Gamer Spotlight: Paul Hunter

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Paul Hunter (Senior Editor, Gaming, Tech & Media at Walmart Canada)

Paul has been covering the video games and tech industries for over a decade, covering the latest and hottest trends. For nearly a decade he worked with Best Buy Canada to create gaming content and coverage and last year took on a position as the Senior Gaming, Tech & Media Editor at Walmart Canada. He travels the globe, attending media events and trade shows, covering the latest gaming news from E3 to the Tokyo Game Show. The Toronto based dad also enjoys traveling the world with his family, frequently visiting both the United States and Japan.

What is the first video game that you remember playing?

“Pong. My grandpa gave me the Pong Home version when I was three years old back in 1983. It had a coaxial connection with that awkward switch box letting you change between your Pong system and antenna TV. I remember being absolutely amazed that the images on my screen were moving, and I was controlling it. It came with two paddles, basically just a stick you move up and down, and I remember having 100s of hours of fun with my friends. I was instantly hooked on gaming and never looked back.”

img_2298What are your favorite games of all time?

“The Last of Us. It was the first game that had me in an emotional wreck after just the opening sequence. The relationship between Joel and Ellie felt real and meaningful. Previously, “escorting” an NPC in action games felt like a chore–you just couldn’t wait for the mission to end. But in The Last of Us, Ellie goes through a tremendous story arc that sees her change from a young child into a vicious killer. She’s useful, but moreover, she helps Joel through his grieving process of losing his own daughter. It’s just such a powerful story of survival, hope, and despair. I can’t wait for the sequel!”

Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?

“Wrestling. Huge, lifelong wrestling fan. WWE, ECW, WCW, AEW, TNA, I watch them all and seen most of them live on a few occasions. I’m a sucker for good stories, and wrestling is equal parts athleticism and drama. I’ve met so many superstars, with highlights being AJ Styles, Dolph Zigler, The Iron Sheik, Goldust, and The Honky Tonk Man. My passion for wrestling even took me to Japan where I’ve watched New Japan Pro Wrestling and Big Japan Pro Wrestling. Of course, I also love spending time with my family, going to the zoo, going swimming, going for walks in the park. My son is just over one year old so I can’t wait to introduce him to sports, music classes and Disney World!”

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Do you and your children play video games together?

“My son is too young for video games and I’m still deciding at what age I should introduce him to them. Maybe two years old? Maybe three? I need to do some thinking. My son is half Japanese and he has an “Anpanman” tablet with basic touchscreen learning games, so technically he’s already gaming. I’m more referring to entertainment gaming like Mario, Kirby, and Yoshi. I naturally game a lot at night and I love when my son walks over to see what I’m doing. He’s so fascinated by game controllers and reaches to push buttons when I play. I got a feeling he’s going to be a big gamer when he grows up–but of course the decision is up to him!”

img_2300How do you make time for gaming with a busy family life and career?

“Thankfully, kids need to do a lot of sleeping. If my son goes to bed at 8pm, you can bet by 8:10pm I’m already busy gaming. On the weekends my son takes a nap or two, again giving me a couple hours for gaming. The real-life save for me is my Nintendo Switch. I have a lengthy hour-long commute to work, and I purposely take public transit so I can play video games to and from work. That’s two hours a day of gaming daily right there!”

What is your proudest moment as a parent?

“I’m not sure I really have one because every day is such a delight. I love seeing my son grow up–his first crawl, his first walk, his first word, even his first tooth! Knowing that you have a child fully dependent on you is a tall task but it’s ultimately incredibly rewarding. My wife only speaks Japanese to my son, and I only speak English to him, so I have a feeling my proudest moment will be when I can finally say my son is bilingual. I’m beyond excited to take my son to Japan in the coming years, and it’s thrilling to think he might one day be a native speaker. Who knows, his bilingualism might fuel a passion in gaming for him–imagine being able to import any game from Japan and play it without a language barrier. I have a feeling my video game import bills might be sky high down the road. Heck, if my son has an interest in game development he could even work for Nintendo, PlayStation, Sega, and more–in Japan! I’ll admit, my gamer dad mind is racing, but at the end of the day, I’m just so proud to be a daddy. I can’t wait to help my son grow into a wonderful and talented adult!”


 

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