Giving Thanks

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I realize in most of the rest of the free world Thanksgiving isn’t that big a deal. Here in the States, it is, and not just as a celebration of people managing to make it to the country where we now live without getting themselves killed, but as a chance to take time out to be thankful for what we have and to be with friends and family. So in that spirit, here is a list of things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving:

Mark Lampert, Sound Designer: I’m thankful to be in good health and working here on games like Fallout 3 and the Elder Scrolls series. It’s a lot of responsibility and folks here have seen fit to leave me at the wheel, so it’s an honor.

Jared Angus, QA Tester: I am thankful for my good health, my great job, my supporting family, and most of all my beautiful wonderful fiancée.

Nathan McDyer: I’m thankful that after almost 2 years I’m still on my first 360.

Ricardo Gonzalez, Programmer: Things For Which I’m Thankful ( In No Particular Order ): This sweet gig, breakpoints, corporeal existence, cranberry sauce, quiet purring, the color grey, whomever makes that nice-smelling stuff my wife spritzes in her hair, Chipotleâ„¢, the human capacity for irony, video games of all shapes, sizes, and depths, and everything good I’ve got that I never asked for, which is pretty much everything.

Alan Nanes, Designer – I am thankful for my two kids and my wife who put up with my crazy work schedule in the pursuit of making games.

Gary Noonan, Character Animator: Life, Family, Friends, Starbucks, and gov’t holidays when traffic is light.

Joel Burgess, Level Designer: I’m thankful to get to work on games that are important to me, with such an amazing group of talented folks. Also for the support of family, both new and old, without which I’d never have gotten here. Mr & Mrs Smith, and all the other friends who mean so much. And German confections. Sometimes, I’m thankful for German chocolate and candies most of all.

Emil Pagliarulo, Designer: When I look at my life, there are two things I’m incredibly thankful for: 1.) My family. I’ve got an amazing wife who really understands me and accepts the fact that I’m a big child. Which is even more impressive, considering she’s got four other real kids to take care of! My children – Cullen (8), Cormac (5), Conall (3), and Brenna (3) – are my whole world, and everything I do, I do for them. They’re my font of happiness. 2.) My job. I’m lead designer of Fallout 3. Ha! How ridiculous is that? I spoke at my son’s elementary school career day a few months back, and it didn’t take the kids long to realize I had the coolest job of anyone who had ever lived. They’re right, and pretty much every day I think God I’m not moving refrigerators in an electronics warehouse, working security in a history museum, or substitute teaching. ‘Cause I’ve had all those jobs, and they all sucked.

Ruben Brown, QA Project Lead. I am thankful that we’re not in OT crunch while rolling into December.

Megan Sawyer, Environment Artist: Currently, I’m so very thankful for my ipod full of music and my $15 Sennheiser headphones that block out pretty much all noise, even construction noises and excited coworkers! This is in addition to what I’m always thankful for – my awesome family and friends, and the job that I love.

Gavin Carter, Producer: Having a career in gaming versus whatever pit they condemn English majors to otherwise ;) Getting to work and create in the Fallout world every day. Awesome department producers who make my life 300x easier. 3PM Starbucks runs. Neo-GAF NPD sales threads. Penny-Arcade three days a week. Lots of big fall releases and a four-day weekend to finally make some real progress with them.

Matt Ouzounian, Quite Appreciative: Starbucks’ Peppermint Mocha Lattes (though inferior to Pumpkin Spice Lattes), the fact that this season of Heroes is getting better, Dogfish Head. I suppose I should say family and friends here, right? With Mass Effect, though, NPCs will pretend to be my friends, which is just as good. Lesbian romances here I come!

Phil “PhilSucks” Nelson, Level Designer: A bad ass Team Fortress team (V101 Represent), Rockband, Adidas Three Stripe Sneakers, getting to work with great friends again, Rockband, my family is pretty great, Dexter, bacon, Rockband… and theres something im missing… oh yeah, Rockband.

Ashley Cheng, Producer: I’m thankful for my dream job where I work on projects that people are passionate about with an incredibly talented and hard working team. Also, thanks to anyone who has ever bought a game we’ve made.

Daniel Geske, QA: Life, running water, sports, and games. Everything else is just filler.

Todd Howard: Thankful to be surrounded by so many exceptional people here at Bethesda, and to be working at one of the last remaining independent developers/publishers. I think we take for granted sometimes how lucky we are to be working on such amazing games and to have so many people outside the company who care about them.

Rob Havlovick, IT: It’s sappy, but I’m thankful for every person that enjoys our games and supports our company. It’s nice to have IT problems like “oh no, too many people are trying to download the teaser!”, or, “the forums are too busy!”

