A self-confessed “Neanderthal from the dawn of gaming magazine history,” Julian “Jaz” Rignall grew up during a time when the best video games had quarter slots, and free-to-play games were the ones you pirated from your friends.
Jaz - a nickname that originated from the initials he used on highscore tables because someone else in his local arcade was already using JR - roamed the run-down, dusty arcades of the pre-Space Invadian period as a child, developing his gaming skills on black and white classics such as Exidy’s Circus, and Atari’s Breakout and Night Driver.
By the time the Golden Age of Arcades was in full swing, he was achieving record scores on coin-ops such as Defender, Asteroids, Missile Command and Pole Position. These enabled him to qualify for the 1983 CVG National Arcade Championship, which he won ahead of a field of some 500 other competitors.
In 1985, he turned his passion into a full-time career as a games journalist, joining the launch team of ZZAP! 64 magazine. Since then, he has gone on to head up a variety of market-leading magazines, including Mean Machines, the Official Nintendo and Sega magazines, Official World of Warcraft Magazine, and GamePro. He was also lead editorial founder of IGN.com.
Today he continues to obsess over the latest games, likes to analyze the industry from a historical perspective – and while he does love talking about games of the past, he prefers to live in the present.