I've been doing this column for more than ten years. By now you probably know a lot about me. You know Fallout New Vegas, Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Civilization V are my favorite games of all time. You know how I feel about every dipshit (Randy Pitchford, Brad Wardell, etc.) and con artist (Randy Pitchford, Brad Wardell, etc.) in the industry.
But there are some things you don't know. Shameful things. It's time to come clean and confess.
I Applied to Giant Bomb and Got Nowhere
The last time an editorial position opened up at Giant Bomb I submitted an application. It was a disaster. They conducted phone interviews with every serious applicant. I did not get a call.
My cover letter mentioned Mystery Science Theater 3000. Not the fact that MST3K informed my sensibilities and made me want to wring humor out of the terrible aspects of things I otherwise love. Not the sense that Giant Bomb's scrappy lo-fi presentation sometimes felt like an offshoot of the Satellite of Love, and that I wanted to help bring that casual creativity forward.
Instead, my cover letter simply said something like, "Your site sort of reminds me of Mystery Science 3000." Hm. It's weird that they never got back to me!
I Never Finished a 3D Zelda
It's true. Ocarina of Time lost me when Link grew up and immediately ventured into a grey building packed with cramped corridors and push-puzzle blocks. I got pretty far into Wind Waker before the inverted camera ruined me.
This week I'm going to start Breath of the Wild again now that I have it on the Switch. I've got a good feeling about my chances.
Here's a related mini-confession: The superb art direction in Skyward Sword smothered the critical part of my brain, and I wound up enjoying my time with that game more than any 3D Zelda up to that point.
The Lowtax Conundrum
In the fifteen years that I have known Lowtax we played precisely two games together: EDF and Hearthstone. I had no idea what I was doing in either game. This is because - as a general rule - I have no idea what I am doing. In any game. Or life.
I Restart Every RPG at Least Four Times
Make a character. Play through the first hour. Wonder if I could have chosen better skills. Restart. Get a party member I like that fills my current role. Restart. Hey, I wonder if backstabbing and picking locks is any fun in this game. Restart.
The end result of all this? The better part of a week spent consulting guides and wikis. Ultimately restarting one last time, with the first character I tried.
I Had No Idea 1UP Was Closing
After 1UP.com closed, every staff member remarked that they had seen the writing on the wall for a long time. Not me!
Then again, I was only a feature contributor who came along in the site's last few years. And I am an oblivious dumbass. But I thought things were going great.
Days before the site closed I was asked to put together my first review, for a PC game called Strike Suit Zero. This was my big break! If I wanted to properly run all the new titles I'd be covering I would need a new computer. I was pricing parts for this PC when the email arrived informing me that the site had been shut down.
Altered Beast Gave Me a Best Friend
A middle school classmate rented a Genesis the first time I visited his house. When that one bad guy warbled "WELCOME TO YOUR DOOM" we both quipped "Thanks for inviting us!" at the exact same time, then stared at one another in shock. We were obviously soulmates.
The Metacritic Gambit
Why shouldn't Video Game Article be featured on Metacritic? PR people seem care about that site, so maybe they would actually respond to my emails. We write reviews. Those reviews have scores that can be plugged into a nonsensical formula. Seems like a no-brainer.
I ran the idea by Metacritic, along with a jab at the ridiculous sites they feature with names like "VeryTrustedReviews" and "3DBazongas.de". The person who received my email (the person whose job is to add sites like VeryTrustedReviews and 3DBazongas.de to Metacritic) did not seem to think this was funny.
Former Navy SEAL Jeff Caliber survived tier one special ops and is now studying creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. And fighting terrorists.
You gave yourself that bad haircut years ago. You're a smarter person now. More well-rounded as a human. This time you'll probably be able to cut your hair like a champ. This is a terrific idea!
The cutting edge of video game articles.