My entry into video games was a slow build. My dad first bought a Sega Saturn more in the hopes to have my sister and I play racing games together, but I was more drawn to the fighting games that I wasn’t so much allowed to play. While my cousins played Mortal Kombat on their Dreamcast, I tried to figure out what a fatality was by trying to listen to their excited chatter and discreetly peek in. Well, as discreet as an 8 year-old can be.

I can distinctly remember the first game that really had an impact on me was Brave Fencer Musashi for the first PlayStation. A lot of people probably remember that game more for the fact that it came packaged with a demo for Final Fantasy VIII than for the game itself. I mostly had to watch while my older sister played (as young kids usually do, she would get annoyed if I kept dying and grab the controller) but I loved it, regardless.

My dad had only purchased the game because my sister loved Sonic, and he saw Musashi’s blue hair and figured it would be similar. This fortunate misconception had a huge impact on my life, as I went on from that title to discover that there were a ton of other games I needed to play. Kind of makes me wonder how many gaming obsessions started just because a parent bought a game for their kid under similar assumptions and introduced them to something they never would have played otherwise. 

To tell you a little about myself and my obsessions, my favorite games and game series include Ico, Grandia, Uncharted, God of War, Grand Theft Auto, Heavy Rain, Tomb Raider, Catherine, LA Noire, and Red Dead Redemption. I have wanted to be a writer since I started writing for The Virginian Pilot’s 757 section in middle school. My first game review for that paper was Okami for the PS2— which is awesome, by the way— and I was hooked from then on.

I am studying English and journalism at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where I will be graduating from next year.  I’ve written for my college’s paper, the Niner Times and have also had the opportunity to be published in The Charlotte Observer.

Lastly, my first impressions from my early days of working for GI (when I’m not having a difficult time convincing myself it is real) and of Minneapolis, which I figured may be a little more interesting than anything about my personal history:

- Coming from working retail jobs to get through college, there is nothing quite like office talk being about much more exciting topics like the Xbox One conference and what to expect for E3.

- The editors all have impressive collections of, well, everything.  My favorite thing I have seen is a large Shadow of the Colossus framed art piece and now I have made it my mission to find one of my own. Also, previous covers are everywhere and it’s very cool to see the evolution of the magazine.

-I grew up in the south, splitting my time between Virginia and Georgia mostly. So I’ve heard plenty of thick southern accents. A large majority of people living in the southern states do not have the stereotypical twang in spite of what many shows and movies would have you believe. But after talking to GI staffers as well as the general Minnesota public it seems that just being from the south in general you are deemed as having a southern accent. I think I need to fix this before going on any podcasts.

-Seeing the massive game vault as Matt Miller tried to estimate how many titles in the thousands there are, I had to avoid saying “It’s over 9000!” 

That was probably more difficult than it should have been.

I have been reading Game Informer for years and the opportunity to intern here is something I have rearranged my entire life for, but I was happy to do it. I will try to keep a log of my experience not only here but also on my twitter. I’m really excited to get started not only on writing but also on getting to know the GI community.