I sat down with Jeremy Griggs, founder and owner of Geeks + Gamers!
Blabbering Collector: How and when did Geeks + Gamers begin?
Jeremy: I started to think about it in 2011; the idea was a video game tournament. It officially began in 2012.
I grew up playing arcade games, where you’re playing with another person and there is a crowd reaction when someone wins and loses; there is a lot of bantering back and forth… shit talking. This was around the same time as Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Black-Ops 1 days where everything was online, on Xbox Live, and I kept telling my friends that, “This would be cool if we could have a place where we could actually play console games in person.” Just imagine playing COD against other people in person; you could roast each other in person, rather than online! So I started to get these ideas, and at that time I was working in retail and had roommates and didn’t have a lot of money.
I told my friends about my ideas, and they told their friends, and suddenly people were coming up to me saying I could borrow their console and video games for the tournament! Enough people came up to me that I made contact with someone in an old Sam’s Club Building, and I was able to rent it out. I promoted the tournament through GameStop, handing out flyers, and GameStop would put the flyers in people’s bags – something that would never happen in today’s corporate world.
That first tournament happened, and whilst I don’t think it was a success, we had a lot of organizational problems, as we didn’t know what we were doing. But people loved it! People came together. That was the beginning of Geeks + Gamers, without the name and branding.
I ended up doing a couple more tournaments that were getting traction, and along the way I started to throw ideas out there, figuring out a name: “Calling All Gamers” and “Geeks + Gamers.” All of my friends thought Geeks + Gamers was better. The logo was a play on Green Arrow from Batman: The Animated Series. I wanted the two “G’s” to look like a superhero mask.
BC: What were your original goals for G+G?
J: The original goal was to make a hangout gamer bar, but without the alcohol, as I don’t drink. A place where people can hang out, eat pizza, and play games, maybe even turn it into a retail store as well. There were a lot of obstacles, like getting a building and business licenses. It was too complicated, and where I lived at the time, there were already a couple of places that were popping up that were similar in theory to what I wanted to do. They had more money, connections, and capital. There was no way I could compete with that.
BC: What are your new goals for G+G?
J: My goals are going to continue to evolve and take things to the next level. I’m inspired by The Daily Wire, creating their own films and creating their own products. We do have one video game out, although it wasn’t a direct G+G production; it was made by a fan. The game was called Fact Blast and it starred me, and I threw facts at people. I loved it, so I brought the fan onto the team, put some resources behind him, and we are currently working on a second game, Cancel Catastrophe. That’s just the beginning phases of different avenues that we want to go in. I want to branch out. I don’t want to be a YouTuber forever. Not to say being a YouTuber is bad; it’s great and wonderful. But I want to do bigger and better things beyond that, and create our own entertainment, which we crucially need right now, in today’s world.
BC: What’s your favorite thing about G+G?
J: The money! No, I’m kidding. I’m a lifelong sports fan, so there is a competitive element to what I do. I could have just been “Jeremy” or “DDayCobra” and just have done all of this by myself, and not worry about the team element and personalities, but I like having a team!
I like building a group of individual people who can be themselves, voice their own opinions, and not have to worry about what my own opinion is. I’m proud of the team element that we have; I’m proud that we have so many different voices and individuals that want to be part of this and want to grow G+G! It’s amazing because I don’t even know how I did it, how we got to this point!
BC: What is your least favorite thing about G+G?
J: I don’t have a life anymore. My life is so intertwined with the online world, it is a blessing and a curse. When I had a day job, I would come home after work and just hang out and relax. I don’t really have time to play video games or watch shows. When I do, I’m playing during a stream, or I’m watching it because the viewers want me to. My personal time is very, very limited right now. It’s draining at times. It’s not a bad thing, but that’s my least favorite. There isn’t a chance to breathe.
BC: My followup to the followup is, what would you improve?
J: To make things more sustainable. We really rely on breaking news content. I want more evergreen content, something that is relevant today, two years from now, and even five years from now. I want to create content that will have the same entertainment value. Right now, I don’t have time, as everyday there is something occurring, where I need to cover it. I don’t want to rely on that.
BC: How do you separate personal time and work time when you are your own boss?
J: I don’t really separate. I’m lucky enough to have a supportive family. Even when I’m on vacation, I’m still working; I have to make sure to have the highest paid WiFi package. I have two phones! They are always with me, I’m always on them, I travel with my equipment. I haven’t mastered the personal and work time; it’s all one!
BC: How do you keep your family out of the limelight?
J: I learned very early on that the internet will use anything against you that you can find. I had mentioned them early on on YouTube, but as the traction increased, I moved away from mentioning and referencing them at all. The internet can say whatever they want about me, but I won’t give them ammunition about stuff that can hurt me. If you don’t want your personal life utilized against you, don’t bring it to the internet.
BC: Do you like Nickelback?
J: I actually like some of their songs. “Photograph” is a great song! I can’t say I’m a fan of the band overall, but that one album, All The Right Reasons, is great.
BC: How did you learn not to take personal attacks personally?
J: It was a weird thing; I had to learn how to talk to critics and fans of the channel, but I never got offended by it. I feel like roasting people is part of life. If my friends are calling me up and aren’t insulting me, I know something is seriously wrong. If we are talking about celebrities labeling their fans something negative, I don’t take that personally; I just think it’s disrespectful and irresponsible.
BC: If/when it does happen, how do you get over it?
J: It doesn’t bother me. It’s like Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean: “But you have heard of me!” I could be the worst pirate ever, but you still know who I am!
