Welcome to the first edition of “Personal Stories” a new feature where writers for LosHarrow or LosHarrowGames can tell tales from the heart and write about how they really feel. Who else to write the first one than the guy who thought of it. I hope you enjoy this as I poured my soul into this.
A little over a decade ago I started writing about video games for my blog (here). Honestly, I was heavily influenced by IGN, Scot Rubin, and Victor Lucas. I started writing in the summer of 2008 and was a freshman in High School and was a socially awkward nerd, hell, I still am. Adding to this at the time was a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. The latter would have a major impact on my time writing about video games in a positive way.
Once I started school in the fall I oddly chose to focus more on my blog than my school work. It was at the point where I was churning out a review every 5-7 days and did a written homage to Reviews on the Run’s “versus” system where Vic and Tommy or whoever was there filling in for Tommy as he was starting Video Games Live at the time would pit two games of a similar genre against each other and see which was the better game.
Two years later I would join my pal John writing for his site GamerZitch where I would meet my best friend UzamakiJ aka Javon McNeil. One of the things that influenced me: G4 was a common interest of the GamerZitch staff. The podcast we did for the site aptly titled the “ZitchCast” would start at 7 or 8 PM EST and end way too late in the night and left me with great memories. There was a plan for a relaunch of GamerZitch with Javon, Davon Curry, Marlon Reyes (RIP), and Jake aka LoveAssassin but my home was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012. If you don’t believe the relaunch I recorded a video wearing a really bad looking fedora. *I didn’t know any better!* You can find it here, and please be kind.
After mourning the loss of 99% of my possessions I eventually went to a “help wanted” website hub for video game sites and applied to a site called VGU.tv (Video Game Utopia) founded by former writers for GamerGaia which I am glad I didn’t attempt to write for them as I was told stories both horrific and hilarious by James “The Sponge” Pungello and Josh “Prime” Mobley who I am glad to still be friends with after five years. VGU was very instrumental for me as a writer as I fell in love with the site and the personalities. James and Josh were the EiC and Administrator respectively while there were guys like Josh’s cousin Matt who had just written an opinion piece on why the DmC reboot was better than the entirety of Devil May Cry 1 through 4. The Nate’s (Hohl and Gamer), Tom Freeman who, along with Matt and I did a PlayStation podcast called The DualShock Show, later on we got some fresh blood in Josh Miller, Adnan Riaz, and my pal Chris Cortes who went on to do some podcast series with Adnan and I was then dubbed the “Godfather of Podcasts”. As time went on people came and went including Tom, Scott Peltz, Nate Hohl, Chris Erb, Zac Davis who eventually had to go to College as he was 17 when I first joined VGU and the two departures that broke my heart were Adnan and Chris Cortes. The only way I can properly explain how it felt was the Jedi purge scene in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and I was Yoda. VGU was great but years later as some great friends told me “life happens, it’s not your fault”.
During the tail end of the life of VGU or one of the sites many name changes “Arcane” which I personally didn’t like at all as it felt less like gaming and more like a fansite dedicated to World of Warcraft. I applied for a position at a gaming website which I will not name and would then get. I lasted about a day or two at that site and I was told that I was plagiarizing news stories which to this day I still do not know how that is possible. “Write the news story as if you were talking about it” is more or less what I was told and then after not being able to properly grasp that method of writing, I was fired from said website. The only time I have been let go from writing. I wasn’t writing reviews, previews, op-eds for this site, just news. For those of you on the outside of the bubble who have never written about video games, writing news stories is the equivalent of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome which is the definition of insanity according to Albert Einstein. I learned to write news stories the way my EiC at JPS told me to. “Go to N4G and find news stories there” never once in the time I was at that site was I told, “you are not writing news stories correctly”. The point of this was the shattering of my self-confidence and my ability to write news stories. Which is why when I first joined LosHarrow I chose to write about a different subject altogether in comics and movies rather than my bread and butter: video games. But once Hunter joined the site I got the same thought I assume James and Prime got prior to when they started VGU and said “wanna start a gaming section of LosHarrow?” and that is what lead to all the teasers on The Phantom Zone and recently the E3 Video Game Hour two-parter with PlayStation Head Editor Emmett Watkins.
So, let the games begin and WELCOME TO THE REVOLUTION!