Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! I got another interview for you guys today! Jett from In Third Person has been kind of enough to this interview with me. It’s a very good one. As you read it I hope you enjoy it. I’ll have more thoughts at the end of it. In the meantime check this interview out!
2TALL: Hello Jett. Thanks for being so kind to do this interview with me. So In Third Person sounds like a very creative name. How did you come up with that?
Jett: First off, thank you for having me! Truly appreciate the opportunity to engage with you like this!
The name is a play on perspective. In a game that is played from a third-person perspective – such as God of War – you view the game beyond the bounds of the screen, watching Kratos experience the world within it. But to Kratos, he’s seeing everything around him in first-person.
Applying that line of thinking to In Third Person, you’re reading/viewing my first-person experience in the world of video games, board games, and other nerdy pursuits from a third-person perspective. Hence, In Third Person. And yes, in this analogy, I am also Kratos, with the buff bod, scruffy beard, and a crippling inability to share my feelings with those I love.
2T: That’s pretty cool man. How long has your blog been around?
J: In Third Person was founded in July 2009. A lot has changed in the world of gaming, and I myself have gone through a lot in that time. Started my career, moved out of my parents’ place, got married, and bought a house to name a few. Feel like I’ve also matured as a content creator and as a human being. Still, the blog remains and will continue to do so as long as the fire to create continues to burn.
2T: What are some of your favorite blogs you like to read?
J: His blog isn’t gaming related, but I have a soft spot for rasheedclarke.com. He’s a good friend of mine from college that I don’t see often nowadays, but his blog is a deeply personal – and at times painful – look at his life. He’s gone through a lot since we graduated and he does an incredible job of making you feel every emotion. Reading his posts makes me want to reach through the internet, give him a hug, offer my support, and thank him for being someone worth looking up to.
Within the world of video games, it’s Double Jump. We discovered each other a few months back and their work immediately resonated with me. Besides being fans of games, they’re passionate about the craft of writing, which shows in their output. Their hustle for posting every day is tremendous. On top of that, the chemistry they share as siblings really brings out the best in their work. I visit their blog every day and try to catch all of their streams live, even if I only have time to drop in and say hello.
Besides being a fan of theirs, I’ve had the honour of working with them on posts and video content. They’re a joy to work with and I look forward to collaborating with them on future projects! Saw that you recently did a post with them on their site and you’ve had the opportunity to interview them as well. Great stuff!
2T: The Poli Sistas over at Double Jump are awesome. If anyone out there hasn’t had a chance to check them out you need to do so. I see you also use YouTube and Twitch for gaming videos? How long have you been making gaming videos?
J: Technically, I uploaded my first video eight years ago. It was awful. I didn’t have the tools to capture gameplay footage properly, so I pointed my webcam at the TV and the results weren’t even acceptable for the time.
It’s been a multi-year process of trying to figure out what I wanted to do in the video space and what I needed to do to get there. Still have a long way to go before I’m truly happy with my output – and I may never get there – but only in the last few months have I started to see the stream and videos head in the right direction.
2T: How do you manage your time between making videos, blogging about video games, and well…. playing the games?
J: Very poorly.
With years of practice, I developed good habits that enabled me to have written content published at a set interval. On top of that, writing is an activity that can be done anywhere on basically any device.
Including video to the mix has completely disrupted my workflow. What I didn’t anticipate going into this was how much work goes into everything outside of playing games. From pre-show prep, to all of the work that has to happen afterwards to repurpose that stream as blog or social content is a massive time sink. At this point, the only time I really have to play games is when I’m streaming them. It’s not a great balance and it can’t stay like this forever.
I enjoy gaming on stream and engaging with everyone in the chat, so that will continue to be a part of my content mix going forward. What I need to do now is slow down, really think about all of these tasks that make In Third Person tick, and refine my workflow so that I can achieve a better balance in the long run.
2T: That’s the problem I have right. With all the extra that goes into blogging and making videos it’s hard to find time to play the video games. So tell us a bit about your gaming background.
