A FORMER Henley schoolboy has been named one of the video games industry’s brightest young stars.
Henry Greer, 25, from Nettlebed, was included in this year’s “30 under 30” list compiled by Market for Computer and Video Games magazine.
The annual list names the 30 most influential people in the industry aged 29 or below.
Mr Greer, who attended Gillotts School, where he was taught ICT by Henley Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak, launches events for games and consoles.
Earlier this year, he promoted shooting game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 by arranging for HMV in Oxford Street to be “invaded” by dozens of actors dressed as blood-stained zombies.
He also transformed Peckforton Castle in Cheshire into a fantasy medieval setting to publicise role-playing game RuneScape 3.
Mr Greer, who studied ICT at The Henley College, took a degree in digital media at the University of Portsmouth and became an avid player of the internet-based shooting game Counter-Strike and was chosen to play it professionally for Sky TV’s Championship Gaming Series. He represented the UK as captain of a team of five and travelled across Europe and America to play tournaments.
This paid his tuition fees and built up his contacts within the industry. After graduating, he immediately landed a job with video games events company NJ Live.
His clients include Microsoft and Activision, publishers of the Call of Duty series.
Mr Greer said he was surprised to be included on the list. “I’ve only been working in the industry for three years so it’s nice to see my work being appreciated and acknowledged,” he said.
“When there’s an event on, it’s not uncommon for me to get up at 4am and not go back to bed for 24 hours. It sounds like a dream job but there’s also a lot of stress involved.”
Mr Greer said Cllr Gawrysiak had been a big influence on him.
He said: “He was very eccentric and one of the only teachers whose lesson I actually enjoyed. He was enthusiastic about ICT at a time before the internet really took off.
“He really helped me find a passion for the subject and inspired me to keep pushing in that direction.”
Mr Greer fell in love with computer games when he was given a Sega MegaDrive console at the age of three.
He said: “The stereotype that gamers are geeks and nerds is an old cliché that needs to be done away with.
“The Call of Duty series makes more money than Harry Potter because everyone is a gamer now, whether they’re playing on a console or a smartphone. It’s definitely not just for teenage boys any more.”
Mr Greer grew up in Nettlebed with his father Simon, mother Grainne, sister Jordy, 22, and brother Jamie, 13, who goes to Langtree School in Woodcote. He now lives in London.