I Haven't Matured In The Past Ten Years

by Jacob Geller on May 21, 2018 at 06:53 AM

When I was 13, I unleashed a foolproof rhetorical strategy on my parents.

“Mom, Dad,” I said. “I’m 13. I just had my bar-mitzvah, and according to the torah, that means I’m a man. Therefore, I should be able to play Resident Evil 4.”

During the past couple days at Game Informer, I’ve been thinking about that first week shotgunning not-zombies. I didn’t really expect my argument to work then, and I certainly didn’t expect to find myself here writing this. But like ten years ago, I’ve successfully fooled my superiors (my parents then, Ben Reeves and Jeff Cork now) into giving me an experience I’m barely prepared for.

A Game Informer internship is the Resident Evil 4 of adulthood. You heard it here first, baby

Writing about games, like most things in my life, has largely been a quest for validation. Talking about art is hard. Even harder is communicating that feeling of artistry, the tones and themes and symbolism, to someone who’s never thought about a medium in that way. Anyone who’s rambled to a friend or relative about the meaning of a game for minutes on end, just to be met with “video games? Like Nintendo?” knows this pain.

And so, last January, I just started writing.

I wrote about PTSD in Wolfenstein, indie titles and Rothko, Fumito Ueda and architecture. Eventually, I was lucky enough to be adopted by a wonderful podcast, Cane and Rinse, who I’ve worked with for the last several months. I still wrote about basically whatever I wanted- more emotional trauma, more Ueda, more architecture- but I had a community, and a little bit more exposure. And now I’m at Game Informer.

Before Resident Evil 4, bar-mitzvahs, or even Lego Island 2: The Brickster’s Revenge, I was reading this dang magazine. I spent hours poring over the details of each page, absorbing countless details on games I’d never play. Now I’m 23. I can’t juggle or speak a foreign language, but I can tell you all about the preview of Bullet Witch that ran in an issue more than a decade ago. Somehow, that's led to this.

I saw a live recording of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me once. Hearing the NPR voice from real-life Peter Sagal was bizarre, but it wasn’t nearly as surreal as hearing the Game Informer Show voice come out of Ben Hanson’s mouth (his first words: “you know my superpower, being an a--hole”).

Maybe this is all an aberration in a life that will settle into some sort of research job. I’d probably even be fine with that. But writing about games is a flight of fancy that’s presented me with more opportunities than I ever expected. I intend to ride this weird train for as long as it’ll take me.

(Or maybe I did all this to get more followers on twitter. You decide.)