The VGW Staff
Since 2010, VideoGameWriters.com has been focused on delivering unique and exclusive content to your whatever screen you check us out on.
Brian Shea // Editor-in-Chief
As one of the founding editors of VideoGameWriters.com, Brian started out as the site’s Associate Editor. After stints as the Managing Editor and Features Editor, Brian became the Editor-in-Chief in early 2013 to help lead a major reinvention of the VGW image, which included a heavier focus on feature articles and a migration away from such a fixation on news coverage.
Brian has been heard on ESPN Radio, the Opie and Anthony Channel on Sirius XM, as well as several podcasts throughout the gaming industry. He got his start writing about rock music, where he interacted with current or former members of such well-known rock groups as Guns N’ Roses, Boston, Korn, Alter Bridge, and Dio. In the past, Brian’s work has appeared in the Official Xbox Magazine, GamesRadar, and the Delmarva Daily Times, as well as on Examiner.com, TheHeroFeed.com, TheXboxDomain.com, and UltimateRockGods.com.
Jen Bosier // Managing Editor
Jen was one of VGW’s earliest members and resident horror junkie. She’s the soundtrack aficionado, art book collector and unabashed expanded universe fangirl. She’s also a recovering member of the PC Master Race, and can often be found on Xbox or 3DS, where she’s probably dying in Dark Souls or begging someone to trade her an Abra. When she’s not haunting VGW’s back end, Jen can be found on Furious Fourcast where she reminiscences about the “glory days” of the 80s and 90s.
Russell Jones // Associate Editor
Russell Jones spends his days in local TV news, and his nights playing and writing about games of all kinds. Besides video games he also has a fondness for collectible card games, board games, and tabletop RPGs. His wife once commented that his hobby is collecting hobbies, and video games are certainly no exception: other entries in his “collection” include a painful foray into paintballing, a hiking pack which hasn’t been used in a decade, a Ren Faire costume, and a practice samurai sword. His World of Warcraft guild also once voted Russell “Most Likely to be a Paladin in Real Life.”
As a staff writer for VGW he focuses on PC titles and RPGs, while also commenting on the state of gaming at his Tumblr “The Gentleman Gamer.” Russell also appears regularly on VGW’s “Unlimited Ammo” podcast and co-hosts the weekly “Geek In Review” podcast, where he and fellow host Jeramy geek out about movies, games, comics and more.
Stu Strock // Associate Editor
As a kid, Stu was introduced to games early on. His parents played fantasy RPGs on their Commodore 64, and he readily followed suit. In fact, most of his reading ability initially developed through playing extensive RPGs. As he grew up, Stu was drawn to games that offered my budding mind new types of narratives; likely enjoying anything that introduced a new concept to him.
These days, he still primarily plays games driven by plot. His ongoing curiosity with games is still focused on concepts he’s never seen before, but its scope has shifted from pure narrative to the game playing experience. He wants to play games that challenge both the way he plays and his very concept of what a game is.
At VGW, Stu tends to point himself toward games that try new things. You’ll usually see his face on commentary about a game that affords its audience a new experience every time they play it, especially if those experiences are rooted in an adaptable narrative. The way Stu sees it, a good game can either tell a good story, or let its audience create their own.
Keith Mathias // Community Manager/Staff Writer
A lifelong student of literature and film, Keith is currently pursuing a career as an English literature instructor. His passion for gaming was originally aroused playing Super Mario World on the SNES, and solidified for all time with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This began a love affair with adventure games and RPGs that has persisted to this day. Goldeneye 007 can be credited to Keith’s current obsession with First Person Shooters, and he has been a self-proclaimed master of the headshot since 1997.
When not gaming or teaching, Keith can be found indulging his intense love of film, food, and beer. He is on a never ending quest for the following items: the perfect taco, the best bowl of pho attainable outside of Vietnam, and the beer to suit every situation.
Matt Heywood // Staff Writer
Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! He’s the self-described guru of all things geeky, but gaming is his main mistress. He was a gamer before playing video games was the cool thing to do, and his roots pre-date the NES.
