Meet the Crew

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Ainsley Bowden

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Twitter : Porshapwr


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 twenties 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. and 2, 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?  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 Super Mario 64. Tetris as it’s timeless and has transgressed gaming. Super 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.

Steve Esposito

Senior Contributor and Editor

Twitter : SteveEspositoSG

What’s your history with gaming?  My history with gaming starts when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old when I first played Super Mario Bros. A couple of years of playing and I landed a job at Game Crazy, a video game store tied to a video rental store. From there I worked for GameStop as an assistant manager for several years and moved to working for Microsoft. I got into writing about video games because of working in retail where customers always wanted to know what was good, so I went from explaining gaming not just on person but online too.

What game do you remember most from your childhood?  The game I remember most from my childhood was Sonic the Hedgehog. Specifically the second iteration. Between my brother and I, it got to a point where my mom would have to set a time limit because we would end up fighting over the player 1 spot.

What is your favorite franchise? My favorite franchise is a hard one to answer but I will always go back to Halo. It was the game that introduced me to online play, and gave me some incredibly amazing moments in gaming that I still remember till this day. In preparation for Halo: Infinite I am going through the Master Chief Collection and I’m getting all those feelings of nostalgia back.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? The greatest game ever made might be Resident Evil 4. I’m not a fan of horror games by any means, but RE4 was that game that had just enough action and pacing to offset the horror elements. I still replay that game from time to time.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? I like to say that mobile gaming has had the largest impact on gaming overall. Since mobile gaming came into fruition, we have used the mobile model within some console games in an effort for more companies to gain additional profit. It’s not good by any means which is why I think we need to stay ever so vigilant when it comes to how these tactics are used in the future.

And what is your favorite console of all-time? My favorite console of all time will be PC. Just kidding, I’m going to say the Nintendo Switch. It’s just a piece of hardware that seems like it’s from the future, and we shouldn’t have it. The concept doesn’t seem feasible to me still, and the machine has been out for quite some time now. It’s just amazing how the experience is on that hybrid machine, and it’s truly not like anything else.

Karl Dwyer

Technical Lead and Contributor

Twitter : OSTX78

What’s your history with gaming? I’ve been a gamer ever since seeing ‘Yars Revenge’ on my cousins Atari 2600 back in 1982. Needless to say that Christmas I got my very own Atari 2600 and never looked back. From Gen1 through to the current generation I’ve followed the industry and the technology that drives it forward.

What game do you remember most from your childhood? Turrican II was my most played game. I originally had it on my faithful Atari STe and later on the Amiga A1200. A game to this day I’ve still never completed, I just savour the experience…

What is your favorite franchise? My all time favourite franchise has to be Half-Life. It was just a game changer for story driven first person shooters. The original Half-Life and Half-Life II are just timeless classics, I still play them to this day and keep up to date with the mod community that surrounds them #PC.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? This one is easy, its Half-Life II but I have to say The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time is a close second.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? Doom has to be the most influential game of the past few decades. It spawned a genre and kickstarted the first person shoot down innovation lane. It’s an all time classic and its still a strong brand today.

And what is your favorite console of all-time?  Now this is subjective and it might well be influenced by where you grew up. I grew up in the north west of England and although the likes of Nintendo and Sega had a strong presence during my childhood the Commodore Amiga and Atari STe ruled, where else do you get the best versions of Speedball 2, Turrican 2 and The secret of Monkey Island? The Amiga of course. Plus there was a very active demo scene where coders had started to leverage the Atari STe’s untapped functionality and pushed the machine beyond what the big software houses had managed to do and in some cases beyond what you’d typically see on the Amiga, those there the days.

Dan Rodriguez

Live Show Co-Host and Contributor

Twitter : Drodriguezwdsc


What’s your history with gaming? Started playing in the late 70’s on Atari with my dad and never looked back. I’ve owned a variety of consoles throughout the years from Colecovision to Dreamcast to all the current gen consoles. It’s always been a family affair and it’s awesome watching my kids continue the love of the hobby that’s meant so much to me.

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.

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.

Patrick Shields

Lead Editor and Senior Contributor

Twitter : Iluspook

What’s your history with gaming? Like many of us “seasoned gamers”, I started gaming with the classic systems with the first I owned being a ColecoVision and an Atari 2600. Since then, I have owned and played a huge amount of games on nearly every system and computer generation, including the Atari Jaguar.

