I just realized that I forgot to post this so here it is…
Rory Mchugh was ready to rumble. He delivered a powerful roundhouse kick to his opponent’s stomach, ducking with his waist to dodge the retaliating blow to his jaw. He sized up his foe, blocking a few jabs with his forearms while staying balanced. His opponent threw out an overhead snap kick, which Rory deftly side-stepped shortly before sweeping his opponent right under the knee, knocking him briefly to the ground. His adversary quickly gained his footing and furiously attempted a balls-to-the-wall full-throttle knee to the nose. Anticipating this fury, Rory caught the knee with a quick movement of his leg, downing his opponent. This is one of many examples of Rory’s self described “beast-ness” in Fighters Uncaged, a recently released title available for the Xbox Kinect, a motion gaming add-on to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. Rather than use a controller, Rory utilized his entire body, annihilating his opponent in what he considers one of the best games to be released for Kinect to date. “The internet dogged the game because it was too hard, but the Kinect Addict knows where it’s at,” said Rory.
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[Caption: Rory ‘beasting’ at Fighters Uncaged]
On the internet, Rory is known as the Kinect Addict, a fledgling enthusiastic Irish YouTube star with a thick Boston accent that spends much of his time crafting outspoken reviews, tips and guides on various Kinect titles. Posting his first video in November, Rory, under the YouTube account TheKINECTADDICT, has made a remarkable impression on the gaming community, providing the type of no-nonsense enthusiasm that people want to hear. He has since transferred over to the YouTube account kinectaddict, where he creates higher quality videos that are more Kinect-centric.
Most recently, Rory attended the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Boston, where he met up with my friend Adam Singer and alternated between ogling girls in skimpy clothing and playing the latest Kinect titles. “Rory is not a complicated person, but that doesn’t mean he’s easy to describe. He’s loud, he’s confident, and he knows more about the Kinect than the people who design the games. I should know, I saw him talk to one of them, and the designer seemed out of his depth,” said Adam Singer of his time with Rory at PAX.
[Caption: This photo was taken by Adam Singer approximately 4 seconds after he was first made aware of Rory McHugh’s existence. Note the amused but wary bystanders in the background.]
Besides for checking out the latest Kinect titles, Rory also spent a considerable amount of time at PAX checking out the other notable hardware. “Whenever Rory wasn’t raving about the Kinect, he was running around the floor with a bag of spicy-peanuts and a permanent hard-on,” said Adam Singer of Rory’s time not spent with the Kinect at PAX.
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[Caption: Rory harassing the ladies]
After Adam told me about his PAX exploits with Rory, I knew it would be a great opportunity to drive up and meet him. Given that I’m a gaming journalist myself, meeting Rory had the added benefit of being quite an interesting connection. Being that I was going to be down in Boston for the Dropkick Murphy’s show anyway, I contacted Rory and we set up a meeting for the day after St. Patrick’s Day at his apartment in Taunton, Massachusetts, a quaint factory town near Rhode Island that looked like it was transplanted straight from another quaint factory town in the Midwest.
Given our not-exactly advanced age, Adam’s father insisted on being overprotective and ran a background check on Rory, turning up two prior arrests in the last year, one for a 2 AM domestic dispute, a second for driving without a license and insurance, which explained his lack of transportation and reluctance to meet us at a halfway point. The domestic dispute, it turned out, was with his ex-girlfriend Bridget, who as a result gained custody of their three year old son Shane.
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[Caption: Three year old Shane entering ‘Junior Beast-Mode’]
Actually, Rory’s dispute with Bridget is the sole reason that Rory became the Kinect Addict. During his relationship with Bridget, Rory was employed at a local steel factory, where he worked under Bridget’s brother. Rory claims that he got the job after apprenticing at the factory for several months and rising up the ranks to his current position, but in all likelihood Bridget’s brother gave him the job, as they were dating prior to his employment at the factory. The coincidence is just too great. After their relationship soured, Bridget’s brother fired Rory by using a bogus mental health claim that Rory was unfit to work, which Rory is currently suing the factory over.
At first looking for alternative employment, Rory headed over to a friend’s house in the early days of his unemployment to seek advice. Instead, they ended up playing his friend’s newly purchased Kinect. Rory had such a great time with motion gaming, that he was inspired to pick up a Kinect and shortly after ended his job search. After purchasing his own Kinect, Rory decided to live off his pension for the time being and attempt to make it as a games journalist, creating video content five days a week and spending the majority of his time playing Kinect.
[Caption: An early video of Rory refuting a review of Fighters Uncaged by IGN Entertainment]
He has since created over one thousand videos and is generating revenue from them, although not enough to be comprable to a full-time, or even part-time job.
On the day of our meeting, we arrived at Rory’s apartment complex about an hour late due to some directional technicalities, pulling into a gravel-filled parking area. Rory, in baggy gray sweats, flip flops, and an oversized T-shirt, was standing out by the mailbox, looking annoyed. He saw us, nodded in our direction and without a word, turned to go inside, obviously ticked off about having to stand outside for a bit. As we climbed the stairs to his apartment, we made some small talk and calmed his mood, and started talking to him about his role as a games journalist, which seemed to perk him up.
We walked into his apartment, a three room place that Rory told us he paid $80,000 for, and sat down on his couch. The walls were littered with crude drawings in crayon and gibberish scribbles and the entire main living area was stacked, pyramid-style, with energy drinks, like a shrine to the Gods of excess energy, of which Rory has in abundance. Despite first appearances, the place was surprisingly well put together. The kitchen was well stocked, and there was a clear space dedicated to Kinect playing, equipped with an enormous flat screen TV, a Kinect and Xbox 360, a masking tape outline on the floor to designate were to stand and a touch of sentimentality, a picture of Rory’s three year old son Shane.
After we sat down on the couch, Rory got down to business and busted out the Kinect and showed us how he made his videos with a Flip HD camera, which he strategically placed on a shelf in the back of the room. After explaning a little bit about his background and how he got started with the Kinect, Rory inserted the games that he was to show us that afternoon.
Although Rory hopes to one day review and work on Kinect titles for either Ubisoft or Microsoft, he currently supplies all his own equipment, including games, hardware and travel expenses. While many games journalists work reviewing and writing about games as a hobby or side-gig, using free handouts from companies at as a form of revenue, Rory intends to make this a full-time career. “Kinect is the future!” Rory said, “I’m not just another clown trying to make it, I’m the Kinect Addict.”