Senior Reporter, VICE Gaming
In the world of games media, few people have truly earned the title of journalist in the way that Patrick Klepek has. For over a decade, Patrick has been writing about video games and bringing us unique and important stories about the gaming community and the culture that surrounds it. He’s covered everything from the controversial Counter Strike gambling websites to the community surrounding Nintendo’s Mario Maker.
Patrick first found his passion for writing by building his own websites as a teen where he would write about video games. That led to him writing for his High School newspaper and eventually deciding to pursue journalism as his major in college. Over the years he’s written for a variety of gaming outlets including EGM, MTV, Giant Bomb and Kotaku. He most recently helped to launch Waypoint (formerly VICE Gaming) with Austin Walker (also formerly of Giant Bomb). There he serves as senior reporter as well as co-hosting their podcast, Waypoint Radio.
Patrick recently moved back to his hometown of Chicago where he and his wife recently welcomed their first child. There he enjoys catching up on horror films, cheering for the Chicago Bears, and trying to figure out the best way to play video games while holding a newborn.
What is the first video game you ever played?
Good question! I’m not sure. Pong is probably a good guess? I distinctly remember my family having a machine that flipped through various iterations of Pong, but I’m guessing that came home because we played arcade games—that seems the more likely culprit for my introduction (indoctrination?) into video games. But the NES is what sticks out the most in my mind; it’s where I fell in love with the medium.
What is your favorite game of all time?
Depending on the day, it’s Mega Man 2 or Deus Ex. I love both games for different reasons. Mega Man 2 for the carefully crafted challenge that requires razor-sharp reactions from the player, foreshadowing my love of games like Dark Souls and Spelunky. With Deus Ex, I came to understand the joy of being dropped into a world of infinite possibilities, where what happens next and how you solve problems is based on your preferences.
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
Give me a good horror movie to watch on any given night and you’ll find a happy man on the couch. My love of horror has only grown over the years, thanks to my wife sharing the same passion. At some point, we’ll have to figure out what to do with having a young kid around for all that, but for now, we’re still screaming in the basement and sipping beer.
Do you plan on playing video games with your children?
Given my profession, it seems inevitable. What I’ll do about violent games, though, I’m less sure. I’ll need to do some research, but it’s likely to be the case that I’m simply waiting to play those games until after they’re in bed. While I hope my kids are into video games, it’s not something I intend to force on them. But given how ingrained games are into our lives already, and how that’s only going to increase, I probably won’t have to try hard.
How do you balance gaming with a busy family life and career?
A lack of sleep? That’s a half-serious answer, but given how alert I need to be around my daughter now, I’m actually more conscious about making sure I’m getting as much sleep as possible. Realistically, it’s being smart about what games I’m spending time with. While I want to continue challenging myself and playing games that might surprise me, I also need to balance that against my ability to play games I can enjoy—and finish.