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Brian Crecente’s job description reads something like this: Play video games, watch other people play video games, write about video games. All day. Every day. This past year, he chalked up so much gaming time that he smoked three Xbox 360s.
Since 2007, Crecente, a 38-year-old former cops reporter at the Rocky Mountain News, has been the guru of gaming for the 3.5 million readers of Kotaku.com, one of the world’s most popular video-gaming blogs. On a typical day as the editor-in-chief, he manages seven editors and writers from New York to Japan from his second-story office in his Highlands Ranch home, files more than a dozen stories, and bends the ears of gaming executives around the globe. (On one weekday earlier this year, he played Resident Evil 5, then called Capcom—the game’s maker—to complain that the game’s hellhounds “were not creepy enough.”)
“I’m talking about zombies and cutting people in games, but the sad thing is that at the Rocky those were actually serious discussions,” laughs Crecente, who’s been playing video games since the early 1980s and ran his own gaming site before joining Gawker Media’s Kotaku (pronounced co-TA-koo). During his brief tenure, he’s reinvented the concept of video-game writing, covering the medium with the same seriousness that a White House reporter might cover the president’s health-care reform plans. In April, Crecente broke a story that GameStop—a retailer with more than 6,100 stores worldwide—was allowing used games to be sold as new, in possible violation of Federal Trade Commission regulations. He’s also tackled analytical subjects, examining Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism in the game BioShock, and SimCity creator Will Wright’s use of the Montessori educational method in his game narratives.
Though the site GamePro.com recently named Crecente one of the 20 most influential people in gaming in the last 20 years, it’s not like the work doesn’t wear him down at times. But, he says, “When things seem a little overwhelming, I have to remember one thing: I have a pretty damn cool job.”