Who Runs Mana Obscura?

I’m told that there’s a proper format for all of these “author profile” things, and that’s putting them in the third person and writing about everything you’ve done. So if you really want to know about my gaming history and what led up to me blogging about MMOs, here’s the potted timeline. Just imagine that it’s being narrated by someone like Stephen Fry and accompanied by a montage recorded on old cinefilm.

Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer is the miscreant responsible for most of what you’ll read on the site. He started playing computer games back in the 1980s, when keyboards were made of rubber and software came on cassette tape. Back then it was an offline single-player world that most of us lived in.

After spending most of his youth playing games on everything from consoles to PCs, Gareth switched to online gaming with the introduction of Quake back in 1996 when the intertubes were still being built and screeching harpies known as modems were needed to get online. From there, online gaming had an inevitable mark on his future.

While studying at the University of Surrey, Gareth played an avid part in the NetGamer Society. Evey Wednesday would be marked with loading a Dell Pentium 200 into an “abandoned” shopping trolley and pushing it across campus to a repurposed lecture theatre that housed one of the most chaotic LAN parties of the day. The first 3D accelerator cards were emerging, transforming the FPS scene completely.

2003 marked the emergence of home broadband in the UK. After jumping on the bandwagon, it was here that Gareth started to become interested in MMO gaming and the idea of persistent worlds. Since that point he’s played a range of titles including Horizons, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online and more. You can check out a list of everything he’s played here.

In 2010 Gareth launched Mana Obscura as a place for him to share his thoughts on the game he was playing at the time – World of Warcraft. Since then it’s evolved into discussing MMO design and the experiences they deliver, providing insight and analysis on the latest games in the genre. He also has an associated Youtube channel, providing demos, guides and tutorials.

Outside of Mana Obscura, Gareth launched and hosted an associated podcast known as The Obscurecast. He’s also been a guest on other shows such as the Twisted Nether Blogcast and Group Quest. He also occasionally does freelance writing and is a Staff Writer for ZAM’s Wildstar Source fansite.

Away from gaming, Gareth is an Information Systems Engineering graduate and former software engineer who now works as a designer for a large-scale communications provider. You can find out more from his LinkedIn profile. If you’d like to get in contact you can mail him at gazimoff@manaobscura.com.

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