Meet Amanda Lynn
"Your career in the games industry is illustrious, indeed, but what kind of human are you?"
Astute of you to ask! You never can tell these days, what with the bots, and the stacks of children under trenchcoats pretending to be business adults. To assuage your curiosity, here are five fun Amanda Facts™ that are definitely not just nerdy lists of games I like.
1. Rhythm games are my secret superpower.
Well, not so secret anymore.
I've been playing Dance Dance Revolution at a competitive level for almost 20 years, along with a slew of other Bemani rhythm games (ParaPara Paradise, IIDX, pop'n music, et. al.). These days, you'll mostly find me playing Beat Saber Expert+ on the Oculus Quest. Sometimes I stream my wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing saber dance for fun and profit.
2. I play the mandolin.
Fulfilling birthright puns since 1988.
Destiny, so it were. You can imagine the confusion if I didn't play the mandolin. I also play the piano, flute, piccolo, guitar, and ukulele -- some of them not terribly. And when whiskey and karaoke night mix, I've been known to attempt my best Janis Joplin impression. (With apologies to Miss Joplin.)
3. I've lived in more places than I am years old.
"There are other worlds than these..."
Wanderlust, indeed: thirty-plus towns across nine US states, three countries, and one island. Whenever I gaze longingly out the window like the protagonist of a charming coming-of-age film, there's a good bet I'm imagining trotting around the globe in a tiny house on wheels.
4. I have a list of all-time favorite video games.
Shh, it's not cheating.
Sneaky way of listing my favorite video games, yes, but also a fact. *cough*
That list of titles is, in no particular order and excluding rhythm games aforementioned in Fact 1: the Zelda series (especially Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild), Bastion, Portal 2, The Stanley Parable, West of Loathing, Gone Home, the Life is Strange series, Monument Valley, Oxenfree, DEVICE 6, Thumper, VOEZ, Super Marios 64 and Odyssey, Gris, Age of Empires III, Fez, Baba Is You, LIMBO, INSIDE, Little Nightmares, American McGee's Alice: Madness Returns, Banished, HITMAN, 80 Days, Invisible Inc., TCGs ...to name a few.
5. I have a list of games I've been meaning to play.
Also not cheating. Totally fair play.
It's true! I DO have a list. A true fact.
Also in no particular order: Hollow Knight, Ori & the Will of the Wisps, Return of the Obra Dinn, The Witcher 3, Don't Starve, Night in the Woods, The Silent Age, Disco Elysium, Undertale, Tacoma, SOMA, Kentucky Route Zero, Never Alone, Heaven's Vault, Cuphead, Unavowed, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, Sunless Skies, World of Horror, Lair of the Clockwork God, The Last of Us (no spoilers, plz), the rest of my unplayed Steam library that glares at me while I watch RuPaul's Drag Race reruns...
I have a list of (narrative) games I would recommend.
I just couldn't help myself.
Okay, so I MOSTLY kept my promise about the Amanda Facts™ being more than just nerdy lists of games I like... but these are too good not to mention. When it comes to narratives and their systems of delivery, these are titles that I've appreciated, learned from, or otherwise found to be extra memorable.
In the out-est of orders: That Dragon, Cancer, What Remains of Edith Finch, Frostpunk, Papers, Please, Her Story, The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, Firewatch, Persona 5, Reigns, Hacknet, EXAPUNKS, The Flame in the Flood, Orwell, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, This War of Mine, Florence, The Witness, Sunless Sea, The Almost Gone, Cultist Simulator, This is the Police... I could (and eventually should) write essays on the merits and learnings of each.