TA Community Interview - rotorschnee

By Jonathan Barnes, 5 years ago
I know you. I can tell that you’re shaking… itching with withdrawal… you need a hit… you need it bad… fortunately for you, The Gamish Inquisition is back!

This week, we bring you the interview of rotorschnee, a gamer who received several nominations, has one of the most active blogs on TA, and even served as a volunteer field reporter for the Call of Duty XP Event this past September.

With those things in mind, sit back, grab a slice of cold ‘za and enjoy this week’s fix of The Gamish Inquisition!

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obj – What’s the story behind your gamertag? I’m going to assume that has something to do with a mixed German lineage and fantasy sports. Confirm, deny, or elaborate?

r- You’re very close on the German part. My actual lineage is Polish, but the name rotorschnee is a misspelling of a song entitled Roter Schnee by the German powernoise/industrial group Feindflug. It’s a really good song that is both dance-stompey, but at the same time somber as it talks about the Battle of Stalingrad. I was needing a moniker many moons ago when first getting on Xbox, and it sounded appropriate at the time – I just forgot to take the extra step to make sure I spelt it correctly!

obj – If Microsoft were to force you to change your gamertag to in some way reflect your favorite song and movie what would your new tag be?

r- One of my all time favourite movies is Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colours: Red, but I imagine the gamertag “Three Colours: Red….. WITH BLOOD!” would probably not sit well. “EuropaZentropa” (a play on the Lars Von Trier’s movie) has a nice ring to it, perhaps I’d go with that? If it has to be favourite song and favourite movie, how about “Europa Edges”? A cross between the Von Trier movie and the song by Kirlian Camera?

obj – Wow… One of my degrees is in English (Film Studies & 20th Century American Fiction) and that just blew my mind.

Where is home for you and, if I were to visit, what kind of epic awesomeness would I have to do before I left? Just a reminder, I tend to love pepper, hate cinnamon, and am a one-man wolfpack.

r- I am not a fan of cinnamon either, unless it is in French toast form. We moved last year from Seattle WA to Orange CA. I still have an affinity to Washington, but my home is now in California. Orange proper is quite boring, so we venture out to other towns to find museums, stores, parks and other places to go to. We were spoiled by the abundance of the Half Priced bookstores up in Washington, but no real bookstores down here. Also, no comic book stores close by. So while Orange proper may be kind of lame, our flat is pretty rocking. We collect lots of DVDs, books, and artwork – so we are filled to the brim with curios. We are within earshot of fireworks going off at Disneyland nightly…. we have yet to go!

obj – How’s the homelife? Is there a rotorwife, rotorhusband, rotorchild, rotordog, rotorcat, or rotorgoose in your life and, if so, how do they feel about gaming?

r- I have a girlfriend of over 6 years who is also an avid gamer and goes by the xbox moniker DieSchlinge1066. She’s enthusiastic about gaming, is eagerly awaiting http://www.trueachievements.com/Skyrim-xbox-360.htm, and pops up on TA with her musings as well. We both play a lot of split-screen multiplayer games together, which is fun as it is an activity that involves both of us. There are also two cats in our flat, a Maine Coon named Romeo (the puffy one) and a Russian Blue named Caesar (the not so puffy one). Their only scoff at us gaming is when it impacts them getting food (especially for the puffy one) or attention.

Aside from video gaming, we also play our fair share of Talisman. We are trying to get into the Call of Cthulhu RPG as well, just need to find the time to sit down and run an adventure proper! Anyone down in Orange CA up for a campaign?

obj – What pays the bills in the rotorschnee household and does your profession come with any side benefits like foam party Fridays, co-ed restrooms, and/or free coffee?

r- Dieschlinge and I are both DINKs (double income, no kids). So we both pay the bills.

