The Game Fanatics Staff: Ryan Cayari

The Game Fanatics Staff

Writer: Ryan Cayari

Ryan Cayari

Ryan Carlo Cayari is a self-proclaimed “all-around geek” and a tech addict with a penchant for Apple products. Much like readers live vicariously through their favorite literary characters, Ryan plays games for an experience similar to losing oneself in a good book or being enchanted by a piece of art. He embraces all game platforms and genres, especially the ever-inventive indie titles. While keeping his finger on the pulse of advancing technology, Ryan’s also known to succumb to nostalgia, collecting exclusive stationery items and favoring as many analog versions of modern tools as he can. One his most prized possessions is his Fuki X100 camera. Ryan hails from Manila of the Philippines and currently resides in Houston, Texas. Keep an eye out for Ryan as he co-hosts upcoming episodes of The Game Fanatics Show.

How did you become interested in online journalism and what attracted you to The Game Fanatics?

I studied journalism in college and wrote for the school newspaper. I’ve had an inherent need to ask questions and write and that never went away. I actually never finished my degree in journalism because I moved it to advertising, thinking I’d get paid more after college. If I pursued the path of writer, I’d work for a local newspaper, writing obituaries for minimal pay. Since I took a degree in advertising, I still ended up in the local newspaper, but now I work in the digital advertising portion. Still, that itch write and create still never left me. A lot of people, I believe, have that itch to create. Luckily, I met Charles at the Extra Life event. It’s a charity event where we play games for 24 hours and raise money for children’s hospitals. It’s a worldwide event and I was helping host it in Houston. [I] met Charles and a year later, he came to me and a few friends about his vision regarding a tech and video game podcast… then we just ran with it. Remind me to Extra Life later this year, it would be AWESOME to get TGF behind it!


You’ve said that you’re more eloquent in your writing than you are with speaking. Is that influenced by any experiences that might have made you feel inferior in that regard?

It’s more of an issue of control. I always say that my brain moves faster than my mouth and I’ll often trip over my words as I speak. When I type or write, and I do like writing on a notebook, I’m either forced to slow down or correct myself. I can also contemplate before speaking. That’s not to say I’m overly confident. I know I get on camera with Charles almost every week and I do a lot of talking during client meetings, but I still feel nervous talking to a crowd or someone who I see as intimidating. I can assure you that if I get a chance to talk to Shigeru Miyamoto, Peter Molyneux, Notch or the people behind Earth Defense Force 2017, I’d be starstruck and I would need to put out a lot of effort to calm myself down.


What other hobbies do you have and how do you pursue them, while still making the time to game?

My love for photography is second only to my love for video games. I actually prefer film until it became cost-prohibitive. It just cost too much buy and process film, but I love the surprise you get when you develop your pictures. There’s something magical about delaying the surprise of what a photo looks like. I have a few film cameras, a few instant cameras and a few digital cameras. I always carry a camera on me because I don’t trust my phone for pictures. I like to talk pictures when I’m out, if I’m with friends or I’m taking a break from work, I like to carry my camera and take photos. The early episodes of the Game Fanatics Show was recorded with my DSLR. (I’m so sorry about the quality.) This is a bit weird to some people, but I’m also a bit of a stationery, pen and pencil nerd. I appreciate good notebooks and fancy pens. It harks back to why I’m more comfortable writing than talking. If you’re going to write by hand, enjoy it. I just got my hands on a pack of Palomino Blackwings, really high end pencils.

Another one of my hobbies is collecting and tasting scotch. Before, I’d enjoy a cocktail or two, but I never understood the difference between whiskeys and scotch. With the help of a good friend of mine, I jumped into this world I didn’t really know existed. Now I’m a big fan of scotch and I can’t even tell you how many bottles I own. My favorite drink actually is not scotch, but  it’s distilled like it. It’s the Yamazaki, made by Suntory. It’s a Japanese whiskey, so it’s not scotch. Yakuza 4 was awesome for having real drinks at their bars in-game. I’d go and drink the Yamazaki, get drunk and get in fights. That’s one of the fastest ways to level up, I think.

With my hobbies and work, setting time aside is the key. Trying to keep up with the latest games can be hard and I try not to fall behind. It’s about prioritizing. Speaking of which, my copy of Ni No Kuni is collecting dust. I need to start on it!


You and I recently bonded over the discovery of Frog Fractions. What do you think attracts people like us to spoof games, versus others that play and just “don’t get it”?

I believe things are always funnier if you can relate to them. Weird Al is awesome because he takes pop music which most of us are tired of hearing, and flip it on its head. The Onion is always hilarious because its comedy hits close to home. We can relate and make fun of it. I’m a child of the 80s and 90s and I grew up playing educational games. Frog Fractions lampoons that a lot. Beyond that, it has a lot of video game references and makes fun of artsy indie games with the underwater portion. I like artsy video games. In general, I play games for the experience. I know some people play to complete and get all the achievements, while others play it to be competitive. I like to play the games to experience the world, that’s why I like artsy indie games. The way it pokes fun just makes me giggle to no end. I’m not going to fault people who don’t get it. They just aren’t exposed to the same experience as I did. That’s why we all have different tastes. There are many things I don’t get, like the whole mustache thing hipsters like to do. What is up with that?


What is your current occupation and what’s the most humbling job you’ve had in the past?

As I hinted at earlier, I’m an ad man, a digital ad man. I’m not an advertising robot, though sometimes I feel that way. I’m a digital media planner for a digital ad agency, I work with reps and clients to maximize the amount of advertising spending they do so they get the most bang for their dollars, whether it’s through standard banners, SEM, social media, advanced targeting and more. It’s a bit hard to describe my job. I’m usually that one guy in the group that no one quite knows what he does. Back in college I was program assistant for an English teaching school. I was basically a teacher’s assistant. I’d help supplement the students’ lessons with practice exercises among other things. Most of the students are graduates from other companies and many go through the program so they can get higher education in the United States. I was 21 at the time and I volunteered to help proctor a test for a teacher. One of the students made a dirty joke which made another cover his ears and say, “I’m too young to hear that!”

His reaction was funnier than the joke, which I completely forgot, and the whole class roared with laughter. After the class quieted down, I asked the student how old he was and why did he think he was too young to hear that. He said he was 25 and then asked me how old I was. In retrospect, I should have lied. I should have said I was 27, but then I didn’t look it. I said my real age and the class just got real quiet. They were looking at me as if I was just some punk kid. In many ways, I was, but having a full classroom look at you like you weren’t worthy to teach them was quite unnerving.


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