GI's New West Coast News Editor – I'm Like Woodward And Bernstein But About Mario
Hi, Game Informer community!
My name is Imran Khan and I’m happy to introduce myself as Game Informer’s west coast news editor. I’m still trying to convince myself this whole thing isn’t a dream and mostly succeeding so far.
I started playing video games before I learned to read. I have distinct memories of repeatedly calling my mother into the living room to read me whatever Splinter and April O’Neil were saying in the pause menu of Konami’s terrible first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. For the record, I made it to Shredder once in my life in that game, and I will likely never repeat that feat. I have made peace with that.
When I was ten, I created a gaming magazine out of notebook paper and passed it around school. Rather than photocopying it, I merely rewrote everything by hand across different sheets of paper. It was as profound a waste of time as it was a waste of paper I was supposed to be using for schoolwork, but I fell in love with writing about games in the process. My artistically offensive cover drawing of Wario notwithstanding, I will always note that little fanzine as my first major success in games writing.
Depending on the day, my answer to the favorite games question will differ greatly. Mega Man X was the game that first got me thinking about how video games are designed, and it is the only game I bother to speedrun. Nier was a game that affected me greatly, and made me think about video game narratives and their ability to convey meaning through interaction. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is just really, really good. So, I’ve never been great at answering that question definitively.
I think that is part of why I love video games so much. There is always a new favorite, or a new game that makes me think about the entire medium in a different way. I generally like to keep an open mind about new things in games, whether it be a fascinating take on an old mechanic or a new way to tell a story. Sometimes this leads to getting burned, but ultimately that matters a lot less than trying something different and discovering I love it.
I go on personal missions to make sure people know about niche games they might have passed over. Friends have banned me from suggesting the Wii title Trauma Team when soliciting recommendations, because I simply will not let it go without a fight. The pleading phrase “It’s actually good!” would be my applause-line catchphrase if I were a '90s sitcom character. I have yet to be entirely convinced I am not.
I firmly believe there is room for all kinds of games, and all kinds of gamers, within the medium. Representation matters to me, because the small brown child obsessed with video games that I used to be never really got a chance to see anyone like him in games. I think video games should be for everyone, and I think everyone should be able to play the games they want to play, the way they want to play them. And I think everyone should play Mega Man X at least once.
I graduated university with a degree in Journalism and, if you have never told your mother you plan to put that degree to use in video games, I can tell you that it's definitely a fun conversation to have. I hope to bring to G.I. all of my experience and education as a journalist and a writer to serve the gaming community as a whole. For lack of a better phrase, my goal is to help people be informed about games, and I’m eager to engage with the community more. I can't wait to start on this new adventure.
You can follow me on Twitter at @imranzomg – especially if you are a fan of dad jokes.