Ainsley Bowden (Porshapwr) : President and Founder
What’s your history with gaming? I started gaming on the Atari 2600 and Collecovision when I was 4 and quickly fell in love with it. When I was 6 I played Super Mario Brothers at a friend’s house and was hooked for life. In my early 20s I began collecting quite seriously and have owned more consoles and games than I could count over the years. Nowadays, I play on all platforms and collect many gaming related collectibles including figures, statues, books, and prints.
What’s the game you remember most from your childhood? Phantasy Star. I was a Sega kid and received the game for Christmas when I was 10. Back then there were no guides and no internet and the game was incredibly obtuse (especially for a 10 year old). I played it over the course of a couple of years with one part of the game taking me months to finally find/figure out. I eventually beat it and can still remember that moment to this day.
What is your favorite franchise? Halo. I was big into Doom in the early 90s and playing titles like Turok, Goldeneye, and Perfect Dark on the N64. When the Xbox launched in 2001, I had no interest at all. That is, until I played Halo at an EB Games (while paying off my Gamecube pre-order funny enough). I couldn’t get it out of my mind and went back to buy an Xbox and Halo the next night when it launched. My Gamecube barely got touched and I have played Halo C.E. beginning to end tens of times. Since then I have been heavily involved in the Halo community, played tournament level on C.E., 2, and 3, and continue to be a huge fan.
What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? The Witcher 3. In a number of ways, it is simply astonishing and accomplished aspects of story-telling and world building that had never been done before. The expansions somehow only made it even better. It’s a modern masterpiece.
What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? Wow. I’ve thought about that a number of times and the same few titles come to my mind for a few reasons. Immediately I would throw out Tetris and Mario 64. Tetris as it’s timeless and has transgressed gaming. Mario 64 because it was the true definition of a revolution upon release. I also believe that in a number of years, Minecraft may insert itself into this discussion. That said, I have to say Super Mario Brothers. It single-handedly put the NES into tens of millions of homes and erased the memories of the video game market crash in the early 80s. It brought gaming back to the spotlight, in a positive way, and it has been on the incline ever since.
What is your favorite console of all-time? Tough. I’ve always adored the 16-Bit generation just due to the quality of the games and my memories with them. So the SNES and Genesis immediately jump up there. I was a Neo Geo collector for a while and adore that system as well. In the end though, I think I have to say the Xbox 360. The number of timeless franchises that can be played on that system is incredible, it brought HD gaming to the mainstream, it introduced the marketplace and app support for consoles, and did things for online gaming never done before.
Bert Saenz (Treb_SG) : Executive Editor
What game do you remember most from your childhood? I was a Nintendo kid growing up and Mario was where I spent a lot of my hours during the summer and vacations. Super Mario World, Mario Kart and Mario 64 would be my game(s).
What is your favorite franchise? This is a tough one for me because I don’t have a single franchise that I’d call my favorite. Historically, I’d have to say God of War as I’ve played every single game in the franchise, including handlhelds. Of the past 2 generations I’ve spent the most time and replayed each Dead Space game twice.
What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? At the moment this it’s a really close tie for me between The Last of Us and The Witcher 3.
What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? Mario 64 brought us the 3d open world where you could jump all into any area/world you want. Goldeneye brought us console couch multiplayer, which would later evolve into online multiplayer.
And what is your favorite console of all-time? From a nostaligic point of view I’d have to say the SNES as it was part of my childhood. Realistically it would have to be the PlayStation 2 as it birthed so many franchises that I love and still play today. I’ve always been a bigger single player gamer compared to multiplayer. The PS2 opened my world into multiple franchises outside of Nintendo and Sega, at a time where the gaming industry was evolving into something bigger.
Dan Rodriguez (XoX Rapture XoX) : Contributor
What game do you remember most from your childhood? Obviously all of the early Nintendo games spring to mind. Honestly though, Venture from the Colecovision always sticks out. It was the first game my dad and I played together so it holds a special place in my personal gaming journey.
What is your favorite franchise? Bioshock probably, though there’s so many. As a series though, I’d go with Mass Effect. The Bioshock games hold up on their own really well, and even have some crossover. Mass Effect was better as an ongoing, fluid story experience.
What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? From just a technical standpoint, Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to be hard to top. The immersion level is off the charts. It’s both its strongest and weakest points in my opinion. Objectively, it’s on a different level though.
What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? Pong was the alpha. Without it, maybe we don’t see the industry where it is. Culturally, the original Super Mario Brothers is the king. Everyone knows what it is. Every few years though, another game comes out and changes the landscape of the industry. It’s always evolving and improving, and that’s great for gamers.
And what is your favorite console of all-time? Whatever one is pushing the envelope. Right now it’s the Xbox One X. Tomorrow it might be the PS5. I want the best experience when I play the game, regardless of where that is. While I’m pretty entrenched in the Xbox ecosystem, the older I get, the less time I have for the hobby. So when I do play, I want it to be worth my time.