Two and a half years ago, Game Informer's Phil Kollar responded to one of my tweets about the magazine. After engaging in what was surely hilariously nerdy banter over Twitter, we found out we both lived in the same area of Minneapolis and agreed to meet for coffee.

The year is now 2012. I'm a college graduate, Phil has moved back out to the west coast after an amazing and extremely productive stint at Game Informer (I miss him so much), and I'm moving my things into the GI office as one of their interns. Phil was the one who told me about Game Informer's new internship program. He said, Ali, I know you're a fancy-pants graduate student (more on that later), but you should really apply for this internship -- you'll be good at it. What that means and whether Phil knew what he was talking about remains to be seen, but I hope I can bring something unique, useful, and exciting to the team.

Growing up, my family's pastime was playing games together. My mother and I preferred The Legend of Zelda and it became such a bonding experience for us that I now have a Deku Scrub tattoo. As a family, however, we played a lot of GoldenEye and Perfect Dark. We were a weird and very progressive family, and I'm grateful for my parents' support regarding video games throughout my life.

Now, I'm a graduate of Augsburg College where I studied communication studies, international relations, and Japanese. I began my research career studying gender in Japanese popular culture and how archetypes of femininity manifest themselves in The Legend of Zelda series. My love of studying video games has continued into my graduate career. Currently, my regular full-time job is as a graduate student in communication studies studying marginalized groups in games, manga, and Japanese pop culture. I also teach public speaking to college students, which I think is the bee's knees. A few other things about me: I like bright colors, eat a lot of cheese, and have a boyfriend who cooks, gives great shoulder massages, and plays video games. What more could a lady want?

In addition to my general duties as an intern, which will include a fair amount of writing and other tasks commonly assigned to editors (this isn't your typical go-fer internship), I'll also be doing a lot of work engaging with the Game Informer Online community. I did a considerable amount of social media work in college and I was even lucky enough to get paid for it. I'm ready to get back into the habit of having my eyes glued to blogs and Twitter. In the short amount of time I've been active on GIO, it has shown itself to be a bastion of intelligent discussion and kind souls--an island of sanity in the sea of lunacy that is the internet -- and I couldn't be more thrilled and honored to not only be a part of the Game Informer staff, but also the Game Informer online community this summer. I look forward to working with -- and for -- you all.

For your daily dose of nerd, follow my Tumblr. To follow my non-gaming shenanigans, check out my personal blog.