From posting FIFA videos to YouTube in his bedroom in 2008 to putting on one of the biggest boxing shows in history, Olajide William “JJ” Olatunji, or KSI as you’re more likely to know him, has been on quite the journey. As well as being the UK’s 2nd most subscribed to YouTuber (now defunct, One Direction still hold the top spot) JJ has built an empire that has seen him dabble in the rap game, launch an acting career and generally become one of the most in-demand stars of his generation. Along the way, his love for games has stayed true. We sat down with JJ ahead of his star turn at DSS Gaming Challenge at The Dubai Mall, brought to you by ITP Live, to pick his brains about all things video games...
Hi JJ, so what’s your earliest gaming memory?
It has to be from GoldenEye on the N64. I was a badman with the Golden Gun.
What’s your favourite game of all time?
My favourite game of all time has to be FIFA 12. It was the game that truly started my YouTube career. I had tons of fun with it, especially doing my Race To Division One series on it.
How would you describe your relationship over the years?
I’ve always loved games – from seven years old to now. I’m still an avid gamer and play them in my spare time, but I don’t post as much of it on YouTube anymore. I just finished Detroit on PS4. Wow, what a game. I was locked into it as soon as I started playing.
What’s the worst part of the gaming scene?
The mistreatment of female games. I’ll admit that in my younger days when I didn’t know better I definitely added fuel to the flames of this issue. But I grew up and realised how misled I’d been about the subject. I feel over time we’ve come on leaps and bounds when it comes to the progress of accepting female games. But I think there’s still work to be done – like stop calling them girl gamers. They’re just gamers, right? I think we need more female role models in the industry to help lead the way.
How do you think gaming has changed over the years?
I was there at the beginning of gaming on YouTube, and a lot has changed for the better. More people are interested in playing than ever before. Back in the day, there was a stigma attached to playing video games, but now they’re widely accepted as a great source of entertainment. Plus there are so many ways to get into games compared to a decade ago.
What's the best part about gaming?
There are lots. The online aspect, for one. Having that ability to play with or against other people from around the world. I love the interesting stories and concepts that the developers are capable of these days. I’m also big on the development of graphics, too.
If you had to make an original game what would it be like?
If I knew this, I’d be a millionaire!
Describe what think gaming will look like 50 years from now?
Have you seen Ready Player One? Something like that. I mean, it would be alright like that, wouldn’t it?
What are you most looking forward to?
I absolutely love Dubai. I’m especially looking forward to the clubbing scene and the amazing food. I’m training so I won’t be able to go too crazy, but it will be fun nevertheless.
Are you ready to take on the gaming influencers from the region?
I was born ready!
DSS Gaming Challenge with KSI
When: Saturday, June 30
Where: Star Atrium, The Dubai Mall
Contact: +971 4 444 3316