You've finished an amazing, challenging, fun, roller-coaster ride of a game. The achievements and the trophies commemorating your deeds start to flash across your screen. You put your hands behind your head, lean back in your chair and watch the credits roll. Afterward, you relax for a while. But soon enough you come back to that great game. You boot it up, and lo and behold, there is a new option on the title screen. It says “New Game Plus.” 

That's where I am in life right now. Last month I finished four years of college studying at Western Kentucky University. I had a blast. I made lifelong friends and learned lifelong lessons. I gained real experience through working at my college newspaper. It wasn't easy by any means – I faced plenty of challenges along the road, but I overcame them. Then I watched the credits roll so to speak. I went to my graduation ceremony, where I graduated as part of my university's Honors College. I got congratulated and rewarded for my accomplishments from everyone I knew –  friends, professors, the president of the university, and of course my family. 

Then it was over. That game had ended. I sat back and relaxed. I caught up on the numerous games I missed over the last few months because of school and work. Now I'm gearing up to start again, to start a new chapter in my life. A new game. But really it's more like new game plus.

All the skills I've learned from high school and college, where I studied journalism and history, are still with me. My achievements, awards, and friends are carrying over to my new save file. The beginning of this new game won't be the same though. I'm starting fresh in a new place surrounded by new people.

That new place is Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Game Informer office as an intern. It's pretty crazy to think about. I've been a member of the Game Informer blogging community for about three years now. It was really only in the past two years I decided to give my blogging more effort and thought. The community here is amazing. I blogged on several other gaming websites in the past but the community at Game Informer puts them all to shame. The level of intelligence and friendliness found here is difficult to find on the internet, especially on a video game specialty site where people are known for being very opinionated and sometimes more than a little abrasive. The community's positive reinforcement encouraged me to keep writing and to keep thinking. Soon enough my blogs were being herded by the coolest guy in town, Saint, and some of my blogs were even being read by GI editors and selected to run in the Game Informer weekly newsletter. 

When I applied to be an intern at Game Informer, I thought my chances were slim. I worked for what seemed like ages on my resume and cover letter. I mailed it to their office. I sent follow up emails. Weeks went by, and I hadn't heard anything. Then I got a call from Game Informer's own Matt Miller. We chatted for about 20-30 minutes. He said he checked out my blogs – that they liked to see applicants who already were a part of the community. He said he would get back to me. We hung up. He didn't know it, but I could barely talk because of the huge smile on my face. I think it stayed there until a week or two later when Matt called back, when it was replaced by an even bigger smile. I was going to be a Game Informer intern.

Now I'm here. I'm actually sitting in the office of the magazine and website I've called home for three years. I've seen the legendary GI Game Vault with my own eyes. I've met the editors and writers I've idealized since high school when I was reading any and every video game magazine I could get my hands on.

I may be starting over but I'm not starting from scratch. In many ways, stepping into the Game Informer office is the culmination of everything that has come before. I can't think of a better place to put my journalism, writing, and gaming skills to use. I'm going to pour all of my energy into these next three months, and I can't wait to keep interacting with the GI community. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @clkgamer where I will be posting my musing on games and the Game Informer experience. Stay classy, residents of Game Informer, and if any of you bloggers out there are thinking about applying for an internship here, there is only one thing to do – go for it.