I think most of us have an informal mental list of people we wish they could meet, and I think that’s especially true in the entertainment and game industries. I’ll often hear Shigeru Miyamoto and Hideo Kojima batted around in newsroom conversations, but for me, there’s no higher name in my pantheon of hero worship than Yuji Horii. And now here I am in an upstairs room at Anime Expo in Los Angeles, sitting across the table from him.
I’ve told friends that the course of my professional life has been equally defined by my childhood encounters with Jesus and video games, and I don’t think that’s a bit of an exaggeration. As a former clergyman and current video game commentator, I’ve divided my adulthood between metaphysics and pixels, and both have proven worthwhile pursuits. One thing both fields hold in common, and perhaps the tie that most binds them in me, is that they are both intrinsically rooted in stories of trying, failing, trying again, learning, exploring, growing, and finally overcoming. They are stories of second chances and becoming better people.