What game do you remember most from your childhood? Can this be a more challenging question? Being gamers, so many games helped to shape experiences and memories in us, but I’ll give one for the 3 phases of childhood: Dig Dug for my early childhood, Ikari Warriors for pre-puberty, and Super Metroid for my teenage years. Each has a very nostalgic place in my heart.

What is your favorite franchise? For my favorite franchise, I’ll have to go with good ol’ Final Fantasy. Being a novelist, I appreciate the stories and adventures that those games have taken me on. I feel like every major part of my life had a Final Fantasy game associated alongside it, and here’s hoping that continues.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? The greatest game ever made is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It has everything I could hope for in a game. It starts with the foundation of excellent 2D gameplay, then mixes in a great variety of creative enemies, incredible level design, challenging boss fights, and an unbelievably excellent and memorable soundtrack. It packed in secrets and details, and stirred in loot and loot grinding, being one of the first games to successfully do so. To top it all off, it added a perfect sprinkling of RPG mechanics for good measure.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? My initial reaction to this question was Super Mario 64. Not only did it provide the world with the blueprint for 3D gaming, but it also opened the door to open world game design. However, I have to admit that The Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time really deserves the spot for not only incorporating all of those details from Super Mario 64, but doing so against all odds. Upon hearing about a new 3D Zelda, the gaming media was hugely skeptical, but the game blew the door to open world games off the hinges while also inspiring the future of 3d fighting, boss, level, and puzzle design across a sprawling world that was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Make no mistake, nearly every game created in modern times has some sort of thank you card it needs to send to the creators of Ocarina of Time.

And what is your favorite console of all-time? The final question has the easiest answer: the Super Nintendo.

Eric Bezanson

Senior Contributor

Twitter : Game Positive

What’s your history with gaming? In the early 90s I got the NES for Christmas one year, followed by the SNES a year or two later and they both quickly became some of the most prized toys on the shelf. Standing as equals with my Batman The Animated Series Batmobile and my hard-head red power ranger stuffed doll, that also acts as a make-shift mace if the situation called for it. As the 90s progressed so did my susceptibility to hype and after seeing the adverts, and Electric Playground coverage, of the Sony PlayStation it replaced Turbo-Man as the number one thing 7 year old me wanted for Christmas. Christmas came around that year and my father pulled the ultimate bait and switch at the buzzer making the PS1 the last gift I opened which in turn elevated Video games beyond standard toys in my eyes. A Few years and a couple thousand newspapers delivered later and the Original Xbox was mine, A console that would arguably help shape my entire life from that point, and I have been team green (with a side of everything else) ever since.

What’s the game you remember most from your childhood? I’m going follow suit with the others and assume “childhood” means 10 years old and under. Growing up as a 90s kid, my family did what all families did on the weekend and that was to head to the local corner store or blockbuster video and rent movies and buy some pizza. Video games, among other things, to me were the pre-show before we binged out on snacks and pizza and had ourselves a weekly movie night. I loved action movies like Starship Troopers, The Matrix, Goldeneye, 5th Element, Point Break etc. The Action was incredible and the stories were memorable, something that video games just couldn’t replicate for me at the time. Those two mediums were separated in my eyes until one game blended them together, and that game was Metal Gear Solid. Suddenly I had the revelation that those memorable action scenes and memorable stories didn’t have to wait until Friday night, completely changing how I viewed video games… forever.

What is your favorite franchise? Halo. It’s not even close. I spoke earlier about the Original Xbox helping to shape my entire life… well, that’s not exactly true. Halo did. In 2004 I moved across the country right before starting high school. I didn’t have any friends but I was lucky enough to have a cousin who was going to attend the same school as me. The summer before high school started his neighbor hosted a Halo CE system link and every friend I started Highschool with came from that system link. Throughout Highschool, every friend I made came from Halo 2/3 Xbox live multiplayer… to this day as a podcaster, every connection I’ve made came from Halo. I’m part of the SG crew BECAUSE OF HALO. It’s also one of the most, if not the most, influential game series of all time full stop but that is a story for another day (or question)

