Gamer Spotlight: Justin Davis

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Justin Davis

Executive Editor, IGN

Twitter: @ErrorJustin


Justin Davis is an Executive Editor at IGN where he’s been covering everything from tech to gaming since 2011. He’s recently joined IGN’s popular gaming talk show Game Scoop! which he co-hosts with Daemon Hatfield.

What is the first video game you ever played?

I honestly don’t remember. Memories can be weird, can’t they? My earliest gaming memories are of being holed up in our basement playing Super Mario Bros. on the NES as a 5-year-old, but I remember being so excited  when we got that NES as a family gift, so I’d obviously had exposure to games earlier than that. At a cousin’s house, maybe? It’s hard to know.

My video game ‘career’ is a series of firsts. Super Mario Bros. is the first game I remember really loving. The original Sonic the Hedgehog is the first time I remember being amazed at how video games could look. Playing (and being completely blown away by) Super Mario 64 is what made me determined to become a games journalist as a grown-up.

What is your favorite game of all time?

Super Metroid. It’s one of just a few video games I would change absolutely nothing about. Its combination of satisfying exploration, perfect action-platforming and moody environmental storytelling is unmatched.

 Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?

There are all kinds of things I’m deeply interested in and curious about, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. I try my best to keep up with board games, collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering, comic books, and plenty of other nerdy pursuits, but the truth is those hobbies ebb and flow over the months and years.

If someone were to ask me if I was into comics or Magic I’d say “totally – yes” but I’m not sure I’ve touched either in 2016.

The older I get the more I realize that I can’t just assume there will be time to accomplish all I want to accomplish. When i was in my early 20s I’d never read any of the “classics” of literature besides what I read through school, but I figured I had decades to get through them. Now over 10 years later, I still haven’t read any of them. I’ve realized it isn’t going to happen on its own, and each hour I spend putzing around on a World of Warcraft subreddit, while not exactly wasted, is one less hour I have to accomplish my goals.

I also try hard to read the news and not fall into the parenting bubble I’ve seen so many fall into.

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Game Scoop! on IGN

Do you play video games with your children?

My daughter is 2 and gets very little screen time for now, and no gaming time. I don’t play any games or watch any TV or even really use the computer much around her when she is awake – our screens are off. So we still have a while to go before she gets much video game time.

For years I’ve been telling everyone my plan was to raise my kids on the classics and work them up through the generations. NES for 6 months, SNES for 6 months, and so-on. But truthfully I don’t know how feasible or fair that is. I think it’s wonderful to share your interests and passions with your kids, but I don’t think it’s right for parents to try to artificially force their kids to be into the stuff they are into.

Think about it like this – there’s a whole generation of middle-aged people that love Star Wars because their parents let them be into the hot new thing when they were younger. If those parents in the 1970s had instead forced their kids to be into their own youthful passions, they’d have been pushing Flash Gordon onto their kids.

So, I intend to expose my kids to Star Trek and Batman and Super Mario Bros. 3 and all the other things I love, but my expectation is that she’ll form more of a connection with media created in a more modern era.

If she’s game, I’d be very happy to spend Daddy Daughter time gaming together. I find that thought incredibly heartwarming. But I don’t think I’ll deliberately steer her in that direction. Given how much of a gaming household we are, it’ll probably happen on its own.

How do you balance gaming with a busy family life and career?

I’m lucky that my daughter is an excellent sleeper. She routinely asks to go to bed or take a nap, and we don’t have any problem putting her to bed. Her bed time is 7pm and she sleeps from around 7pm to 6am. Her Mom also needs a lot of sleep too, so my wife is generally in bed by 9pm.
I don’t need as much sleep, so I get most of my gaming time in from 9pm to 11 or 12.

 You can check out all of Justin’s games coverage at IGN and make sure to check him out on Game Scoop! and subscribe to it’s YouTube channel to never miss an episode!

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