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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

5 Minutes With... Klepto Un1corn!

Klepto Un1corn is a Scottish streamer who is currently working with Scottish Autism to run weekly gaming sessions for young adults and adults with autism. I grabbed a quick chat with the streamer to ask him about these sessions and what gaming means to him.

Indy: Simon, thank you so much for chatting with me. How did you come to be involved with Scottish Autism?

Simon: I initially came into contact with Scottish Autism through a friend, I was doing fundraising last year with viewers being able to pick the charity based on who became the “Hype Boss” (A feature on stream). A friend that I have known all my life picked Scottish Autism due to his son being diagnosed. My wife's cousin is also on the spectrum.

Indy: Scottish Autism is definitely a worthy charity to support. These sessions you run, what are they like?

Simon: A typical Session will be for 4 hours, typically between 3/4 are in the chat at any one time and on average there are around 10-20 different people across the 4 hours.

So far we have had 2 sessions the first of which was on A Total War Saga: Thrones of Brittania and this was picked by myself due to me being a History geek and a Total War streamer. This session was great and there was a lot of conversation about the history of the game and of viking age britain. This session was more similar to my regular streams where I was playing a single player game and chatting with the viewers.

For the second session we played Apex Legends. In this one I “squadded” up with some of the people in the group and we ran games for 4 hours cycling in and out people who wanted to play.

Indy: I'm pleased to see that you're playing a variety of games in these sessions. I must admit I expected to hear you would mostly be playing first person shooters but the variety will really help appeal to a wider variety of gamers. How do you decide which games to play during these sessions?

Simon: Game choice started as one that i picked, I had picked the game due to me being a Total War streamer. The game covers the viking era of british history and as I love history and talking about history I thought this would be a great place to start. After that one had finished I put a poll up in the group to allow the members to select the next game and Apex Legends was the winner. I ran another Poll during the last session and it looks like Among Us will be the next choice. All games have to fall within the PEGI 16 category as well.

Indy: Ah so players can suggest games too then, Among Us should be a lot of fun! Now in a social environment like this I feel like participants could become overwhelmed easily. What measures are in place if that should happen?

Simon: I have a set of links provided by Scottish Autism to allow members to have access to support directly from the Scottish Autism team. I also have a lot of experience in working with those who have autism so I am able to draw on that personal experience to try to help out that way. I have also let the group know that if any of them ever feels like they need someone to talk to they can message me and I will help any way I can.

Indy: I'm really glad to hear that! I know that sometimes I get overwhelmed playing online so it's great that there are measures in place to help. I'm sure these sessions will make such a difference to people with autism who may be feeling isolated. On a more personal note though how important a role have video games played for you during lockdown?

Simon: Video games have been hugely important during lockdown. I have personally found that Lockdown has seen my mental health challenged greatly, however video games offer an outlet/escape. As i mentioned earlier I play a lot of the Total War series and these games allow me to focus myself in the game and often allow all my worries just drift away.. They have also functioned as a way to maintain a routine for me, during the first lockdown my work didn’t have a working from home set up so we were left with nothing to do. Through video games and my streaming I was able to maintain a work style routine.

Indy: It's encouraging to hear that video games have had such a positive impact on your life. I know I definitely agree with you, without worlds to escape into life would be very bleak indeed, especially right now. It would seem that video games have more to offer than just being entertainment.

Simon: Yes, 100% Video games definitely have a role past just entertainment. I personally have found that the games I play, Total War, have fuelled a love for history in myself. I have found myself learning more and more with each game that released. I also experienced anger issues growing up and my school counselor found that by allowing me to divert my anger into games in the FPS genre I was able to keep my anger in check in day to day life. On top of all of this, games allow us to connect to those who we never had normally connected with. As an example I have met many people through gaming, one of my streaming friends I met through Apex Legends and I met another good friend through Battlefield. Games also allow us to stay in contact with those we have already met, this has become increasingly important with lockdown preventing us meeting in person.

Indy: Simon, thank you so much for chatting with me. Just one more question for you, and this might be the hardest one yet! What is your favourite game of all time?

Simon: This one is surprisingly difficult as I play such a range of games, if i had to name one i would have to break it into a top 3.

3 - Civilization 5/6 , these games are fantastic and can engross me for hours, I enjoy playing 5 against my wife and 6 against friends

2 - Battlefield 4, This is, in my opinion the best FPS game out there, it allowed me to meet loads of friends and has so many memories for me

1- Total War: Rome II - This was the game that cemented my love for the Total War series, I was already in love with the games but this cemented that. I am a sucker for roman history and there is something quite soothing about role playing as a General of Rome and doing everything possible to defend Rome and expand our influence.

If you want to hear more from Klepto Un1corn or even catch a stream his Facebook profile can be found here and his Twitter is here. Simon is also doing a year long fundraiser for Scottish Autism, if he raises £1000 he will be bungee jumping live (Covid permitting, naturally). If you want to see a unicorn bungee jump then think about supporting this excellent charity. If you want to join one of the Scottish Autism gaming sessions, details are here!

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