Chief Content Officer & Executive Vice President at IGN
Born and raised in Germany, Peer grew up playing games on the Atari and Commodore 64. He got out of gaming for a period of time when he started high school, but while attending college in Japan he fell back in love with the hobby when a friend bought him a Super Famicom. He later moved to the United States where he focused his reignited love of gaming into creating the website Nintendojo, which was one of the first gaming fansites on the internet.
The work he did at Nintendojo got him some attention in the industry led him to join Imagine Games Publishing in 1997 where he served as Editor in Chief at N64.com and in 1999 he co-founded IGN Entertainment. In the nearly 20 years since it began, IGN has grown into a worldwide leader in video game and entertainment coverage. Peer lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and children.
What is the first video game that you remember playing?
“Oh, man. That’d be Maze on the Fairchild Channel F, or SABA Videoplay, as it was known in Germany. It was a super-simple cat and mouse game released on cartridge way back in the ’70s. Two colored squares chased each other through a maze. That was it. It was super-simple, but having these moving blocks on your TV screen almost seemed like magic.”
What are your favorite games of all time?
“I really love open world games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Witcher 3, Grand Theft Auto 5, Red Dead Redemption, and Assassin’s Creed IV, but also some of the more linear cousins like the Uncharted series or Metroid Prime. On the classic gaming side, my favorite games of all time are many of the Zelda games, like Ocarina of Time and Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Super Mario World, Final Fantasy VI, Fire Emblem… I could go on. I’ve been playing games since the mid ’70s, so there’s a huge catalog of games I love. I tend to gravitate towards action adventures and Metroidvania-style games, but I also play plenty of RPGs, racers, shooters, and puzzle games.”
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
“I love movies. My parents were big on the classics from ’40s and ’50s, so I have likewise retained that love of the Hollywood glory days. But my favorite director is Akira Kurosawa. I even named my oldest son after him. I also like to cook. When I like something, I get REALLY into it. So, my kitchen is stocked with all the gadgets, from sous vide equipment, a chamber vacuum sealer, to a french top. I also play piano and am trying to get my kids to practice their respective instruments more so we can play together. Finally, we play board games. I’ve designated a day on the weekend as analog day. That doesn’t mean we won’t play video games, but I try to get the family together to play at least one tabletop game.”
Do you and your children play video games together?
“Yeah, we play together (see below). We used to play together more, especially when Super Smash Bros. Melee or Mario Kart 8 had just come out, but it’s been a little more difficult as of late. My sons are more into PC games — and we only have two gaming PCs in the house — while my daughter is more into console and handheld games. We do find time to play new co-op games, like Destiny 2, together, but we used to dedicate entire weekends to Civilization Revolution. There are just more options and as kids get older, they definitely pursue so many different options — including watching YouTubers instead of playing a game themselves. More recently, my daughter and I had a daily showdown in Puyo Puyo Tetris. She’s amazing at Puyo Puyo, so she was putting up quite the challenge.”
How do you make time for gaming with a busy family life and career?
“Nintendo Switch has been a godsend as I can actually play the games I want to play while sitting in a plane or waiting to pick up my kids somewhere. But it’s mostly about finding a few minutes here or there during the week, or teaming up with the kids for some games on the weekend. There are definitely more games out there that I want to play than I can actually get to and finish in the end. For every Dishonored 2 or Prey that I complete, there’s a Hellblade or Total War: Warhammer II that passes me by.”
What is your proudest moment as a parent?
“My proudest moments are when I see my kids go beyond the things we taught them and demonstrate that they don’t just have their own unique personalities, but can do something their parents can’t. Most recently, my teenage daughter got on stage and sang her heart out while playing guitar — and a lady in the audience actually cried. That’s just too cool.”
You can follow Peer on Twitter at @PeerIGN