Born from the ashes of Canadian Online Gamers we now move forward to COGconnected. We are your go-to spot for news, reviews, videos, lists, previews, cosplay and editorials on all things gaming with a little geek culture thrown in for good measure. From indies to the big guns, this team of 30+ writers is dedicated to honest coverage that readers can trust. We all remember why we started playing games – they’re fun – and we strive to keep that spirit alive in everything we cover.
Who are we you ask?
Trevor Houston – Co-Founder, Owner & Editor in Chief – Owner and co-founder of COGconnected (formerly known as Canadian Online Gamers), Trevor has been covering the video game industry since 2006. As one of the original founders of COG, Trevor can be seen daily doing all things that make COGconnected one of Canada’s top independent video game websites. Trevor has a tenacious passion for the industry and is relentless in his desire to produce engaging content for readers to enjoy. He is also a judge for the Canadian Video Game Awards. You can follow Trevor on Twitter @Bringer_of_COG.
Paul Sullivan – Executive Editor – A gamer, writer, and people manager, Paul joined COG in 2011. As a youngster, a desire to read the dialogue in Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda actually drove Paul to learn to read and he’s been gaming ever since. Paul plays it all, but particularly enjoys action, adventure, and RPGs. He’s unable to resist clever wordplay, but has mixed feelings on Vogon poetry. This train ain’t got no brakes, and Paul can be found neck deep in emails or on Twitter as @yvr_paul.
Judi Azmand – Content Editor and Recruitment Coordinator – Thanks to all the electronic retail stores and her mother, Judi first started playing video games on local demo computers and systems before she could even articulate “video games”. Currently, a full-time student at Simon Fraser University and working part-time, Judi’s time management skills are put to the test but gaming is one that will always be attended to. She’ll tackle any game or subject that’s put her way in hopes that her contributions to COG will make readers learn about and indulge in the world of gaming. Follow her on Twitter @JudiAzmand.
Garrett Drake – Video Producer – With a passion for storytelling, filmmaking, and video games, Garrett spends his days running live sound, producing gaming videos, and podcasting with his best friends. He predominantly enjoys RPGs, loves arena shooters, and occasionally partakes in brutally competitive matches of FIFA. He can regularly be found at the movies or the always delectable, Taco Bell.
Erin Soares – Content Editor and Staff Trainer – A recent graduate from the University of the Fraser Valley, Erin works in the criminal justice field. Her free time involves cuddles from her two cats and the consumption of geek culture. From video games to movies and from books to the occasional anime binge, there are never enough hours in the day for it all. While new to the gaming industry in a writing capacity, Erin has been playing video games on various platforms/consoles for over 10 years. She will play anything but spends the majority of her time playing RPGs, puzzle and strategy games, and First Person Shooters.
James Paley – News Editor and Video Editor- James is a university graduate who dreams of having a real job of his own one day. When he’s not playing or writing about video games, he writes terrible poetry and watches entirely too much anime. Follow him on Twitter: @OnThePale.
Michael Chow – Associate Editor – Michael has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from Simon Fraser University and is working towards his Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. Though enjoying most forms of media, Michael has gravitated towards video games for as long as he remembers. Most of his gaming is done on the PS4, but he enjoys games on all platforms. You can follow Michael on Twitter at @machow91.
Nicholas Plouffe – Content Editor – Nick is an avid tabletop and video gamer from the great white north. While he’s currently in another field to pay off student loans, this debt was accrued to obtain a diploma in game design. He’s spent over a year working for an AAA studio in Vancouver and knows what it takes to bring a game from the pre-production stage all the way to gold master, putting away small mountains of coffee and a lot of late nights in the process. He enjoys most genres, but has a soft spot for classic RPGs like Fallout or Baldur’s Gate.
Ahmed Mohamed – Video Editor – Ahmed is a games writer from southern Ontario that enjoys a plethora of genres and likes to critique games at a deep level. His favorite games include Halo and Jet Set Radio Future among more recent titles like RAGE and Beyond Two Souls. He plans to study digital media and journalism at university and has been writing about games for 3 years.’
Alex Everatt – Social Media Manager and Staff Writer – For Christmas 1986, his parents bought Alex and his sister the brand new Nintendo Entertainment System. It was his first real foray into video games, and he’s been gaming ever since! He’s a huge fan of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, from Super Mario to Metroid, to Zelda. He also has a love for first-person shooters, such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom 2, Halo:ODST and Bioshock Infinite – but his favourite FPS will always be Duke Nukem 3D. He is married to an amazing wife and has two awesome sons. Follow Alex on Twitter: @alex_everatt.
Alexander Thomas – Content Editor – Alexander began his virtual journey with a little title called Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, and ever since then he has been bound by obsession in the pursuit of discovering the perfect fantasy RPG. A Nintendo and PlayStation loyalist, the answer to any given situation is a resounding “FALCON PUNCH!” regardless of the question. Outside of his work with COGconnected, Alexander is an aspiring novelist meaning if he cannot find the perfect fantasy story, he will one day write it and give big fat credit to COGconnected for publishing him first. Follow him on Twitter @XanderJThomas.
