The first time I met Jason Rubin, he was a tech journalist.
“I was the editor-in-chief of Kotaku, and I was the guy who got the job that they gave me,” he says.
“And the day that I walked in, the first person I saw was a man wearing a suit with a gold chain around his neck.
It was my boss.
He told me, ‘Hey, Jason, this is my friend Steve Ballmer, and he’s looking for someone who can help us with some of these new tech jobs that we’re starting up.'”
It was then that I realised I was in for a real treat.
“That was a really great moment,” he continues.
“Because it meant I could finally find a job.
And he was right.
I had an opportunity that I had been working for so long that I was just completely blown away by.
I felt like I was a real person.
I’m like, Wow, this guy’s a real guy.” “
They’re like, ‘Oh, I know you’ve been in journalism before, you’ve done it for a while, and you’ve even been on the news.’
I’m like, Wow, this guy’s a real guy.”
That’s how much Jason Rubin knows about gaming.
But before that he was just a regular guy, working on his own projects as a game developer.
He moved to San Francisco from New York City in 2012, and after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, he decided to pursue a career in the game industry.
“In San Francisco, I was doing freelance journalism for a couple of magazines and doing video work,” he explains.
“Then I got a job with the game-development blog Giant Bomb, where I worked on a couple different games, and then I got to work for a little while on the team behind World of Goo.
That was pretty amazing.”
In between those two projects, Rubin had also worked as an editor at The Escapist, a video game magazine, as a programmer at Riot Games, and as an art director at the studio behind League of Legends.
In the last year, he has worked as a senior producer at Riot, and has been working on the game’s art assets and the game engine, which powers the game.
“At Riot, I had this awesome team, and we were all really excited about what we were building,” he laughs.
“We were building something amazing, and the community really was really excited, too.
And I got the chance to work on some of those projects, too, but I wasn’t involved in the design or development of the game, so I wasn and wasn’t really involved in making any of those decisions.
I’m a huge gamer myself, and so I wanted to do a lot of the design, I wanted my art to be in the engine, and there was a lot I wanted in the art.
I wanted the team to feel like they were a part of something bigger than themselves, and that they were contributing something to the community.”
But it was during that time at Riot that Rubin first discovered the power of social media.
“When I was starting out at Riot and I started to make the leap to actually having a team, I noticed that I’d always have to do everything online,” he remembers.
“So I had to find people that were on social media, and if they were on Twitter or whatever, then I’d have to share my game with them.
I was so used to the traditional ways of doing things in journalism, like I would talk to people over the phone, I’d talk to someone in person, or I would go meet someone online, or have a meetup, and people would come over and hang out. “
It wasn’t just the way I started out.
I was so used to the traditional ways of doing things in journalism, like I would talk to people over the phone, I’d talk to someone in person, or I would go meet someone online, or have a meetup, and people would come over and hang out.
But I was like, Oh, no, this isn’t what I was used to.”
For Rubin, social media became a huge part of his professional identity, and in particular his gaming career.
“One of the things I learned in my career is that I’ve been really good at creating connections,” he points out.
“If I’m at a game party and I meet someone who has a really nice profile on Facebook or whatever and they are going to be a part-time employee, I’ve found a lot more of a chance to connect with them.”
“If someone is on Twitter and I’m following them, I can connect with people that are like, this person is a really cool guy,” he adds.
“A lot of times it’s very hard to have a real conversation online because you have to be on the phone with people who are like: ‘Oh hey, I heard about your project and I want to check it out.’
But you have a lot to look forward to when you get online, when you’re connecting