In middle school, I was a huge book kid. Brian Jacques’s Redwall series was my first real set of books, given to me by my mother when my older brother finished the series. And Redwall was amazing. Talking animals fighting with weapons and magic and wearing suits of armor while fighting evil rats and ferrets, to my young mind it was truly magical. A bit cheesy sounding now, but it sparked my love for the fantasy genre, of places unlike our mundane world. And video games were an easy next step, especially since my older brother already had a collection. I always loved the worlds they put you in, the characters you’d meet and interact with. No longer was I reading about a hero doing something, but was instead controlling the hero and doing that something through them. Wonderful stories, on par with books, like Halo, Dragon Age 2, Half Life 2, The Fall, the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, are my passion. But more so than books, video games quickly grew into a social activity for me. Back in high school and today I could jump on and play some Monster Hunter, Risk of Rain I & II, Left for Dead I & II, Borderlands, Dark Souls, CIV V, and again so many more. And thanks to my love of fantasy settings because of books and video games, I have come to love Dungeons and Dragons, a pastime that is even more involved and social than the books or games. I’ve met my girlfriend and numerous friends as a result of D&D and am still connected to friends who live far away because of video games. They’ve both been huge influences in my life and hobbies I want to turn into a career and continue to grow with.