We’re back for another edition of Matt the Staff… er, Meet the Staff. It’s the turn of another one of our US-based writers this week, known as Matt or Echo! So, dear reader, read on and learn all about him…
Name: Matthew Wingler[drop2]
Birthplace: Dallas, TX
Living now: Cedar Rapids, IA
Gamerscore/Trophy Level: 33,000+/Level 13
Random fact about yourself: I can’t stand to sit still and not be doing something with my hands at all times. When I was about 12, I started shuffling cards when I watched TV, movies, listened to music, etc. When I play games, I keep a couple decks on my coffee table and shuffle them during cinematics and load screens. I do that repeatedly until they start to break. I’d guess I’ve gone through somewhere around 150 decks since I started.
Q: Since you write for TSA, we can assume you like games. So what got you into gaming in the first place?
A: I honestly can’t remember any single thing that got me in to gaming. It was a collaboration of several things, actually. When I was really young, my older sister got a Nintendo, and being the younger brother that I was, I always thought that I had to have everything she had. My parents eventually bought me one too so that’s how it kind of started. Thing was, even though I enjoyed it, I didn’t have the money back then to buy new games so I was stuck playing Mario Bros and Super Play Action Football for a long time.
I did end up getting a Super Nintendo at some point but I had the same issue with that console as well; I was forced to play the same 2 or 3 games over and over again and I don’t remember them being anything all that great.
Finally, around the time I was 13, I met my best friend Chris, who was a huge gamer. He had a PlayStation and after only one night of gaming, I was convinced I had to have one. I started doing yard work for one of my neighbors to save money for a used one, only to have my parents surprise me at Christmas by getting me a new one. It was all downhill from there.
Q: We might be all about games but I’m sure you’re not – what other hobbies and interests do you have?
A: To be honest, gaming is far and away what the majority of my free time goes towards but I also really enjoy music and the occasional movie. I’m also a hockey fan so there’s plenty of that sprinkled in as well. Last and most importantly, I’m married to the greatest woman in all the land, so spending time with her and keeping her happy is also a high priority during my free time.
Q: Last week, Delriach gave us an amusing story about E3. Have you got any equally embarrassing moments you’d like to share?
I honestly can’t think of anything quite like what Del shared off the top of my head. I always get really embarrassed when I factually get something wrong in an article and someone points it out in the comments section. Or even if I have a typo in a story that people notice.
Oh, actually I do have one but it’s not related to gaming. One time at work one of my co-workers asked me if ‘Monster Cables’ were still around, so I decided to look them up on Amazon. I misspelled monster and typed ‘monstro’ instead, which is apparently a popular line of dildos, so my screen was quickly filled with sex toys. Wouldn’t have been so bad if multiple coworkers hadn’t taken notice right when they came up on the screen and had no clue what I was trying to look up.
Q: So, what it is you do to earn your dollars and pay for your games?
A: I work security for the catalog and internet division of an upscale retail chain here in the states. I ensure that our employees aren’t stealing from us, and work with our stores to link fraudulent activity.
Q: We know that you go by the name of Echo round these parts, but do you have any cool nicknames in real life?
A: The name ‘Wingman’ has been used sporadically by my friends and co-workers (comes from my last name). And when I was younger, I had a cousin that liked to call me ‘Matt the fat rat’. Still not sure where that came from as I’ve always been skinny but even to this day, that person knows me as ‘fat rat’.
Q: Gaming is quite a popular thing now, so do any of your close ones game or you a lone wolf, so to speak?
A: I do have several friends around me that game but none of them are quite as in to it as I am. I also have made several good gaming friends through the magic that is Xbox Live. I’ve got a couple that I’ve never met in person but have been gaming with for years. Also, my wife plays all the lego games but I’ve yet to get her in to anything a little more traditional.
Q: How is it that you came across TSA, and why didn’t you run away as soon as you could?
A: I’ve been keeping up with TSA since sometime in 2009 when I first starting blogging online. I’ve always liked the look of the site and enjoyed reading the content, so when I decided to start looking for a new place to work, TSA was on the top of my list.
Q: Out of all the games you’ve played, there must be a few that really stand out for you. Which is your favourite and why?
A: The first Metal Gear Solid really stands out as one of my favorite games of all time. The writing and dialogue in that game are still better than about 95% of what we have today, and it came out back when a good plot and solid voice acting weren’t that important.
I also hold Resident Evil 2 pretty high on my list. I remember being scared shitless by that game at 13.
As far as newer games go, I’ve always been a fan of the Halo series (although I can’t force myself to play competitively anymore) and Uncharted has emerged as one of my favorite franchises of this generation. BioShock, Gears of War, God of War and the GTA franchise also have big places in my heart.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to share with the readers? Go on, just this once.
A: Similar to what Del said last week, I’d just like to thank everyone for reading all the stuff that I write and giving me a constant place where I can go and talk about games. It’s so great being able to create an article and no matter what it’s about, at least a few people will be interested enough to comment on it and spark a conversation – and in most cases, a lot of people contribute to the discussion. I have just as much fun reading through all the comments and seeing what the community thinks as I do actually writing a piece, so thank you!
There we have it: Matt, Echo, Fat Rat, the Wingman. He can’t keep his hands still for a long period, so that’s clearly where he gets his writing skills from! His wife obviously edited a bit of the interview before he sent it out, too… but I’ll let you work out which bit that was! Again, I echo Echo’s echo of Delriach’s comment about thanking all of you for reading and commenting. So why don’t you do some of that below…