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? I’m going to cheat here. Greatest single player game ever made is God of War (2018). People with even a toe dipped into how the video game sausage is made look at the no-cut camera for 20+ hours and just know how monumentally insane that achievement is on its own. On top of that you have fantastic characters, visuals, music and set pieces. Playing on Give Me God of War mode makes the combat incredibly challenging and rewarding. Greatest multiplayer game… might shock you that it’s not a Halo title, but I have to go with Destiny 1. The game fostered one of the greatest communities, ever. It had something for everyone with strikes and crucible being excellent fun for casual PvE or PvP players while also having Raids and Trials for the most competitive PvE and PvP players, destiny raids to this day are the single greatest group PvE activity you can play on a console. Clearing the Kings Fall raid before the first reset is still my most cherished multiplayer moment of all time. The sequel has made some controversial decisions but the original destiny is absolutely incredible.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? Halo. How many more answers can I start with “Halo.”? Look, it’s an objective fact that the majority of the most popular games over the last 20 years, on console at least, have one or more of the following traits: aim acceleration, soft lock/snapping crosshair, crosshair friction, bullet magnetism, multiplayer playlists, multiplayer matchmaking, in-client match replays… halo created those or at the very least popularized them. To put it simply if you have played a game in the last 20 years where your characters movement is controlled by one thumb stick and the camera is controlled by another, while at the same time not feeling like complete garbage to play, it owes that to Halo. If you have played a multiplayer game where you group up with friends, or queue solo, and are put into a lobby with other players automatically within a specific set of parameters chosen prior to searching and then put into a new lobby once the match is over, it owes that to halo 2.

What is your favorite console of all-time? I love the original Xbox, I think Microsoft’s willingness, as a billion dollar company, to go all out in uncharted waters and create one of the bigger hardware power discrepancies we have ever seen between consoles in direct competition with each other was something that has not been replicated since. I think doing that while at the same time taking some serious gambles that ended up becoming industry standards with the included HDD, the decision to include a ethernet port was extremely bold. I think to do both of those things while releasing a ton of great exclusive games, a library that stands the test of time and is criminally underrated, was legendary. The Original Xbox despite having a significantly smaller footprint made an impact far greater than anyone would have ever expected, and helped inspire Sony to level up their game in both hardware and software which led to one of the best console battles of all time in the PS3 vs the Xbox 360, a battle that’s echoes are still felt to this very day.

Claire Roberts

Community / Social Media Manager

Twitter : thatmummarocks

What’s your history with gaming?  I first started out gaming when my uncle handed down his Atari 2600 to me at a very young age. At one point I remember my dad buying me a commodore 64, a console that brought hours of fun, once the game loaded! The N64 paved the way for my teenage years as well as the playstation and I now spend my days gaming solely on Xbox.

What game do you remember most from your childhood? Asteroids was the first game I remember enjoying throughly, as well as centipede, however at an older age I found fun in games such as Goldeneye, Mario 64 and Mario Kart.

What is your favorite franchise? My favourite franchise of all time has to be Dragon Age. Dragon Age origins was the game that made me buy an Xbox 360 after trying out the game at a friends. I’m a big open world RPG kinda girl and the Dragon Age games give me all those feels.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? There are so many games for so many genres that I could pick from so I will name just one. World of Warcraft and I say this because it’s a game that brought together people from all over the world, not only does it do this but it does it in a successful way. As of yet no other MMORPG has managed to match its success and there has been alot of contenders and personally I think that says alot.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? In terms of significant game ever made I will have to go with Mass effect. The Mass effect series was one of the first to introduce romances, but not only that it allowed everyone to be themselves no matter their preferences.

And what is your favorite console of all-time? Gotta be the N64. It was probably the console I had most fun with and the one with the most memories attached to it.

Elliot Porter

Video Editor and Contributor

Twitter : DirecktGaming

What’s your history with gaming? The first memories I have of gaming were titles like Commander Keen and Alley Cat on early PCs, and then Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Another World and Bungie’s Pathways Into Darkness on Macintosh in the mid-90s. My brother and I were given a SNES for Christmas one year and my love for console gaming really blossomed from there. After a few years without a whole lot of gaming, in 2009 I got an Xbox 360 and my love for the industry exploded in a way I never imagined, and have been playing pretty much daily ever since.

What game do you remember most from your childhood? Donkey Kong Country 3 was the game we got bundled with our SNES and it was my favourite game for years and years. My brother and I finished it 100% and still to this day everything about that game gives me huge nostalgia and I still rate it in my top 5 games of all time. From it’s music and it’s diverse levels to the great world map and progression, DKC3 is a legend in my books. Kiddy Kong is hugely underrated.

