Caddicarus Interview 1

Here at Push Square Towers, we're constantly blithering on about the most famous game developers and designers, but there's always been a hole in our coverage: the players. We're talking about the fans – the people that love the brand as much as we do. Ultimately, we're referring to folk just like you. In this new series, we'll be catching up with everyone from prominent cosplayers to Trophy hunters – but we'll be kicking things off with YouTube star Caddicarus. With a growing audience of 350,000 subscribers, the popular personality entertains thousands of PlayStation fans every day. But enough of our chit-chat – let's allow the man to introduce himself, shall we?

Caddicarus Interview 2

Push Square: We guess that the best thing would be not for us to introduce you, but for you to introduce yourself. What's your name, what do you do, and where are you from?

James Caddick: Hello! Well, firstly, thank you so much for reaching out to me – it's a pleasure to be here! My name is James Caddick (no middle name). I make heavily scripted and edited comedic video game review videos on YouTube for a living, and I'm from the UK. More specifically, the county Oxfordshire. However, due to my last name, throughout my whole life I've been called 'Caddy' from friends, and even school teachers – so that's what everyone calls me!

You have multiple types of video series, such as 'Caddy's Retrospectives' and 'Current Quickies'. Could you give a brief rundown of this content and what else you produce?

I have five main shows that I work on on a weekly basis. 'The Caddicarus Show' – which is my main show – is an episodic series based around retro games (mostly PSone) that's easily the hardest to make in terms of scripting, production, and editing. I also make 'Top 10' videos about anything and everything from PSone game soundtracks to [what characters] in video games stink like s*** more than others.

The third show that I do is known as 'Tinker Time', which is me sitting in a seat next to a fake TV while I talk about a particular random game I've played that week. Then, for the last two you mentioned, 'Current Quickies' is a show where I play the most recent blockbuster games and review them while I talk as quickly as humanly possible, and 'Caddy's Retrospectives' is a show where I cover the first three games of any franchise at all from any generation, which is much more factual and historical than the other shows. Does this sound like a lot? That's because it is. And I'm the only one working on this stuff every week, only getting help for filming from my best friend Olly Ross!

Caddy assumes his fast-talking, boisterous alter-ego for his 'Current Quickies' video series

How did you start out creating videos? What inspired or motivated you to get into it?

I've always been a huge fan of cinema, and playing video games has been a huge part of my life from an early age, so I was always hoping to work in one of those two industries when I got older. Unfortunately, the sad truth of life is that it's incredibly difficult to get into those industries, let alone build a stable career out of it – especially in the UK. But that didn't stop me from making random (and horrible) YouTube videos while working a few part-time jobs in September 2011. I did this for an entire year, only gaining 157 subscribers after about 20 videos, and so I started considering shutting my channel down and thinking more realistically with my life choices!

However, after watching YouTube one day, I discovered NormalBoots, a collaborative website full of video game YouTube content creators like PeanutButterGamer, Continue?, and JonTron. I became inspired from what I saw and decided to try my hand at video game reviewing as a last attempt/farewell for my channel, but much to my surprise, it went more successfully than anything else I ever uploaded, so I was persuaded to stay at it. After that, I made friends with YouTubers DidYouKnowGaming and The Completionist, and my channel slowly grew from their interactions. I got slowly better and quicker at scripting, editing, and presenting the show, and then this became my accidental career in April 2013!

Video editing is harder and more time consuming than one would be led to think. What was it like learning the ropes when you started out making videos? How do you look back on your earliest work?

Tell me about it! When I started off, I was working about three other part-time jobs while making a three-minute video every two weeks. The jobs I had weren't too time consuming, but it still took absolutely ages for me to make them. I'm completely self-taught in video editing, scripting, and acting, so finding the confidence and time to just do whatever I wanted and express myself was extremely restrictive at first – and very disheartening when not many people watched my stuff in the first place.

As the months went on, I got gradually better at everything I do, meaning I got quicker [and] could upload longer content a little more often. Today, I'm conceptualising, scripting, recording footage, filming, recording voiceover, and editing videos all in one week – week after week! As far as early works go, to be honest, I'm not fond of anything I make at all. After a week of constant work on a particular project and watching myself back being awkward over and over again, I just get sick of seeing it! Although, my earliest game review stuff literally makes me cringe just thinking about them. I hate seeing how sloppily made they are compared to what I can do nowadays! I'm still proud of what I make, though, and at the end of the day, people enjoy watching them. That's all I hoped for in the first place.

In the appropriate setting of an abandoned cabin, Caddy lists his favourite horror-themed video game songs

Are there are any shocking, hilarious, memorable, or even frustrating moments or stories during the making of any video that you like to tell others about to this day?

