LINCOLN has worked with growing Scottish independent retail chain Games Centre for eight years, rising through the ranks to become area manager. He is described as “extremely hard working and passionate about the industry”, someone who “never shirks a challenge”. Lincoln has played a vital role in a series of Games Centre store openings, midnight launches and has helped instigate several changes that have evolved the chain’s customer offering.
TALAL MUSA Age: 25
Sports sub-editor/games and tech journalist, Daily Mail
BALRAJ SINGH Age: 26
Account Manager, JCPR
THE EVER-ENTHUSIASTIC Balraj ‘Baz’ Singh is known to all who deal with Microsoft, Xbox and their PR agency JCPR. He has worked with the firm since 2009, and has been instrumental in several game launches, Microsoft events and the ongoing evolution of the Xbox brand. One journalist said: “Baz has consistently proved to be incredibly professional and friendly, and pulls out all the stops to help get what you need. An absolute pleasure to work with.”
AARON COOPER Age: 23
Social Media Co-ordinator, GAME
SPEARHEADING the retailer’s Twitter and Facebook activity, Cooper works hard to grow GAME’s community of loyal customers and interacts with them on a daily basis. He constantly seeks new ways to connect with fans, not only keeping them informed about the latest releases and GAME’s offers but also getting them to engage with the retailer. Cooper’s success with the general GAME account has encouraged individual stores to establish their own Twitter and Facebook presences.
IT’S EASY to think all games coverage by the Daily Mail comes with headlines like ‘Ban this sick filth’, but that would be a major disservice to the hard work that Musa does. The journalist strives to establish the newspaper as a strong source of video games news, reviews and features – he has even set up and moderates a Daily Mail Games Facebook page.
SIAN CLARKE Age: 29
Previously Played Games Manager, HMV
CLARKE has served with HMV for nearly eight years, moving to the retail giant’s head office back in July as previously played games manager. Prior to this, she was games supervisor at HMV’s flagship Oxford Street branch, overseeing midnight launches and other in-store activities, helping it win Star Store of the Year at last year’s MCV Awards. Colleagues commend her genuine enthusiasm for both video games and the industry, as well as her determination to improve HMV’s games offering.
SIMON URQUHART Age: 28
Category Manager – PC and Gaming Peripherals, Dixons
PROMOTED to his current role at the start of 2012, Urquhart has helped reshape the gaming peripherals offer at Currys and PC World. He has used his passion and knowledge of the industry to help make these tech-heavy retailers an appealing destination for gamers. Well liked by both his Dixons colleagues and the hardware suppliers he works with, Urquhart has even raised awareness of his stores’ gaming range by arranging sponsorship of hardcore gamer events like the Insomnia LAN parties.
JOSH WINWARD Age: 27 Field Marketing Executive, Ubisoft
RESPONSIBLE for managing promotional events around the country, Winward has been responsible for some stand-out launches and demo showcases throughout the last year and a half. He was the brains behind the launch event for Ghost Recon: Future Soliderin Newcastle earlier this year, and has spent the last few months giving gamers a taste of Assassin’s Creed IIIwith demos in game stores and at Eurogamer Expo.
SAM DEANS Age: 19
Social Media Manager, Turtle Beach/Lygo
THE YOUNGEST person in this year’s 30 Under 30, Deans started out running a site called Gaming Reviews Live. He was approached by Lygo and Turtle Beach to review the latter’s headsets, but this soon evolved into a trial work period with Turtle Beach at last year’s GAMEfest and he eventually got a permanent role. Deans quickly took Lygo’s Facebook following from 200 people to nearly 7,000. He has also expanded Lygo’s YouTube presence, creating a series of videos that best show off the premium headsets.