He’s been hooked on gaming ever since and enjoys educating others on the trials and tribulations of the video game industry. His blood oozes 1’s and 0’s, which is a result of his long history with playing games and talking about them with friends.
When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games that the market has to offer. If it has Achievements or Trophies he’ll play it!
Sam Cline // Staff Writer
Sam Cline was born in Decatur, Illinois, but raised in Dallas, Texas. His initial love for meteorology (storm chasing) turned into a love for film and writing. Filming storms and tornadoes wasn’t enough. He longed to create adventures of his own. He was raised an avid gamer. From NES and Super Mario Bros. 3 (the best one) to the Xbox 360 and the journeys of Master Chief, he’s been hooked for years. If you ask, he’ll never turn down a bout of Rock Band.
He attended college at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri and received a B.S. in Film with a minor in Digital Arts. He graduated in 2012. Sam now lives in Springfield, Missouri and mostly works freelance, but holds a steady job to finance his love for all things “pop culture.” He still loves writing, directing, and gaming, and you can usually find him doing one of the three in his spare time.
Lucas Smith // Staff Writer
Ever since the early days of the NES, Lucas Smith has been an avid gamer. Starting out as a film critic, he turned his attention to video games after working at Piki Geek. As a devoted JRPG-aholic, Lucas spends his days exploring the inner aspects of the genre’s music and storytelling. To this day, he has yet to find a game that he likes more than Chrono Trigger. Although JRPGs are his bread and butter, Lucas can be seen playing MMOs and shooters on the PC. He masquerades as a healer and support player during these times. Lucas attended Montreat College and graduated in 2013, receiving a B.S. in Journalism and History.
Tyler Meier // Staff Writer
Tyler Meier was raised on pixels and wired controllers as a child and as he grew up, so did his love for the gaming community. He left home to become a part of business school undead, but realized that using his armor of college could be used as a weapon instead. He then began his own professional writing endeavors after years of breakup poetry, sexual-gaming haikus, and inappropriate social media posts. When he’s not making gaming parallels to business or #CubicleLife trends on his Twitter, he’s reading comic books, listening to power chords with brass instrument bands, making up morbidly humorous stories about a man named Bob, and promoting a comedic atmosphere that feels too good to pass up but too awful to forget.
His mother told him that he’s the embodiment of Rob Gordan and a tenured professor told him he’s Walt Whitman meets Green Day. He writes freelance and will answer any question you could want to ask him, regardless if he’s right, because questions are always fun. He learned Instagram from Pokémon Snap, playing music from Rock Band, parallel parking from Crazy Taxi, and business practices from the synonyms of living.
Craig Munn // Staff Writer
A fondness for music and sound in general spawned an obsession with music games back in 2007, which has only continued to landslide out of control to the present day. Craig still regularly sinks hours into Rock Band 3 every week, still praying they’ll bring more DLC to the platform, and still hopeful he’ll get the Muse content he’s been holding out for, for so long. Other than Rock Band, you can find him playing Final Fantasy, a game franchise that he’ll defend to the end of time (regardless of any poor iterations in the series), or most third-person shooters, along with survival horror games.
Due to graduate University in 2013 with a BSC in Film and Television Production, he’s determined to stay in London and keep a stable living that will allow him to fund his gaming habits, as well as keep him alive. If it can support his obsession with seeing live bands, even better.
Tate Steinlage // Staff Writer
Hailing from Kansas, Tate Steinlage grew up wishing to be a meteorologist, but realized that wasn’t his forte after a tornado nearly ripped apart his town. Tate then discovered his true passion, which was writing about video games, as a teenager. After contributing for a fan site for a year, Tate was asked to submit his first professional review for GameZone. Since that review, Tate has continued to contribute for GameZone, and has ventured out to sites like GamesRadar, GameChurch, xxxchurch, VGW, and more. Tate currently attends Manhattan Christian College and Kansas State University studying Bible/Leadership and Mass Communications – Digital Media, respectively. Outside of school and writing, Tate enjoys cheering on Sporting KC and USMNT, and jamming out on the drums and guitar.
