Yanier â€œNieroâ€ Gonzalez of popular video game site Destructoid.com grew up in Hialeah after his family left Cuba when he was 5 years old. He ran his own video game club in second grade, often cutting out articles from EGM, and he swore someday he’s get paid to play video games. Now, he just finished celebrating the 4-year anniversary of Destructoid and just finished paying rent on the second office in California (his home office is in Miami) where four staffers will live, hoping that it will get the site more respect with West Coast connections.
“I was trying to do it all from Miami, but the cost of travel was getting out of control,” Gonzalez said.
He’s not running around as Mr. Destructoid much these days — nor is he writing. His days are about deciding if the site should upgrade to auto-reloading technology, which would mean that his page view numbers would go down, hurting ad revenue. It’s about figuring out how to make more money off the videos his team members are producing. Or how to use social media to get more traffic to the site. That is, when he’s not playing the latest hot game.
“I feel lucky every morning when I get up,” he said. “I’m like wow, I still get to do this.” — Miami Herald staff
ABOUT YANIER ‘NIERO’ GONZALEZ:
Title: Destructoid CEO, founder
Education: Miami Springs Senior High, Silver Knight winner 1997
Before Destructoid: Intern at El Nuevo Herald art department, creative director at World Media
Personal: Age 31, single. Lives in home office with three employees
Background: Born in Cuba, raised Miami-Dade County
How he got the name Niero: It’s a childhood nickname after friends teased about his sloppy signature that looked like ‘Niero’
All-time favorite game: Mega Man 2 on NES
Favorite recent game: Mass Effect 2
Favorite console system: Super Nintendo. “PS2 is a close second. I’m a retro gamer at heart.”
Looking forward to playing: Final Fantasy XIII, coming out in March
Source: Miami Herald