Shawn (Noob of All Trades)


What’s your story?

My story starts in a blizzard on a day late in January. Technically, my story starts about 10 months before that day, but that is a NSFW portion of the story and nothing particularly noteworthy happened in those 10 months that followed. Cells formed, split, and stole nutrients. My mother’s body quickly tired of my parasitic nature, expelled me from her womb, and the prologue of my story was over. Unfortunately, as many new parents soon discover, the leeching had only begun.

Are we really going to do this?

I suppose we can go the route of…And then, for a long time nothing happened, though honestly that’s not the whole truth. While not worthy of made into even a terrible TV movie, my childhood had its ups and its downs and I have the scars to tell the story. Nevertheless…and then, for a long time nothing happened. I graduated high school, wandered around somewhat aimlessly through terrible job after terrible job (Even though I contend that all of those jobs are jobs that everyone should have at some point in their lives because they teach valuable skills. Plus, they’re fun to quit because there are generally few repercussions.) until I ended up at Holyoke Community College.

I graduated with a degree in Math, bounced around some more from middle school to high school and into college again. I often joke that I graduated twice (okay, not a funny joke, but this is lame professor jokes that we’re talking here) from middle school and high school. I got married, have three beautiful boys, and am more or less living the American dream and a half…or maybe a third or a quarter.

Okay, okay, we get the point. What about more recently?

More recently, I’ve been teaching math at two local community colleges to support my habit as a self-published author. I have published one novel and I am in the process of publishing a collection of short stories. I am also working on several other projects that I talk about on my Facebook page and that I might mention on the page once in a while.

Why should I listen to you about pop culture?

To be honest, you probably shouldn’t. I don’t have cable, never see new movies unless they are made by Disney/Pixar or Dreamworks, only listen to the 60s on 6 through the 90s on 9 (once in a while, I will venture into Pop2K, but honestly that’s when pop music started to suck again) on our SiriusXM Satellite radio, and refuse to buy video games when they’re new because they’re too expensive. I also hate the current trend of FPS/MMO nonsense that dominates the market these days.

As a result, I am always on the cutting edge of about three to five years ago. I am a “get off my lawn/the music was better before” old man when it comes to modern popular culture. The website came from an idea that I had for a podcast about collectible card games. Chris thought that the scope of the podcast might be too narrow, so it became about gaming in
general. Always one to shoot the moon, the idea for the website as a one stop for all things entertainment also grew out of the seeds planted during that conversation.

What do you think you can bring to the gaming conversation?

I am not a professional in any of the games that I play by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t aspire to such nonsense, either. Frankly, I think that “professional gamer” is a silly moniker along the lines of “fantasy draft guru”. Why do these jobs exist and in the case of fantasy draft guru, how is there more than one of them? As usual, I digress. I play games to rekindle old friendships, find new ones, connect with my kids in a different platform, and above all to have fun. If I’m not having fun, then I put the game away for awhile and try other games.

I saw a comic that illustrated game reviews through the last three decades and it made a good point. The 90s were all about trumpeting how great every game was, the 00s were a hipster decade that hated everything once it became popular and the current decade is all about social (media) justice and our race to out-outrage (to borrow a phrase from Dan Lebatard) one another on every platform. I will not review games (at least not in a traditional “out of 10” or star format) but I might talk about them in a social and historical context. I will try to keep the outrage to a minimum, but no promises. Sometimes I get on a rant and it just happens. If I get too out of hand, be sure to call me out and I’ll tone it down.

I’m intrigued by your ideas and I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

While we don’t have a newsletter, be sure to check out the podcast. Also look around at the web page and let us know what you think. Above all, have fun!

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