I was born on August 2, 1981. Last week, I joined the Bitmob staff. The end.
Wait…you want details??
I’ve always been a writer. Even before I could write, I’d dictate stories to my parents (hi mom!). I love telling stories, and expressing myself creatively. In school, I was that nerdy kid who actually enjoyed book reports and essays.
For a while, I saw myself becoming a film critic. At Rutgers, I reviewed movies, trained under a renowned professional, and attended premiers (Saving Silverman, among others). Unfortunately, “film criticism” isn’t something you can easily break into. So I pursued other avenues.
At various points, I considered journalism, teaching, and the military. I’ve had a lot of shitty jobs: CVS, Walden Books (Borders), Electronics Boutique, Beckers, Allied Hobbies, KB Toys, and Cingular. I enjoyed a short foray in the United States Army. I was never mobilized, but I did get trigger time with a variety of small arms:
M16 Carbine √
M4 Carbine √
M203 Grenade Launcher √
M9 Pistol √
M-240B Machine Gun √
M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) √
MP5 submachine gun √
M2 Browning .50 √
Being an Army vet, I can say this with absolute certainty: gaming’s portrayal of firearms is complete bullshit. In most games, you always hit what you aim at (using some gamey free-floating crosshair mechanism). The following factors are ignored: recoil, weight, hand placement, proper sight picture, breathing, and fire discipline. Apart from sampled audio, there’s little difference between weapons. A machine gun handles almost identically to a pistol, and there’s no variance in accuracy. Who thinks it’s easy to run with a rocket launcher (or any heavy automatic weapon)?
When some political hack blames school massacres (or any deplorable acts of violence) on video games, I can only shake my head. Gaming cannot possibly make one a more proficient marksman.
I’m a huge Philly sports fan, and get to Citizen’s Bank Park (or wherever the Phils travel) whenever possible. My Phillies record thus far: 3-1.
Three years ago, I landed my current job: Technical Editor at Electronic Component News, a trade magazine for electrical engineers. I enjoy every second of it. Between the writing, editing, amateur programming, and travelling, there’s never a dull moment.
I prefer story-driven video games. If anybody’s read Tom Bissell’s “Extra Lives”, that comes closest to describing my eclectic tastes. I was a big JRPG fan growing up—Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy Tactics, Xenogears, and Final Fantasy 7 all took over my life at some point…Tactics took it over 12+ times.
Modern favorites include: Heavy Rain, Uncharted 1 & 2, Mass Effect 2, Portal 1 & 2, The Force Unleashed, and Alan Wake. As a lifelong writer, I can appreciate good story and dialogue. Sadly, gaming is conspicuously lacking in both. The exceptions only exacerbate my frustration at gaming’s stubborn refusal to grow up. Who needs a strong narrative when you’ve got gigantic breasts and gallons of blood?
I’ll continue to agitate for change in the industry. If it’s to be recognized as a legitimate form of entertainment, gaming must mature—and I don’t mean kitschy “M-rated” fatalities and breast physics. Gaming has the potential to explore complex themes in unique ways. Thus far, it’s largely catered to the 13-year-old boy crowd, i.e. the lowest common denominator.
But enough with the dour lectures! See below for a snapshot of my favorite games/movies/books, along with a taste of my writing. Oh, and it’s definitely Aliens over Blade Runner! Aliens is one of the greatest films ever made. Blade Runner is overrated.
Games: Mortal Kombat II, Final Fantasy Tactics, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario 3, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2, Portal, Portal 2, Alan Wake, Mega Man 2, Mass Effect 2, Tetris, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Resident Evil 4.
Movies: L.A. Confidential, Ed Wood, Indiana Jones (with the exception of Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, a blight upon humanity), Aliens, Terminator 2, Black Hawk Down, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Point Break, Watchmen, Serenity, History of the World Part 1, The Wizard, The Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather, Top Gun, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Total Recall, Kick Ass, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight.
Books: Game Over: Press Start to Continue, Atlas Shrugged, Game of Thrones series (A Storm of Swords is my favorite), Carnage and Culture, Lord of the Rings, Once an Eagle, The First Quarter, The Naked Sun.
Incandescent Ban Steamrolls Past Legislative Efforts
An editorial from ECN. This discusses the forthcoming incandescent lightbulb ban. It sparked quite the healthy debate.
Retirement of Shuttle Leaves Void in Manned Space Program
Another ECN piece. This one deals with the retirement of the space shuttle and the future of NASA.
Gaming’s Entitlement Mentality
One of my first articles to gain recognition on Bitmob. Too often, gamers expect everything for free; they feel entitled to anything they can successfully pirate. Many would disagree, and this too sparked a healthy debate.
The 3D bubble is ready to burst
I’ve been writing about the 3D phenomenon for awhile now. I’m convinced it’s a fad that will slowly fade away.
Used games: The moral imperative of GameStop and consumers
A succinct distillation of my views on the secondary market, individualism, and “supporting” the industry.