A lot of people call us nerds. And we’re totally okay with that because we are. Huge nerds. But the benefit of the being in the video game industry is that we are surrounded by some of the nicest and most talented people on the planet. Here’s our rundown of the five nicest people in the gaming industry (in no particular order).
Victor Lucas is awesome. If you don’t know him, he’s the brain behind EP Daily (The Electric Playground) and Reviews on the Run as well as Greedy Productions, and a little girl named Ruby (although his wife had something to do with that one, too). We’ve met Victor on more than a few occasions over the past few years at events like E3 and FanExpo, and each and every time, even with years between meetings, he remembered us by name and we had a great chat. Victor was also one of the speakers at a TEDx conference in Vancouver last year where he spoke about the “3D Rules” (and as he put it, they have nothing to do with 3D) which perfectly sum up how he lives his life and just why he is such a nice guy.
Tommy Tallarico is the creator of Video Games Live and co-creator of The Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run. It’s no wonder that Tommy and Vic worked together for so long; they’re both really great people. Tommy, aside from being a total nerd like the rest of the people on this list, cares. About everyone. We’ve met, not unlike Vic, a half dozen times or so, and attended his concerts and interviewed him more than a few times. Every time, he greeted us like he was an old friend (he is now) and we would talk as if we had been speaking for ages. Tommy is also a huge animal lover, vegan, and has some of the most respect for anyone who loves what they do, especially if what they do is video game music!
Marc Saltzman is someone that we’ve been friends with on Facebook for a little while (he pops up on our movie screens and while we’re shopping at Costco all the time!) but didn’t have the chance to interact with until recently. Being a small player in the media, we needed some help, so we shot a message over to Marc on Facebook. Without hesitation, despite never having met, he gave us his phone number so we could discuss the matter and figure out how to proceed. He offered his advice and that instantly put him on this list. Because he doesn’t need to know you personally to want to help, and he took nearly an hour out of his day to help us figure it out. Impressive, to say the least.
Maxime Beland is Creative Director at Ubisoft Toronto, currently responsible for crafting the Splinter Cell series. Our first real encounter with Maxime probably wasn’t the best (we won’t get into it), and while he probably had every right to punch me in the face, the way he handled the situation was something else entirely. He understands the human condition and that people make mistakes. And he is able to see past his own personal feelings towards something and let things go. He is someone we interact with occasionally on Twitter, and his games have received some of our highest praise. The guy isn’t just nice, he knows how to make a compelling story and an intriguing game to back it up.
Matt Levitan is Sony Canada’s PR and Marketing Director, father, and all-round nice guy. We’ve grown to know Matt as not only a marketing director, but as a father and husband. His wife battled cancer last year (and WON!), and he runs marathons to fundraise for cancer research while raising three kids alongside his wife (one of them who just turned three weeks old – how cute)! Our interviews are always funny, and he, like everyone else on the list, somehow makes it feel like we’re talking to friends when we’re talking games.
People like this are why working in the gaming industry is just so much damn fun. Sure, the games help, too, but without good people behind them and colleagues that are willing to help anyone out, it just wouldn’t be the industry that it is. We’re also very lucky to say that these people are NOT the exception. Victor, Tommy, Marc, Maxime, and Matt are all exceptional people, but they (and we) work alongside some of the most creative and down to earth people as well. People like Scott Jones (Reviews on the Run) and Carl-Edwin Michel (FutureShop, Cineplex), to name a few. We really are blessed to work alongside such great people, interacting and sharing our love for gaming and media.
If you find people even close to this caliber in your own industry, don’t let them go, because they are not easy to find!