Updated: Jul 5
Hello BHOP Family! My name is Alan, and I’m the newest contributor to the BHOP Esports community and content side. I wanted to take a little time today to introduce myself, and while you can expect some fresh content from me over the next few months, today we’re going to ease into everything with a bit more of a casual topic: What gaming means to me?
I have a long history in gaming and esports, and over the years, what gaming has meant to me has changed, but it always comes back to the fact that games have been an integral part of who I am.
I think the first thing that comes to mind is that gaming was a massive part of my upbringing. My Dad was the sound director at Sega back in 1991, when I was born, so I grew up in a house where gaming was accepted. Some of my earliest memories are playing the original Sonic: the Hedgehog on my Sega Genesis at the young age of 4. I also grew up in a musical family, and having played instruments myself, that love of music translated into games as well. It started with me being addicted to Dance Dance Revolution, and later Guitar Hero. These are just a few examples, but it’s safe to say that without this upbringing in games and my family being accepting of gaming, I don’t know entirely where I’d end up in life.
The second thing that really comes to mind when I think about my life in gaming is friendships. I’ve met some awesome people in all kinds of gaming communities, and some of my closest friends that I play with to this day were made because we met through our love of video games. Especially during the pandemic, my stake in my Destiny 2 raid group went through the roof. Gaming is also how I met BHOP’s founder Joseph, as we met through some Hearthstone events that we had participated in together. The list goes on and on, but these are some of the most important relationships that I’ve cultivated over the years, all thanks to gaming.
While the friendships I’ve made along the way are incredibly important to me, what’s more important is the family that I’ve gained because of gaming. Gaming is the reason I met my wife; my kids have names based on our favorite games. It’s even how my family bonds, through games. I’ve connected with my brothers in law through games, I’ve reconnected with my younger brother, who lives across the country through video games.
Gaming has been a huge part in my career development as well. My first actual office jobs were all IT support type positions. But a few years back, I took my hobby of gaming and esports and started to turn it into a career. It started with taking streaming more seriously, streaming every single day and growing a small community. I then dove into building a collegiate esports recruiting platform with a company I worked for and helped a lot of high school kids find colleges and scholarships. I then transitioned into a career in games journalism (which is why I’m writing articles for BHOP in the first place), and I’m even going to school to pursue my end game career of Game Design.
All of this doesn’t even touch on my ventures and learnings in Esports but that’s for another time. But it’s safe to say, gaming has been a massive part of my life thus far and will continue to be. So what’s the point in me telling you all of this? What am I wanting to convey to you in my story? Whatever gaming means to you, however you consume gaming, there’s so much that gaming can give you, so have an open mind to the possibilities. But even more importantly, make friends, build relationships within your communities. They are what make gaming so great.