I think it's important that I introduce myself if I expect anybody to take anything I say seriously.
As far as the basics goes, my name is Ray Ortgiesen and I'm enrolled at Champlain College as an Electronic Game and Interactive Development major. Like most people in the industry, or wanting to get into it, I've been playing games as long as I can remember and I've been making games since not long after that. I don't know how many board games and card games I came up with that I made my parents play with me, but I still have a stack of what were essentially home made Yugioh cards sitting in my closet. I started doing some mod work around 13 or 14 with Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast. I don't want to try and make myself out to sound like I was some child prodigy. The first level I remember getting to properly compile in Jedi Outcast, I spawned in on the ceiling, I had the room scaled so improperly the player was clipping through it awkwardly, and it was lit as if the sun was in the center of it. Hey, you've got to start somewhere.
Long story short, I kept up with it and here I am now, in college, still making games. (Though I expect these ones to come out a little better than my ill-fated Yugioh knockoff.)
Beyond that, I really pride myself on playing just about any kind of game you can find. As a designer, I believe that it's really important to expose yourself to as many games as possible, both good and bad. That's not to say I love every genre of game. I don't. But I have played them all, and I at least understand why people do like them.
Outside of games, I also play guitar, scuba dive when I can find the time, and read alot.
There you have it, now you have a general idea of who this guy is who is writing his ideas about games.