I am a supervisor at a staffing company and I oversee a team that processes electronic timecards for our customers. I’m involved with process improvements and articulating different systems. Visio is my best friend. I’m also a film scholar, and I attend the Southwest Texas PCA/ACA conference every year for the past few years where I give presentations on Italian films, be a panel chair, or sit on round table discussions as a commentator. I hope that when I’m done with my master’s, I can turn around and write a book on Italian director Antonio Margheriti or a book on the Emmanuelle series of movies.

obj – So long as you like Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo, you’re good in my book!

When you’re not gaming or working, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

r- We watch a lot of movies, both high art and low brow. This really extends into our academia, so we tend to also buy a lot of movie-related books as well. We have bikes and try to ride them when we can on the nearby bike trails. I listen to a lot of music, but of the neofolk/martial/industrial/dark wave/military pop/EBM variety. I collect pinup girls and Bettie Page stuff. I like to cook, and try to find recipes on line and give them a try, with varying degrees of success. I like alternative comic books and collect old school Choose Your Own Adventure books. Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey FTW!

We also go around and try to get our movies, books, games autographed too. That way we have a personalized item in our archives, makes it a bit more meaningful I suppose. My favourite thing is to go to an autograph convention, and bust out a long forgotten Z-grade film the actor had done. Sometimes they are quite impressed, other times they show their embarrassment real bad. For example: Academy Award Winner Louise Fletcher (the nurse from One Who Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest) was not very happy to be signing my Full Moon movie Shadowzone. On the other hand, Adrienne Wilinson (Xena’s daughter) was over excited I brought in a copy of Interceptor Force 2 for her to sign. Apparently no one ever has brought that to her before, she was completely flummoxed and wanted a picture of me (!!!) holding the DVD. Awesome.

obj – Wait… So you’re telling me that you made Nurse Ratched crabby? That is SO out of her character! wink

What is your biggest “real life” achievement?

r- There are a few things in my life I am proud of. Graduating college and earning my bachelors in Computer Information systems would be one. Going to London to see one of my favourite bands (Von Thronstahl) in concert and having breakfast with them the next day was another. But probably the best accomplishment was going to the opening of the D-Day Museum in New Orleans back in 2000, and meeting the real Band of Brothers. My superintendent at my high school was a big WW2 scholar, and I took a specialized WW2 class with him and only a small handful of students. The day after we graduated school we flew to Biloxi Mississippi to be with the Band of Brothers whom my superintendent has been associated with for a long time. So we got to go to their banquet, get autographs, made honourary members (!!!!), and a few days later we were in New Orleans, honouring them and being the first of the public to be admitted to the D-Day Museum. I was glad to see New Orleans years before Katrina hit and to also be with some great heroes.

obj – Is there any particular question you’d like me to ask you that I have not, and, if so, would you be so kind as to provide an answer? It’s not that I couldn’t probe the recesses of your mind for both, but it is slightly unethical by my psychic standards.

r- Yes, I’d like to talk about achievements. I see some blog posts occasionally on TA about the nature of achievements, and surprisingly there are quite a few people with an outcry denouncing them, usually without any real insight. I wanted to perhaps give a more in-depth musing on the subject.

Here’s the thing about achievements: this is really a new concept when it comes to video games. Perhaps high scores on video games could be seen as perhaps a proto-version of achievements: you have an accomplishment (a high score), and sometimes it’s in a public place to view (local arcade). In the 80ies, this may have been well and dandy, but your accomplishment was just restricted to a high score, and to boot, usually the accomplishment was linked to you via a 3 character initials and confined to a specific locale and not reaching a wider audience.

As video games moved from the public arcade to the private sphere on the home with the advent of home consoles like the NES and the Genesis, high scores remained, but lost their punch. Sure, you have a high score in your game, but the public audience (what little there was) is gone, replaced by your little sister and parents. The only way to broadcast your accomplishments would be to go to school and tell your peers, or perhaps go to online Bulletin Boards or newsgroups. Regardless, the community would still be rather small compared to today.

As the internet kicked off, gaming was still being played in the private sphere, but now it had a bigger influence back to the public sphere. It may not have been an arcade kiosk, but server leaderboards, social media, clans, communities, and the like began to evolve over the years. Speed runs, homemade in game movies, hacks, you name it, started to pop up.

