That would be Dragon Age Lead Designer Mike Laidlaw on the left, myself as the space bellhop and Dragon Age Brand Manager David Silverman on the right.
Part 1 of 1, by Jay Watamaniuk
The holidays are upon us and I usually get very reflective on how I have spent my year. I’m a gamer and I am very fortunate that so much of my free time and work time centers around gaming. I have played several tabletop games, several live games and many, many video games this past year. Participating in a story takes many forms when it comes to gaming, and in defiance of what is considered ‘normal’ in society, I have found myself in some pretty bizarre situations – all to tell damn fine story.
20 Things I Have Done in the Name of Gaming
1. Bought the occasional holiday gift according to what a friend’s character would like
2. Kept playing D&D when the power went out one evening and we had only one reliable flashlight
3. Refused to listen to a certain song for years because it reminded me of a particularly sad game
4. Drove 697.2 km (433.2 miles) to play a game for one evening
5. Got mad at someone in real life for something they did in character to another character
6. Bought dice instead of food
7. After two years of living in Japan, I discovered a gaming store in my city and promptly spent a week’s pay
9. Watched Boondock Saints over and over until I could speak in a passable Irish accent. I did something similar for a Cuban, Russian and Scottish accent to varying degrees of success
10. Rehearsed a speech for a tabletop game of a villain with a particular piece of music so that his dramatic conclusion had a suitable dramatic accompaniment
11. Made movies posters for particularly excellent games I played using Photoshop
12. Met my stunning girlfriend while crouching on the floor dressed in a black hood and filthy rags for a medieval game
13. While bored in Thailand I created from scratch an entire monopoly board complete with houses, hotels, money, player pieces, Chance and Community Chest and property cards
14. Camped in a small tent in the rain for a weekend to play a game. Camped at the same place, in the same small tent, the next year and it snowed
15. Played a chain smoker as a real-life die-hard non-smoker. I don’t recommended it
16. Hid in the woods dressed as a tree monster complete with a bark mask, in the dead of winter when it was -25 Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit) at 1:30am
17. Painstakingly created a detailed blueprint of my friend’s three story house in the woods
18. Played in the same D&D campaign for 13 years
19. Wore a multicolored, ruffled sleeve mambo shirt and through the magic of technology had salsa music playing out of my pants
20. Got a job working at a company that makes video games
All true, and reams more not listed. All of us who have spent many hours playing games of all kinds have a vast list of gaming-related behavior that seem upon reflection like madness. I would not have it any other way. In fact I recently found myself in yet another bizarro situation. I wouldn’t change that for the world.
I hope you spend your holidays being part of a damn fine story.
Jay Watamaniuk has lived in such faraway and make-believe places like Thailand, Greece and Japan but has always returned back to Edmonton, Canada to put down some roots and to avoid the fricken’ huge insects that lived in those places. He has been BioWare’s Community Manager for over 7 years and has never once- not once- dressed up like a pirate at work. Shameful.
I am declaring Halloween the gamer holiday right here and now. Despite the long and evolving history of the annual event I feel it belongs to the gaming community and always will. Scaring your friends, suspension of disbelief, junk food, and dressing up like someone or something else seems right up our collective alley. A group that invests time, energy and near-hysterical passion into an activity that, at it’s core, is exploring a fantasy world, experiencing a story and putting yourself into the shoes of a hero or villain has to connect with Halloween in some way.
Plus, it’s the only day of the year you can wear a costume and walk down the street without being tackled by authorities.
On to the BioWare staff costume gallery. Check back over the course of today as more and more costume photos are added.
-Jay Watamaniuk, Community Manager