[There are] six of which speak to my mind specifically. The first was during my 'Santa Claus Saves the Earth' video, when I had to have the ending filmed while I mimed along to a song. I was walking down a few alleyways where some elderly couples live and walk dogs regularly, and they looked so confused and thinking I was going to kidnap one of their dogs.

The second one was in my 'South Park' video, where the introduction was filmed near my local activity park in the early evening – meaning I had chosen to do it when school had just finished for dozens of teens. My opening line was me screaming a line after running up a hill, and the amount of retakes that needed to happen because of kids laughing at me or getting in the way was quite incredible.

The third was during the 'Croc' video, when the entire intro was filmed with my aunt and great aunt standing right behind the camera. I don't even have to explain how awkward that made me feel, but I suppose that that serves me right for filming at such a bad time!

Fourth, during 'The Grinch' video, there was the scene I actually put in the video where I shouted, "Merry Christmas!" at a random stranger, which caused the natural response of, "F*** you!" to be yelled back. That was lovely.

Fifth, during the 'LSD' video, the intro was filmed in an industrial estate, and this old, fat businessman in a hard hat didn't like that at all. For the whole intro, he stood in the background, staring the whole time. We managed to keep him out, but wow, that was strange. And finally, I'll never forget the ending of the 'Bratz' video. My girlfriend's three incredible kids did such a good job in that outro, and the editing session for that video was so much fun, I can't even describe it.

We've noticed with most of the games you cover that you have a passion for all things PlayStation. Why is that? Does that tie into your history with the PSone and PS2? What makes the company and its products stand out to you?

I do have a passion for PlayStation, for sure, but I'm also not going to be that person who says, "Sony can do no wrong," because that definitely isn't true. Every company in gaming has made mistakes – some worse than others – and Sony has definitely messed up in the past, so I accept that. The main reason I have stuck with Sony for all these years is because – as a heavy console gamer – I've simply always admired Sony's exclusives on the PSone, PS2, PS3, and PS4 – even though the first year of the [newest] system's launch has been horrifically shallow.

The PSone was the system that introduced me and carried me throughout my entire gaming life, and I love it to pieces because of that. It taught me many life lessons, gave me plenty of enjoyment over the years, introduced me to so many great franchises, and became my haven as a child when I was upset or confused. I'm definitely not a Nintendo kid, even though I do love Nintendo – and I feel like one of the few people on YouTube that can say I never owned a Nintendo home console until I was 18!

Caddicarus Interview 3

Do you hold a particular game developer in high esteem that develops for Sony's platforms?

If we're talking exclusively for Sony, then without a question, it's Naughty Dog. Those guys are just freaking incredible with great games on every single generation so far. Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, The Last of Us…they're one of those companies that genuinely still excite me whenever they announce anything because I know that the game that they create will be beautifully crafted to the best of the developer's abilities, and not just shovelled out for a quick buck. I'm not going to say they're perfect, but I have more confidence in their products than any other company!

What are some of your favourite games on the PlayStation 4 and Vita that were released in 2014?

Unfortunately, I can't speak for PS4 [exclusives] too highly since most of the games of 2014 were multiplatform. And as for Vita? Oh my goodness, Sony seems to have left it to die. However, highlights for PlayStation in 2014 would be inFAMOUS: Second Son, P.T., LittleBigPlanet 3, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, and The Last of Us Remastered. I'm hoping to say more than that for 2015, Sony! As for anything non-exclusive, there were a few gems, such as Alien: Isolation, Metro: Redux, Strider, Far Cry 4, and The Evil Within. The Vita hasn't had anything at all, but I have been playing a lot of The Swapper and Grim Fandango. Watch Dogs was okay, I suppose. I kind of regret the score I gave it months ago, though!

Looking back in recent memory, what would you say are Sony's biggest successes and failures as a company in the game industry? What do you think they should do, focus on, and address in 2015?

Either forget the Vita or make more games for it. I hate being dangled with the Vita. It's easily the best portable system I have ever played and yet Sony seems to have just left it behind. I also think that any exclusives that come out in 2015 for either the Vita or PS4 should be truly using the systems to their limits. I'm all for remasters of classic games, [like] Metro: Redux, The Last of Us: Remastered, and Resident Evil HD Remaster – they're all fantastic. But they're very "safe". Nintendo brought us Bayonetta 2 last year on the Wii U – a system that is much more underpowered – and delivered me one of my favourite games ever made that also manages to run at 1080p and 60 frames-per-second. I want to be able to say that for the supposed "most powerful home console" ever made!

With a more informal video review format, Caddy has reviewed Knack in a 'Tinker Time' episode

We noticed that you're a man of many talents since you play some instruments. Besides gaming and video production, what other work and hobbies might you engage in with your spare time?

