In 1981, I was born in Eugene, Oregon. Three months later, my family and I moved back to Brazil where I would spend my childhood and adolescence. At the time, I didn't know that the little blue passport sitting in my dresser drawer would one day become my golden ticket to a life I had only dreamed about.
As a kid, I would play soccer in the streets and ride bikes with my friends until the sunset. My primary concerns included school samba championships and who would be winning the World Cup. I was surrounded by beautiful beaches. The food was farm to table fresh. My community was friendly and content to be with each other. Life was simple.
As I grew, I clung to the values of my community. However, the rose-colored glasses of childhood could not remain on forever. I began to see the struggles of my community for what they were--crime, pollution, and a seemingly uncrossable socioeconomic gap. In 1999, I attended the Universidade de Sao Paulo, where I earned a B.S. in Economics.
During my studies, it became clear that Brazils culture was a key factor in the limitations and struggles of the economic sphere. So, in search of a new perspective, I left Brazil and traveled to study abroad in Sydney, Australia. I would spend the following year earning my M.Sc in International Business and falling in love with Sydney's culture. At the time, it reminded me of the carefree ease of my childhood.
Following the completion of my degree I looked for a job in Sydney but was unsuccessful. That's when I remembered the little blue passport. I knew, if I went to America, I would be leaving a lot behind: Friends, family, and the comforts of home. Like most immigrants I asked myself over and over: Is chasing something bigger worth it? But, by 2005 I had decided it was.
With the support of my parents, I packed my bags, emptied my bank account, and boarded a plane to California. I began working for Warner Bros. Entertainment and then Riot Games. Over the years I grew my career, skills, and family.
Of course, I miss Brazil. Like many Immigrants, I struggle to find Identity in a culture that I did not grow up in; but, I find pieces of my home country playing volleyball on the beach, eating fresh food, and spending time with my family.In 2021, mid-pandemic, I decided it was time to take another risk. With the support of my wife and 3 daughters behind me, I was able to launch Playgig Game Studio. A year in, I am reminded of my journey up to this point. I feel pride in the life and home that I've built in America and am excited to see where the next years will take me.