I am GamerDad181, the creator of 181Gaming. It seems I get three main questions that frequently come up when in the discussion of 181Gaming comes up. I will do my best to answer those questions for you in as much detail as possible. If after reading you have any questions please feel free to message me. Without further ado, let us dive into this.

1. Who are you?

I am the father of two amazing goblins and married to a wonderful wife who tolerates all my quirks, most of the time. I am medically retired from the US Air Force, where I was a Crew Chief on the F-15 Eagle and RQ-4 Global Hawk for the most of my career. The majority of my time in the Air Force was spent in Idaho and California with multiple TDY’s, contingency deployments and traditional deployments scattered everywhere. I have many great memories of my time in service, but flying in an F-15D Eagle and being assigned to Operation Noble Eagle for Presidental protection during the Bush administration are definitely front runners. Unfortanintly that all came to an end for me after suffering a TBI in the line of duty. And before you get heroic visions in your head, I fell 13 feet from my jet to the concrete below head first. Nothing fancy. This injury caused my early departure from service. video games became a huge part of my recovery, but we will get into that in a minute. 

I have always been a gamer. My earliest memories are playing my dads old Atari. But, it wasn’t until I got a Nintendo for Christmas (1987) one year that my passion truly developed. Enter THE LEGEND OF ZELDA. I was completely taken in by this game. Me and one of my older brothers dove headfirst into this magical world of exploration and secrets that were just waiting to be discovered. This was the time before the internet and strategy guides were not that common.

We stole graphing paper from my father’s office and started making our own maps of the dungeons. We would blow bombs on every wall in every room. Bombs where expensive so we would farm rupees [I look back at this and realize that Takashi “Ten Ten” Tezuka was introducing me to the future game mechanic forced by modern games today.] to go by them in bulk to carry out our personal quest…to explore everything in Hyrule. We did not keep our exploits to the dungeons of Hyrule. Every time we went to a new screen we would burn every bush, blow a bomb on every segment of the cliffside and push every rock to see if it would budge. Anytime we found anything it would be annotated on the map that came with that beautiful gold game cartridge.

I still remember that Sunday morning that I drove my Silver Arrow deep into the gut of Ganon and watched in amazement as I beat the game that consumed all winter and fall of my brothers year. The victory was short-lived when I excitedly woke my older brother to give him the great news. Turned out beating the game without him earned me a butt whooping like I just served to Ganon. And honestly, I fully understood. So when it came time to kill Ganon on the second quest I relinquished that honor to him. But till this day I still don’t let him forget who originally owned Ganon.

2. What is 181Gaming?

181GAMING is a Veteran Owned/Operated website dedicated to bringing the highest quality of content covering the full spectrum of gaming, from video games to tabletop/board games, to a community of gamers by gamers. 181GAMING aims to bring the focus of gaming media back to where it truly belongs, the games themselves. The current trend in gaming media is that of politicizing and interjecting social issues into the subject matter. Not because the writers or designers developed it into their projects, but because it generates clicks. 181Gaming departs from this current trend by avoiding these subjects, unless they are developed into the projects by the writers or developers. 181Gaming wants to develop a community for all gamers to feel welcomed and to participate in quality social engagements through the use of our forums and social interface.

3. What made you create 181Gaming?

As I mentioned earlier, I suffered a really bad TBI among other injuries. My rehabilitation process was a long one. At one point I was sent out to the NICoE center at Walter Reid Naval Hospital. At NICoE they try many different approaches to recovery that most western doctors would not even give a second thought of trying. It was here that they found exercises for me to do that involved video games. This was a perfect fit for me since I loved games going all the way back to childhood. Even if it sounds fun it wasn’t. at least at first. 

If you have visions of me knocking out some COD, you will be sadly disappointed. I wasn’t at that stage yet. My motor skills and hand-eye coordination was shot. I’m talking good old Flash games, at first. I moved up to Luminosity after a while to help with cognitive functions. I even was a part of a case study if games could help patients recover with a TBI. 

After leaving the treatment program I continued to use video games as a way to improve my functions and as a coping mechanism. But more and more, I saw the industry get really odd. People started injecting politics and social justice into games where the creators never intended there to be. Game review sites that I once loved to go to are now looking more like CNN. Politics is everywhere we look, I didn’t want it forced into my games. I couldn’t set by and watch something that helped me in so many ways to be bastardized anymore. 

So I set out to make a gaming community that focuses on all types of games and keeps politics off the site. Then I realized that other people felt the same way. So I decided to let the community create content for the site. It couldn’t really be a community for gamers, by gamers if they are not building the community around themselves. And I figured it would only be fair for those creators to get something for their effort, besides the admiration of their peers. I decided that 70% of ad revenue from their content would be a good way of saying thank you.