Gaming is my job and drumming is my way of relaxing! I'm self-taught in piano, guitar, bass, and harmonica, so there's that as well. I do love to travel in any vehicle, and I always like going to places. Not for any reason, just to go to places. I love taking in anything around me – the atmosphere of a particular city or town. I like changes, and repetitiveness bores and depresses me. Hence, travelling, walking around, little things like that…they help keep me sane sometimes. Eating is always near the top of my list as well. Especially burgers. I'm going die if I don't control that.

On the subject of music, what would you say are some of your favourite songs or soundtracks from PlayStation games? Do you play any of them on an instrument?

I've actually already made a Top 20 list about my favourite PSone soundtracks! I won't spoil the list for you – but suffice to say, the PSone has some of the best game soundtracks ever made. And yes, I do tend to drum to a few sometimes – mostly Spyro soundtracks for the obvious reason of Stewart Copeland! Although, the NES has some epic drumming/guitar soundtracks – even some great piano tracks. They're always fun to work out and play.

YouTube gaming channels have come so far in so few years. What are your thoughts on being a significant part of this aspect of gamer culture? How do you feel about interacting with a huge community of people that love you and your videos?

I feel strange that so many people care about anything that comes out of my mouth! I wouldn't even listen to me, so why thousands upon thousands choose to take my advice, I will never know. Our community, however, is fantastic. Everyone on Twitter and Facebook that follows me are some of the most supportive, loyal, and kind people I could ever wish for behind my content.

Whenever I head to a convention, it's a very bizarre feeling meeting some of these people face-to-face and shaking their hands/giving them hugs for the first time – especially because, on the occasion, I can feel some of them physically shaking from talking to me! I'm just a normal guy who works and pays his bills; I'm no different from anyone else on the planet. If I were not [making videos], I'd still be working behind a till at Waitrose. It's strange and fascinating how some of these people react to being around you, especially when I would be absolutely nowhere without any of the people I ever meet. They are the reason that am doing what I am doing – so as far as I'm concerned, they are the ones I feel like I want to bow down to!

Caddy prepares to “slaughter” Dalmatians 3 in his most-viewed video: the first to breach one million views

One of the most common questions we bet that you receive is about how to start out making videos as a fledgling YouTuber. There are a lot of eager gamers that would like to do what you do, but it's not easy work! In order to pursue this goal, what are some basic tips and pointers you would give to them?

Yes, you are correct! The first thing I ever tell anyone that asks me this is, unfortunately, the hard truth. If you want to do this – do not plan this as your career. Some of the best YouTubers I know have had a small amount of subscribers for years, and aren't even partnered yet. This is not an easy industry to get into, whatever you choose to do. Going into [it] thinking that you will get paid, as far as I'm concerned, is extremely misguided – and will only frustrate and disappoint you if nothing happens after years of hard work. Remember, I was [doing this] for a year before I got 157 subscribers. Now, after just over three years, I'm on 350,000. It either happens, or it doesn't, and no matter how good you are, that's the cold, hard truth.

If you plan on doing this seriously, have a plan B. I was working at a supermarket, for instance! Other than that, the other things I can say are that you should just do what you want to do. Make your own content and don't steal other people's jokes or ideas. Take inspiration from a mix of people, and throw in your own personality and/or sense of humour. Listen to constructive criticism and learn from it. Engage with potential audience members. Teach yourself new editing tricks every day. Find something to improve on with your own content every day. Don't rush content for the sake of constant content. Quality over quantity. Don't overwork yourself. Stay true to what you believe in and what you like to make. Practice, practice, practice. If you aren't very confident? Find more things to talk confidently about. Everyone has a confident side. If you have a belief, you have confidence – it's just expressing yourself that needs tweaking. First impressions are important, yes, but no one is perfect and there's room for improvement for anyone, so don't beat yourself up. Other than that, I suppose that's all I can say! If I can do what I do, anybody can. Remember that!

What PlayStation games are you looking forward to this year?

Pretty much all of the PS4 blockbusters: The Order: 1886, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Bloodborne, Batman: Arkham Knight, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Tearaway: Unfolded, Mortal Kombat X, Tekken 7, Hotline Miami 2, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witness…there's a lot, and a lot more I'm forgetting to mention, I'm sure! Either way, it's looking like a good year!

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Would you like to tell anything to the readers of Push Square before we close out?

No, no, thank you for having me! It's been great answering your questions. I suppose all I can say to the readers is…if it's your birthday today while reading this interview, then happy frickin' birthday to you, and please remember to stay beautiful! Farewell!

That concludes our interview with James 'Caddy' Caddick. To find out about what his favourite and most hated PSone titles are, his thoughts on various Sony franchises, and more, check out and subscribe to his YouTube channel.