Patrick Anderson – Content Editor – Patrick first got hooked on video games while playing Lode Runner on the Commodore 64. Since then, he has balanced his love of gaming with his other interests, including writing, sports and obsessively polishing his iPhone’s screen. Patrick’s involvement with COG involves submitting news, writing reviews, attending events, and desperately defending his purchase of a PlayStation TV to anyone who will listen. Twitter @patrickcognews
Doug Mercer – Staff Contributor, Movie Critic and Master of Meme’s– A writer, reviewer, film buff, gamer and comic lover Doug balances the things that got him beat up in school with also loving hockey, football and MMA. He will play anything, but leans more towards RPG’s or third person adventure games (is this even the proper term for Uncharted and GoW and such?) as well as daring anyone to take him on in movie trivia.
Mario Brash – News Editor – Writer, gamer, coffee enthusiast, prospective novelist. It started with Super Nintendo, and as you can imagine he’s had great taste in gaming since. When he’s not busy nit-picking everyone else’s work, Mario excellently pretends to know what’s going on. You can discover him and his randomness over @DumbJedi.
Lydia Tang – Content Editor- Lydia has been playing video games for most of her life, with her first being either the amazing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets game on PC or 3D Pinball: Space Cadet. She grew up with Nintendo, dabbled in the rest, and soon found her way back to PC. When not writing for COG, she is writing fiction, histories, and asinine jokes for her friends. You can follow Lydia on Twitter @lydiajtang.
Grady Penna – Staff Contributor – Grady is a writer, photographer and video editor living in San Francisco. His passion for gaming began after his mother refused to let videogames into their household when he was a kid, thus creating a never-ending desire to experience them in all their glory from that point onward. Grady enjoys all types of games but has a soft spot for story-driven RPGs and immersive first-person shooters. Two of his favorite games are Metal Gear Solid 3 and Persona 4 Golden, but the list could go on and on. You can find Grady on Twitter @grady_penna.
Steven Ritz – Staff Contributor – Steven is rocket scientist by day and a game reviewer by night. Located in sunny Los Angeles, he spends his spare time soaking up what LA has to offer as well as reviewing games for PC and PS4. If you are ever wandering around the western foothills of the Angeles Forest and hear terrible banjo music, that’s probably Steven. As far as games he mostly prefers tactics and strategy games as well as RPGs, but is known to go off on a MOBA binge from time to time.
Jason Fanelli – Staff Contributor – A freelance writer from the City of Champions Philadelphia, Jason has been playing video games since the tender age of three. He grew up on Street Fighter, Super Mario, and Sonic the Hedgehog, and the games have only gotten better since. Check him out on Twitter @BigManFanelli
Lou Systma – Staff Contributor – Do you know about Pong? Well… I invented it. No, not really! But… I was around when it came out and blew me away. That heady feeling of excitement has carried on today with not just video games but all media – books, music, movies etc. These are exciting times as all these art forms draw closer and closer together to create more and more engrossing stories. I feel very lucky and grateful to be part of the COG Team and provide a baby boomer’s perspective on the state of gaming. It feeds my inner child! Follow me on Twitter: @LouWSytsma
Louis Stowe – Staff Contributor – Louis is a journalist from the UK who is currently suffering through his Master’s Degree in Journalism, and has no idea how he’s going to pay it back. His free time is devoted to exercising, writing, cooking, and playing copious amounts of video games.
Anthony Bacchus – News Editor – Anthony has saved the world from constant alien threats, upended the walls of Olympus and rescued more princesses than he can count in his lifetime. He also plays video games. Follow his ramblings on Twitter @anthonybacchus
Jake Hill – Staff Contributor – One faithful day in 1998, Jake started a game of Final Fantasy 7. Hundreds of hours of gameplay, and decades later, he’s still mining the depths of dense RPGs, but he’s also moved on to tactical and real-time strategy. He’s also gotten pretty into Overwatch, but he hasn’t gotten any good at it. Check him out on Twitter @Rambling_Moose
Stephan Adamus – Staff Contributor – Stephan has an English degree from Simon Fraser University, and is the On The Road Team Leader & Coordinator for Science World, a homeschool instructor, and an editor. He’s a 31-year-old guy from the greater Vancouver area, who grew up playing lots of Nintendo, and Super Nintendo. Stephan seriously got into playing videogames after Santa brought him a PS1 and a copy of Final Fantasy VII in 1998. He’s an RPG, Adventure, Action, and Platformer kinda game player, who now collects retro Nintendo and PlayStation games with a mighty passion! He also loves the metal, and hopes to bring a retro review perspective to the COGconnected community.
Lillian King – Staff Contributor – Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Lillian’s first console was an original Xbox that her mother commandeered to sing karaoke. This didn’t stop her from dipping into the 2003 game adaptation of The Hobbit, which caused an ongoing spiral that frequently results with more consoles than she knows what to do with. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, she uses her degree in creative writing to write unmarketable anime poetry and, more excitingly, reviews for COG.
We score our reviews using the following scale:
– 100: An Unparalleled Experience
– 90-99: Excellent
– 80-89: Very/Pretty Good
– 70-79: Good
– 60-69: Above Average
– 50-59: Average
– 40-49: Below Average
– 30-39: Passable
– 20-29: Flawed
– 10-19: Fundamentally Broken
– 0-9: A complete waste of time
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