I picked up the September 1993 issue of Game Informer when I was nine years old, and I immediately knew what I wanted my career to be. The idea of being an adult that gets paid to play, write about, and talk about video games on a daily basis sounded unbelievably awesome, and I wanted every major decision in my life to point towards that defined end goal. Between then and 2009, I got a job at Funcoland the day I was eligible at age 16, shot a commercial for the company, bought a shark suit and ran around the Game Informer offices at 18, wrote over 600 video game reviews in college, and paid my way out to E3 every year to check out new games and bug Andy McNamara about hiring me. That path paid off, and he hired me in August of 2009. Five years later, it’s time to say goodbye.

These five years have been unbelievable, and I’ve had the opportunity to work on so many rewarding projects. First and foremost has been my involvement in our Replay show from day one. I'm thrilled with the current state of the industry and look forward to new experiences just as much as anyone, but I've always found it important to keep the past fresh in my mind. Being able to sit down and play old games for hundreds of Replay episodes has been a blast, largely thanks to the conversations with Tim Turi, Andrew Reiner, Jeff Cork, Jeff Marchiafava, Ben Reeves, Ben Hanson, Bryan Vore, Matt Helgeson, Phil Kollar, and others that aren't named Joe Juba. Interacting with the Replay community has always been fantastic, whether it was on Facebook fan groups, during lunches at PAX East, personal visits to the office, or even random encounters at Minneapolis bars.

There are a ton of other fun, dumb things I've done over the years, and I'll put a big-ass list of them here since modesty is one of my many desirable qualities:

Bringing my dad to the office to make him play games (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Reviewing fart apps with Peter Molyneux

Bringing GWAR to the office to play Dance Central

Setting a Guinness World Record with Tim, Cork, and Reeves

Crashing the Skyrim launch in a Professor Genki suit

Writing an actual smart guy journalism-y thing about mobile development

Telling you all that Noobz sucks, followed by the director throwing a tantrum on Twitter and calling me a "failed musician"

Trying to remind everyone that games are a lot of fun

Getting put into L.A. Noire and Infamous: Second Son

Grilling Shigeru Miyamoto with stupid Mario questions

Touring E3's show floor (2012 with Ben Reeves, and 2013 with Jeff Cork and the Butt Tumblr guy)

Failing during my three-hour attempt to beat Mike Tyson in Punch-Out

This period has easily been the best five years of my life, and so many memories and friendships have come out of my time at Game Informer. I'm going to be moving out west for my new gig, but I'm happy to say that I'll be staying in the industry I love. I plan on returning to Minnesota on occasion to visit my friends and the office, and I'll make it a priority to show up on Replay if they'll have me. If you want to keep up with my weird life and can deal with a bunch of wrestling crap, you can follow me on Twitter. If you're a fan of watching my dumb ass on videos, I assure you that there will be a damn near intolerable amount of that happening in the near future. 

I could ramble more about how awesome my time here has been, but you get the point. I want to thank Andy for giving me the opportunity to work here, my co-workers for being great friends and being awesome to work with, and the Game Informer community for being a never-ending source of feedback and entertainment. It's been a blast.