I’ve been reading these intern welcome posts for years and it’s finally time for me to write my own. Kevin Slackie was right, it is hard to write about yourself.

Growing up in Minnesota, every winter gave me an excuse to stay inside and play video games. It all started with the family Super Nintendo. From Super Mario World to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, my early days of gaming were defined by Nintendo.

Every snowflake is another excuse to stay in and play video games.

Having skipped over the Nintendo 64 generation, my next gaming platforms were an Xbox I mainly used to kill Covenant and a family computer I used to murder innocent Sims. Halo got me hooked on shooters and for a long time it was my favorite game series, but Return to Castle Wolfenstein ingrained in me a love of class-based shooters.

In middle school, I was playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on my Xbox 360 (sorry to whoever I just made feel old) and realized I was missing out on an entire modding scene on PC. I convinced my dad to add a graphics card to the family computer and have never finished Oblivion, thanks to all the mods I get distracted by (I have the same problem with Skyrim).

As with many PC gamers, I quickly fell in love with Valve. Team Fortress 2 was probably my most played game from late middle school up until just last year (remember what I said earlier about loving class-based shooters?). But Blizzard found a way to pry me away from TF2 with Overwatch, which I now play relentlessly (Pharah, Junkrat and Roadhog are my mains, don’t judge me like Jeff Cork does).

These characters took up much of my time in high school.

It was around middle school when I realized I wanted to work in the gaming industry. I taught myself how to use Valve’s Hammer Editor and began making maps for Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead. I also gave 3D animation a try, but quickly realized neither of these were my calling. I had been told I was a good writer, though, so I began thinking of ways to put that skillset to use. Luckily, there was a magazine not far from where I grew up where people actually got paid to write about video games, and thankfully my parents supported my dream. So after high school I went to the University of Missouri where I graduated with a degree in journalism. A few months later here I am, interning at the company that made me realize this career path is even possible.

Go ahead and follow me on Twitter, where you may see pictures of me hiking or biking until the snow falls on Minneapolis, when you’re more likely to see me skiing. You’re also likely to find video game news alongside retweets about the Minnesota Timberwolves and Wild. I sometimes stream on Twitch, so feel free to follow me there as well. I’m ecstatic about the coming months I’ll be spending at Game Informer and I hope you all enjoy reading my work.