What do you do at Ukie?
As Head of Policy and Public Affairs I lead our work on all things regulatory and legislative, developing relationships with MPs, Peers, Civil Servants and Regulators and responding to policy consultations. This covers a really wide range of issues impacting the games industry, from education and skills through incentives for growth such as the UK Games fund and VGTR through to our approach to online safety.
To those outside of the world of us “policy wonks” it can seem all alittle bit dry and esoteric but believe me, once you get lost in a 144 page consultation document about working time directives or digital service taxes, believe me, there is no greater thrill out there. I’m disappointed more of our members haven’t made a great game based on what we do although Papers, Please and Not Tonight were both excellent examples.
Working with Grace, together we are responsible for setting the policy strategy for the UK games Industry and doing our bit to help make the UK the best place to make, sell and play games.
What made you want to work in the games industry?
I’d worked on “creative Industry” policy for the government for many years and what stood out about the games sector over some of the other sectors was the desire for growth and innovation. There was a constant cycle of new business models driven by the industry’s lack of any meaningful level of public support propping them up. This meant they kept moving, never rested on their laurels and we always trying new things. I also loved the fact their were no real celebrities which meant that the whole industry was the hero (I know there are a few standouts). The fact that I could be talking with some of the most influential people in video games – people responsible for creating entertainment on a global scale that brings joy and entertainment to billions of people and no one really knows who they are was so refreshing.
When Jo asked if she could convince me to come and work for her I had no hesitation, Ukie have an amazing reputation and in many ways it was the dream job.
What are you playing at the moment?
Microsoft Flight Simulator on the Xbox Series S or MarioKart 8 Deluxe on the Switch. I also enjoyed The Ascent. To be honest though, I’m fairly useless at games (I think I lack the coordination or something) so I usually just walk my character into a wall and either get stuck or killed quite quickly. There is so much out there though there is a game for everyone.
What do you do in your spare time, apart from playing games?
I support Dulwich Hamlet FC and I am chair of the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Trust, this takes up a fair amount of my spare time. I also got into slow and low BBQ’ing during lockdown and if I am not at the football I am probably labouring over a 12 hour cook in the back garden (all year round).
Do you have a pet? (Show us a picture!) If not, what pet would you like to have one day?
I have 2 cats, Edith and her son Edgar. Edith was a stray and Edgar her kitten (they are 5 and 6 now). We named Edith after Edith Cavell and Edgar after Edgar Kail. Edgar has featured on the Ukie Christmas card for the last few years in a series of bizarre/not bizarre images.