BC: How’s Florida life?
J: Florida is amazing. I was born and raised in Alabama – well actually, I was born in Georgia, but lived in Alabama until I was fifteen. I’m not the biggest fan of Miami, though; it’s just too packed with people. I love my governor! The humidity does suck, but I have a pool and I live pretty close to the beach. I never go to the theme parks in the summer. I prefer being cold to being hot, which is weird, as I live in Florida.
BC: Do you like to collect? If so, do you have a focus?
J: I do like to collect retro. Retro toys, G.I. Joes, video games. My focus is G.I. Joes, as it’s nostalgic to my childhood.
BC: If you could bring any character with you on an adventure, who would you bring?
J: Superman. I’ve always admired him and what he stands for! He’s my favorite; he’s not a drinker, and I don’t like flying airplanes. I’d be 100% okay flying with Superman. I can’t cuddle him or ride him though. There is no good answer on how to fly with him… you know what, he can just get me a hammock and I’ll hang in it and he can carry me.
BC: How does it feel knowing you brought a group of people all over the world together?
J: That’s the best part of G+G, people from all over the world, with different beliefs and opinions! Your opinions shouldn’t define who you are as a person and how you are received in a group of people. In the crazy world we are in right now, what we have in G+G is how the world should operate. We can all come together and have a nice, cohesive team.
BC: What would you like to tell your viewers and audience?
J: Moving forward, the only way G+G can take things to the next level is due to all of the audience. We bring guests onto G+G and they get a bump in their subscribers, and they reach out and say that the G+G audience is incredibly supportive. I love knowing that the audience will respond, good or bad. The power of the audience is the most important thing. It’s only because of the people who support us that we are able to do this. The beautiful thing about G+G is that you don’t have to like me, or Ryan, but you will find someone that you’ll like if you spend enough time looking.
BC: Have you thought of a new channel yet?
J: We’ve had an outdoor channel planned for a long time. It’s still being discussed. I don’t want to just throw it out there and have two videos. We want a plan, and logistically, it is a lot harder to plan out this channel. Hunting is a little bit more difficult to get into on YouTube.
BC: What’s your favorite thing off of the kids menu?
J: Chicken nuggets, of course. Everywhere I go is nuggets. I love them. It has to be with BBQ sauce. Macaroni and cheese is great too.
BC: Favorite film?
BC: Favorite ice cream?
BC: J.J.’s Star Trek or J.J.’s Star Wars?
J: J.J.’s Star Trek
BC: Favorite cheese?
BC: Wizard or Jedi?
J: Wizard. Jedi have too many codes.
BC: Cowboy boots or crocs?
J: Oooooo. Uhhh. I don’t wear cowboy boots, I wear hunting boots, which are waterproof. But they aren’t cowboy boots. I guess I’m gonna have to go with crocs.
BC: Rey Skywalker or Rose Tico?
J: *chuckles* Rose Tico.
BC: Automatic or manual transmission?
J: Manual. As God intended.
BC: Favorite composer?
J: Hans Zimmer. Interstellar is my favorite movie, and I love that score in general. Man of Steel sucks but that score is one of the best soundtracks ever! I listen to scores of films and video games all the time. I love those! John Williams is the GOAT.
BC: Pineapple on pizza?
J: HELL NO. Cancel Gary from Nerdrotic.
BC: Brie Larson’s left foot or Frosk’s 2 front teeth?
J: *Inhales* I’m going to go with Brie’s left foot. I can use that to motivate Lethal Lightning to make better content if he knows I was near Brie’s foot. That’s the only positive I can find.
BC: Favorite destination?
J: Once upon a time it was Walt Disney World. Not anymore. Orlando is my favorite city, so I’ll go with that.
BC: Dodge or Ford?
J: Ford. I drive a F-150.
BC: Favorite Hollywood Chris?
J: Probably Pratt. He’s such a good guy. I like his movies.
BC: What’s with the beard?
J: I don’t know! I shaved a few weeks ago, and then I did the Vegas trip and I just don’t even notice it much! What do you see on camera right now?
BC: It kinda looks like fuzz.
J: Yeah I’ve never committed to trying to grow a full beard.
BC: Neither have I.
J: I don’t know if I can! It’s a lack of not shaving. I wasn’t paying attention to my personal channel (DDayCobra) and Ryan was closing in on 100,000 subs on his channel, and I wanted to beat him! So I just decided to make a bunch of videos and to not shave until I did! When the internet tells me to do something, I do the opposite. It’s become a bigger deal to everyone else than to me! I don’t have a good answer.
BC: Alabama or Florida?
J: In what respect?
BC: In general.
J: Well I’m a lifelong Alabama football fan. I will always be. But in terms of living, Florida. Beaches, the weather! There isn’t a lot to do in Alabama. Growing up in Alabama my dad was like, “You’re an Alabama football fan or you can get the fuck out.” And I was like, “Dad, I’m eight.” And my dad was like, “I don’t care.”
BC: Disney or Universal?
J: Universal. And I never thought I would say that five or six years ago. Disney was such a magical place. There was so much to do!
BC: Lightsaber color?
BC: Really? I thought green!
J: The green theme of G+G was because of Xbox! Everyone thought I’m just this Nintendo fanboy, and it’s true, I do love Nintendo! Xbox 360 was the definitive gaming system when I created G+G. Everyone was playing Halo, COD, etc. I went with the green colors to connect gamers to the games. Blue was always my favorite color, but I just thought green would better represent console gamers.