Andy: I now work in the IT industry as a Senior Systems Engineer for a well known social media company. My first “real” job was in the graphic arts industry after college, where I worked on Macintosh workstations using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create commercial art. I later decided to focus on Mac IT support, and worked as a consultant for a time. I then went on to work in IT at a university in Indianapolis as their “Mac Guy” for nearly a decade before taking my current job on the west coast. I now live in the Bay Area with my wife and young daughter (who is a huge Minecraft fan) nitecore.

I honestly credit video gaming with the career that I have today. Games were my gateway into the world of computing. If I had never been into gaming, I seriously doubt that I would have pursued a career in IT. While I argue with my wife about the merits of gaming for our daughter, I feel that there are many redeeming qualities that can be gained through gaming, such as diligence, attention to detail, cooperation, and storytelling. I plan to raise my daughter as a gamer, and encourage her interest in all things geeky mathconcept.

TC: Making it into Nintendo Power was a big deal in the pre-Internet age. What is the equivalent now?

Andy: My fame for being in Nintendo Power was extremely short lived. I don’t even think that anyone at my school noticed (despite my best efforts to toot my own horn). My close friends found out about it, but it didn’t mean as much to them as it did to me. I guess that it was a private victory at the time.

I don’t know if there is a direct equivalent today. Everything that happens gets posted to social media instantly, so everyone is automatically in the loop when something happens, for good or for ill. That said, social media allowed you to find me all these years later, which is pretty amazing in and of itself!

TC: Did it change you at all?

Andy: Other than giving me a big head for a while, not really. If anything, it encouraged me to continue my gaming pursuits. I felt that my video game obsessions had been validated, which made me want to continue Next Generation Firewall.

TC: Do you still game?

Andy: Absolutely!, PC games on my Macintosh, and mobile games on my iPhone. My current obsession is Hearthstone, which I spend way too much time playing (badly). I also play fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons regularly, and enjoy board games like Catan Junior with my family.
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