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Letter To The Editors

In honor of me joining GIO a year ago I will share with you what my life at Game Informer was like. This will be a personal letter to the editors and what they are really like. With a few honorable mentions about some people you never knew existed who are part of the Game Informer family. I apologize to all you English majors and perfectionists in advance. This blog is going to be a little different because I am going to be using a very informal tone, but it’s my blog and I do what I want! If you can’t understand me at any point just pay a little visit to here. 

“Memories: They can sometimes become vague and foggy and sometimes disappear altogether. Therefore, because there are many things I don't want to lose track of, I will record everything for the sake of those moments that should not be forgotten.”

Living in Minneapolis was a scary experience. I knew no one, I experienced weather below 30 degrees, I lived with a complete stranger who was a neat freak, and I felt the evil that is snow. Even with all the adjusting and learning northern slang I had the honor of spending three months of my life with people living the dream. 

Matt Miller

I have to start with Miller because he was basically my father figure while I was there. He runs the internship program for the most part and was the first editor I had interaction with. Miller is a straight O.G. nerd like for real. He was a nerd back in the day before being a nerd was cool. He has been down with Dungeons and Dragons from day one and comic book scholar should be added to his job title. My first impression of him was this guy looks like he should be working in a cubicle somewhere, which ironically he did at some point. I looked forward to my morning meetings with Miller to talk about the day and progress on features. He always made me feel good about myself when he asked how my actually life was going. His personality was that of a person who always follows rules and regulations, but was willing to have a damn good time when it was appropriate. My favorite memory of Miller is when we went to the comic book store and had a very in dept conversation about living in the X-Men universe and how we would act if we were targeted mutants by the government. Let’s just say Miller is a more reasonable person than me. 

Matthew Kato

Matt number two Kato is up next. I didn’t have much interaction with Kato during my stay, but he was always in the office bright and early. He took care of the morning news and whenever he came down to the intern cave he either had something hilarious to say or some words of wisdom. Basically you were in for something good when you crossed paths with Kato. My first impression of Kato was damn this Asian dude knows A LOT about sports if I ever need some information on sports betting I am coming to him, even though I never got the nerve to actually ask him. When I got to know the little I knew about Kato I learned he was a true blue family man. He cares deeply about his wife and son, which made me always have this deep respect for him. His personality was smooth and I would not be surprised if he was a player in his younger days.  My favorite memory of Kato is when one day he walked in all smooth criminal style and basically told me I sucked at writing news stories and gave me some good tips and from then on I was straight. Appreciate Kato!

Matt Bertz 

Bertz intimidated me at first. I don’t know why. He was cool and all, but he just did. Anyway Bertz spent some time in New York and you can tell. He had that New York flavor about him and it showed in his personality. (Take that however you want) Bertz was usually working hard so I never wanted to bother him, but when his headphones came off his presence was booming and I enjoyed that because my personality is similar, but I’m always trying to hold it back. So in that sense I felt me and Bertz probably had some things in common. My favorite memory of Bertz, which is my first, is that he knew who Outasight was and liked the song Love or Confusion? I knew I could jive with him from that day on. 

Matt Helgeson 

Alright this is the last Matt I promise! Helgeson is an expert on hip hop just as much as video games. Don’t let his, “I’m a middle aged white guy who has a family look,” fool you. He proves you can never judge a book by its cover and the best things in life surprise you. Helgeson knows his craft and is just a stand up dude I really don’t know what else I could say. Yes I do. His personality is like that wise owl from Disney’s The Fox and the Hound expect he isn’t a woman or an owl because that would just be odd, but like the first Miller he as an OG just more of the urban variety. My favorite memory of Helgeson is when there was this shady guy in the parking lot that started breaking into cars and Helgeson spotted him and chased him away and then … well that’s a story for another day. 

Mrs. Sara (Honorable Mention)

Mrs. Sara is Game Informer’s sectary and she is a beast. Literally every day when I walked into the office the first words I uttered would be, “Good morning Mrs. Sara,” and then she would give me candy and we would pound it cause we was just cool like that. Thanks for always keeping things running. 