J: As an 80’s baby, I grew up on Nintendo. The NES and SNES are the foundational pillars of my gaming fandom, as they were the home to many of the best games from that era. By the time the Wii came out, Nintendo’s focus on motion controls and casual games didn’t align with my tastes, so I branched out and bought an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I’m a Nintendo fan for life, but I’ve been platform-agnostic ever since. If your platform have great games, I’ll go to your platform and play them.
I enjoy games of all sorts, but my favourite genre is fighting games. Of course I played Street Fighter II in the 90s, but Street Fighter IV is the game that changed my life. Not long after its release, fighting game tournaments began being streamed. What I saw on those broadcasts was mind-blowing. These players had reached a level of mastery with the game that I didn’t even know was possible in any game. It inspired me to go on my own journey in hopes of improving myself and maybe reaching those heights.
There were a lot of hardships along the way. I’ve lost thousands of matches, cursed up a storm, thrown my fightstick more than I’d like to admit, and if you dig deep enough into the internet, you’ll find tournament footage of me getting demolished by the best players in the world with a crowd in attendance watching live and thousands clowning on me in the Twitch chat. But I came out of the other side as a much stronger player with a greater appreciation for how games are made and played.
There were some notable successes along the way, too. My biggest highlight was winning the 2016 Cineplex WorldGaming regional finals in Street Fighter V and finishing 17th at the national championships. Being able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best players in the country as their equal was an honour and a sign that my hard work had paid off. Also, having my face and name displayed in the pre-show of every movie theatre in Canada for two weeks as a Street Fighter V finalist was wild! Even friends and family who hadn’t followed my video game journey were messaging me from the theatre saying that they saw me on screen. I still have a hard time believing that ever happened.
These days, I’m on a hiatus from that scene. I’m not a big enough fan of Street Fighter V or any other current fighting game to invest the level of effort required to compete. Will go back to it someday. For now, I’ve been focusing my efforts on playing other types of games I enjoy while making content for In Third Person.
2T: What are your thoughts on the gaming industry today?
J: I love that there are so many pockets of gaming. From the kids of today that obsess over Roblox, to the segment of gamers who primarily play Fortnite on their phone, to my own mother-in-law who never played video games until she became obsessed with Pokemon Go, the variety of games and the audience that plays them continues to grow. Microsoft making the accessibility controller is also a shift towards inclusion by giving more gamers an opportunity to play. Video games have the potential to be a hobby that anyone can enjoy. Hoping that we as a community will continue to push for a world where we all can have fun and be positive to each other regardless of what slice of the gaming world we choose to engage with.
2T: That is so true. I see you also host a show on your channel called Boss Rush. How did that come about?
J: For a few years, on top of maintaining In Third Person, I was a writer and podcaster for a site called Splitkick. It was run by a talented group of writers and gaming enthusiasts that really pushed me to make my best written work. When the opportunity arose to host my own show, I reached out to Jason from downstab.com and Mat from biffbampop.com to join me. Jason is someone I connected with through our blogs years ago, and I knew Mat from college. Both are passionate gamers who loved to express their thoughts with the world through their respective platforms. We had a blast talking to each other through the podcast.
Unfortunately, Splitkick disbanded and we no longer had the infrastructure to host a podcast. Furthermore, we were all also going through some major shifts in our lives that made it difficult for us to get together on a regular basis. We would message each other from time-to-time, but we largely went our separate ways.
Years passed, and with my push towards creating video content, it was an opportunity to get the band back together for old time’s sake. The spark immediately came back and it’s a pleasure to be back in each other’s company. It’s also been great having expanded the conversation to a live audience on Twitch and others who have joined us on the show. For now, it’s simply a platform for us to enjoy each other’s company and chat about games, but who knows what the future has in store for Boss Rush.
2T: I think Boss Rush has a good future. Any advice you have for anyone who wants to be a content creator whether it be, blogger, YouTuber, streamer, podcaster, etc,.?