So present day, at least for the Xbox, we have an achievement system in place. Anyone on Xbox LIVE, or TA or any of the other websites out there can now view your accomplishments and scores. This is a facet of gaming that just didn’t exist before in this capacity and now it does. Developers and publishers are now designing games with achievements in mind because a market now exists that didn’t before. There is certainly a demographic of people out there who buy games just for the achievements where once no such demographic existed. This is brilliant from a publisher perspective! You have adults who used to be tied to only playing FPSes now picking up Hannah Montana The Movie, who could’ve predicted that?

I think the concept is awesome in this weird sort of way – it’s a natural progression of tying gaming to social media. In a larger scheme of things, it’s a meta game. On a base level, I am playing a game like Jurassic: The Hunted: beating the levels, killing dinosaurs, talking with bad voice acting, etc. But the achievements in the game are broadcast, and wittingly or not, I have now been cast in a giant meta-game where my achievement score is now in competition with other gamers. I may proclaim “I don’t care about achievements”, but the sheer fact that you’re playing a game you’re contributing to the meta-game. Other gamers who do care about them will see you as ranks ahead and will try to overtake you for example.

I love being part of the meta-game since it does make it feel like I am a part of something more grandiose. In addition, when properly executed, the achievements allow me to play games in capacities I didn’t before.

Example – long ago I would just play a game on easy, beat it, call it done. Sure there were other difficulties, but I didn’t care. I got my story, beat the boss, I’m golden like grahams. Because of achievements now, I find myself playing games on different difficulties for example. Or it’s having me play with people online for multiplayer achievements, meeting fellow boosters, players, or even adversaries. Of course there is no value add with the silly achievements like fall into a pit and gain 10 points. The ones that reward you in some capacities for doing something outside the norm is a welcome addition to the multi-faceted nature of achievements.

I think the concept of achievements (or trophies) is too important to gaming right now, and I think the concept will survive into the next generation of consoles. In fact, I think it may even been elaborated on even further than just “fulfill requirements X in game, earn Y points”. I would love to see our profiles and accounts carried on for another generation of gaming or two, and have new gamers compare their profiles with ours and be flummoxed by a lot of the old games we had played. Perhaps in a scenario like this, this could be a component to push for more backwards compatible systems. The achievement system has now connected our consoles to the PC to mobile phones. What’s next, toasters?

So in conclusion, I think achievements are a good thing, and I think they bring a dimension to gaming that was only being scratched at years ago. I think it’s healthy, and I think in a business sense, it will be important in shaping the games we play and our purchasing/renting habits. There are flaws in the system, sure – but I think it’s a system that should be embraced and elaborated on, rather than treated with disdain or apathy. I mean, that’s one of the primary reasons we are here at TA, to embrace the achievements, right?

obj – …I have officially lost control of this interview. In an attempt to get it back, let’s kick off the gaming portion of The Inquisition with a picture of your setup and a quick description of its features.

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The setup of our Xbox is nothing amazing – it’s seriously a Vizio HD TV we got at Costco 6 years ago, but has really lasted! It sits atop of Dieschlinge1066’s hope chest and the Xbox and multiregional DVD player under it. But this isn’t impressive. What IS impressive is our videogame collection:

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We like to buy all the limited editions we can, so our collection is peppered with them. The entire collection isn’t even represented. When we moved down, we left a lot of the games we completed packed in boxes still. And there just isn’t enough room for those and a lot of our limited editions. Example: the Gears of War 3 Epic Edition with Marcus statue is sitting on the dining room table still while the BioShock 2 (Xbox 360) version with the LPs is somewhere in the clothes closet. I have no idea where the Amazon.com version of Fallout 3 is, that one that not only has the lunchpail but a large ornamental Pip Boy you could kinda wear too. Where is that bauble? Anywho, we’re proud of the collection as amassed! You can probably also see a bit of our movie collection too, some of Dieschlinge1066’s silent films and our Criterion Collection as well. So, we’re weird that way.

obj – I love that the cat (who I assume to be Romeo) is giving the ultimate, quintessential "F-You" look that all cats seem to have mastered... classic.