Joe Juba 

You know the very first thing I thought about Joe was Juba is a badass last name. The second thing I thought about Joe was if this guy didn’t work in the video game industry then there was no hope for humanity. The third thing I thought about Joe was this guy is crazy. The fourth thing I thought was he isn’t crazy … he is very crazy in the best way possible. The fifth thing I thought about Joe was he is a Pokémon hater. The sixth thing I thought about Joe was this guy’s personality is the life of a lan party. After all of that I thought Joe was the best when he let me have his Wii U reservation because Best Buy screwed me over. 

Jeff Cork 

One day Cork will be a grandfather and he will be the BEST grandfather this world has ever known. Cork is jolly and serious all at the same exact time and I don’t even know how that is possible. What I do know is he loves popcorn. If you ever want to get on his good side buy him a tub of his favorite brand, and you will have a friend for life. If you’re ever in the office and you get shot by a Nerf bullet look for the trickster named Cork. His personality is corky … yeah it really is. He can be stubborn as a bull, but his skills are as strong as one. My favorite memory of Cork would have to be the time I wore my Sonic hoodie with my Sonic shirt underneath and Cork told me with a serious/funny face, “I remember when I was young and full of hope.” It made my day.  

Jeff Marchiafava

Jeff M, Fava, and last name I butchered on numerous occasions. Whatever you call him this guy is something else. Fava is actually pretty quiet and only speaks when his precious words are needed. He is truly one of a kind and only he can describe things in the Jeff M way he does. His writing style is hilarious and how he reads. Yes Fava the way you proof read things is hilarious. His personality is actually very mysterious you’re never sure what this guy is thinking. My favorite memory of him was the reoccurring event of me doing, writing, or saying something followed by him sighing and shaking his head. 

Tim Turi 

I don’t see why everybody likes this guy I hated him. Now that I got your attention again after reading this far Tim pretty much deserves all the praise he gets. No one is perfect and Tim is far from it, but when you have a warm heart it’s hard to find a reason to not like a person like Tim Turi. Before you hate me I really don’t hate Tim I enjoyed his company. He is a socially awkward person who is open and friendly and like many people in the office he seems to be a combination of things that don’t fully make sense. If you got a problem with Tim then you got a problem with me and the whole crew. My favorite memory of Tim is when I was feeling a little down about my ability as a writer. The other interns had a lot more experience than I did and seem to know all these things I didn’t. I felt like I just randomly got lucky and didn’t have the skills or means to be in the position I was in. It was Tim that reassured me after a talk that I was better than I thought. Stay golden Tim.

Ben Hanson 

Hanson makes everybody look pretty on camera and is like the litter brother of the office. You love him to death and he gets on your nerves. Expect I was like the even younger brother so I thought ever little prank or comment he made just made me like him a little more. His personality can actually be summed up in one word, Goofball. Hanson is also a “Pokémon Master” and was the expert on all things Pokémon until I got there. My favorite memory of Hanson is when he gave me the title of office Pokémon master and never had the will to battle me. YOU WILL TASTE DEFEAT HANSON!

Ben Reeves 

I remember when I came to the office Reeves was in Japan doing his thing for the TGS so all I knew about him was what the community thought about him and what his twitter feed said. I tweeted at him to bring me this awesome rare Pikachu coffee mug, but he didn’t find it. When I first meet him I was like this guy is supposed to be funny? He seems kind of just there and spaced out. What I ended up learning was Reeves has the greatest poker face that would kill at Vegas. He is animated and has some entertaining dance moves. His personality is … whatever Reeves wants you to think it is. My best memory of Reeves is doing to Extra life charity event with him. We started GI after dark and had an epic rap battle. Straight hood! #TeamODell 

Laleh  Azarshin Tobin (Honorable Mention)

For those who don’t know Laleh is one of the designers for the magazine. Her skills are something serious. For the longest I had no idea what her name was or what she even sounded like. All I know is that every day before or after lunch we would past by each other and without saying a word and high-five each other. That’s how it was for weeks and I miss it. 

