Get to know VGVN member Ryan Reynolds!

Despite what some people think, gamers are some of the most incredible, intelligent and community-minded people in the world. Take a moment to get to know one of them: VGVN member Ryan Reynolds is a lawmaker – and a lifelong gamer. Hear how video games shaped who he is today.

My name is Ryan Reynolds, and I'm a 27-year-old gamer who has been playing since the age of four. My hobby started with the Nintendo Entertainment System and has grown with each new generation. When I was 14 years old, I acquired a Nintendo GameCube and this younger version of myself thought there weren't many websites focused on covering the console (at the time). So, at that tender age, I started a website that did just that. I developed a following, put together a staff and took pride in the amount of content that my team made available on a daily basis. At its peak, the site received 20,000 hits a day and became well respected by fans, developers and publishers alike. 

A few years later, I played World of Warcraft and eventually found myself in the role of Guild Leader. Through my experience as a Guild Leader I developed a knack for organizing large groups of people and recruited others to join together and move forward with a common purpose. 

The skills I acquired through video games soon proved very useful. Beginning in my teenage years, I was drawn to politics. I loved participating in political debates with my older family members, especially my grandfather who always had strong opinions. After taking a year off from college, I decided to go back to major in political science. In a few months, I found myself serving as president of a political organization on campus and co-chairing a presidential campaign in the county where I lived. Shortly thereafter, I decided to run for office at the age of 21. 

While I didn't win my first time out, I gained valuable experience, broadened my horizons, and met or heard from thousands of people. I worked to gain a foothold and break into public office for a few years, and at the age of 23 it finally happened. I was appointed to replace a village board member who resigned in my hometown of Whitney Point, N.Y. Since then I have been elected twice, proposed and authorized legislation and proudly served my community. Above all else, it continues to be a pleasure to work with my neighbors and community members as we bring the place we call home forward. 

I have been serving in public office for nearly four years and I have plans to continue doing so and to work my way up the ladder for years to come. I am extremely proud of my record as a public official and it still excites me to serve the community that I care about. All of the skills I rely on in my job as a trustee (organization, problem solving and leadership) have roots in my experiences as a gamer. Had I not been a gamer, I may not be the community-minded person I am now. In some political circles, playing video games may be looked upon as taboo, but knowing the effect it had on me, I champion my hobby and will continue to do so for years to come. 

To follow Ryan's career, like the "Ryan Reynolds" politician page on Facebook, follow @TrusteeReynolds on Twitter, visit TrusteeReynolds.com and watch him game on Twitch.tv/trusteereynolds.

Have a story about why the right to play video games is important to you? Submit your story here, and it may be featured on our site, too. 

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