What is your favorite franchise? Mass Effect. The first Mass Effect game changed the way I consumed video games and got me hooked on the RPG genre in a big way, and I absolutely fell in love with the universe and the characters that BioWare created.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? Mass Effect 2. Its incredible story telling, pacing, combat, characterisation and world building, that still holds up 10 years later is nothing short of perfection in my opinion.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? That’s a really tough call, but I think it could be GTA 3. It’s sort of the birth place for open world games, which are now such a huge part of our industry. I mean, the GTA series as a whole as been massively influential, but GTA 3 kinda started a trend that continues to dominate the triple-a landscape.

And what is your favorite console of all-time? Probably the Xbox 360. It really rekindled my love for video games in a big way, and introduced me to so many new genres and games that I previously hadn’t explored. So many great games released that generation as well and that console helped pave the way for how entrenched I am now with the gaming world.

Luke Lohr

Contributor and Host of the Xbox Expansion Pass

Twitter : InsipidGhost

What’s your history with gaming? My gaming career began with my mom digging out an old Atari from the closet and sitting me down in front of the TV to play The Empire Strikes Back. Her attempt to calm me down and offer her a moment of respite from a wild child opened a door for me to explore an entire genre of entertainment. To that end I’ve been gaming in one way or another since. My claim to fame is that during college I raked leaves for professors and sold plasma in order to buy an Xbox 360.

What’s the game you remember most from your childhood? This answer changes on any given day but call it a toss up between Rogue Squadron and Metal Gear Solid. Each of these titles were a master class in their genre and provided me hours of immersion in their worlds.

What is your favorite franchise?  Arkham. While not as perfect as God of War or as legendary as The Witcher 3, the Arkham franchise did something no other game has yet been able to master: make me feel like Batman from start to finish. Each of the 4 mainline entries does a great job of incorporating the best rogue’s gallery in comic book lore with a hero destined for sacrifice in victory. The flow combat was revolutionary and has impacted nearly all brawlers since and the detective vision allowed for some truly fantastic moments of stealth violence.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? God of War 2018 is without a doubt the greatest game to date. Combining incredible writing with near perfect gameplay, God of War nails the perfect balance of playing as a God and somehow feeling human. The journey taken on by Kratos and Atreus is one of remorse and rebirth. It’s rare you see the struggle of a father and son captured so perfectly in fiction but God of War does this perfectly. Also, the Leviathan ax is just cool.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? Super Mario Bros. It’s a cheap answer but it reinvigorated a dead medium as gaming had collapsed. It also mastered simple, approachable gameplay in a way that allowed experts and newcomers alike to enjoy. Lessons are taught from moment one. Run right, jump or you die. Experiment with that jump and you are rewarded with a coin, a mushroom, or points in breaking a block. Run and jump at the same time to progress. Masterful simplicity.

What is your favorite console of all-time? Despite the possibility of recency bias, I must say it’s the Xbox Series X. The ability to play games from as far back as the original Xbox as well as the latest and greatest makes this console the most versatile box ever. I regularly play older titles in conjunction with recent indie and AAA experiences thanks to the massive catalog available.

Joey Sisco Tufts


Twitter : Joeysisco

What’s your history with gaming? According to my father, it was being mesmerized by Keith Courage in Alpha Zones for the TurboGrfx-16 as a two year old boy. But it truly took off a few years later when I got a Super Nintendo; and things just progressed from there. Today I can be found on nearly all platforms, discussing game related news online and sharing my passion for games (which aged like a fine wine) with the world.

What’s the game you remember most from your childhood? I’m going to cheat and use two whoppers. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Final Fantasy VII. These two games not only occupied a huge chunk of my childhood; they changed my trajectory for how I look at games. During my SNES years I happened to miss A Link to the Past and Final Fantasy III; heck, most story driven games. So in the late 90’s, these two titles fundamentally changed what I believe video games could be.

