Eric Bailey (Freelancer/Social Media Personality)
Eric got his start in the games industry several years ago as a writer and podcaster at a retro gaming site, he has since made a name for himself as someone who fosters positivity online and in the gaming community, driven by his love of Nintendo, Jesus, and terrible jokes (not necessarily in that order).
He is a contributor to Nintendo Life and in the past has written for outlets such as 1Up, Yahoo and Gameranx and was a columnist for GameRaven and Retroware TV. You also can currently find him discussing everything from parenting to sausage dip on his YouTube series, Coffee with Eric.
What is the first video game that you remember playing?
“Duck Hunt! My grandparents got me an NES for my birthday (my 4th, I think? which would be 1990) with the Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt pack-in cartridge. My grandfather, being the good ol’ red-blooded American man that he is, thought the Zapper gun was the most interesting part, so he kinda insisted on hooking everything up right then and there so I could start shooting things. My young mind was blown to see how I could be in control of what was happening on the TV screen.”
What are your favorite games of all time?
“I’m a big fan of the Zelda series, especially titles like Majora’s Mask and Breath of the Wild. I’ve put over 100 hours in Skyrim so far, which is what I’ve been playing lately. Marble Madness and RBI Baseball on NES are my go-to relaxation games, titles I’ve played so much that I feel like I experience them in a half-conscious state. I have really fond memories of Super Mario RPG, Tetris Attack, Ristar, the Exile/Avernum series, and Perfect Dark.
But my all-time favorite video game is StarTropics (NES). I can praise its colorful visuals, memorable soundtrack, and various gameplay elements in a general sense, but for me it was the first cart that showed me games could be more than just a test of reflexes — they could have characters, and a story, and real humor, and a certain sense of heart behind the whole thing.”
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
“I like writing strange/cheesy sci-fi fiction, I play basketball sometimes, I’m a fairly active member of my church, and I enjoy movies when I can. Otherwise, I’m not sure if playing with my kids and spending time with my wife count as pastimes, but those are solid options too. Me and my wife used to enjoy hosting game nights, or even playing certain video games together, but those have largely fallen by the wayside. We’ll get back to it someday, I think. Playing games with someone else can be fun!”
Do you and your children play video games together?
“We do not! Our daughter is three years old and our son is one, so I think they’re a little young to dive in just yet. They’ve been exposed, though. Each has sat on my lap while I’ve played something in my office. I can imagine them becoming gamers themselves someday. That might be kinda cool.”
How do you make time for gaming with a busy family life and career?
“I’m a night owl who doesn’t sleep much, so it’s just a matter of waiting until everyone else is in bed. It’s 11pm and the house is quiet? Cool, maybe I can squeeze in some playtime. I played through Breath of the Wild last year in these little 1, 2-hour chunks of gameplay just before bed. So, that’s it. That’s the big secret. I’m like a persistence hunter but with sleep and video games.”
What is your proudest moment as a parent?
“Every once in a while, our daughter will bring up a spiritual subject unprompted; like, she’ll say Jesus is the answer to a question, or she’s asked me to read the Bible to her before, so that’s always really cool. Our son, um, lately has been into chewing on the rubberized grip on things. Like, those protective sleeves on a Wii controller, or the handle to a stroller toy. He’ll just shove it into his mouth and gnaw chunks of it off. We have to catch him in the middle of doing it, yell at him to knock it off, dig pieces out of his mouth, you get the idea. Our daughter would never do that sort of thing. You could yell at her “No!” and she would stop doing it. Not our son. Nope. You yell “No!” at him, and he’ll just glare at you, and then smirk, and keep biting chunks of rubber off of whatever’s in his hands. So, uh, that’s kinda neat. He’s fun.”