I don't just get enthusiastic about games. I get powerfully, annoyingly passionate about them. There isn't a hidden place in the back of my mind where I secretly want to be a rock star, or an actor, or a YouTube sensation. This is what I want. It's my million dollar answer. If I win the lottery, I found a studio. Cut me and I bleed experience points, and I should certainly see a doctor about that.
I worked at Electronics Boutique as a teenager, a games journalist and critic as a young adult, and now a narrative and level designer. So you could say I've always been excited; perpetually interested and engaged in video games.
But there are other things.
I love b-movies
I grew up on Mystery Science Theater 3000, which gave me a deep affection for garbage. B-movies are born from a magical moment when earnest, ego-driven effort meets abject failure. When I see the words "written, produced, and directed by..." my eyes brighten, because it something amazing is about to happen. Amazingly, lovingly terrible.
Some of my favorites are Manos: The Hands of Fate, Miami Connection, Space Mutiny, Time Chasers, The Room, and the incomparable Megaforce (See photo above).
I was an Arts Journalist before I was Games Journalist
Writing about Mark Manders installations and interviewing artists like Peter Max set me up to look at games as art. Which was educational, but also very frustrating. As more sites populated the internet, analysis and critique on video games became fruitless. I cared about the quality and depth of the medium, but with so many voices speaking at once, it was easy to go unheard. I still think intelligent, artistic discourse is important to the industry, but I don't want shout at the wind when the wind responds "TL;DR".
I like it. Lost a lot of weight. Feel better.
But I don't like to go on about it.
When you're broad and 6' 4", jogging sucks. I'd like to use more flowery language, but nothing accurately describes how awkward and pointless jogging feels. Every bouncing step feels absurd. So I put on some gloves and stand in front of a body bag and my nemesis Everlast. The punching bag, not the rapper. I'm not sure I could take him.
Maybe that's how my ancestors handled things. Brute force and fists. They're probably not thrilled I became a designer.
I was a proofreader and then an assistant publisher in Urban Hip-Hop Fiction
I had the good fortune to be an editor at a publishing firm that worked solely with "Urban Hip-hop" fiction. Being dropped into a genre I was completely inappropriate for, and unfamiliar with, was amazing. Publishing, in general, just wasn't for me. I did learn that Urban Dictionary is completely useless as an urban dictionary.