GMA 2011 FINALISTS: Rising Star

There are just three days to go until the biggest night of the year for the UK’s games media. In the run-up to the big event on Wednesday October 26th at Vinopolis, we’re providing a series of features profiling those media brands and individuals in the running for an award.

Hollie Bennett – Destructoid

Hollie currently works as the EU Community Manager for after she joined the site back in 2006 as a community member. Despite her biggest focus being on the promotion and building of the identity of the EU community she also hosts BritToid, Destructoid’s EU focused gaming podcast; writes for the site; directs both the EU written and video teams at events; and is well-known for her personality-driven interview style on camera. To top it all off Hollie continues to work as a full-time midwife in one of London’s biggest hospitals.

Johnny Chiodini – GameSpot UK

Johnny started his career interning on ITN’s then-fledgling gaming show Game On, and refused to leave. Over the next few years he helped the format take shape, while also learning to edit video, finishing an English Literature degree and having a fairly protracted conversation about bestiality with Danny Wallace (on camera). In March 2011, he joined GameSpot UK as video producer and works on its Appetite for Distraction show.

Seb Ford – GameSpot UK

After two years soaking up all that the games industry had to offer as a video producer at , Seb met with the guys at GameSpot UK, and after a few intimidating interviews landed the video producer role there. He now works on the successful franchise Start/Select, as well as some of the newer shows including the mobile gaming focused Appetite for Distraction.

Martin Gaston – Videogamer

Martin’s writing is more polished than a rich mahogany table after being given the once over by a cleaner with OCD, and while he is occasionally accused of being sarcastic he really does his best to get on with everyone in the industry. This year he was made Previews Editor at, and he also recently found out that all the other candidates have made disparaging remarks about your mother.

Andrien Gbinigie – XboxGameZone

Andrien started gaming at the tender age of six, and has never looked back since. A ‘veteran’ of First and Third Person shooters, he also likes to play RPGs, stealth action games, racers, platformers and puzzle games. He takes great pride in getting achievements on Xbox Live (although you’ll never hear him admit that out aloud). Having been an active member of a variety of gaming communities, these days, Andrien can mostly be found posting news, previews and reviews to XboxGameZone, battling with WordPress, and tweeting.

Matt Lees – Official Xbox Magazine

Matt got his first job in the games industry working as a market research analyst, before moving across to Frank PR to work on the Activision European account for two years. Eventually he got fed up of organising events and having to buy drinks for other people and sneakily burrowed under the fence into games journalism. In his spare time, he enjoys drinking too much tea and being an idiot on the internet.

Jamin Smith –

Jamin claims to be that guy who rocks up to preview events wearing a pair of white headphones. It’s his ‘thing’ apparently, along with being the ‘JRPG guy’, crafting hilarious puns, and defending poor Alan Wake from the industry’s army of haters. He doubt that’s why he finds himself alongside the other talented people in this category, however.

Dan Webb –

After leaving a potential career in law behind, Dan fell head first into the games industry, taking charge at what is now the biggest single-platform website on the internet, Xbox 360 Achievements. With no experience in the games industry whatsoever, Dan learnt the industry inside out and helped spearhead X360A into the position of one of the biggest gaming sites on the internet. Now, the Editor-in-Chief and co-owner spends his days chasing more content for the site’s readers, strengthening the brand, and looking for new initiatives to embark upon.

The Games Media Awards 2011, in association with Grainger Games, take place on Wednesday October 26th at the super chic Vinopolis venue near Borough Market. Greg Davies, top stand-up and star of The Inbetweeners, will be the host for the evening.

Grainger Games has signed up as headline sponsor of the event, with other sponsors already signed up including Microsoft, Codemasters, EA, Sony, Ubisoft, Nintendo, OnLive, Namco Bandai, Trion Worlds, Gamescom, Nordic Games, Konami, Sega, NC Soft, Rising Star Games, Green Man Gaming, Games Tribe, 2K Games and Venatus Media.

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