I was definitely born in the right century because I love video games and the internet.
And, back in the old days, I spent most of my teenage life playing video games. My parents were really against me spending so much time on them because I kept failing at school. Then, when they’d finally given up on me, I decided to attend to a computer course at college. Using what I learnt, I managed to run many fan sites and communities, including ones for Final Fantasy, Dead or Alive, Devil May Cry and Xenosaga – as you can see those are all Japanese-based videogames!
My last site, for Dynasty Warriors (aka Koei Warriors), was recognised internationally… which is how I got into Tecmo Koei Europe as a community manager after I finished my degree in the UK. In fact, I have been working at TKE for almost 4 years, but I have known and been a part of the internet and its gaming community for more than 10 years now. This should make you realise that I’m not 19 years old any more!
It’s been a very challenging journey for me, from stepping out from my hometown to getting officially involved with the company that I love and the community I’m passionate about – it’s like living in a dream. Sometimes I wake up and I still can’t believe this is real.
This is why I called this blog ‘Magical Gaming Communities’ because I have been involved in so many now and I have been accepting, open and brave in each – to pick up and learn the value and passion from every individual I’ve encountered. I’m really grateful and proud that I’ve managed to change my life on my own and through my gaming experience – as well as learning most of my English from the Final Fantasy scripts!
And now even my parents – and others who used to judge me – finally believe in me and the gaming industry I love.
When I first met Insert Coin at the Eurogamer Expo, I instantly wanted to be friends with them – they’re creative, passionate, honest and have ‘balls’. They are the kind of people who create magic and make a change in the industry. I really respect them a lot and personally own their Final Fantasy, Soul Calibur and Devil May Cry inspired tees, and wearing those designs on me gives a strong feeling of brotherhood in the gaming community.
As part of Tecmo Koei, it’s always been my dream to be able to get the company involved with Insert Coin’s masterplan. So back in February, I introduced Marilena, our beautiful PR manager, to Jon at Insert Coin to discuss working together. Jon developed various designs for a DOATEC shirt along with our suggestion for a Hitomi hoodie to match her look in the game. This was something the team hadn’t done before, so it wasn’t an easy task and it’s taken some time to proceed… but YES, we have made it. You can see what we have planned right now in their recent blog post.
This really is like a dream come true, especially for me. To step into the gaming industry and the community – as a nerdy web programmer who was so afraid to speak and negative – it was a very valuable lesson and experience. I have learned from my warriors and they’ve turned me into a fighter.
I’m very grateful to be a part of this magic between Insert Coin and Tecmo Koei. I hope our babies - the designs in our Dead or Alive 5 x Insert Coin lineup – turn out even better than we already expect. In the future, we hope to create even more magic between us and our Mother Japan!
And just one last thing, which I always tell my community… “Always protect your dream and make it come true. If you work really hard and are wise, amazing things will happen.”