What was the first game you remember playing and your biggest memory of it?

r- I am not sure what came first, Super Mario Brothers or Milon’s Secret Castle. For the sake of being different as a lot of gamers my age started with Mario, I am going to with Milon’s Secret Castle. I must’ve been 6 when we got this game, and my memory doesn’t serve me well at all as to why we had procured it, because it was a HARD game. I revisited the game a few years ago on a ROM as an older, better gamer, and let’s say I think I got further in it as a 6 year old than I could now.

obj – If Milon’s Secret Castle had achievements, what would your first achievement have been?

r- Honeycomb Hideout - 10 pts - “Found a honeycomb power up - you will need it”

obj – You’ve got some really nice completions in your trophy case, but one stands out for me. Tell me a bit about the saga of completing http://www.trueachievements.com/MINDJACK-xbox-360.htm?

r- I am curious as to why Mindjack stands out for you? Out of all my games, that’s an interesting choice for you as well? Perhaps because it’s so esoteric?

obj – I actually did a lot of pre-release coverage of it… for reasons that I still don’t quite understand. Nevertheless, it stuck out.

r- I have a big soft spot for esoteric and underdog games. When Mindjack first came out, I knew it was going to find no audience and fade away. But I took a shine to it, the setting intrigued me. In fact the day I got Mindjack was the day I got my collector’s edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I sat down to read the instruction booklets for both, and I kept confusing the two! Anywho, the “hacking” into other people’s games also intrigued me as a different style of co-op, so that had my attention.

The game was played almost 95% entirely co-op with my friend http://www.trueachievements.com/shotgunbilly555.htm. First he went through the narrative with me “hacked” into his game and then we turned around and I did the narrative with him hacked into my session. We left the hack slots open so others would come into our game. We actually found we were having more fun when malevolent players came into our game to try and stop us! The AI was pretty poor and the game fairly easy, so we welcomed others players trying to antagonize us – it really added a spontaneous component to the game not present in other games.

The story was nothing to write home about, but the dystopian near-cyberpunk setting was quite appealing. The fact that if your character dies and you could float your way to another person to take over was pretty neat, although I got stuck behind many doors since in ghost form you can’t really interact with objects in that capacity.

When the story was done all that was left was to do hacking sessions – go into other players games and kill them. I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but I was having a real great time going into other players’ sessions and stopping them! I felt bad because I was really good at it – I’d track a player’s “digital ghost” and as they took over a body I pointed my gun right where their head was going to be and let loose a salvo. While this delighted me, I am sure it annoyed the heck out of the people I was hacked into, and I got booted on more than one occasion. But to that I have to ask, “if you don’t want people with the likes of me to come into your game, close the slots silly!”.

All in all, the game is dirt cheap right now. I think it’s intriguing enough to warrant a purchase or a rent, and for my fellow TAers who need completion, a fairly quick (less than 20 hours) 1000 points.

obj –Like myself, you seem to be a pretty big fan of Alan Wake. How excited are you to hear about the upcoming Alan Wake's Night Springs announcement at the VGAs and what do you expect out of this sequel?

r- I’m pretty excited. I enjoyed Alan Wake quite a bit. It may not have been as scary as I would’ve liked, but it nailed atmosphere spot on. My only big beef with Alan Wake was that he could only run 3 feet and then be out of breath. Seriously dude, I am not exactly in shape, but even I can run further than that – especially in a flight-or-fight situation! When possessed shadow people are chasing me with axes, you better believe I’m going to haul balls!

As for Alan Wake’s Night Springs, I am eager for it, but at the same time I have reservations. I am not 100% for downloaded games yet. I think digital rights still needs some sorting out. I live in fear that one day I’ll wake up and my “license” so to speak to all the digital games I’ve bought and downloaded will be gone and I’ll have no games. At least with a physical disk I have something tangible – but even then some publishers state that even though I have a physical copy of the game, I really only have a license for it. Blah!

