Well I'm New York City born and raised,
But nowadays, I'm lost between two shores.
L.A.'s fine, but it ain't home,
New York's home, but it ain't mine no more.
I never thought Neil Diamond's lyrics could explain my life so accurately, but there it is.... I was born in the Bronx and grew up in New York, but I've been a California resident since June 2000. How did I end up here? Well, I was working for Ziff Davis Publishing's international licensing department and made a bunch of friends at Computer Shopper and PC Magazine. I started writing reviews for fun (tech nerd) and wondered if I could make money writing about my other hobbies. It all kind of steamrolled from there. I've written about games, tech, comic books, pro-wrestling, wine, and cigars.
My favorite article ever was for PC Mag Belgium -- it was translated to Flemish, so I have no idea what it says anymore, but I'm pretty sure it reeks of awesomeness. Prior to working at G4, my favorite work experience was producing 13 episodes of Reset, a video-game show for Yahoo!; the shooters, editors, and hosts made the work incredibly gratifying and satisfying. Now that I'm part of the G4 crew, my daily goals are to entertain you and kick off interesting conversations. I leave you with the immortal words of Robbie Williams: "Let Me Entertain You."
Interview: Raymond Padilla, Managing News Editor
By: Eugene Morton
What's your official title and what's your favorite thing about the job?
You know, I don't think they've given me an official title yet. I'll just keep making my own until they do. This week I'm Janitorial Director and Weaver of Stories. Last week it was The Heartbreak Kid. Next week I'm going to be honest -- I'm not a gaming journalist, I'm a verbal entertainer. [Update: Sadly, I can't use HBK anymore. I'm now managing news editor.]
What did you do before coming to G4?
I've been writing or talking about games for more than a decade. I've written for enthusiast web sites like GameSpy and Happy Puppy. I produced and hosted video-game shows for Yahoo! Games and Hudson Entertainment. I've also freelanced for more publications than I can remember, but I'll give it a try: FHM, PC Magazine, Computer Shopper, PC Magazine Belgium, Asian Week, Gamasutra, GamesRadar, NewType, Xbox Nation, CNet...ah, this is boring.
If you could do anything outside of journalism, what would it be?
That's easy: I would join the writing staff of World Wrestling Entertainment. I mean, I pretty much have a dream job right now -- getting paid to write and talk about games is pretty awesome -- but if I could be part of any other industry, it would be sports entertainment. I greatly admire the ladies and gents that spend 300+ days on the road, fight through all sorts of pain, and sacrifice most of their social lives to entertain people. I've met a few people in wrestling and their passion for their work is inspiring.
What are your ten favorite video games of all time?
Ten?!? Geez. That's tough.... In no particular order: Final Fantasy Tactics, Pokemon Pearl, Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy X, Disgaea, Pokemon Snap, Quake III, and Final Fantasy VI.
If you could be a comic book / video game character, who would you be and why?
My first reaction is to be a member of the Green Lantern Corps. The power ring would be fun and it would be awesome to hang out with Guy Gardner. Ultimately, I think I'd be Mister Immortal from the Great Lakes Avengers. Dying sucks, but so does being an alpha hero like Superman or Captain America. Being Mister Immortal gives me one of my fondest wishes and lets my fly under the radar.
Who are you, in your innermost recesses?
I'm just a guy on an extended recess.
What's your proudest moment in life?
Seeing my first episode of Reset for Yahoo! I had left a pretty good job that had become miserable. I was trying something pretty new. Thankfully, I had one of my dearest friends by my side (hi Zoe!). Any doubts I ever had about quitting my job to work on Reset were totally erased when I saw our E3 pilot. Plus, I got to wear zombie makeup. I'm pretty proud of that.
You like 'Street Fighter,' right? Have you ever been in a street fight?
Not since I moved to California! It wasn't much of a fight, but some idiot attacked my with a pair of pliers when I was still living in New York -- left a nice gash in my right arm. I shoved the guy down and made a lot of noise. Nothing else really happened. I haven't done it in a long time, but I love training for boxing. Getting into street fights is bad for your hands. I'd rather hit a heavy bag with properly wrapped hands.
If fashion can change the world, can video games?
Absolutely! The thing I love about games and comics and all the kind of stuff -- it's how they can transport you to another world for a few minutes or a few hours. When it's done well, the way it can help you escape from reality is pretty amazing. I've had all kinds of crazy adventures around the world, but some of my most enjoyable moments have been curling with a great RPG or a brilliant comic book.
If you were in a vicious turf war and you could only trust one sandbox anti-hero to have your back, would it be Claude, Tommy Vercetti, CJ, Niko Belik, Johnny Klebetz or your customized avatar from 'Saints Row?'
I'd customize. I want another Asian guy watching my back. This is assuming I get to customize their personality too. I'd make him all Bruce Lee, but with intimidating ink.