Senior Manager, New Media & Production, Entertainment Software Association
While attending Virginia Commonwealth University, Reed Albers realized that attaining a career in journalism might be more of a challenge than he originally anticipated. So he started a blog focusing on his passion for hockey and his team, the Washington Capitols. While covering the team, he learned about many of the skills and tools that would prove to be crucial to his career in media including social media promotion, community management, and video/image production. That blog helped him gain his NHL press credentials and eventually a job at a local newspaper covering sports.
That job helped him develop an interest in public relations, and when he saw a job listing for a PR position at the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), he saw an opportunity to combine his background in journalism and his love of video games. He now produces video, photo, social and digital content for the ESA, including their premiere event, the E3 Expo. He also runs the Video Game Voters Network, a group dedicated to defending the First Amendment rights of the gaming industry. Reed lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and child.
What is the first video game that you remember playing?
“Either Altered Beast, or Indy 500 for the Atari 2600. I remember playing Altered Beast with a friend while growing up in Florida. But, playing Indy 500 on my Uncle’s Atari (which he still has to this day) is my most vivid first video game memory.
We used the knob-style controllers, the graphics were primitive, and it only had a few courses to play; but I loved it. My brother and I begged for a system and a few months later our parents came through. They bought a Sega Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog packed in.”
What are your favorite games of all time?
“The Halo franchise is a big one for me. When I met my wife in college we loved playing the co-op campaigns together. Growing up Madden NFL was a staple in our house, and the cause of some heated rivalries with my brother. There’s still plenty of salt left over from last-second “I turned off the game, so it doesn’t count” plays.
My favorite games of all-time are Metal Gear Solid and Tenchu: Stealth Assassins. I remember Metal Gear Solid making me a believer in bringing a cinematic style to video game. Tenchu was pure wish fulfilment. Who didn’t want to be a ninja in b-movie meets stealth-action game?
Right now my favorite game is NHL 17. My father and I play EASHL (online team play), and we were a point shy of reaching the league’s top division last week. Dark Souls is an ESA office favorite, as well as Mario Kart 8, so those are in my weekly rotation.”
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
“Photography. One of the best parts of my job is that one of my hobbies is part of what I do. I ordered a Canon 5D for the office so I’m eager to get on the road with it, particularly at E3 2017.”
Do you and your children play video games together?
“Of course! My daughter is about two and a half years old, so her video game skills are in beta. But, she’s quite the Just Dance 2017 player. We’ve unlocked quite a few songs playing only DNCE’s “Cake By the Ocean” — it’s the only song she wants to play right now…”
How do you make time for gaming with a busy family life and career?
“I take the time when I get it. I’ve also changed a few video game habits, such as not playing everything on the hardest setting or aggressive achievement hunting. I used to play, particularly StarCraft 2, to be competitive, but now I love getting lost in Skyrim or The Witcher.”
What is your proudest moment as a parent?
“It’s silly, but since we’re talking about games I’ll tie this to a recent proud video game moment.
I let my daughter help design my Mass Effect: Andromeda character. I thought it would be fun if she could see a character she made develop through the entire series. She ended up creating a pretty cool heroine (and a goofy looking twin) by choosing the hair, eyes, colors, etc.
A day later she walks into the room and says “that’s me, Daddy. I made that!” and sat next to me to watch. It’s not walking, crawling, or talking, but I love those little moments.”