Brock Wilbur // Staff Writer
Brock Wilbur is a Northwestern University graduate living in LA. He’s the screenwriter of several award winning feature films including the gamer thriller “Your Friends Close” and the book “FILMPOCALYPSE! 52 Cinematic Visions of the End.” He also writes online for The Junior Varsity, mxdwn, and The Script Lab. His standup comedy special “28 Years Later” is available through iTunes and Amazon, his podcast brock party is on iTunes, and you can find out more by visiting BrockWilbur.com.
Dan Tunnicliffe // Staff Writer
In the red corner writing out of a dimly lit room in Cardiff; United Kingdom is Dan Tunnicliffe. brought up on a strict diet of Sega Megadrive, or Genesis to you continental folk, Dan requires the sustenance that video games provide to get him through the week. from Fifa to Final Fantasy, Temple Run to Tomb Raiser and Mario to Mass Effect, Dan has been appreciating games in all their forms since 1989.
Dan particularly enjoys games that go the extra mile to build an immersive world and expansive universe, but will attempt to fill in the gaps if developers fail to do so with his remarkably childlike imagination. When he is not playing games Dan is an acid sports fan, missing the basket completely at a local park near you. He follows the New York Knicks, Aston Villa football club and people with alluring smells.
Mark Steighner // Staff Writer
Mark Steighner is an educator, composer, musician, playwright, musical theatre director and gamer living in the Pacific Northwest. A soon-to-be grandfather, Mark began gaming on his Timex-Sinclair computer with its amazing 8K of memory.
Nadia Hyeong // Staff Writer
Nadia Hyeong loves spending after-school hours by playing online PC games such as League of Legends and Borderlands 2. She is currently on chapter 5 of her unfinished novel which should be picked up by publishers soon. Hopefully.
Gustavo Lazo // News Writer
Gustavo Lazo was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey and has lived in the Garden State for his entire life. After high school, he attended New Jersey City University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and studied journalism. Enjoying games since the days of the NES, he has formed a strange bond with them and has become devoted to keeping up with industry news and trends. He has written reviews for sites like New Game Network, Examiner, and When Nerds Attack. Recently, he has written a short story for Instigatorzine magazine. When not struggling to find the right words or struggling with the newest game, Gustavo likes going on long walks and short runs. His favorite film is Casino Royale, and favorite television series is Mad Men. He is also an ardent New York Giants fan.
Zac Taylor // News Writer
The game that started it all for Zac Taylor was Super Mario Bros 2. His entire family was stuck on the final castle, and they gave up for the night. When everyone left the room, Zac ended Bowser’s reign of terror on the first try. Since then, Zac’s tested his mettle on every form of interactive media that you can think of. Zac will play any genre on any system, but RPG’s and strategy games are his bread and butter. On a typical day, you’ll find him on Steam emptying his wallet thanks to the newest sale, or valiantly losing at League of Legends. He thinks he’s good at Battlefield, and he’s absolutely terrible at Call of Duty. Surprisingly, he’s actually really good at Europa Universalis IV.
AJ Moser // News Writer
Born in New Jersey and never sacrificing the accent and attitude, AJ Moser has always loved video games. The first cartridge he ever plugged into his GameBoy, Pokémon Gold, has remained his favorite game of all time. He is an enthusiast of RPGs, Indie games and occasionally dabbles in shooters. His love of video games is rivaled only by film and the music of Arcade Fire. AJ’s desk is covered in stacks of comic books and Pokémon Cards, but he finds enough room for video games and schoolwork. He is currently studying at Michigan State University. Occasionally, you may find him roaming the wilderness backpacking with some good friends.
Anne Lee // Public Relations
Keeping in line with her general love for all things Japanese, Anne is our go-to gal for any and all Japanese games. Whether it’s a no-name otome game or big-time JRPG, she’ll play them all in her quest to find compelling narratives and more diverse characters in games. As the only resident of Australia on the staff, she’s constantly forced to bear attempts at kangaroo and koala-related humor.
When she isn’t working on her PhD on boys’ love manga, she’s playing the quirkiest titles she can get her hands on or whipping up her monthly “Best of Niche Gaming” picks. Her academic interest in gender and sexuality heavily informs her critiques of games, and she’s determined to get an academic article on video games published one of these days. Region-locking is the bane of her existence.