"Dimwit" Defies Death to Work On LittleBigPlanet 2

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"Dimwit" Defies Death to Work On LittleBigPlanet 2

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A new Media Molecule employee tells a heartwarming tale that saw him go from construction worker to videogame designer.

For John Beech's entire life, all he'd known was backbreaking construction work. Now, 27, he works at Media Molecule doing construction on titles like LittleBigPlanet 2 instead. Beech was one of the lucky LittleBigPlanet community members hired by Media Molecule for exemplary amateur creations, but the story of how he got there is anything but average.

Beech is a self-described "dimwit on paper," because terrible migraines prevented him from taking exams in school. He left at 16 with little qualifications and moved right into construction. Through a lifelong gaming habit, he became interested in LittleBigPlanet, and the game's construction tools changed his life.

Creating LittleBigPlanet content was something that came naturally to Beech, known as "Johnee" on the PlayStation Network, whose levels such as "Future Warzone" were universally praised by players checking them out online. Before he got the guts to publish them, Beech had to deal with a girlfriend that budgeted his playing time and made him get under a quilt with the television at night so he could build while she slept. However, a disapproving girlfriend was the least of Beech's troubles before ending up at Media Molecule.

Just a few days after publicly publishing his first LittleBigPlanet works, Beech was nearly crushed on the job. A factory extension's foundation had partially collapsed, so Beech jumped into a trench 8 feet deep and only the width of a man to fix it. "So I was digging it away and then suddenly one entire half of the trench instantly collapsed," he says. "I managed to jump as it happened, but it pinned me down and the concrete wall it was supporting slipped and hit me straight in the back. By all rights it would have chopped me in half, if it wasn't for a tiny alcove about the size of my waist that I somehow managed to slip into."

Beech narrowly survived, and when he came home from the hospital noticed that hundreds of people were playing his LittleBigPlanet creations online. People immediately said that Beech should work for Media Molecule, so Beech eventually attempted to contact the developer. Not being a PC user, he missed Media Molecule's initial interest, but thanks to an outpouring of support from fans Media Molecule eventually got into contact with Beech and invited him to their studios.

Beech showed up in a beat-up van, sweating profusely and lugging a PlayStation 3 that held his unpublished future creations within it. He evidently surprised Media Molecule with his use of their own tools so much that the employees sitting in on his demonstration gave him a standing ovation. Further, Media Molecule co-founder Mark Healey gave him a job on the spot. With absolutely no previous design experience, Beech's hire almost seems like a miracle, as did his survival of the construction incident. Nevertheless, Beech is an example of the fact that anyone can break into the videogame industry if they try.

Source: CVG

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What a great story, I'm happy for him.

Wow, thats pretty awesome! :D Good for him!

Wow. LittleBigPlanet and the people at Media Molecule are great.

such a nice story.

makes a change to see a story thats actually nice and not snide remarks people in the games industry toss at each other.

or something kotick related.

Great story :) now he will be happy knowing a lot more gamers will play his creations.

Yeah, give a community the tools and they'll surpass the developers.

I'm happy for the dude, but when I read:

Tom Goldman:
a girlfriend that budgeted his playing time

I thought BITCH WHAT!! fuck that shit, no one tells me when I can and cannot play.

Heartwarming story, but weird article title.

That makes me happy :)

Glad to see he finally got a break.

Got a new job...now for a new girlfriend.

Oh, that's cool.

That's a really great story.

Makes me consider buying LBP2 now... for some reason.

The best "rags to riches" story I've ever heard.

And so close to Christmas aswell.

best story i've read in a while,
the man deserves a beer and the attention of a few 'women of lose moral standing' and a toast raised in his honor for his truly EPIC good luck

Always good to hear about people trimphing despite their personal problems or handicaps. Really makes you believe that a man's attitude determines, to a large extent, how his life will be.

(Of course this is all just luck /Cynicism)

I feel happier now thanks to that story. I love it when happy news like this is reported.

Good stuff, I knew the days of being hired without degrees weren't gone... it's just really difficult.

That just makes me feel quite happy. *quiet sob*

More stories about the people and how they got into the industry like this. They don't have to be positive really, but there is no substitute for them in the end I think.

Even so...heartwarming story indeed. :)

Great story and his levels are awesome. Best on the PSN for sure.

What does his girlfriend have to say on this matter? Just interested is all.

And good for him.

*doubleposted, sorry*

Nothing like a story like this to restore one's faith in the world somewhat.

Good on him, I hope he has a long productive experience in the games industry.

Yup beautiful stuff, and proof that hard work and creativity trump just having a good grade in history and french.

I'd personally like to see academic results take a bit less importance in life, anyway, what does what you did when you were developing at 16 tell you about a 30something guy? I'm just glad they didn't have some boxticker getting in the way saying 'We like your stuff, it's borderline genius, but we don't hire anyone without at least 5 A grades'.

Tom Goldman:
Beech is an example of the fact that anyone can break into the videogame industry if they try.

But that still can't earn him an understanding girlfriend :/

SenseOfTumour:
Yup beautiful stuff, and proof that hard work and creativity trump just having a good grade in history and french.

I'd personally like to see academic results take a bit less importance in life, anyway, what does what you did when you were developing at 16 tell you about a 30something guy? I'm just glad they didn't have some boxticker getting in the way saying 'We like your stuff, it's borderline genius, but we don't hire anyone without at least 5 A grades'.

Indeed. I can't get past online "checks" with some jobs which means that whilst I might be good for the job, I can't get anywhere with them because this crappy little questionnaire blocks me out.

It's a nice story, and I'm happy for the guy (Especially with respect to everything else), but I think it's important to note that if you want to work in the gaming industry, this way of getting in is not going to work unless you get a chance to prove yourself - And those chances are few and far between. Use this story to inspire yourself and get your modding gloves on, but just don't expect anything from it. For every modder who gets a job in the industry, there's hundreds more who don't.

That was a great story, it makes me feel a lot better about my chances of getting into the game industry. I don't have a copy of LBP anymore , but i'll be sure to look up his creations as soon as I get LBP2.

Nice to see that talent really gets rewarded. Good for you "Dimwit"! ;)
Makes me feel a little better about my job situation.

I got tears in my eyes after reading this. It just goes to show that everyone has hidden talents and this guy was rewarded for his hard work. LBP2 will better with a regular Joe like John on the Media Media Molocule team.

Wow, yeah he beat my shitty little creations hands down...
I would name them, but then someone may go on them... And I'd have more people knowing how crap I am at it...
I envy his skill greatly.

This only further pushes my love for Media Molecule, and goes on the list of "Why I support the developers on my 'List of Developers to support' list".

My dad used to work in construction, so I can see how hard the work is. This is truly worthy of a "This made my day" badge.

Film rights are being divvied up, and scripts written!

Seriously though, good on him. Hopefully either the girlfriend has eaten her words or is out on her ass, though.

Rock on, John.

RAH! Nerd Power!

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