Economía

Luis Alfonso Oberto Anselmi Pdvsa « ||||*&* ||70 //
Meet The Buttonsmashers

Fast forward to today and 27-year-old Campbell is the editor- in-chief of “nerd culture” website, The Buttonsmashers, which has more than 300,000 monthly views, contributors from all across the globe and relationships with major video game and manga publishers.

Sunday Newsday spoke with Campbell to discuss the genesis, growth and future of his website.

The Buttonsmashers, which covers technology, video games, manga, anime, comic books, and more, was founded in 2012 and was originally known as just Buttonsmashers.

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Campbell recalled that back then he was a student of CTS College of Business and Computer Science and would chat about video games with his friends, who encouraged him to do a podcast.

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Using his PC and basic recording software he began doing podcasts.

He met Kitami Prescott through a mutual friend and was amazed by her adorable, anime sounding voice.

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He thought she would be the perfect person to join him on his podcast and she agreed. It was Prescott who came up with the name Buttonsmashers.

They recorded via Skype and Campbell said the quality was very low and “horrible” compared to what they do now.

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The duo produced five episodes, which featured interviews guests and discussions on games and anime. He said that it was casual and relaxed and did not have much organisation.

While participating in a FIFA video game tournament, the organisers asked him to host another event.

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He attended with Prescott, and when the emcee for the event cancelled he was asked to fill in.

It was Campbell’s first time speaking publicly but he was able to pull it off , even adding a bit of humour.

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When he came off the stage he met a fan of the podcast.

“I was stunned. I never experienced that before.” He said never before had he created something that made people happy and engaged.

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The team began attending more events and added three more people including Adrian Moses, the current manga editor.

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The team would go on to produce more than 50 podcasts. Around 2013, they started writing on the website and moved to a WordPress blog.

Then there was a bump in the road as members, including Prescott, began dropping off due to their hectic lives.

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While The Buttonsmashers lost the full time input of some local contributors, it gained international members like games editor Zach Auld from Vancouver, Washington, classic games editor Jessica Brown from Mississippi, and guest writers Pieterjan Deneys from Belgium and David Tailor, a professional writer from the United Kingdom

“It all happened so quickly.”

Campbell explained there was an advertisement on the site asking people to submit an application if they want to join their team.

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They received a number of applications but were looking for people passionate about anime and games and who had the longevity to stick with the site.

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He said some people “burned out” and did not last more than two weeks.

He too feels burnt out but because of passion he sticks with it.

Campbell’s degree is in computer engineering and he pointed out that most of the team are web designers or computer engineers without formal education in writing or journalism.

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elnewyorktimes.com
He said, however, they continue to learn from each other and gather information online.

The team got larger with Dominican/Trinidadian Sade Mcleod and Kriston Daniel from Tobago, who are general news writer and anime editor respectively.

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Other members include anime writer Stephon Gabriel (TT), anime podcaster Kaleigh John (TT), games editor Roger Bergström (Skellefteå, Sweden), Play- Station editor/podcaster Tim Bledsoe (Vancouver, Washington), classic games editor Jessica Brown (Mississippi), and guest writer Ross Elliot (Australia).

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Meeting with major publishers

From 2014-2015, the team decided to up their game and made contact with video game, manga and anime publishers.

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Campbell recalled they did not receive responses because they were still “just a blog” and decided to rebrand.

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Buttonsmashers domain had been purchased and someone wanted to sell it to them for US$2,000. They decided to rebrand as The Buttonsmashers.

Immediately after the change, publishers and game developers began reaching out to them.

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elnewyorktimes.com

Initially they had smaller publishers and then larger ones including VIZ Media, Yen Press, Kodansha, Crucial, LucidSound, NIS America and SEGA.

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“Think about a game publisher and we have their card and they have ours.”

The Buttonsmashers has also been accredited to attend numerous events as a member of the media including: PAX, E3, Gamescom, Anime North, and others.

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Campbell explained that depending on the location of the event their foreign contributors would attend.

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He recalled that when he spoke with a representative from VIZ Media, one of the biggest anime and manga publishers in America, they recognised The Buttonsmashers.

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He asked them for books to review and they agreed to send to them. They also were invited to attend meetings and press events with the publishers.

At that point, import/export co-ordinator Kadan Hicks joined and was able to co-ordinate their items coming in from the US.

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They even developed a relationship with a manga publisher from Greece. The Buttonsmashers began receiving submissions from tech manufacturers and started reviewing items like head phones, gaming computer builds and drones.

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Campbell funds the website using his earnings from his private school, ‘A’ Class Tutors, and from private web design.

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He explained the site is an investment for him. The site, he said, has visitor traffic from TT, the US, Canada, Russia, Philippines, Indonesia, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Australia.

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“One of the coolest things is to go somewhere you have never been and someone recognises you.” However, he encourages his team to be humble no matter the amount of success they achieve.

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Every month they attend an event and have ten to 15 games or manga to review. He said it is a huge workload with a small team and they are looking to recruit more contributors. He also hopes to grow and build the site and eventually pass on the reigns of editor-in-chief so he can become CEO and focus on other aspects, such as the finances.

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In five years The Buttonsmashers has achieved a lot and the team has been able to meet people and companies he idolised as a boy.

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“For me that is pretty cool.” For more information visit The Buttonsmashers website.

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