by Harold Goldberg
I first met Andrew Yoon in Dubrovnik almost a decade ago at a Sony PlayStation event. Back then, he was the driving force behind a blog called PSP Fanboy. Andrew, Donna Mei-Ling Park and I hung a lot at the event and Donna and I marveled at Andrew’s intelligence. Andrew was the first person I met to use his PSP WiFi remotely. I think he was even using it to blog. He knew the ins and outs of the device better than anyone.
When we held our first ad-hoc meeting for the New York Videogame Critics Circle in the lobby of the Hotel Rivington on the Lower East Side, Andrew was there along with Evan Narcisse and Russ Frushtick. He wasn’t just ‘there.’ He had the right questions and ideas and suggestions and… In other words, he gave me hope for the possibility of a community of critics in New York City. Without Andrew (and Evan and Russ) there would be no New York Videogame Critics Circle. There would be no game writer community here.
Andrew, who once beat Nintendo’s legendary Shigeru Miyamoto at a level of New Super Mario Bros., went on to become the pull-no-punches editor in chief of ShackNews. Courageously and without looking back, he recently left videogame journalism to become a game developer. Many journalists say with a swagger that they have a game in them, but they never do anything about it. Andrew just went ahead and did it. And he did not look back. At Pax Prime this past September, he was so enthused to present his card game, Divorce!: The Game. Divorce! wasn’t just an excellent card game which had a successful Kickstarter campaign. It was rife with that signature, wry Yoon humor. Playing it was like hanging with Andrew.
“This is terrific, man!” I said.
“It’s all so scary, exciting, different. It’s so much fun. Everything is changing!” said Andrew.
I have no doubt Andrew would have been a super successful game developer. He was a force of nature yet he was kind and ardent. There was no one like him. To me, he was a good friend. To everyone in the Circle, Andrew Yoon will be missed, and that’s an understatement.
In a brilliant article he wrote last September for the Circle, he noted, “My life as a games journalist may be behind me now, but I hope with the help of the community, I’ll be able to take a leap into my next: game designer.”
R.I.P. the great Andrew Yoon, gone too soon. Rest easy, my friend.
Update: There’s a fund to help Andrew Yoon’s family with burial costs.