Ask @AutomaticZen:

Vaguely remember you saying you lived in Japan? What's the story there? Whereabouts were you, and do you want to come back?

I born stateside, but my father was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. So we lived in the Makiminato Housing Area (Camp Kinser). We were there for around 8 years in total, from when I was around 3. That's probably fed into my love of Japanese culture and I used to head over there annually for Otakon guest-related stuff.

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Not really a question so much as it's a statement, but I wanted you to know how much I personally appreciate your work, especially as a fellow minority. Also, you have killer taste in media.

Thanks. As I've said before, I want more diverse voices in the media. This includes minorities and part of making that happen is remaining visible myself, to show others they can do the same.

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Are there any particular themes or tropes that you'd like to see less of (or none of) in games these days?

Evil corporation, maybe? It all comes down to execution. I like novelty, so as long as creators remember that they aren't the only game ever, we should be good. You have the ability to create anything, why stick to the same three or four plots? Live a little, switch it up.

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How many ties do you own, and what would you consider to be the optimum number of ties a person should have?

I think I'm up to 15. I rotate ties in and out as the need arises. I frequently spill stuff on silk ties and have to retire them, too. I'd say 2 ties if you're just playing around and 6 if you want to be fly like me.

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Hey Mike, where did you work prior to us gamer, and where'd you go to school and such?

GamesIndustry.biz, our business-centric sister site. I mostly did daily news and the occasional interview/feature there. USgamer is my first consumer-focused site. That's why my work probably comes off a bit drier than Jeremy, Bob, Kat, and Jaz's writing.

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