Nate N. aka ‘Shinobi602’
The face might not look familiar and the name might not ring any bells, but if you’re a gamer who spends a lot of time on either Twitter or NeoGaf you probably recognize the Wayne Knight avatar and the alias ‘Shinobi602’. He’s been writing about games and making predictions for years and is responsible for bringing us the first information on games from Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare to Horizon: Zero Dawn. He also recently launched his own blog at ShinobiSpeaks.com where he writes more in depth pieces on the industry. But just who is this gaming Nostradamus?
Nate was born and raised in Florida where he’s been an avid gamer since he could first pick up a controller. He has a passion for travel and has spent years traveling to countries all across the globe, including his father’s homeland of Lebanon (He speaks fluent Arabic). He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and works as a consultant in the Human Resources field when not covering the games industry. Nate still lives in Florida with his wife and two young sons and was gracious enough to let us ask him a few questions about gaming and being a dad.
What is the first video game that you remember playing?
“The first video game I remember playing was an NES game called Dragon Spirit: The New Legend back in 1992. It was sort of a slower, top down shooter where you played an ancient warrior that could transform into a blue dragon. I played it religiously with an older brother of mine and I fell in love with it. You could acquire multiple different power ups that changed your attacks, the appearance of the dragon, etc. The music was fantastic for an 8-bit game and I still remember it to this day.”
What are your favorite games of all time?
“Oh gosh, I always have a hard time thinking of that because I start feeling bad that I’m not talking about a dozen other awesome games I love. The original Mass Effect is probably my all time favorite game and that’s because I’m a big sci-fi nut. I think BioWare built such an engrossing universe with the series that I couldn’t help but get sucked into it. Others would be games like The Last of Us, Age of Empires II and the original Bioshock.”
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
“I’m a semi movie buff. Is that a term? Heh, I love movies but I wouldn’t say I watch every single one out there. I enjoy the experience. I also love traveling because I feel that limiting myself to the place I live does a disservice to the world. There’s SO much out there, so many beautiful and wondrous lands, cultures and people. I think it’s fascinating seeing how others live. I also enjoy rewatching older cartoon shows that remind me of my youth. Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Power Rangers, Dino Riders and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to name a few.”
Do you and your children play video games together?
“No, but I plan on changing that in the future! My oldest is only 3 so he’s still doing, well, the crazy things he always does. I think once he hits 4 or 5 I’ll start weaning him on different games. I think a Nintendo system would be an awesome start.”
How do you make time for gaming with a busy family life and career?
“Now that’s a very good question. I’ll admit my gaming time has decreased dramatically since getting married and having children. That’s the nature of having a family. I work Monday through Friday in a typical 9-5 fashion and my wife works graveyard shifts two days a week as a nurse and when she’s at work, I have my kids. I can honestly only play after I put them to bed. My wife compromises sometimes so I can squeeze in an extra night during the week! All in all I probably get less than 8 hours of game time a week for now.”
What is your proudest moment as a parent?
“I’m sure this is the most cliche answer but I would say the very first moment I became a parent. Seeing my first son being born before my own eyes, begin his first breaths and knowing that this baby, this being, came from me and my wife brought me to tears. I knew that moment that I’d do everything in my power every day to be the best dad that I can. I get so emotional every time my son says I’m his hero or runs up to me and hugs me when I get home from work. There’s no other feeling like it in the world.”
Huge thanks to Nate for talking with us! Make sure to follow him on social media and check out all of Nate’s writing about the games industry at ShinobiSpeaks.com!