So despite this obstacle, I am eager for Alan Wake’s Night Springs. I want to see the direction the Wake-verse goes in and how it gets expanded upon.

obj – One of your top achievements is Game completed on Hard! in Deadly Premonition. Deadly Premonition has a reputation as one of those "unpolished gem" games that many gamers just fell in love with. Tell us a bit about your experience with it.

r- You are correct, Deadly Premonition was one of those quirky games that came out of the blue and pleasantly surprised me. I know quite a few opinions of the game is that “it’s so bad it’s good”, which is the same phrase one would use to describe Plan 9 From Outer Space. I feel this is not really an accurate descriptor - the faults of the game may be many, but I wouldn’t label it bad. “Unpolished”, as you put it, sounds more appropriate.

The moment of “this game got real” for me occurred in the first chapter as Agent York left his hotel room. As I stood in the hotel’s hallways, white walls, hotel carpeting, vending machines - it looked like any real hotel I’ve stayed at and not a “hyper real” one you see in the movies, TV, or other games. And then popping into the car through first person perspective and see the gas gauge, or the shaving aspect and getting your clothes washed? This slice of life, minor micromanagement really added something neat to the game.

I wasn’t turned off by the graphics at all. They actually made me feel nostalgic for my PS2. The characters and story seemed quite Lynchian, and he is a director I admire a bit, so there was that appeal. As I progressed into the game´s Laura Palmer-esque story I found myself captivated by the town’s quirky populace, but disappointed as they were truly relegated to side quest status instead of having profound impact on the narrative. This was really apparent in the subsequent play through at how very little elements outside the beaten path affect York and his investigation aside from providing powerups.

Regardless, the story, characters, and quirky mechanics hooked me. The additional playthroughs on other difficulties are quite short and rather easy if you’ve unlocked some of the better weapons. Aside from the wall crawly zombies taking a billion shots to kill instead of a million, the difficulties are not too challenging and any gamer worth his mustard who can find palpable-ness in the controls and graphics will have an easy 1000 for them.

I would love to see additional stories take place in the town of Greenvale, but as a sequel or spin off of the game I am scared what they would do. If they try to recapture the happy accident I feel they will falter bad. However if they make something polished with perfect controls and graphics, would it have the same appeal?

obj – As a lover of fine literature, the first sentence in your TA page biography jumped out to me a bit:

When the Mammon Machine went awry, the Kingdom of Zeal plunged into the ocean. Centuries later, rotorschnee was unleashed unto the world, bringing his particular brand of havoc and general vagabondary.
Would you be so kind as to indulge us with a brief explanation of this genesis story?

r- This is a joke that goes way back to my high school days. One of my friends wrote a fake timeline, chronically listing all the major events that led up to him being born, and his accomplishments since. I am pretty sure he wasn’t responsible for the Great Molasses Flood in Boston in January 15, 1919, but his biography made it sound like he was. Being a copy cat, I of course wrote my own biography in a similar fashion, embellishing my accomplishments and making major events centric to myself.

In this case, that bit of biography is stolen straight from Chrono Trigger. The Mammon Machine was a device that harnessed the power of Lavos. In the game is draws a lot of power and corrupts the Queen of Zeal. In a confrontation, the Gurus are sent to different eras of time, Chrono is killed trying to stop it, and the kingdom itself plunges into the Ocean.

Simple plagiarism at its finest.

obj – You’re closing in on one of your Gamer Goals of surpassing 100k GamerScore. How do you plan on celebrating your milestone and is there a particular game that you’d like to see put you over the top?

r- I put it out to my blog readers what game and what achievement should be the one to tick me over to 100,000. They suggested it should be a meaningful game and I agree, but I don’t know yet. I thought of the idea of buying the CG Gallery for Record of Agarest War. From what I gather it unlocks the achievement and I get to see the cute artwork. Since I am doing so terrible in the game, it sounded like a cool idea. On the other hand, I would be paying for an achievement, which sounds really bad – just like buying all the items in the Dead or Alive Volleyball game, and if I was to do this I would be supporting the concept which I don’t really want to do. If only I was better at Duke Nukem Forever, I’d want it to be that. I owe it to the Duke. But for now, undetermined.

As for crossing the milestone? I’ll probably celebrate with…. Pizza!

obj – You are speaking my language with pizza!

Speaking of your blog, in your opinion, what is the key to writing a good blog?

r- Ah, the controversial blog opinion. I have some pretty strong feelings about blogs here on TA, but I’ll be a good lad and hold my tongue as best as I can. I come from an academic background, in fact I’m still composing my thesis that was almost done but I need a wee bit more info to put into it. So a lot of my writing style comes from an academic mindset. On the other hand, being a child of the internet age and watching the adventure of “internet style” of writing that is present on blogs and humour websites, my informal writing takes on those attributes as well.

I am a strong proponent of utility and standardizations for ease of use and reading. My typical blog post follows a template I feel I’ve perfected over the months. Each post is usually divided into two sections: a personal story or issue at the top, and gaming related towards the end.

The personal section is usually devoted to me lamenting on life issues, my fondness for pizza, asking questions back at my followers, talking about movies I just saw or events I’ve attended, positing observations and general musings. What I do keep out is a lot of drama. The occasional bits do slip through, but the quantity of instances of me lamenting about life drama is fairly marginalized. We all have one or two friends that love to complain and moan about something or everything, and my followers or potential blog readers don’t need to be subjected to that. Sometimes the personal section may be about gaming news in general if it’s more opinion based.

The gaming section proper is usually my musings on games I am playing, achievements I’ve won, who I have been playing with, gaming goals, and other gaming related accomplishments. I really loathe lists, so I try to give this subject matter a narrative to make it enjoyable. It’s one thing to list an achievement a person has won. It’s another to share what you did to get it and the euphoria afterwards of the reward. I break the walls of text in this section with pictures of the achievements to make it friendly on the eyes.

Shorter paragraphs, good use of whitespace, and using italics on titles helps break up the wall of text. I’m also fond of footnotes since I can conjure up jokes using this method. If my blog title is a song name, I’ll end my blog by stating where the title comes from. I end my blogs with a hearty “Salut!” with the beer drinking emoticon, though I am not a beer drinker myself. I love tequila and margaritas.

All in all, a good blog marries a bit of personal info along with providing a narrative to your gaming habits. The fact that you won X achievement is great! But tell me something interesting, make it into a narrative that I learn something about you, and then I think you’ll have a more successful blog. After posting my blog I sometimes look at the other TA community members; blog real quick. If the headline interests me I’ll check it out. If the content looks cool, I’ll send a private message to them commenting accordingly.

A follower just noted that my blog post #150 about my girlfriend and I going to Glamourcon (the Playboy Playmate convention) is a milestone of sorts and only 3 people on TA have blogs with as many entrants. If that’s true, that makes me very humble and hope you all are enjoying them!

obj – You’ve completed almost 50 retail games. What is the game that you are most proud of completing and, on the flip side, least proud of completing and why?

r- I am equally proud of Red Dead Redemption and Gears of War 2. They are both games I resigned myself a long time ago that I wasn’t going to complete. Some of the multiplayer achievements were not going to happen, and I should be happy as is with my progress as it was. But slow and steady, the stars aligned, things were going my way, and I was getting achievements I never thought I was going to get, and getting some of them without boosting either! I put a lot of hard work into Gears 2, and when I got my last achievement, after finally telling myself that I just need to sit my butt down and do Brumok Rodeo, and Seriously 2.0 blipped up – it was just unreal.

