Ode to John (Riggs)

John Riggs might be my favorite internet personality related to gaming, if not all together. He doesn't upkeep a fancy website, create highly cinematic videos, or spend gobs of time streaming or on social media. Instead, what I appreciate most about Riggs is that he feels very real. Of course he's a very real person; he's tall, he has a big personality, and he's just generally hard to miss. I mean that the content he creates always feels like it's made by a real person - a dad with three kids and a regular day job, who is responsive and inclusive on social media, and for whom gaming is more hobby than lifestyle - rather than a performer a personality. (It's purely coincidence that for his day job he is, in fact, a radio personality.)

He manages to do it all without sacrificing any true core quality, too. His YouTube channel, for example, doesn't ooze special effects or flash, but it does pack plenty of information and entertainment punch. His opinions tend to veer toward the positive, so my cynical side doesn't always agree with him (you're right, John, I'm definitely don't like the PlayStation Classic), but he's honest and never forceful with his take. He's a great guest and contributor to others' shows and websites, including for Metal Jesus and Gamester 81. He's very vocally supportive about great causes like Cowlitz Gamers for Kids and World Autism Awareness (two of his children are diagnosed with autism), too; it's just one more reason it's easy to root for him. In fact, even though I don't know him personally, but I feel I can confidently say that he uses his platform powers for good. He's got good taste in cereal and T-shirts, too.

My personal favorite Riggs video is called "Storytime: The Bricks in SMB were People!" It's not a particularly awesome or funny video - it's only been viewed 500-some-odd times - but it incorporates a lot of what I enjoy about his work. It features Riggs and two of his children, sitting outside on a fine day, and sharing the most troubling piece of information from the Super Mario Bros (NES) manual (and maybe now from my entire childhood). It's very simple and quick - less than 90 seconds long with minimal editing - but it puts a smile on my face every time, and brings me a lot of nostalgia. In a nutshell, his work combines the informative and interesting with the lighter parts of life, which is exactly what I'm after in a digital celebrity.

I know I'm blowing a lot of smoke here, but if I can lead even one more person to Riggs' work then it's worth my time, because I don't know many digital entities more deserving. Do me a favor and subscribe to/like/follow/support John Riggs. I'm giving you everything you need on the guy right here, so go do it now: