When I was four years old, my parents bought me a PlayStation. My dad and I played my first game ever, Crash Bandicoot, together (I sat in his lap and attacked enemies while he handled jumping) and couldn’t get past the third level.

I haven’t stopped playing video games since, and grew up with classics like Pokémon, Spyro the Dragon, Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time (the best game ever made), and Final Fantasy IX. I played the Bethesda RPGs and more than a few JRPGs with my best friend for hours everyday after high school, and gamed (way too much) all the way through my college education at the University of Minnesota, where I just graduated with degrees in English and Philosophy. I’ve even gotten a little better at Crash, although the Great Gate still frustrates me.

Playing, writing about, and talking video games has been a formative part of my life. I don’t know how people made friends before video games, but just about whenever I’ve made a friend it’s been because one of us had just bought a new game and the other wanted to come try it. Now I’m in perhaps the best position to talk about video games that anyone can be in.Since starting here at GI, I’ve discussed which Legend of Zelda is the best (see above), which handgun you should use in Resident Evil 4 (it’s the starting one), why Mass Effect 3’s ending wasn’t really bad at all, and how to beat the damn Darklurker as a melee dexterity build in Dark Souls II (don’t get me started; I’ve lost something like 50 effigies). 

I’ve been reading Game Informer since junior high and have watched Replay since it started, so being able to come to work at GI is a serious dream come true for me. The GI office has got to be just about the coolest place I’ve ever been. There is an overwhelming amount of gaming paraphernalia everywhere you look: a life-size Dovahkiin holding a light machine gun, a full-length Sephiroth’s Masamune, and even a brooding Dracula circa Lords of Shadow 2, quietly contemplating why his game wasn’t better for all time. It’s already been fascinating to see how the magazine and web material comes together so well every month; the people here all work really hard, and really love what they’re doing. I can see why. 

As exciting as it is to be at a place I’ve wanted to be for so long, I’m equally excited to get even more involved with the famously cool Game Informer community. I’ve been around: I’m already a fairly active member of the “I Watched the Entire Overblood Super Replay” Facebook group (hi guys), and you may have seen the awesome Tail of the Sun cake my sister baked for the office, or heard me ranting about Persona and arguing with Dan about flowers on Replay. Now I’ve got a bigger platform than ever to confuse and infuriate all of you with my unpopular opinions, or least (hopefully) prompt some good-natured conversation. In the coming months, I’ll be working on news, previews, and feature articles, so keep an eye out for those and feel free to let me know what an idiot I am. I’d be more than happy to desperately attempt to defend myself.

The main reason why I wanted this internship and why I hope to be a video game journalist some day is because I really can’t get enough of talking and thinking about video games. As I’m sure a lot of gamers have, I’ve often encountered people who scoff at video games as a serious subject or even a legitimate topic of interest, and who’ve told me I shouldn’t devote as much time to video gaming as I do if I want to be taken seriously. Being here, talking, writing, and thinking about video games is validation for me, and proof that those people are wrong. So to anyone else who loves video games, especially if you’re interested in writing about video games or even in an internship like this one I would say: keep thinking, writing, and talking about video games, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s a waste of time. Now let’s not waste any more time: let’s talk about video games.