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.
Branden Johnson – Content Editor – Branden writes from his video game cave just outside of Chicago, where the inclement weather keeps him indoors 364 days out of the year, at least. He’s been playing games since the NES and spends way too much money collecting the classics. Follow his general absurdity on Twitter @brandenjohnson
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.
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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We’ve implemented Google Analytics based on Display Advertising (e.g. Remarketing, Google Display Network Impression Reporting, the DoubleClick Campaign Manager integration and Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting).
We and third-party vendors, including Google, will use this remarketing information and data based on previous visits to our site to serve relevant messages across the web.
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1.1 We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of our website visitors; in this policy we explain how we will handle your personal data.
2.1 This document was created using a template from Docular (https://docular.net).
3.1 In this Section 3 we have set out:
(a) the general categories of personal data that we may process;
(b) in the case of personal data that we did not obtain directly from you, the source and specific categories of that data;
(c) the purposes for which we may process personal data; and
(d) the legal bases of the processing.
3.2 We may process data about your use of our website and services (“usage data“). The usage data may include your IP address, geographical location, browser type and version, operating system, referral source, length of visit, page views and website navigation paths, as well as information about the timing, frequency and pattern of your service use. The source of the usage data is our analytics tracking system. This usage data may be processed for the purposes of analysing the use of the website and services. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely monitoring and improving our website and services.
3.3 We may process your account data (“account data“). The account data may include your name and email address. The source of the account data is either directly from you or via your Steam Account, but only with your explicit permission. The account data may be processed for the purposes of operating our website, providing our services, ensuring the security of our website and services, maintaining back-ups of our databases and communicating with you. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the proper administration of our website and business.
3.4 We may process your information included in your personal profile on our website (“profile data“). The profile data may include your name, email address, profile pictures, gender, date of birth, relationship status, interests and hobbies, educational details and employment details. The profile data may be processed for the purposes of enabling and monitoring your use of our website and services. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the proper administration of our website and business.
3.5 We may process your personal data that is provided in the course of the use of our services (“service data“). The service data may include the timing, frequency and pattern of service use. The source of the service data is you. The service data may be processed for the purposes of operating our website, providing our services, ensuring the security of our website and services, maintaining back-ups of our databases and communicating with you. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the proper administration of our website and business.
3.6 We may process information that you post for publication on our website or through our services (“publication data“). The publication data may be processed for the purposes of enabling such publication and administering our website and services. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the proper administration of our website and business.
3.7 We may process information that you provide to us for the purpose of subscribing to our email notifications and/or newsletters (“notification data“). The notification data may be processed for the purposes of sending you the relevant notifications and/or newsletters. The legal basis for this processing is the performance of a contract between you and us and/or taking steps, at your request, to enter into such a contract.
3.8 We may process information contained in or relating to any communication that you send to us (“correspondence data“). The correspondence data may include the communication content and metadata associated with the communication. Our website will generate the metadata associated with communications made using the website contact forms. The correspondence data may be processed for the purposes of communicating with you and record-keeping. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the proper administration of our website and business and communications with users.
3.9 In addition to the specific purposes for which we may process your personal data set out in this Section 3, we may also process any of your personal data where such processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject, or in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another natural person.
3.10 Please do not supply any other person’s personal data to us, unless we prompt you to do so.
4.1 We may disclose your personal data to any member of our group of companies (this means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and all its subsidiaries) insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes set out in this policy.
4.2 We may disclose your personal data to our insurers and/or professional advisers insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes of obtaining and maintaining insurance coverage, managing risks, obtaining professional advice and managing legal disputes.
4.3 We may disclose email addresses to our suppliers or subcontractors insofar as reasonably necessary for sending you our email newsletter, if you have requested it (you can inform us at any time if you no longer require the newsletter).
4.5 In addition to the specific disclosures of personal data set out in this Section 4, we may also disclose your personal data where such disclosure is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject, or in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another natural person.
5.1 In this Section 5, we provide information about the circumstances in which your personal data may be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
5.2 The hosting facilities for our website are situated in US, Europe and UK. The European Commission has made an “adequacy decision” with respect to the data protection laws of each of these countries. Transfers to each of these countries will be protected by appropriate safeguards, namely EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.
5.3 Mailing databases are situated in US and Australia. The European Commission has made an “adequacy decision” with respect to the data protection laws of each of these countries. Transfers to each of these countries will be protected by appropriate safeguards, namely EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield.
5.4 You acknowledge that personal data that you submit for publication through our website or services may be available, via the internet, around the world. We cannot prevent the use (or misuse) of such personal data by others.
6.1 This Section 6 sets out our data retention policies and procedure, which are designed to help ensure that we comply with our legal obligations in relation to the retention and deletion of personal data.
6.2 Personal data that we process for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.
6.3 We will retain and delete your personal data as follows:
(a) Profile data containing personal data will be retained for two years following your last login, if you have not logged in for over two years, you will be notified of this. If we have not received notification within 30 days of your intent to use your account we will delete your profile data and notify you of this deletion.
(b) Cookie data will be retained for no longer than 30 days.
6.4 Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Section 6, we may retain your personal data where such retention is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject, or in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another natural person.
7.1 We may update this policy from time to time by publishing a new version on our website.
7.2 You should check this page occasionally to ensure you are happy with any changes to this policy.
7.3 We may notify you of changes to this policy by email or through the private messaging system on our website.
8.1 You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you; provision of such information will be subject to:
(a) the first request for information being free of charge. Any subsequent requests are subjected to a CAD 20 administration fee; and
(b) the supply of appropriate evidence of your identity (for this purpose, we will usually accept a photocopy of your passport certified by a solicitor or bank plus an original copy of a utility bill showing your current address).
8.2 We may withhold personal information that you request to the extent permitted by law.
8.3 You may instruct us at any time not to process your personal information for marketing purposes.
8.4 In practice, you will usually either expressly agree in advance to our use of your personal information for marketing purposes, or we will provide you with an opportunity to opt out of the use of your personal information for marketing purposes.
9.1 A cookie is a file containing an identifier (a string of letters and numbers) that is sent by a web server to a web browser and is stored by the browser. The identifier is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.
9.2 Cookies may be either “persistent” cookies or “session” cookies: a persistent cookie will be stored by a web browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date, unless deleted by the user before the expiry date; a session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.
9.3 Cookies do not typically contain any information that personally identifies a user, but personal information that we store about you may be linked to the information stored in and obtained from cookies.
12.1 Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies and to delete cookies. The methods for doing so vary from browser to browser, and from version to version. You can however obtain up-to-date information about blocking and deleting cookies via these links:
(a) https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647?hl=en (Chrome);
(b) https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/enable-and-disable-cookies-website-preferences (Firefox);
(c) http://www.opera.com/help/tutorials/security/cookies/ (Opera);
(d) https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/17442/windows-internet-explorer-delete-manage-cookies (Internet Explorer);
(e) https://support.apple.com/kb/PH21411 (Safari); and
(f) https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10-microsoft-edge-and-privacy (Edge).
12.2 Blocking all cookies will have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites.
12.3 If you block cookies, you will not be able to use all the features on our website.
13.1 This website is owned and operated by COGconnected.
13.2 We are registered in Canada and our registered office is located in Abbotsford, BC.
13.3 Our principal place of business is located Abbotsford, BC
13.4 You can contact us:
(a) by post, simply contact us for the postal address;
(b) by email, using this email address firstname.lastname@example.org