Meet Matthew – Onehub Design Lead and Avid Video Game Player

Welcome to our new series dedicated to Onehub employees. Each month we will feature a Onehub employee and help you learn more about the Onehub family. There’s been a lot of talk recently about cloud technology and video gaming. We thought we would take this opportunity to talk with Matthew, the design lead at Onehub, who is also an avid video game player.

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About Matthew

Matthew is a designer, podcaster, and Canadian expat. He loves designing, coding, and shipping useful things. Here at Onehub, Matthew does user interface design and front-end development for all of our products and websites. He also handles the overall creative strategy to ensure that you get a great user experience. Matthew is responsible for all information architecture, creative guidelines, and web standards implementation.

Matthew’s Passion for Gaming

We had a great conversation with Matthew about his love of video games.

Q – When did you start playing videos games?
A – I believe I was 6 years old. My brothers and I got an original Nintendo for Christmas.

Q- What was it that drew you in?
A – There was nothing else like it. I felt like I had my very own, ever-expanding arcade in the living room. It was all of the things you loved as a kid in a single box – games, stories, puzzles, music, information, competition. Not to mention, everything appeared to work via magic. Remember the Zapper that you used with Duck Hunt? Most people still don’t know how that thing worked. Magic!

Q – What was your favorite game when you started to play?
A – Every game is your favorite when you’re a kid. When I look back now though, the first game I can remember feeling truly inspired by was Kid Chameleon. It was very long and insanely difficult. I loved the look and feel of the levels. You could pick up different helmets (gaining temporary abilities) that changed how you played the game. Most importantly though, it was the first game where the story behind it really resonated with me. It was a game about an arcade game that kidnapped kids who were unable to beat it. You play the first kid that beats the game and frees the others. I was fascinated with virtual reality as a child. It was incredibly meta.

Q – What do you like most about playing video games now as a grown up?
A – They make me feel like a kid. From a professional standpoint, they’re a source of creative inspiration. There are a lot of parallels between game design and product design. While each medium requires a different set of skills, the underlying problems that we’re all trying to solve are similar. When faced with a web/product design problem, game mechanics and game UI are one of the many boxes I commonly pull ideas from.

From a personal standpoint, video games are a really enjoyable way to relieve stress and exercise my brain. I also love being able to connect with family and friends who live far away.

Q – What is your current favorite game, if any?
A – The best game I’ve completed so far this year is the new Tomb Raider reboot. I just started The Last of Us though, which will probably be a contender.

Q – Do you have any hopes for the future of gaming?
A – I’m really intrigued by the potential of passive multiplayer. You’re playing a game by yourself and then, all of a sudden, someone else is in the world with you. It has the potential to add an entirely new dynamic to games. Demon’s Souls was the first game I played that tried something like that. Last year, a wonderful game called Journey used it to great success. There are two upcoming games, Watch Dogs and Destiny, that sound like they are experimenting with this as well. I can’t wait to play both.

I also hope the industry becomes less hyper-focused on technology and realism. While they are both necessary parts of video games, I don’t think they should necessarily be the most important bars to shoot for. Just like movies, there will always be a place for blockbuster games. I’d love to see more games that challenge our notions of what a video game actually is. I would point to Journey again as an excellent example of a game that does almost everything different. In fact, I almost hesitate to call Journey a game – yet it is one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had with the medium. I hope the future is filled with more “games” like Journey.

Q – How can those interested keep up with your gaming insights?
A – I co-host a monthly podcast about video games called Chips & Bits. I also tweet about video games from time to time @wanderingmatt.

We hope you found our interview with Matthew to be interesting. We can’t wait for you to meet our next staff member next month!