Born from the ashes of Canadian Online Gamers we now move forward to COGconnected. We are your go to spot for news, reviews, videos, previews and editorials on all things gaming with a little geek culture thrown in for good measure. From indies to the big guns, this team of 30+ writers is dedicated to honest coverage that readers can trust. We all remember why we started playing games – they’re fun – and we strive to keep that spirit alive in everything we cover.
Who are we you ask?
Kirby Yablonski (The Outcast) – Co-Founder & Executive Editor – A graduate of Simon Fraser University and a man who started writing articles (e.g. reviews) in the video gaming industry in 1999, Kirby is responsible for editing content from other writers, posting news, as well as writing his own reviews and previews. He also originates and maintains relationships with publishers, developers, and PR reps in the video game industry. Kirby is also the recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award in 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015. He has also been a judge for the 2012 & 2013 Canadian Video Game Awards. You can follow Kirby on Twitter @Kirby_Y
Trevor Houston (MRBIGCAT) – Co-Founder, Co-Owner & Executive Editor – Trevor is co-owner and co-founder of Canadian Online Gamers (aka COGconnected). Trevor has been covering the video game industry since 2006. Trevor has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of the Fraser Valley. He can been seen daily posting news, writing previews, uploading videos, writing reviews and social networking exclusively for COGconnected. Trevor also edits reviews, mentors new writers, frequently attends video game events and maintains great relationships with many Publishers and PR firms. He is also COGconnected’s main advertising guy. He was also a judge for the Canadian Video Game Awards. You can follow Trevor on Twitter @Trevor_Houston.
Shawn Petraschuk (Digital Anomaly) – Co-Owner & Executive Editor – A lifelong gamer, fitness and MMA enthusiast, comic book nerd and hockey junkie Shawn joined the COG team as a contributor in late 2012. A long standing member of the community Shawn was spurred to start helping out when he was one of the only community members to pick up a WiiU on its release. Since then he hasn’t looked back contributing reviews for almost every other platform as well as diving into podcasts and some site upkeep. Balancing a busy life with his work as a city bus operator in Vancouver as well as being a husband and father of two he still manages to get in the all-important gaming time to help keep his sanity intact. Follow Shawn on Twitter @callmeshawnp for his rants and musings!
Matt Cullen (Canusky) – Staff Contributor – Matt has been a gamer since he was old enough to sit on a stool in front of an arcade machine. Growing up in Southern Ontario along the American border he hung out in the local arcades during their peak. Gaming is one of his main passions as he feels it is evolving into a form of art and story telling. He started writing reviews a few years ago to help people become more informed on the products the gaming industry is releasing. He is also a part time costume and prop maker.
Paul Sullivan (Paulhammer) – Staff Contributor – An active and valuable member of our community since its inception, Paul joined our review team in 2011. As a youngster, a desire to read the dialogue in Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda actually drove Paul to learn to read and he’s been gaming ever since. Paul enjoys playing most genres, but particularly enjoys action, adventure, and RPGs. In the physical world, Paul holds 2 B.Sc degrees and is currently a Registered Nurse in Vancouver.
Daniel Kozlowski (The Jugganautt) – Staff Contributor – The PC has always been Daniel’s home for gaming; however, he also enjoys what each modern console has to offer. Daniel enjoys sharing his passion for gaming with his family and friends and when not gaming, Daniel is the drummer of Derrival, a local band from the Greater Vancouver Area. He is a recent addition to the staff, and he looks forward to actively being a part of the Canadian Online Gamer’s community.
Royce Dean – Staff Contributor – As a gamer with an art degree from The Art Institute of Vancouver and a love of all things Nintendo or Blizzard; Royce likes to think he knows great artwork when he sees it. He primarily spends his time on his 3DS, WiiU or PC, but has an open mind to everything. When he isn’t gaming, ”which is like…never”, he enjoys thinking about games, talking about games, reminiscing about great times playing games, organizing games alphabetically, and rolling in big piles of games. Also he likes digital painting and collecting Transformers or whatever… lame.
Judi Azmand (MzDino) – Staff Contributor – Thanks to all the electronic retail stores and her mother, Judi first started playing video games on local demo computers and systems at the age of three. Currently a full-time student at Simon Fraser University and working part-time, Judi’s time management skills are put to the test but gaming is one that will always be attended to. She’ll tackle any game or subject that’s put her way in hopes that her contributions to COG will make readers learn about and indulge in the world of gaming.
Lucas Raycevick (CuHnadian) – Staff Contributor – Playing his first video game at four years old and making his first gaming video at twelve, Lucas Raycevick has a lot of experience in gaming media. Reviews, previews, podcasts, montages, commentary and top 5’s, Lucas has done it all. Taking a break after the fall of GamerXperience and in turn, posting on Machinima Respawn, Lucas Raycevick is back as part of the Canadian Online Gamers Network.
Doug Mercer – Staff Contributor – A writer, reviewer, film buff, gamer and comic lover Doug balances the things that got him beat up in school with also loving hockey, football and MMA. He will play anything, but leans more towards RPG’s or third person adventure games (is this even the proper term for Uncharted and GoW and such?) as well as daring anyone to take him on in movie trivia.
Adam Dileva (Variation) – Staff Contributor – Adam has been writing reviews for many years elsewhere before joining Canadian Online Gamers. He is a gadget enthusiast, passionate gamer, and has an obscene gaming collection that would rival most. The Xbox 360 is his platform of choice and his favorite genres are RPGs and MMOs. He will play the bad games so you don’t have to; he also likes cheese.
Frank Naresh (Alucardblack) – Staff Contributor – Frank has been writing game reviews since about 2001. Frank contributes to COG in such that his focus is on RPG’s and action games. He attends preview events when able too and writes reviews on whatever games are assigned to him.
John Elliott (JohnnyXeo) – Staff Contributor – John began writing reviews in 2008 and is actively involved in Canadian Online Gamers as a “Community Leader”. Although family games are his speciality (he has three kids to think of when gaming) he does review other titles that are dear to his heart though, which may be more adult oriented, but in the end he has an interest in family friendly titles so he and the kids can play games together.
Lou Sytsma – Staff Contributor – Do you know about Pong? Well… I invented it. No, not really! But… I was around when it came out and blew me away. That heady feeling of excitement has carried on today with not just video games but all media – books, music, movies etc. These are exciting times as all these art forms draw closer and closer together to create more and more engrossing stories. I feel very lucky and grateful to be part of the COG Team and provide a baby boomer’s perspective on the state of gaming. It feeds my inner child!
– 100: An Unparalleled Experience
– 90-99: Excellent
– 80-89: Very/Pretty Good
– 70-79: Good
– 60-69: Above Average
– 50-59: Average
– 40-49: Below Average
– 30-39: Passable
– 20-29: Flawed
– 10-19: Fundamentally Broken
– 0-9: A complete waste of time.
We are gamers. We are Canadians. We are connected.