Dan Ryckert

Believe it or not I had no idea just how famous or popular Dan was until I came to Game Informer. I don’t think I truly understood the term Man-child until I meet Dan either. A lot of people think they know how Dan is, but not many people have seen just how much of a hard worker this guy is. It’s very impressive. People may hate or love him, but everyone should respect him. He knows what he is doing and believe it or not he is a caring person. I know I was shocked too. I would trust this guy to watch my future kids because I would know they were in good hands. My favorite memory of Dan is when he went around shoving everybody and then he came to me and I shoved back and he so surprised and was like no this is not how it’s suppose to work. Oh crazy Dan. 

Kimberley Wallace 

Game Informer’s leading lady Kim appears to be a meek girl who would probably get mugged in a dark alley. That is not the case because she is smart enough not to be in a dark alley at night and she is from Chi town so she would probably cut you. I have no idea if Kim would cut somebody, but that’s the vibe I got from her and I still believe it. Kim is secretly a beast don’t let her innocent face fool you. She is a person we should all learn something from. When she writes something she does her research, fact checks, and multiple revisions. I will never question her knowledge on anything JRPGs. Outside of that she is a huge hockey fan and can cross fools up on the basketball court. I double dog dare you to take her on one-on-one. My favorite memory of her is just watching her passion for what she does. It doesn’t it matter if she is happy or angry she voices her opinion and does it strongly. Either get out of her way or give her chocolate. 

John Carson (Honorable Mention)

He is basically the friend of everybody at Game Informer and occasionally helps out with events. He is always at a party and he is a really good friend. Whether it’s live steaming or just being a pal John Carson presence is always welcomed. 

Jason Oestreicher

Jason is the technological guru at Game Informer and without him things would probably explode and we all cry. When I first meet him I was like hmmm this guy looks like he grew up in the 80s and seen some things. I know now this was true he gives off the too cool for school vibe. When it comes to live streaming and life talks Jason is the man. Need some dating advice? Jason will tell you what’s what, and did I mention he is a fighting game pro? He whopped me so bad in Street Fighter I went though intestine training and now I’m a B ranked player. He can’t play Super Smash Bros. Brawl though cause he doesn’t like it. Sadly that’s the one game I’m a pro at. My favorite memory of Jason is when we were live streaming at his house playing a Mari Kart 64 beverage game, and then John Carson made me laugh and I spit up my drink all over his N64 it was hilarious, yet embarrassing. Thank you for not killing me!

Kyle Hilliard 

I always heard you can’t trust a man with red hair. Well Kyle Hilliard must be the exception to this rule because he is awesome. He is a Hollywood stylist when it comes to making his avatars for games. They always look exactly like him; it’s very impressive and scary. I thought Kyle seemed like a dude who was in a garage band in high school and played gigs and I was right on the money this time. He has mad drum skills from what I hear. Kyle’s personality is like that dude you always want to chill with because he is so chill himself. Never starting any drama and always keeping it 100. My favorite memories of Kyle are when I had a dance battle with him for the internet and when he fed his daughter Claire a chicken nugget in the office. Just trust me it was the cutest thing you could see. 

Ashley Godbold and Lisa Oestreicher (Honorable Mentions) 

These two lovely ladies are too awesome. Ashley the wife of Kyle kicked my ass in an old fashion dance battle and is a fellow Southerner like myself who throws great parties. Lisa the wife of Jason shares my love of Cosplay and all things fantasy. Besides being a talented artist she is kind and the bubbliest person I ever met. They prove behind every great gaming man there is a great gaming woman. 

Bryan Vore 

When I first met Bryan he looked like he should be working for GQ and not Game Informer. Sorry Bryan but you have some hipster in your blood, but I promise it’s the good kind. Bryan is responsible for the amazing slick and stylish digital version on the magazine, which in my opinion is a reflection of his personality. He is a fan of Kingdom Hearts and I know he would be that Keyblade wielder who is better than you in every way, but isn’t a jerk so you hate him even more cause he is just that cool. My absolutely favorite memory of Bryan his when we sung a Kiss From A Rose by Seal at karaoke. We killed it! 

