Danielle Riendeau, Polygon's new Senior Reviewer

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Why, hello there.

My name is Danielle, and I’m all but bursting with excitement to announce that I’m the new Senior Reviewer! I’ll be working primarily with Arthur and Phil, evaluating the awesomeness (or lack thereof) of the latest releases.

Becoming a full time writer has been a long, strange, and mostly wonderful journey. I come to Polygon by way of the nonprofit world and the academic world, by way of film school and my stint as an Emergency Medical Technician. Let’s just say I have a wide range of interests, and I could totally give you CPR and a lecture on interactive storytelling best practices at the same time.

I used to work at one of the more controversial non-profits, so I’ve seriously seen the best hate mail in the world. One dude even sent in a painting – I’m talking full canvas treatment here – of a number of staff members marching through the fires of hell on brimstone rocks, led by the grim reaper himself. Amazing stuff.

I’ve been freelancing – mostly about games, but also about movies, music, etc. for about seven years now. If you’ve read my work, it was probably at Kill Screen, G4, or the dearly departed GameShark.com. If you squint really hard, you can find bits of my work at The Escapist, Joystiq and EGM, and even at such diverse and awesome publications as Bitch Magazine and AfterEllen.com.

As fun and fascinating as that was, I couldn’t be more excited about the chance to focus on games full time. I live and breathe game design, teaching the subject in my spare time and generally living in awe of development teams who get it "right". My approach to criticism is organic – I try to accurately balance gut feelings with the headier evaluation of mechanics and aesthetics, and I’m equally drawn to rough-but-interesting games and perfectly polished ones.

In terms of gaming tastes – I like pretty much everything (more accurately – I could like anything in any genre), and I enjoy weird little indie experiments as much as a nice, bombastic FPS or a solid story-based experience. Mind you, I don’t pretend to have equal skill in all genres, just a wide-open mind and a serious appreciation for strong, interesting design choices.

I invite you to follow my musings on Twitter at @Danielleri, and I look forward to a future of vigorous discussions with you all!

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