Hey GI Community! I’m Doug and I’m excited to be introducing myself as one of Game Informer’s Summer Interns! 

I’ve found myself participating in a number of icebreaker activities this year, so my five interesting facts about myself are always on the tip of my tongue (or is it fingers if I’m typing?): 1) I was raised in Southern California but always like to mention that I was born in Michigan even though I only lived there for about three months. 2) Growing up I played a lot of soccer, at least until I got heart surgery (thankfully I’m all better now!). 3) I’m currently a rising junior at Columbia University studying computer science. 4) I tend to love weird and absurd things, especially when I create them. 5) Oh, and I kind of like video games.

I’ve been playing games since my uncle sat me down with Ocarina of Time and a GameCube at age 5. Having a virtual adventure was a completely new and entrancing experience. When he brought Wind Waker on his next visit I was even more taken; here was a game where you could get on a ship and sail anywhere. I became hungry for more amazing games, hoping each new rental down at Blockbuster would top the last. Before long, I had rented almost every game in the store that was age appropriate. 

A defining moment in my relationship with video games came at age 8, when another uncle introduced me to Kingdom Hearts. It was the first time I became invested in a game’s characters and narrative, and the ending was powerful enough to make me shed a tear or two. The fact that video games could have such an effect on my emotions was fascinating to me, and my love for them grew even more.

It was around that time that I picked up my first issue of Game Informer, which was my introduction to video game journalism. I consumed the magazines just as voraciously as I did the games I read about inside them. Every day of the month, I eagerly checked my mailbox in the hope that the new issue had arrived so that I could read it cover to cover and share the news on the playground. Any moment that wasn’t spent playing games was spent reading about them in magazines, listening to people talk about them in podcasts, or watching videos about them (especially Replay!).

In high school I found that I really enjoyed writing as well, but because the people I was surrounded by were nowhere near as adamant about it as I was, I never really considered it to be a path for me to go down professionally. I began college thinking that I was going to go into Government or Business, but this year I took a look at what I’d done with my first three semesters and realized that the only assignments I really enjoyed were those in which I had the opportunity to write freely. Not only that, but video games were the subject every single time. I promptly changed my major and applied to the Game Informer Internship in the hopes that I could take a deep dive into the games industry, learn more about games journalism, work with amazing people I’ve looked up to for years, and have fun. I’m going to learn a lot, and I hope I can give you all some interesting things to read!

I’m also eager to finally connect with this community I’ve been a silent member of for so long! You can find me on Twitter @DeLongDoug.