Get to know the new features editor
Hi there! My name is Noelle and I’m the new Features Editor here at Destructoid. I’m a cat mom, dancer, and K-pop fan (I’m particularly into girl groups like Blackpink, Twice, ITZY, and LOONA). But we all know what I’m really here for: video games.
My love of games has been lifelong, but I didn’t really fall back into them wholeheartedly until a few years ago. It starts back in the days of 3D Pinball Space Cadet when we had the aptly named “Computer Room” in our family home, and through to the graduation up to various handheld consoles, a PS2, and an Xbox 360 in my pre-teen years.
However, around the time I hit middle school, I set games on the backburner to follow my love of books, and dove deep into a love of literary storytelling (much to the excitement of my mom, a third-generation English teacher). In college, I majored in Classic Literature, and planned to pursue a master’s degree in that field as well — that was until a friend sat me down and had me play The Last of Us. I was immediately floored by Naughty Dog’s 2013 masterpiece of cinematic interactive narrative, which is really an all-but-perfect character study disguised as apocalypse genre fiction.
From that moment on, all I could think about was how games are paving their way as a new storytelling medium, and I knew I had to be a part of it. I dug into researching narrative design, the history of storytelling in games, and how they’re evolving to tell better and better stories year after year. I even gave a TEDx talk about it at my university. Unsurprisingly, all of my current favorite games focus a lot on narrative, like Disco Elysium, Kentucky Route Zero, and Hades.
I landed an editorial internship with Nerdist and then began freelance writing for games, both on the development side and as a journalist. After graduation, I made the move from my small town in South Carolina to Los Angeles, working first as a games writer at Skybound Entertainment, and then a QA Tester at Naughty Dog, the very studio that inspired me to uproot my entire life in the first place.
That brings me here, to Destructoid, in a position that is incredibly exciting to me. One of the things I love most in the world is thoughtful, productive conversations about art, how it affects us, and what it says about our experiences as people. Is that a little pretentious? Well sure, but I was planning on going into academia, remember? It comes with the territory.
My ultimate goal is to look at games, and the industry that surrounds them, through a critical lens that will hold them to the same standard as any other artistic medium out there, literature included. Journalistically, that’s what features are perfect for, hence my enthusiasm in this new role. I really believe that if we continue to elevate our conversations about games, it will foster a reciprocal relationship that inspires better art, which will in turn create similarly rich and meaningful conversations as a reflection of that art.
Jumping into a well-established community like Destructoid is admittedly a bit intimidating, but it seems that those conversations are already happening here. All I can hope is that I can lend a unique perspective, and help enrich that environment even more. So thanks for having me, and I will do everything in my power to make you all fans of K-pop as well!