently. Do you have any intentions to return to that field?
If you was to follow British Wrestling, you would have seen that my key agenda was to use it as a political platform to help get Britain removed from the European Union. After many years of campaigning, the moment I achieved my goal, I felt it was time for my own Brexit. Ever since the referendum back in July, I have been travelling around the globe enjoying a well earned break.
However in the short five months I have been gone the entire British Wrestling landscape has been changing. You see now the country has its sovereignty returning, British Wrestling is about to have the biggest boom period since the 1980s.
Indy Promotions are now drawing huge gates and a YouTube promotion known as What Culture Wrestling is now drawing huge houses and getting big views on Youtube. Now combined with all of this on New years day World of Sport Wrestling is returning to ITV, which is forecast by some to receive viewing figures seven times higher than Raw will get in the United Kingdom.
With all of this going on WWE have noticed how lucrative our current market is and are launching their own exclusively British Promotion WWE:UK. A great wrestling war is upon and it will be interesting to watch them all fire shots at each other from afar. As for myself, I will wrestle full time again, as and when I am ready. Lets see who is still standing at the end of this. Then I will choose which of these promotions to sign for….Yeaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!
6. Finally on that note, do any of your fans from your wrestling days also watch your gaming videos?
There has recently been some cross over as I have now started marketing my channel on Facebook. However I am sure to garner more cross over appeal soon as I am set to release a video about exclusive British Wrestling games over on a much bigger channel than the one I operate.
7. Onto gaming stuff and YouTube now. What inspired you to start a YouTube channel?
This is quite a tough question as there are so many factors that lead me to doing this. Firstly I have always been into gaming and always been into production since I was very young. I even studied video production in college when I was a teenager. Back then things were much more difficult, we use to edit on mixer boards and use computers with very limited space. It was always fun creating content back then, but there were no platforms to show it off on like the likes of YouTube today and it was a laborious task even managing to make anything with the more limited technology. Today I feel anyone can make content, now that computers are so powerful and that editing is so bloody easy. There are so many online tutorial videos about, that everything is easy and accessible.
I was a big fan of a lot of YouTube gaming channels, however as much as I was a fan. I noticed there was a massive hole within the YouTube retro gaming community. There were not enough strong characters and instead the scene filled with prototypical nerds, mostly American, on the whole, all talking about the same sort of stuff. After watching a lot of creators, the whole thing all sort of started to look rather sycophantic to me and I just began seeing the same opinion and information regurgitated time and time again.
So I started a YouTube channel to try and bring something new to the table, whilst at the same time I think I just wanted to flex my production skills for the first time in a long time.
On top of all of this, YouTube has given me something productive to do, whilst I have been away from the wrestling ring.
8. And why the whole ‘travel round the world’ aspect? It’s certainly a unique idea to record video game reviews in every country you travel to…
I am 30 years old, I realised I wasn’t getting any younger and there were still things I wanted to do in which I was yet to achieve. So I put the necessary things in motion to allow me to quit working for a year and pursue more leisurely goals. I do not feel anyone lies on there deathbed then looks back and thinks to themselves ‘you know what, I really wish I spent more time at work’. I want to lay on that death bed and think ‘what a ride that was’.
9. So on your journeys, what are the best new games you’ve been buying/playing? Have you reviewed them yet?
I’ve played so many games on this journey many of which I have talked about on my channel, so a tough question to answer. I did play through both the Yokai Watch Games which were great fun, I have yet to talk about those on my channel, however I am sure I will.
10. How about the worst? Any you bought recently that you regret paying for?
I do not buy a great deal of brand new games, so I cannot regret buying any games really as on older stuff it is hard to lose any value on a purchase anyway. I got Mario Maker 3DS the other day, I couldn’t bring myself to play that for more than 15 minutes for some reason. So Mario Maker?
11. Generally, you seem to stick to older games more often that not. Are there any current generations you’re enjoying at the moment?