What is your favorite franchise? Halo, without a doubt. It is worth noting that it’s possible that no individual Halo game would crack my top 10 for “all-time favorite games” on their own. But as a collective, they offer my favorite sci-fi setting across any medium; with gameplay that is absolutely timeless and genre defining. It is a series I will continue to enjoy for years and years to come.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? Sea of Thieves. I tell everyone the same thing; I can’t promise you will like it. But I can promise you’ve never played anything like it. A genre defining title, no game has ever won me over to the point where I’m nearly a walking advert for it to the extent Sea of Thieves has. The relationship between the player, their ship and the Sea is something I’ve not even seen attempted in anything else to date, let alone replicated. It must be played to be understood, a truly unique experience. To me, that makes it the greatest.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System, 1985. Not only is it immediately recognizable at a global level; it achieved this feat after entering a market that had absolutely tanked and died just a couple years prior. While certainly up for debate as it wasn’t a singular factor; Super Mario Bros. is partially (and largely, in my opinion) responsible for saving video games as we know them.

What is your favorite console of all time? Unlike some, I love modern times. I am more in love with video games now than at any point in my entire life—thanks to some grown-up insight and perspective I didn’t have as a kid. How I play as changed; how I consume games has changed. For this reason, the Xbox Series X and Microsoft’s Xbox ecosystem would absolutely take the cake for my favorite console. It’s a system I expect to grow with in the years to come.

Peter Aitken


Twitter : PeterP_85

What’s your history with gaming? I started gaming at around 6 years of age and my fist foray into games was on the ZX Spectrum playing The Hobbit. I was fascinated by the fact that I could choose what to do and it planted the seed that would continue to grow into this love for games that I have. My family then went the Sega route with the Master System and then the Mega Drive whilst a friend at the time went the Nintendo route. This was back when you still went round a mates house at the weekend and so I was lucky enough to experience all these systems. We then jumped to the Playstation which really opened my eyes as to what games could be. I have been lucky enough since then to own most mainline consoles.

What’s the game you remember most from your childhood? Final Fantasy 7. I can still remember playing this for the first time and it blew me away. It was the first time that a game was more than just a game, it was an experience. I still go back to Final Fantasy 7 now and it remains one of my favourite game of all time.

What is your favorite franchise? This is tough but I would have to say Halo. I have loved the franchise since Halo CE and some of my fondest gaming memories are from playing Halo in co-op with my brother. I have consumed a lot of the additional content, namely the books, and the universe created and the characters in that universe are so memorable.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made? I am going to cheat slightly and go with a trilogy, and that trilogy is Mass Effect. I have yet to experience anything else like what this game achieved. It genuinely felt like I was moulding the world and the experience as I played. Going back to the trilogy this year has not tarnished my memories of the game at all, as revisiting older games can sometimes do, and instead reinforced my opinion on the trilogy as one of the greatest stories told.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? I think of games like Mario 64, Tetris and Zelda Ocarina Of Time but I think it has to be Super Mario Brothers. It drove millions to purchase the NES and was a big step in moving games into the home.

What is your favorite console of all time? This may seem a bit odd because most people would answer this with an older console but these older machines, whilst amazing, are more a nostalgic love for me. I am actually going to say the Xbox Series X. in terms of a piece of hardware, coupled with the fantastic feature set (backwards compatibility, performance and resolution boosts to older games, Gamepass) it just offers so much in one affordable box and this generation of gaming overall looks like it could be one of the best.

Alejandro Segovia


Twitter : A_droSegovia

What’s your history with gaming?  I started gaming when I was 2 years old, when my dad already had an SNES and I started to become fairly conscious about gaming. My first two games were Super Mario World and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Since then, gaming has always been my go to entertainment option, and I have owned pretty much every major system released since 1996 (the N64 onwards) with the exception of the Wii U.

What’s the game you remember most from your childhood? I will never forget the impact Super Mario 64 left in my mind when I first saw it at launch in 1996. It was such a monumental leap from the 2D sprites of the SNES in visuals and design, and one that has become an indelible memory for me and my family. We always replay it once a year at the very least, and the end credits and its music never fails to make me tear up out of nostalgia.

What is your favorite franchise? My favorite franchise of all time is Metal Gear Solid. There was something so sophisticated about the bonkers, thoughtful narrative Hideo Kojima weaved through this saga, paired with some brilliant stealth mechanics that always makes the entire series one of the best. I lament the entire saga is basically trapped in the PlayStation 3, and God how I wish it could be easier to access all these games in modern hardware these days.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made?  Depending on when you ask me, my answer varies from day to day. Sometimes it is Super Mario World, the game that kickstarted me into gaming and one I think it’s a perfect example of pure gameplay. Other times, I may say Shadow of the Colossus, a game so unique and striking for its time, it still resonates with me to this day with its singular focus, masterful soundtrack, and presenting itself in a way I can say is a work of art.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made? I will say the most significant game ever made is probably 1998’s “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”. It was a game that revolutionized what a game could do in 3D space (even more so than the first steps of Super Mario 64), and many of its design tenets are still being felt even today (in much improved ways, of course). Even with its age, it is always admirable to see gaming received a great blueprint with what was possible in an action/adventure game here.

