SHORT VERSION: Matthew Hawkins once came fairly close to making an official Charles In Charge RPG for the PlayStation 1 happen, no joke.
FULL VERSION: For the past 10+ years, and from his home base in New York, Matthew Hawkins has been a video game maker, journalist, cultralist, advocate, and pretty much everything else in-between.
As a game maker, Matt was lead designer at Ubisoft’s short-lived (and semi-experimental) NYC studio, where he produced commercial releases for both consoles and the web. Immediately afterwards, he dived headfirst into indie game development; as head game designer for PixelJump, his very own studio, Matt created cell phones titles well before the iPhone came to be, back when mobile development was the wild, wild west (though he’d become involved with iOS soon enough). Matt has also provided his insight and expertise for others interested in making games, primarily traditional media institutions; past clients include NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Classics, Warner Bros, and Miramax Films.
Matt is perhaps best known for his extensive body of work in the field of game journalism. Starting off as the resident video game expert at Nickelodeon Magazine for over seven years, Matt would go on to write (either as full-time editor or freelance contributor) for NBC News, MTV Multiplayer, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Giant Robot, Guyism, Gamasutra, and Tiny Cartridge to name a few. Yet his most notable gig might be GameSetWatch, where his love for alt.gaming was most prominent. It’s also where he came to be known as “the Harvey Pekar of video game journalism” by Simon Carless, GSW’s original EIC.
Despite stepping away from full-time reporting, Matt is still Siliconera’s east coast editor at large and has a corner of Kotaku that hasn’t been tended to in ages. Matt also self-publishes the FORT90ZINE, called ”the publication that helped spark the video game zine renaissance currently in effect” by Adam Robezzoli, co-director of LA Game Space and founding member of Attract Mode. Despite one unfortunate series of events after another, he hopes to the have the overdue fourth edition (FORT904ANSWER) available by mid 2014.
In recent years, Matt has been able to fully explore his love for not just games themselves but the work of creative individuals who have been equally inspired by video games, by curating exhibitions and installations across North America. Primarily as a member of Attract Mode, which he has been a part of since they days of 1.0. Though even as a proud member of AM 2.0, aka the Attract Mode Collective, Matt continues to update the blog plus oversee the creation and acquisition of goods for the shop.
Matt has also taught game design at college level institutions, including at his alma mater (the School of Visuals Arts), discussed the subject of games at a variety of conferences and trade events (as panelist, moderator, and even head of programming), plus at one point was even helping to develop a television series for a major network that dealt heavily with the art and science of game creation (but which was never green-lit). Among many, MANY other things.
GAME DESIGN (as designer):
Ubisoft New York, PixelJump, Black Hammer, Wax Eye
GAME DESIGN (as consultant):
NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Classics, Warner Bros, Miramax Films, MTV Networks, Weekly World News, Deep Focus, Gotham Wave Games
NBC News, Nickelodeon Magazine, MTV Multiplayer, Giant Robot, Kotaku, Joystiq, Gamasutra, GameSetWatch, Tiny Cartridge, Siliconera, Insert Credit, Electronic Gaming Monthly, GMR, Gameranx, Retro Gamer, Anime Insider, Comic Book Resources, Super Hero Hype, Coming Soon, Inside Kung-Fu, Wrestling Observer Online, Giant Realm, Guyism, Heavy, Zedge, TechRadar
School of Visual Arts, Marist College
Penny Arcade Expo, New York Comic Con, New York Anime Festival, RE/Mixed Media Festival, the Toronto Comics Art Festival, the Connecticut Film Festival, the Doomsday Film Festival, I-CON
“THREE: FORT90ZINE RELEASE PARTY” May 1 2010, Silent Barn (Queens, NY)
“FORT90 X BABYCASTLES: HARDCORE FEELINGS” Aug 5 2010, Silent Barn (Queens, NY)
“ATTRACT MODE X BABYCASTLES: HEAVENLY SYMPHONY” November 4-13 2010, Showpaper 42nd St Gallery, (NY, NY)
“FLATLANDS” December 2-11 2010, Showpaper 42nd St Gallery, (NY, NY)
“COMICS VS GAMES” April 29-May 6 2012, Magic Pony & the Toronto Comics Art Festival (Ontario, CA)
“FANGAMER VERSUS ATTRACT MODE” September 1 2012, Penny Arcade Expo (Seattle, WA)
“NO QUARTER 2013″ May 3 2013, NYU Game Center (New York, NY)
“COMICS VS GAMES 2″ May 9-12 2013, Bento Miso (Ontario, CA)
“FANGAMER X ATTRACT MODE” August 31 2013, Penny Arcade Expo (Seattle, WA)
Contact: matt [at] fort90.com
Illustration by Lamar Abrams