Pete Hines: I’m thankful for my family, the people I work with, the job I have, college football on a beautiful autumn day, premiership soccer when it’s cold and raining, Chick-Fil-A, that there’s a day where eating turkey and stuffing is practically required and watching football on TV is strongly encouraged, people like you that continue to buy games and support us and developers everywhere.

Angela Browder, Associate Producer: I am thankful I do not have to wear a suit to work.

Fred Zeleny, Quest Designer: The usual, vitally important things: life, love, family, friends, health, games, and so forth. And for the obvious: being able to work on an RPG as rich and enjoyable as Fallout. And finally, for the humble paper clip, that flexible cornerstone of offices and odd craft-projects everywhere.

Matt Grandstaff: On top of all the standard stuff (family, friends, etc.), here’s what I’m thankful for in 2007: My fantastic new job at Bethesda, a new (and practically free) Radiohead album, a new football coach coming soon to the Wolverines, Cherry Coke Zero, great games like Everyday Shooter and Bioshock, and the fact that the NFL still lets me watch the Lions every Thanksgiving.

Reader Comments

  1. Uh, I think in the rest of the free world (I guess you mean “developed countries” by that btw) no one gives a heck about thanksgiving.
    It’s not “a small deal” ie. in Europe, it’s ignored by every european country I know of, mine included. After all it’s a celebration for something that (supposedly) (in legends) has happened in America, to Americans. Why should France, or Germany, or Italy, care about it at all? :)
    Just my two cents, I’ve got nothing against thanksgiving by the way: it’s just that it’s not like the whole world shares your own national holidays :D

  2. Really thankful about persons with so much talent working on great art… I’m not from the USA but i’ll share the spirit for today! Happy holidays and maybe someday i’ll join you or your colleagues and hopefully make something as great as you’ve done before (Oblivion) and you’re doing right now… Congratulations from Honduras!!

  3. Way to completely miss the point entirely, BlackIce. Next you’re going to write an exposé on how the Easter Bunny isn’t really real.

    Also – ahahahhahaha @ Fred’s paperclip mention.

  4. I’m happy for turkey slices on white bread with mayonnaise and cranberry sauce about 10:00 PM tomorrow night.

    It took me 3 tries to get mayonnaise spelled right.

  5. Hey,you Bethesda guys are unbelievable. Splash Damage just released the beta SDK for quake wars: enemy territory, and none of you are grateful for that? You’re just going to relax, enjoy the company of friends and famlily and NOT spend your entire holiday making maps for QW? _¤_
    *l*
    ###

    Now I’m only joking OK,?,, obviously kidding there. Enjoy the turkey boys and girls, and have some thanksgiving fun Y’all!

  6. I’m thankful for Canadian cross-border shoppers, who take advantage of the tanking U.S. dollar by shopping in Buffalo, and have caused Canadian retailers to panic and drop their prices on iPods.

  7. Happy thanksgiving, ya all. God, I didn’t even knew this holiday exists untill a couple of days ago…

    … but it’s a nice holiday. ^^

  8. Yes, Asuryan, I’m aware of that. I was being funny. We’re also aware the 4th of July isn’t as big in, say, the UK as it is the US.

    As fizzbang rightly points out, we aren’t as interested in the reason as we are the fact we get to feast on turkey. If we did this in celebration of Arbor Day, I assure you our enjoyment of it would not diminish.

  9. Never quite understood the american obsession with thanksgiving, myself. We do it in October here in canada, and it’s essentially just a day off work, and a turkey dinner.

    And with the price of airline tickets these days – I’m glad we don’t obsess over it :)

  10. Happy everything everybody, and a happy everything else.

    i hope all you americans will enjoy, are enjoying or have enjoyed thanksgiving.

    i am thankful for great games, i am thnkful for customer support for games, i am thankful for games taking the view of the public, and i am thnkful for all of my friends, my family and hopefully in the near future i will be thankful for my amazing girl friend i just have to find a way to ask her out first

    Good luck for all your dreams guys and hopefully you’ll return that luck and it will buil up so much that even if this girl would have said no the luck will make her say yes and then happyness etc

  11. I am thankful to interplay for giving us such fond memories of fallout 1 and 2. I am also thankful to them for being considerate to the fan base and keeping what was good untouched. I would also be more thankful if interplay were still around to make fallout 3.

  12. To Jeff

    Personally Thanksgiving is my personal favorite holiday. You get the Lions on TV, families tend to get together even more so than Christmas, and yes, the food is great.