I have had the pleasure of knowing H.B. since the early days of My Take Radio. She stopped by MTR when she worked with GirlGamer to discuss the climate in the gaming industry at the time, and I have been proud to call her a friend ever since. She is a lady of many talents and she was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to share her Toys & Tech of the Trade. -Rich
Who are you and what do you do?: I'm H. B. Duran and I'm a video game journalist, writer, artist for film and games and a musician. I currently run two sites, VideoGameNewsSource.com, and MySilentHill.com, with SilentHillWiki.net coming in 2016 because I hate free time, apparently.
Base of operations aka home: My many ventures are based out of Colorado and sometimes the Otherworld of Silent Hill, depending on how foggy it is that day.
Current mobile device: Samsung Galaxy S4.
What do you like/dislike the most about your current mobile device?: I love the large screen and user interface, although it seems to act up a lot if I don't restart the damn thing every day. It always rocks to have full bars, and yet an important call still goes straight to voice mail, grr! The camera is pretty nice, though. It makes decent YouTube videos, anyway.
Three mobile apps you can't live without: IMDb, YouTube, and Gmail.
Show us your home screen:
Current Laptop or desktop: I mainly use a Dell XPS 8700 with Nvidia GeForce GTX 745 video card. For Photoshop, I use an Acer Aspire laptop with Wacom Intuos 3 tablet and for screenwriting, I use an old-ass Dell PP01S. I really need to consolidate, ha ha!
Most used program/programs on laptop/desktop: Photoshop (my Precious) and Foxit Phantom PDF.
Show us your desktop:
First place you go when you open your phone or computer: Gmail or DeviantArt; it's great to start the day with some inspiration!
One website you recommend to people often: VideoGameNewsSource.com, of course, for shameless self-promotion, especially the recent launch of our exclusive tee shirt store. Outside of my own work, though, I do highly recommend DeviantArt because of the amazing community of artists.
What's playing in the background while you work?: Video game soundtracks, mostly, but my collection is really eclectic; ranging from traditional Celtic, Native American or Japanese folk music to 1940's crooners, industrial and heavy or “pirate” metal. Sometimes I'll throw on Pandora and just ride that music snake to Valhalla!
Gamer?: Hellz yeah. Although I haven't been able to play nearly the amount of console games as I've wanted to lately, which is where mobile games come in handy to get a quick gaming fix. My husband just got me Silent Hill 3 for PC so that rocks!
What are you playing?: I've been playing the crap out of the mobile game Kill Me Again: Infectors, which is a fast-paced, color match battle game against zombies. Lately, I've been really jonesin' for some Bioshock, Halo 4 and Minecraft, though!
What item have you purchased recently that is less than $100 that has made your life easier or more enjoyable: An electric kettle for about $30 – I drink a lot of hot tea, especially in the winter. Sometimes I pretend that I'm real classy like on Downton Abbey, drink tea out of bone china and raise my pinky and everything, but my cats aren't impressed.
Who you like you like to see featured in a future column?: I would recommend Stacy Place, a/k/a One Dizzy Penguin on YouTube. She was so good at making Star Stable Let's Play videos that the developer sought her out and made her the Community Manager! Stacy is also a talented writer and just generally fun to be around. Her great attitude and plethora of gaming knowledge makes her one of my favorite people in the industry!
Where can people find your work and connect with you?: You can always find me on Twitter: @ThatHBDuran, subscribe to my jackassery on YouTube (@ThatHBDuran) and on my websites, VideoGameNewsSource.com and MySilentHill.com. You can also see a bit of my artwork at https://hb-duran.deviantart.com although it desperately needs some new pieces! (I'm learning new techniques and meanwhile, much of my recent work is still under NDA.)
If you or someone you know would like to be featured in a future Toys & Tech of the Trade you can reach us here.