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11 things you didn't know about Niero


1. I was born in Guines. The photos on that web site look like they're old, but those could have been taken last week. Those are still the cars we drive there and that's exactly how the town looks. It's frozen in time since the 40's. Poor as dirt, but like any place out in the country the people are the salt of the earth. My grandma and cousins still live there. I try to visit every 3 years or so as allowed by the sanctions of the US government (Obama plz fix this WTF). I've lived in the US for over 25 years, so my spanish kind of sucks as a result. I'm a proud as fuck US citizen, as are my parents. We steal your yobs, meng.

2. The first game I ever owned was Kangaroo on the Atari. I played the fuck out of my Atari. I can still beat E.T. like it's my job. Yes, it is possible to beat E.T. Its one of the few 1-bit games with an actual ending. I'm also pretty mean at Vanguard.

3. My favorite food is a thing called a Mexican chop at Chicken Kitchen. It's basically a smorgasbord of things that should not be together on the same plate: guacamole, curry mustard, sour cream, rotisserie chicken, yellow rice, lettuce, tomato, and tomatoes. Funny enough, I hate their Cuban chop. Black beans on yellow rice? Barf.

4. Like most geeks, I'm a fucking butterfingers and cannot catch/throw a football to save my life. But I was in good shape, so I ran and threw people instead. I was Cross Country captain in high school. I used to do a mile in five and half minutes. Then I fucked up my knee and that was that. I can still run but not like that; that was a long time ago. I also did Wrestling for a bit. I was a sickly asthmatic kid so I got into running because I was super embarrassed of running out of breath in social situations when laughing.

5. I don't watch or track the athletic performances of other men as they are televised. See item 4. I like taking my dad to see the Heat play though. We go see Dolphins games once in a blue moon when we don't think they're going to get slaughtered.

6. My dad is a hardcore gamer. He's like 62 stars into Mario Galaxy, completed the entire 132 games of Bases Loaded, and worked through a few Bomberman games. My folks are divorced. My step mom says he games too much and doesn't do much of anything else. It runs in the blood, I guess. I should write about him next father's day. He loves the Wii and plays with my nephew, Julian, from my step-sider's side. I'm an only child.

7. I sold my house last year because running Destructoid is expensive -- as was the house, and I couldn't sustain it and quit my day job at the same time to give this site the attention I wanted to give it. Something had to give, so I just did it. I was hesitant to share that out of embarrassment and didn't want anyone to pity our bills, but its something I've grown to be proud of doing. It has worked out and the site continues to grow, so I'll see that investment come back. I was actually inspired to do this passively by Amber Dalton that heads up the PMS Clan, who was $100k into credit card debt before they got sponsored and their hobby took off into a business. In my case, was a big gamble that put a lot of stress on my family, friends, and loved ones -- but I knew in my heart it was what I had to do. And it was totally worth it. That Robert Frost poem is the shit. I'll buy a new place back someday. Not a priority. Anyway, just wanted to put that out there for anyone that thinks we make this blogging thing look easy. My example is extreme, but it just goes to show: there's a lot of personal sacrifice that the entire staff puts forward each in their own way, more than we try to let the general public ever know, anyway. Ask Colette at the rat hole we lived in on Michigan Avenue we lived at immediately afterwards where we'd hear a guy coughing to death every night. Good times.

8. Destructoid has a real office now. Well, it's technically a huge two-story apartment I'm renting with the help of two roommates. We work out of the living room and is zoned in a work-live area, so it's not as ghetto as it sounds. It's nicer than my old house anyway. I work on the site an average of 12 hours a day. I can see a Target, Marshalls, Five Guys, the Miami city skyline, and most of crack town from my desk.

9. I was a technical writer for Wiley Books and published/co-wrote 3 books on Macromedia Dreamweaver alongside some other authors. When I was younger I won a Silver Knight in Art. I did a lot of community service in high school. I helped design a playground and some other shit. Google Silver Knight Yanier Gonzalez. That's me. (Niero's my childhood nickname)

10. The original Destructoid helmet smells horrible. There's a sweaty bike helmet glued in there. The later versions used a non-porous construction hat to get around this problem in later versions. We're working on a new helmet. You'll see :)

11. Destructoid grew 30% last year last year, so we're finally able to support ourselves a little better and work on all the stuff we've always wanted to do like video reviews, cblog voting, laddered tournaments for FNF, badges, all that stuff. We finally have the means to get it done. Good stuff coming. Thank you, everyone.

- It takes a lot to make a stew

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About Papa Nieroone of us since 9:58 PM on 03.16.2006

I've been writing about video games on Destructoid for almost 12 years. It would be insane to stop now. I do a lot of stuff behind the scenes here, but mostly my job is to keep Destructoid weird.

Also I'm a playable character in Retro City Rampage:

(along with the whole 2009 Dtoid Editorial team)

Sometimes I have a villainous mustache

My dog CoCo checks all my work for bugs:

I've been to Japan a dozen times. Tokyo's my favorite place, ever. Good food, good people.

Sometimes I do volunteer stuff between gigs:

My advice to people who want to work in videogames is to just start doing the work, even if you do it incredibly poorly at first, until it just happens.

You want to be a writer?

Write daily. Eventually, you become a writer. Don't overthink it, that's all there is to it.

Live your dream! You only have one ticket, you may as well go for it.

Until then, here's a photo of me doing the nightly site backups of the community blogs:

Email me at [email protected]
Xbox LIVE:Destructoid
PSN ID:Destructoid
Steam ID:DtoidNiero


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