J: What it means to be a content creator in modern times has evolved tremendously. Whether you write a blog, create videos, stream, podcast, or maintain a social media account, there are so many different avenues to express how you think and feel. It’s a lot for one person to tackle them all at once, so start small. Pick a platform, develop your voice, get in the habit of posting content regularly, and learn the nuances of how to best present your voice on that platform. If you feel the need to expand later on, go for it! If not, that’s okay too!
2T: That’s great advice. Thanks for sharing that. So we have a few things in common. Besides being 80’s babies, video games, and blogging you are also a NBA fan and WWE fan. Let’s talk NBA first! You are a Toronto Raptors fan and you were telling me you helped name the team. Care to tell the story man?
J: Before the team had a name, the ownership group ran a nationwide contest that allowed fans to vote for the team name. The 11 finalists were: Beavers, Bobcats, Dragons, Grizzlies, Hogs, Raptors, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas, Terriers, and Towers. I cut my ballot out of the local newspaper, voted for Raptors, and mailed it back in. That name had a lot of momentum going for it, as Jurassic Park was a smash-hit film at the time, but I’m glad that my voice was heard and that the Raptors have kept the name to this day.
2T: That’s totally cool. You don’t hear stories like that every day. Are you excited about the upcoming season? How are you feeling about the Raptors?
J: The offseason was a rollercoaster of emotions. Trading away Demar DeRozan hurt like hell. He’s a great player that led this historically awful team through its most successful stretch to-date. He gave the team, the city, and the country everything he had.
All that said, if the opportunity arises to land a premiere player like Kawhi Leonard, you have to take it. Demar probably wasn’t going to lead this team to the promise land, as he’s had many chances to do so. Kawhi did it in San Antonio. When healthy/motivated, he has the ability to do it again.
It will be a whirlwind of a season. Assuming Kawhi is healthy and motivated, I expect the team to fare very well in the regular season and make some noise in the playoffs. However, the bigger questions surrounding where Kawhi goes after the end of this season will cloud this season until he commits or goes elsewhere. I know you want him for your Clippers, but my fingers are crossed that Toronto can make it worth his while to stay.
2T: I didn’t see that trade coming. DeMar DeRozan is a local So. Cal boy so I definitely keep up with them when it comes to individual players. I wish him nothing but the best in San Antonio. How long have you been a fan of the WWE?
J: My relationship with the WWE and wrestling as a whole is complicated. In the late 80s and early 90s, I was cheering for Hulk Hogan and I cried when Shawn Michaels gave Marty Janetty the Sweet Chin Music through the glass during Brutus the Barber Beefcake’s interview segment. But when I found out wrestling was fake, I backed away.
During the Nintendo 64 era, AKI made fantastic wrestling games, starting with WCW vs. NWO: World Tour, and ending with WWF No Mercy. My love for those games got me watching the WCW and WWF during the Attitude/NWO era, which was fantastic. Once the WWE license moved away from AKI, I didn’t like any of the games that came after it, and my interest in wrestling waned again. I did get to watch Wrestlemania 18 live in Toronto though where Hulk Hogan faced The Rock and I’m glad to have been in the building for such a legendary match!
Currently, I loosely follow the product because my wife was into the Total Divas reality show. We know who the current wrestlers are and we’ll watch Wrestlemania, but I mostly follow it from afar.
2T: What are your thoughts on the current state of the WWE?
J: I don’t follow WWE closely enough to answer that question. I do, however, hope that the greater populace can move past the “wrestling is fake” narrative and appreciate the product for what they’re trying to do. There’s a lot of storytelling, athleticism, and showmanship that takes place in a wrestling event, and you’re going to miss it all if you’re fretting about wrestling being fake, when realism hasn’t been a focal point for most wrestling promotions in the last few decades.
