In 2004, I was sitting in my middle school's Tech and Living class. Instead of learning to make eggs with milk (which I haven't ever done since), I sat down and read an entire issue of Game Informer front-to-back (Issue 140, for the curious). I remember looking at the people who worked for the magazine I'd been reading for years on the staff page and thinking, "I bet they have the coolest job." If I had magically appeared from the future to tell my younger self he'd be working there as an associate editor before Half-Life 3 came out, I don't think he would've believed me - both about the job and that Half-Life 3 would never come out.

I've been writing about video games for about eight years now, starting with blogs on places like Bitmob (now GamesBeat) and 1UP (rest in peace!). I'd take longer lunches at school to give a piece I planned to have up by tomorrow morning another read, do research, or play a game for review. After three years of blogging, I finally got my first paid freelance work for the now defunct magazine GamePro, where I played a game before it was out for the first time (which was an issue with NBA Jam: On Fire Edition's online mode). After GamePro shuttered I freelanced for a number of other game outlets, including Unwinnable, Paste, Vice, Playboy, and Zam.

I'm also in the small minority of people who can say they've made more money from Dota 2 than they've spent on it. Over the years, I've written about the way the game's matchmaking system puts its players on edge, how balance changes can affect people who have their favorite characters nerfed, the incredible matches and team plotlines the game's eSports is responsible for, and what it's like to play a game where you can be harassed at any second for no reason at all.

I've also gotten to write about all the other gaming niches I've fallen in love with: fighting games, which I've followed on and off for most of my life, and weird indie games, which play with the ideas more traditional games won't touch until years later. In general, I'm a fan of anything that doesn't compromise and just goes for it, whether it's an intricate web of systems or a gripping narrative. Early contenders for my game of the year are Anatomy, Street Fighter V, and Overwatch.

Doing something I loved for a living was a life goal of mine, and I'm incredibly lucky to have that. Even as far back as a year ago, I remember thinking I'd need a backup plan in case writing about video games became untenable. Even now, I know how rare positions like the one I have here at Game Informer are, and how rough working freelance can be these days; my heart goes out to all the other freelancers out there, both veteran and aspiring.I can already tell I'm going to like working here. The team has been a pleasure to work with (just yesterday, we all got caught up in a rare Porygon sighting at the office). If you want to follow my work here or read my ramblings on Twitter, you should follow me there. And if you want to see what I'm into and talk about that stuff, take a look at my profile page. I can't wait to talk about games and the stories they can they can tell with you all!