James Nicholas Stanton, better known by his pen name Jim Sterling, is an English freelance video game journalist, critic, pundit, and wrestling personality. Prior to becoming independent in September 2014, through crowdfunding, Sterling was the review editor for Destructoid, and an author for The Escapist. His active YouTube series are "The Jimquisition", "Jimpressions", "Industry Bullshit", "Direct to Video", "Oh My Gawd Hype!", and "Commentocracy"; his discontinued series include "The Videogame Show What I've Done", "Boglinwatch", "itch.io Tasty", and "Nitpick Theater".
Video game criticThe Jimquisition is a weekly YouTube video series in which Jim Sterling discusses current issues surrounding video games, primarily involving unethical business practices in the video game industry, of which he is an outspoken critic on. The series originally started on Destructoid's YouTube channel and was later moved to The Escapists channel, before being released on Sterling's own channel. Direct to Video consists of his playthrough of recently released, and often poor-quality, early access games, while Oh My Gawd Hype! has him discussing anticipated upcoming games. His main gameplay series is Jimpressions where he discusses his impressions of a recently released video game while showing his own pre-recorded gameplay. Another series, Commentocracy, consists of Sterling playing a flamboyant 18th-century aristocrat character called "Duke Amiel du H'ardcore",, who in a tongue-in-cheek manner reads disgruntled, haughty, or otherwise trolling online comments on the topic of video games.
Sterling has often spoken against sexism in gaming. He is open about the fact that his position on this subject has slowly evolved.
other series no longer produced include Best of Steam Greenlight Trailers, where he narrates over and comments on poorly made trailers for games looking to get onto Steam, often games that have been sold only using unaltered, pre-purchased assets ; Nitpick Theater, where he speaks intensely about issues within gaming that he describes as "make really big deals out of things that don't matter"; itch.io tasty, a series where he plays video games available on itch.io under various topics; Greenlight Good Stuff, a series where he makes videos about good game trailers on Steam Greenlight.; and Boglinwatch, where he unboxes Boglins and provides news about them. One of the notable episodes in the series is when he visits a Boglin art show in New York.
In November 2014, Sterling announced that he was leaving The Escapist and intended to seek funding for his work independently through Patreon. In a 2020 video released on Sterling's YouTube channel, he stated that he departed The Escapist after they refused to publish his negative review of Assassin's Creed Unity, citing that parent company Defy Media was afraid of damaging any sponsorship opportunities with Ubisoft. He also stated the desire to go back to writing articles and doing podcasts, which he was not able to do since he left Destructoid, but has since done on his own website, creating "The Podquisition", a podcast that he shares with Irish musician/one-man band, Gavin Dunne, and fellow British game journalist Laura Kate Dale. After 250 episodes of "The Podquisition" Gavin stepped down from the podcast although he can return and guest on any episode he wants. Conrad Zimmerman joined Jim and Laura from episode 251 of "The Podquisition". He started up a second podcast "The Spin-off Doctors" in which he and Conrad Zimmerman analyze movies which are based on video games, though they have mentioned they may move into comic book and other geek culture territory eventually. Also with Zimmerman, Sterling plays a character in "FistShark Marketing", an improvised comedy podcast set in a fictional marketing firm, which was shared with Destructoid writers Caitlin Cook for the first fifty episodes and Jonathan Holmes from episode 56 to 100.
In March 2016, a lawsuit was filed against Sterling by Digital Homicide Studios for $10 million for "assault, libel, and slander", following Sterling's negative review of their first game The Slaughtering Grounds. Sterling further accused Digital Homicide Studios of deleting negative feedback of the game on its Steam review page, and banning users who criticized it. The lawsuit was raised to $15 million, before it was eventually dismissed with prejudice in late February 2017.
Sterling has been credited with originating the name of the meme "Big Chungus". He started using the term "Chungus" on his channel in a variety of unrelated contexts with different meanings for humorous effect.
Pro wrestlingOn 17 July 2017, an episode of The Jimquisition was hit with a copyright strike for using two seconds of WWE footage. He responded by ordering a custom spandex outfit and taking on the persona of Sterdust, parodying the WWE wrestler Cody Rhodes's Stardust persona. His first appearance was on the 16 October 2017 episode of The Jimquisition. In 2018, Sterling joined wrestling YouTube group Cultaholic. He has a show called WreSterling.
Shortly after the first appearance of Sterdust on The Jimquisition, he joined the Mississippi independent wrestling promotion Pro Wrestling Ego, where he performs as a heel. Sterling is the leader of "The Constellation", a wrestling stable consisting of several members including Ursa Major, Joshua O'Hagen and Alex Graves. On 19 January, 2019, Sterling won his first professional wrestling championship when he teamed with Graves and Major to win the Ego Tag Team Championship from "The Renegades Of Phunk". The championship is held under the Freebird Rule, which allows any member of The Constellation to hold and defend the championship. On 18 May, The Constellation lost the titles back to The Renegades of Phunk.
ReceptionSterling was featured in a list of "the 25 raddest game journalists to follow on Twitter," by Complex. Sterling has developed into a controversial figure in the world of videogame journalism, with some of his views being challenged. Criticism of his negative review of Final Fantasy XIII prompted him to release a statement in defence of it. His site has undergone two DDoS attacks due to his posting reviews for long-awaited games which were met with opposition, first for No Man's Sky and then .
His views on art games have been criticized by TIGSource editor Derek Yu. Yu compared Sterling's view to that of art critic Louis Leroy in 1874 of a Claude Monet painting, which Leroy criticized for being unfinished, while the style of painting later became a major art style.
Personal lifeSterling was born in London, England, where he lived on the poverty line for much of his childhood and was psychologically abused by his mother's lover, a Hells Angels outcast. This abuse is what prompted him to take on the "Jim Sterling" name, saying that he would have had it legally changed, if not for his legal issues. In a video from November 2015 on Fallout 4, when talking about the polyamorous relationship options he stated that he is "not a monogamous guy, nor a straight one either." He openly identifies as pansexual and queer. In June 2020, he became a naturalized United States citizen.
Late June 2020, while discussing the Speaking Out movement and misconduct within the video game industry, Sterling touched upon his own disorders: