Hot 20 2010: Veronica Belmont, Host of Tekzilla
Veronica Belmont, 28
When Veronica Belmont—one of the most recognized technology personalities on the Internet—gives a thumbs-up, you listen. So take note: Her desert-island gadgets are the iPhone 4, the Kindle 2, and the MacBook Pro. Belmont is the host of Tekzilla, a weekly technology video podcast on Revision3.com and Qore, an online gaming magazine on the PS3 network. More than a million people follow her thoughts on gadgets and gaming on Twitter.
Belmont is proud of her nerd cred. “To be a geek is just to be really passionate and obsessed with something,” she says. “Some people are obsessed with fashion and makeup. I happen to be obsessed with World of Warcraft.” She looks innocent enough, but if she had it her way, she’d be blowing stuff up on Playstation a few hours a day (she once played for six consecutive hours). Her most frequent arguments with her boyfriend, former Engadget editor Ryan Block, are over video game platforms. “There’s a huge cultural divide in our house over the Xbox and Playstation 3.”
Belmont’s also a fixture at tech and gaming conferences around the world, including Dragon Con and Comic Con. It’s one of her favorite parts of the job. “The most rewarding thing is to talk to other people who are obsessed with gaming,” she says. “Growing up, I felt isolated. Now there are whole communities around it.” Belmont also hosts The Sword and the Laser, a sci-fiction literature podcast and book group. “When I need to unplug, I read,” she says. “Except I am probably reading on a Kindle.”