Many years ago at the age of 7, my Grade 2 class had ‘Free Activity’ days, where between snack-time and lunch we had free time to do whatever we wanted. Kids would leave their GameBoy Advances lying about, and I’d eagerly pick them up and play whatever incarnation of Mario was in the cartridge slot. This was the first time I’d played a game, and I made sure to ask my parents for a GameBoy Advance SP for Christmas of 2004.

Surely, I got it and with it a game called Metroid FusionMetroid Fusion was a Metroid game with a non-linear world, interesting setting, riveting story, and cool and fun gameplay. It was my first game, and it set a precedent for the kind of work I wanted to produce in the future: A sci-fi game set in a story-driven world, that was many shades of cool, scary, fascinating and challenging.

 

One day in 2005 my dad brought home a PlayStation 2 with another game that defined my childhood: Ratchet and Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal. It’s blend of science fiction, cool characters, fun gunplay and it was vastly entertaining. I eventually had all games in the franchise, and played them back to front several times; I never got bored.

These days, my most memorable experiences have come from a variety of games with a multitude of experiences. Oblivion, System Shock 2, Portal 2, Mass Effect 1, 2, 3, Dragon Age: Origins, 2, Inquisition. All games that have presented wonderful worlds, varying and interesting gameplay experiences, riveting stories, and have given me long-lasting memories. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve stayed up til 2AM, and I’ve fallen in love.

       

And that’s what I want to give back. I’d known for nearly a decade that game development was what I wanted to do. I’m reminded over and over again from my favorite games why video-games are so special. I expect that upcoming games like the next Ratchet and Clank game, Mass Effect: Andromeda, No Man’s Sky, and Quantum Break will keep reminding me why I love this medium, and why I so badly want to be a part of it.

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