Do you hold it against the Broadway musical Hamilton that the characters that die in that show don’t actually die in real life? Of course not! So why are people mad that Finn Balor doesn’t actually stomp a hole in a guy’s chest when he does the Coup de Grace? Also, how the heck does he not stomp through a guy’s chest when he does that move? It’s probably more amazing that he doesn’t crush his opponent’s chest every time he does that move!
2T: Picking up WWE 2K19?
J: Until they bring AKI back, I’m never touching a WWE game again.
2T: Fair enough. I will say since 2K has had the license the games are getting a bit better. They didn’t get off to a good start when they got the series. Ok now time to shake things up a bit!
2T: Favorite NBA team other than the Raptors?
J: The Michael Jordan era Chicago Bulls. That was the team that got me into basketball and made me wish that Toronto had its own team to cheer for. Now that the Raptors are here, I’m #wethenorth till I die.
2T: Favorite color?
J: Carolina blue!
2T: A place you’ve always wanted to travel?
2T: Yeah that place is on my bucket list. Favorite dessert?
J: Apple pie.
2T: Favorite WWE Superstar?
J: Current: AJ Styles
All-Time: Rey Mysterio Jr.
All-Time Runner-Up: Rob Van Dam
On My Radar: Ricochet
I clearly have a type.
2T: Sony or Microsoft?
J: I really don’t like feeding into the often-toxic discussion of platform wars. I own them all and I play the games I like where I want to play them. Let’s leave it at that.
2T: Fair enough! Hockey or Baseball?
J: Baseball. I only follow hockey enough to keep up the conversation with my Canadian brethren. Canada is a hockey country after all.
2T: Favorite NBA Player (current or retired)?
J: Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T.
2T: Favorite console?
J: It’s a toss-up between the SNES and the Xbox 360. The SNES has nostalgia and the pinnacle of 2D-sprite-based gaming on its side. The Xbox 360 blazed the trail for what modern consoles are today, from Xbox Live, to an ever-evolving console interface, console hard drives, and a stellar lineup of games over the course of its lengthy history. I think I need more time removed from the 360 before I can make a final judgment.
2T: The SNES is one of my favorites. Favorite video game series?
J: Fire Emblem. Have been a fanatic of the franchise since the franchise since its international debut on the Gameboy Advance. That blend of turn-based combat, RPG elements, and perma-death are a recipe for gaming bliss. My excitement levels skyrocket as we approach the release of each new entry, and the franchise has almost never let me down. Shadow Dragon and Echoes were sub-par, but they were remakes of old Fire Emblem games before the franchise refined its gameplay, so they sort of don’t count. Everything else is a certified banger.
2T: Favorite music?
J: My musical tastes generally slant towards hip-hop, but there’s music that I love in all genres and I try to approach it all with an open mind. Some of my favourite musical acts include The Beatles, Wu-Tang Clan, Taylor Swift, Notorious B.I.G., A Tribe Called Quest, and Prince. My favourite albums are “Abbey Road” by The Beatles, “American Idiot” by Green Day and “Illmatic” by Nas. Kendrick Lamar is my favourite rapper right now. My all-time favourite songs are “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel and “Open Your Eyes” by Bobby Caldwell.
2T: Great group of artists you got there. Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft?
J: Will let my Nintendo freak flag fly till the end of time, but not while taking everyone else down. They’re all great and terrible in their own ways 🙂
2T: Nintendo! It’s either you hate to love them or you love to hate them. Anything you want to ask me or tell the readers before I conclude this interview?
J: Thank you for interviewing me for your site! Hope that your readers enjoy all of the work that you do for this interview series, your podcast, and everything else! Keep up the good work!
2T: Thanks for doing the interview. I see some collaborations between us down the line.
Hopefully you all enjoyed that. If you want to check Jett out here are the links below where you can do so.
Once again if you would like to be apart of this interview series please reach out. Find me before I find you! And once again I’ll interview you regardless of niche. Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! Remember that TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE! Thanks for reading folks. Catch you all next time!