Adam Biessener

I know Adam is leaving the office and he will be missed. With that said when I first met Adam I was like yeah this is what a PC editor should be. He is over-critical, opinionated, confrontational, and a joyous person who has mad keyboard skillz with a Z. He says the things that need to be said without worrying about the angry person sitting in the basement who knows how to type. Adam understands the industry and even the struggle of trying to work in it. He is always encouraging and lets you know all the things you can do to keep improving. Adam personality is that of the lovable giant with a big beard, the defender of the weak and destroyer of idiots. My favorite memory of Adam when he showed me the Pocket Like’s Hot music video and we rap along to Hot Cheetos & Takis. 

Andrew Reiner 

If all the other editors are the body of Game Informer then Andrew Reiner is the mind. He keeps everything in motion. His gaming knowledge is so vast I cannot even fathom it. I assume he stores it all in his Goatee. When he would talk to me it felt like a general addressing a peon by his first and last name. Reiner is all about his business and doing things the best way possible because Game Informer didn’t get so big without some serious hard work. As strict as Reiner can be he is still an awesome gamer so I can’t help but to admire him. He is like that bonus boss in a game that’s extremely hard, yet fun to beat.  It’s funny because when he is being goofy it almost seems out of character for him, but I realized that’s just his normal state of being he just has to be the boss of awesome people so sometimes he has to bring down the hammer. My favorite memory of Reiner is another reason why I could never lose respect for him. When Thanksgiving rolled around the other interns flew home to be with their families and my roommate went to go be with her family. When the crew learned of my lack of Thanksgiving plans due to the fact there was no way I could afford to go home and come back. Reiner invited me to spend it at his house with his friends and family. I could have cried from the sentiment. Not only was his family and friends just some cool ass people, but I also made the mash potatoes for the Thanksgiving dinner. I had a lot of reasons to be thankful last year.

Andy McNamara

If Reiner is the mind then it should be obvious that Andy is the soul of everything Game Informer. The Editor-in-chief himself is probably the most down to earth person I met, especially when you factor in his status. As a fellow Texan Andy couldn’t help but say, “Aggggggie,” every time he saw me after I wore my A&M hoodie to work one day. As you can imagine he is a very busy guy and is always talking to big name industry people/taking care of business. Andy occasionally takes breaks and talks with everybody just shooting the breeze or seeing how everything is shaping up. He is constantly making sure the Game Informer ship is never sinking. His personality is the kid who never grew up, something that we all inspire to be. I look at Andy and I understand now how when you truly love what you do, you look like you haven’t aged and you are filled with joy most of the time. My favorite memory about him is that most mornings if he was in his office or wasn’t busy I would pop in just to chat and hopefully absorb some wisdom through osmosis. I can’t describe the feeling of being able to talk to him like friends and that he actually welcomed it. I was honored.

Ahhhh that was a lot I know! I tried my best to give you all what I really thought about everybody and the experience. To the editors I hope y’all don’t hate me now, but seriously guys y’all guys were great hosts thanks for putting up with me I promise in the coming months I will make each and every one of you proud. 

To everyone else who wants to live the dream GO APPLY!! Go write something, do something, try something, and don’t be afraid. I was just a regular boy from Texas who just put my best foot forward. I promise you a lot of y’all are better than me I read your stuff. All I did was have the drive to do whatever it took and I’m still doing it. So I don’t want to hear no excuses I turned down a $40,000 job to not get paid for three months and I’m still broke now, and I would do it all again with no regrets! 

O’Dell is a former Game Informer editorial intern and is doing what it takes to make it in life. Part-time bar tender and full time Pokémon Master from Houston, TX with a degree from Texas A&M.
Follow him on Twitter. He is a beast.

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