It's always 'game on' for this Texas transplant

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 18, 2010 - 9:13 PM

Andy McNamara, editor-in-chief of Game Informer

Andy McNamara bludgeons zombies with an ax handle for a living. Also, he fights Nazis, as well as the Covenant. He plays games, in other words, but he has the world's greatest excuse: He's is the editor-in-chief of Game Informer, a popular magazine and website in downtown Minneapolis. But does it matter where gamers live, really? Isn't his Minnesota just like any other cave where guys stay up until 3 a.m. firing rockets at strangers who might be in Bulgaria? Not quite.

McNamara, 39, was born and raised in Texas; his folks dragged him up here when he was 15. How did that go?

"I did not believe that people lived like this. In Texas, when someone says there's going to be snow, one flake falls and hits the hand of someone pointing at the sky, they scream SNOW, and everyone goes home. All work is over, all school is over. When I got up here, and I'm waiting for a bus in negative 10 degrees, I thought these people were crazy.

"But I love Minnesota now. By the time I was out of high school and working at the magazine, my parents had moved back to Texas."

Wait, so they bring you here, dump you off, and skedaddle? Gosh, thanks, guys.

"They loved Minnesota, but my dad was following jobs. They'd still be here because they did enjoy it. You can't go out in Minnesota for three months, but in Texas you can't go out between July and September. You pick your poison."

You've picked our frosty, refreshing poison, then. What do you like about it, besides its crisp aftertaste?

"I love it here because we have all the culture and things to do you get in a big city, without the traffic and mess. All the things that make big cities great, but it has the flavor of the small cities. None of the traffic and mess. People complain about Minneapolis traffic? I go to L.A. a lot, and there's no way I could live there.''

Yet we're not entirely perfect, are we?

"Based on this last week, I would give the Vikings a new stadium -- and increase the plowing frequency. We were trapped in our neighborhood for two or three days, even though my wife was shoveling every few minutes."

Hold on. Your wife?

"(laughs) She believes in keeping up with it as it falls. Doesn't want to get a ticket from the city.''

So she's a native, then.

Last question: Is this a good state for gamers?

"That is my favorite reason to be here. That's why the mag's in Minnesota -- when it's not nice outside it is easy to convince my wife that we should stay inside and play video games."

You can find the magazine in stores or at gameinformer.com

jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858 More daily at www.startribune.com/popcrush.

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