Matt Swider


My ‘Back to School’ features for

Back to School tech

I wrote a pair of Back to School features for this week, just in time for all of the college students out there starting the new school year. The first gave me a chance to play with and talk about my favorite gadgets: Back To School Tech Checklist — What You Need To Survive College Life. In addition to suggesting tech for the classroom (like the LiveScribe Echo smartpen) and money-saving ideas for the dorm (like the Slingbox PRO HD and Boxee Box), I also included “those things you always forget” including batteries. As a tribute to my parents, I ended with a free must-have gadget, LogMeIn, which allows tech-savvy college students fix their parents PC from thousands of miles away.

Video Games That Make You Smarter

My second article, Video Games That Make You Smarter, counts down the 12 games that will help tweak your brain before the semester begins. Originally designed to be a Top 10 list, I crammed in as many strategy, platform and puzzle games as I could so that students can “cram” before moving up to college. I had fun writing this one and creating the minimalist art for both articles via Photoshop. Notice: Professor Oak’s shirt matches the color of the keyword “Smarter” in the graphic.

Conference call interview with Warren Spector on Disney’s Archives, Rejections and Advice from Pixar

Warren Spector interview regarding Disney Epic Mickey

I spent more than an hour listening to legendary video game designer Warren Spector (Ultimate: Underworld, Deus Ex) answer questions of a small group of video game journalists in an afternoon conference call. The game of focus today was Disney Epic Mickey and Spector gave us incredible insight into the research that he did creating this Nintendo Wii-exclusive game.

I feel as if I expertly captured the conversation in my interview, Warren Spector on Disney’s Archives, Rejections and Advice from Pixar. What’s more, I went the extra mile to put together a custom image to run alongside the interview – it looks as if Mickey Mouse is Mr. Warren Spector. That’s the power of Photoshop.

Current events reporting expands my portfolio to

On the morning of Monday, August 2, I woke up to read hard news stories that quoted Paleontologists, saying the Triceratops and the Torosaurus have always been the same dinosaur, baby- and adult-sized respectively. Many articles ran the shocking headline: “The Triceratops May Not Have Existed.”

Knowing this possibly dubious dinosaur is a staple of sci-fi movies and videogames and remembering the groundswell of outrage when scientists demoted Pluto to dwarf planet status, I decided to write and pitch an article to Games That Didn’t Know The Triceratops Never Existed. From Cera of The Land Before Time movie-games to T-r-i-c-e-r-a-t-o-p-s in the word-finding Nintendo DS videogame Scribblenauts, I had a lot of fun writing this unique spin on the current events news topic. Best of all, it was made popular on and attained 48 reader comments, making expanding my portfolio to a success.

Phillies Mosaic: Every Picture I’ve taken at a Phillies Game jumps the gun, the Phillies are within one updated its Game 4 news story a little too early, claiming that the Phillies lost. The writers foolishly didn’t anticipate Jimmy Rollins getting a walk-off hit in the 9th to end the game. So, I whipped up this very appropriate “Dewey Defeats Truman” mock photo using their headline.

One more win to go before returning to the World Series.