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"Content By Gamers For Gamers"
We are a team of gamers who very simply love gaming and everything that goes along with it. While we each contain our unique characteristics and personality traits, we believe in the core ideals of Urban Gaming Elite and wish to bring the highest quality content we can. In addition to the individuals listed below, we work with some talented freelance writers and designers across the realm who contribute on an on-demand basis. If you are interested in becomming part of our team, check out our Contribute page.
Alex has been a fan of video games for as long as he can remember, spending much of his free time on his brother's SNES during his earlier years. Currently pursuing a graduate degree at UW-Madison, Alex dedicates the majority of his free time to producing articles, video content, live streaming, and researching all he can along with producing much of the infrastructure for UGE including the website, channels, and marketing. As the designer behind many of the current series content including the Defining Games series, Gamer Rant, and 90-Minute Review. He welcomes any and all that are interested in joining the group and wishes to create a personal group that makes people want to come back, appreciate the level of quality in their content, and respectful of others opinions. He stands strong in the belief of producing content by gamers, for gamers.
Always a fan of video games for their escape from reality, Alex has had a love for gaming since he can remember. Fortunate enough to have an older brother, Alex was exposed to gaming through his brother and the consoles/games he purchased, stretching back to the SNES system up through the Xbox. His own investment in gaming came with designing his own gaming desktop, furthering his love for PC gaming and the realm associated with it. While partial to PC gaming, Alex appreciates the strives made in other systems and is well invested in decent ports and moding seen in everyday PC gaming.
A fan of almost every genre that exists, Alex is partial to games with realistic storylines, challenging gameplay, and puzzle-based combat systems. Alex misses the older style games that relied on skill and determination to succeed as opposed to finding the answer online or being hand-held to reach the final destination. Games like Tomb Raider and The Legend of Zelda series will always hold high places in his heart and mind and stand as defining games in their respective series. His gaming style relies on intelligence and cunning to solve a problem or defeat an enemy, often showcased in his choice of magic or ranged based characters for RPGs /and placing a higher value on item choice and knowledge than brute force.
As the founder of Urban Gaming Elite, Alex has quite a bit of experience in the gaming realm outside of just playing them. Previously a writer for Alienware Arena articles and assisting in FAQs for IGN, Alex has always had an interest in writing and exposing elements in gaming today, often attacking games for appealing to the masses, leaving behind the game design elements that made them a strong game in the first place. Beyond writing, Alex was involved with the UW-Madison Starcraft College Team, streaming the majority of their 2012 season, assisting in transportation and organization of events, and helping with training, marketing, and advertisement. Alex has decided to expand his horizons with UGE, aiming at reducing the media overload and lack of integrity seen in numerous organizations and systems, wanting to bring back the core elements that made gaming successful in the past generation. His aim, much like the aim of UGE in general, is to showcase the community surrounding video games and highlight the people and companies working hard to bring quality gaming back to the mainstream.
JP has early memories of playing on a ColecoVision, and spent hours traversing the swamps of Pitfall! on the Atari 2600. He studied the pages of Nintendo Power Magazine as a child, and spent countless hours watching the Nintendo Power Hour on Saturday mornings. In addition to playing through the Nintendo catalog he also spent long hours playing as overpowered warriors in Hero Quest.
Basically, JP grew up as a video game junkie. He tried to reform himself, and managed to finish college at Texas A&M, but the call of consoles for unbeatable deals was too much to resist. Today, JP is a sucker for games like Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Skyrim, FTL, The Last of Us, and Minecraft. JP introduced his wife to Spelunky and she is now a rouge-like addict. JP fears his son will soon fall under a similar influence and flunk out of preschool.
When JP isn't playing video games he likes to take his son on bike rides, visit the local library, and try to make drunk people laugh while standing behind a microphone.
JP has been following the evolution of the video game industry and freelance writing for several years. He'll be bringing those passions together at UGE by reporting on the news and events that affect players, developers, and publishers.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly when Rachel first fell in love with gaming. It may have been while watching her brother play Crash Bandicoot on the Playstation, or discovering the many joys and hardships of sustaining a civilization in Age of Empires, or unwrapping a Pokemon Yellow cartridge along with a shiny new Gameboy Color. Regardless of where it all started, it's been two decades since her first exposure and she still hasn't kicked the habit, so she's probably stuck with it.
When it comes to gaming platforms, Rachel's interests are broad. Her first love was the original Playstation, but she soon discovered the enticement of handheld consoles that grew to encompass nearly every portable console since the original Gameboy. Her arsenal has expanded to include a Wii and an Xbox, and she now boasts a shiny new gaming PC that she built with her brother. Favourite genres include RPGs, FPS games, puzzle games, platformers, and adventure games (with a weakness for old school point and clicks). She has always been drawn to the fantastic, be it science fiction and fantasy literature, superhero comics, or paranormal television thrillers. It is the ability to not only immerse herself in these extraordinary worlds and scenarios but also to interact with them which drew her to gaming and which keeps her coming back time and again.
In addition to video gaming, Rachel is also an avid player of board games, card games, and tabletop and live action roleplay games. She plans to contribute a series on board games, card games, and tabletops to UGE. A member of the Beloit College Science Fiction and Fantasy Association while she was in school, Rachel considers herself a nerd of all trades. She has been a writer since she could hold a pencil, and in addition to her work for UGE, is currently writing a biography, though her true passion lies in science fiction and fantasy writing.
Rachel loves sharing her gaming passions. From getting her mother hooked on Angry Birds to regularly emailing her brother to exchange game suggestions to convincing her girlfriend to play through all-time favourites like Portal and Mass Effect, any excuse to indoctrinate encourage others to explore the infinite possibilities in those pixelated worlds is one she relishes. She hopes that in writing for UGE she can help spread her love of gaming even further.
Ali is a self-proclaimed nerd, and proudly so. While spending her days grueling away at an English degree from UW-Madison, she spent her nights annihilating zombies on her very first, beloved console – the Xbox 360 (which, fingers crossed, will never come down with a case of Red Ring). Since then she has also somehow come to own three Game Boy Advances and a PS3. She has an unhealthy obsession with Batman, is still waiting for her letter from Hogwarts, and has finished the Game of Thrones book series two times over (R+L=J, anyone?). Other games Ali has dabbled in – or more than dabbled, let's be honest – are Bioshock, Dragon Age, World of Warcraft, and Scene It? Oh, and, oxford commas forever.
Chris is a journalist who's covered taxicabs and elephants, and has had a passion for video games dating back to the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt combo pack. He loves video games, despite occasionally feeling like the industry does not love him back. He was an early adapter of the Virtual Boy, and is probably better than you at Guitar Hero.