What is your favorite console of all-time? I will say my favorite console of all time is always between the SNES, the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox 360. The SNES is what started me on my gaming path, and there was something so special about a lot of the classics from that system I can still go back and play and enjoy the same way today. The PlayStation 2, however, is the system where the full potential of what gaming could be started being realized for me. It’s the one system that felt every genre was represented, and experiments could easily happen to create one of the most diverse lineups ever. I’d say the Xbox 360 comes close to delivering the breadth of content I got from the PlayStation 2, especially when so many franchises I still play today were born there. While I’m mostly a PlayStation 4 & PlayStation 5 player nowadays (we all know what happened on the Xbox One days), nothing beats the memories of those early three for me.

Zach Bateman


Twitter : Amer1c4n_Psych0

What’s your history with gaming?  I started gaming very late in life because I grew up in a very strict household. My best friend across the street from me as a kid had a Playstation that he ended up giving me. From that point I was able to slowly ease my way into more systems working up to a Game Boy Color and a Game Boy Advanced. In Highschool I eventually got a job and purchased my own system which was the Xbox 360. From that point I started to collect memorabilia, and dived headlong into gaming and to this day, the past time is a huge part of my life. Currently I play on Xbox, Playstation, and PC while still collecting collectibles from franchises I adore.

What’s the game you remember most from your childhood?  Final Fantasy IX. With the Playstation being my first console this was also the first game I ever owned that my best friend gave me. I put ample amount of time into the game and I remember I got to the final disc when my little brother mistakenly overwrote my save data to play Crash Bandicoot racing. I don’t know if I have ever been more upset with my brother but I laugh about this memory quite a bit. Zidane, Dagger, Amarant and Steiner (who I gave a very vulgar name as a middle schooler) will always hold a lot of good memories and experiences as they introduced me to this hobby that has helped me so much personally

What is your favorite franchise?  Dead Space. This was a very difficult question to answer because there are so many amazing franchises that I love. Dead Space was the first form of Horror media that I consumed that genuinely scared me. I remember the halloween that my dad got the game he challenged me to play it. Walking through the dark, rusted atmosphere of a starship I didn’t think the game had the ability to scare me. From the moment the first necromorph dropped from the ceiling and proceeded to chase me I screamed and turned off my console. It took me weeks to man up and brave the diabolical plot that led me to consume all the lore, and enjoy every entry after. That’s right I even enjoyed Dead Space 3.

What do you believe is the greatest game ever made?  Also a very hard question. I would have to say The Witcher 3. It took my love for RPG’s that started with FF and showed me that a game could be so immersive, and so full. The journey I took in that game is one that I will never forget. Every sidequest felt like a main story mission, and every character had lore and was fleshed out in layers much like the popular metaphor of peeling an onion. With your decisions feeling impactful and this games deep dive into Polish fantasy I can’t think of a game that has hit me as hard as the Witcher 3 has. It’s attention to detail, and story make it an impeccable title and one I think everyone should at least try.

What do you believe is the most significant game ever made?  This question probably outdates me but I want to say Pong. Pong started it all right? The simple game of making a pixel bounce between two opposing lines. To think that such a simple concept started and lead to what we have now is absolutely insane. To think that Pong has lead to games with lifelike graphics and stories that even transcend films still blows my mind.

What is your favorite console of all-time?  This one is easy, the Xbox 360. This console showed me just how expansive video games are and provided me an escape whenever I needed one. From getting destroyed by my best friend in Halo 3, to experiencing online multiplayer in Zanzibar. To Co-op games I could play from my couch like Lost Planet 2, and experiencing the unknown galaxy in Mass Effect. The games of this generation were very much places to visit for me, and the 360 was the shuttle that took me there. Bringing a convergence of concepts this console brought digital games into the market, made online multiplayer games possible and addicting, while expanding upon everything that had already been established by great story telling, environments, and character creation. This console gave me an outlet of expression, and gave me opportunities to socialize and make friends that is often hard to re-create in the modern age of gaming.

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