The 3DS has seen a fantastic life over the last few years, I think the library for that thing could be as good as that for any handheld system previously and to be honest I have found myself enjoying more games on that over the likes of the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U.
12. How about in the future? You’ve made a video about the Nintendo Switch and what not. Are there any games for those consoles you’re really excited for?
Indeed the obvious ones really. Zelda, another 3D Mario and most exciting of all the almost guaranteed first ever big screen full Pokemon game down the line.
13. With the recent comments about the NES Classic and ‘fake’ nostalgia, you seem to believe that the US ‘canon’ has basically taken over the gaming world. So, have you considered making a few more reviews for classic games not released in the US to counter this? Like the ones you might find on the ZX Spectrum?
You have read my mind, now I am back in the UK for a short break, that is going to be the main theme of the channel for a few weeks, at least until I resume my travels. I will reveal to you now the name of my next big video is ‘Why the NES Flopped in Europe’. It will tell our side of the story from that era.
14. Let’s talk YouTube in general now. Which of your videos are you most proud of so far?
I like my one about Xenoblade Chronicles, I just love that game so bloody much and I felt Bryce Canyon in Utah was the perfect back drop for it as it looks like the landscape from the game itself. I had a lot of fun making that one.
15. How about the other end of the spectrum? Any reviews you don’t feel too proud of? Or even games you just couldn’t make an interesting video about?
I hate my Bootleg Pokemon Go Cards Video. It was meant to be pointless filler and after I made it, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to upload it or not. I just showed off some crap trading cards I found and for some bloody reason it is my most watched video! 13,000 views and counting. It just shows the mentality of most people on YouTube if they want to watch crap like that. The whole thing makes me feel sad about humanity and how low brow there taste must be compared to mine.
16. What about other people’s channels? What other YouTube channels do you follow or think make interesting videos? Why?
There are loads of Americans ones but everyone hears about them all the time, so I will talk to you about some of the British Channels I like. Check out Slopes Game Room, a fantastic channel in which makes documentary style videos about entire game franchises. Guru Larry, who covers videos about more obscure game facts, and Kim Justice a channel which has a big focus on the old micro computers. All these channels are great viewing as they do not feature the old youtube regurgitation problem too much.
17. A quick YouTube business question now. How have you monetised your channel? And is the pay now good enough to live on? Because I remember watching a video where you said that you spent a lot of your life savings on traveling and filming costs…
To monetise a YouTube channel you simply click the monetisation button. In terms of earnings I have had a positive start. I have only been on YouTube 10 months thus far and to already be earning anything at this stage is a miracle in itself. It is a long road ahead yet, but its a start.
18. And have you considered any other ways of monetising your videos? Like say, in case YouTube encounters any issues?
Sure, I have some donations coming in thus far from my Patrons over on Patreon. The help and encouragement they are giving me to build the channel is very humbling.
19. How about other video platforms? I know a few (like Slopes Game Room and the Lonely Goomba) are considering VidMe at one point… so have you considered anything like that?
If I get some free time, I may dabble with it. It is always worth experimenting.
20. Either way, your channel is getting surprisingly popular now. Did you expect it to? What are your hopes for the channel in 2017?
It is hard to say, I would say I never ‘expect’ to achieve anything, however no matter what I do I try to work hard to get results. I am trying to fill a niche, however it is a case of whether I can successfully combat the YouTube algorithm and be able to fully do so. In 2017 I would just like to continue to grow my channel. I have a few collaborations lined up with various YouTubers who are much bigger names than myself, so hopefully that should give me some decent exposure too.
21. Finally, if someone is interested in starting their own YouTube gaming channel, what advice would you give them?
It depends on the reasons why they want to start a gaming channel, however to be successful the overall arching themes appears to be consistency, quality content, regular uploads, decent thumbnails and making your videos a decent length whilst at the same time trying to keep the audience engaged.
And that wraps up another interview! Did you learn anything interesting here? Do you want to see more of Top Hat Gaming Man’s work (gaming related or otherwise)? If so, check out his channel on YouTube and follow him on Twitter today!