Saturday, April 30, 2011

February 27, 2011 - The Blog that Won Me a Trip to E3

 I am a storyteller. When I was younger, I would embellish to the point that I would tell some very tall tales. I have grown up to understand the importance of honesty, but also how creativity can be very entertaining.
Creativity led me to games. I grew up watching football and playing little league, so ever since the Tandy 1000 (my first family computer) and my original Game Boy, I have always had a passion for sports games. I have played Madden religiously every year since becoming a yearly adopter with Madden 96 and am one of few that can boast about still owning a copy of "John Madden Football", the original Madden title.
I grew attached to the games because of my opportunity to imagine myself in them (or in the pressbox). I can even remember doing commentary for my NFL Quarterback Club 96 game on the Game Boy while I was playing it in my room.
As I grew up (and learned from an episode of Seinfeld that commentary was usually reserved for ex-players and people in broadcasting), I became ever more attached to games that allowed for me to see myself in it's story. I changed Cloud's name in Final Fantasy VII to my own, while also changing Aeris and Tifa's names to girls I was fond of from school. Video games were my opportunity to allow myself to be as imaginative as I wanted to be. This was a good alternative to rolling around with Nerf guns in the overgrown grass patches of a "needs-to-be-mowed" yard. Though, I do not regret my epic nerf wars against the invisible ninja armies.
Fast forwarding to being in college away from home, I spent a good amount of me free time gaming. As a student who studied history, I found writing and researching to be very fulfilling. It took me a while to realize that writing gave me the opportunity to share my unique opinions on class topics. During a World War II course, we were asked to write about anything related to the war, so I chose to write on how video games were the most accurate way to depict the experience of war out of all types of multimedia. The professor said I would not receive a passing grade unless I could adequately persuade him of such a "outlandish" statement. How'd I do? B+ and a gaming session of Call of Duty 2 with my professor. Anyways, that was gaming past.
How sure am I that gaming is my future? Well, a gaming career became a focus of mine  last year. I started by making a push in the online competition for Sony's The Tester season 2. Out of the thousands that applied, I ended up in the top 100 but did not get the nod.  After that, I moved on to writing about games here on myIGN. I chose to begin writing on IGN because I have been a constant reader on the site since 2004 and felt a real connection to the page, its writers, and its community. Since getting my feet wet here, I have expanded my online writing resume, by joining as a local console writer, as a contributing writer, and only recently joined I have also submitted a game guide to for their guides section.
After moving into the apartment my wife and i picked out and paying rent for two people with one income for a stretch, I came to find Cheapassgamer in my search to still buy games with my diminishing, not-so-expendable income. It was there where I first started seeing Kmart's initiative to connect with the hardcore gaming community. I later connected with KmartGamer via twitter about the same time I started writing about video games. I admired the great steps forward this initiative had made with the Cheapassgamer community. I also had contacted KmartGamer because I was trying to expand my presence on social media networks and grow awareness and visibility of my blog. KmartGamer gave me some excellent tips to do just that. This, as well as the Cheapassgamer posts, showed me that they are setting the standard for gaming community connection and outreach. I also want to aim for that level of dedication when it comes to my writing.I have done all this while working a full time job that is in an unrelated field, and learning to share the television with my wife, whom I married in May of 2010. I have a lot  on my plate, but it is exactly that which drives me. Video gaming has been,  is now, and will forever be a part of my life.
I want to go to E3 with Kmart because I know that I can learn a great deal about the industry, while being able to see the greatest thing of all: games I don't know about. The opportunity to demo, see trailers, and interview the great minds behind these future classics is the experience I am yearning for. I would love to chat with some of the indie developers and be able to give them more press coverage. I want to get my hands on the NGP and better understand what that back touch screen could mean for future games. E3 is the gaming Super Bowl. I want to be there to share in the excitement and celebration of who we are as gamers, and see what the future holds for us first hand. Most importantly, this opportunity would give me the knowledge and experience I would need to better connect to the gaming community at large.
Thank you KmartGamer and your team for supporting all us gamers out here. I hope I will be able to represent the well-deserving members of the video game community. I'd also like to thank my wife for supporting my passion.

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