I am not very proud of completing Sealife Safari. It was one of the few times I bought a game that I knew I could complete really quickly and get a full score. For the most part, I tend to shy away from a lot of the easy games. I don’t have Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Burning Earth for example, or King Kong. I do have some crap games there (looking at you Man vs. Wild), but I genuinely got those because they were esoteric enough to pique my interest. Wanted: Weapons of Fate was another game I got for the achievements, so not too fond of that, but I did like the movie. Terminator Salvation on the fence, but because it was split screen and I could play it with dieschlinge1066, I am a bit more accepting of it, since we did it together.

Maybe for my crossing to 100,000 I should just do Avatar? Buuuurrnn….

obj – Let’s imagine that some force of nature is only allowing you to purchase one game this holiday season, what game would you cast your lot with and why?

r- The only games I have pre-ordered between now and the end of the year (holiday season) is Jurassic Park: The Game from Tell Tale and Saints Row: The Third. I’ve never played a Saints game, so I can’t vouch for it, but I’m intrigued. However I’ve played many Tell Tale games and love dinosaurs, so as a really weird answer, I guess I would go with Jurassic Park!

obj – I had a conversation with a co-worker recently in which we discussed games that we’d like to see take place somewhere in our city. If you could design a game to take place in your city, what kind of game would it be?

r- So many great and fun movies are set down here in the LA area, but not many games are (exception: L.A. Noire) as most games tend to go for a New York City type setting. I am thinking there are so many disaster movies that take place in LA (or alien invasion movies), why not do a disaster type video game? Take the underrated Irem game Disaster Report and put it in LA. A giant earthquake hits LA, the city is cracked and crumbling, and a giant typhoon is coming in. People are fleeing the streets, but you stay behind because, well, you’re the hero. Balance yourself on unstable platforms. Create tools from your inventory. Save the girl. Port your save file to the sequel.

Then tack on crappy multiplayer……..

obj –Do you have a favorite beverage or snack that you like to enjoy while gaming?

r- To me, the ultimate is Friday evenings. I just got off work after a long week. I race home as dusk (my favourite time of day) sets in. I place an order to a local pizza place to have a large jalapeno pizza delivered to me. I sit on the floor with a giant pizza nearby (it’s only giant to ensure I have leftovers for breakfast and lunch the next day of course), a San Pellegrino Limonata and some good friends and a cool game on the Xbox or splitscreen with Dieschlinge. Throw in some Sourpatch kids, then I’m in gaming/food heaven.

obj – Let’s imagine that we’re suddenly in the middle of the zombie apocalypse and you can pick one video game character to be your survival partner. What video game character would you want to team up with and why?

r- I have thought long and hard about this question, and this is perhaps the most difficult question in this interview. My natural instinct is to go with someone on STAARS, but if we take stock, they are not dependable. Wesker turns out to be evil. Jill gets a gem put on her chest and turns evils briefly. A lot of others die - looking at you Barry and Brad! If Jill can be turned evil, they all can and when the zombies come, I want someone who has my back.

I’ve poured over and over again in my head who to pick, and I think I got it: Mega Man. Mega Man is where it is at. You see, he is a robot, so the zombies are not going to be going for him. He simply equips Metal Man’s blades and goes to town on the dismemberment. So not only am I protected from zombies, but necromorphs from the Dead Space universe as well. And if this Mega Man has access to all the Robot Masters’ abilities from Mega Man 1 to whatever we’re on (including spin-offs) he is basically a walking Swiss Army knife for any situation. Large debris in the way? Gutsman ability! Need to freeze time? Quickman! Need a snake? Uhh… Snakeman! You name it, Mega Man has got it. And if he doesn’t have it, Rush gets it for him.

I just hope he doesn’t need maintenance from Dr. White or is susceptible to being programmed for evil….

obj – I never cognitively realized it, but Mega Man truly is the Swiss Army Knife of characters!

As a fan and student of cinema, what video game character would create the most compelling movie and who would you like to see direct the film?

r- I know a Max Payne movie came out, and how surprisingly much of it fit the mythos of the first game while at the same time not really. If we could go back in time, drop the flying valkyries, incorporate more Sin City-esque narration like the game did, more bullet time – we could’ve had our first actually “good” videogame movie. There was so much we could’ve done with that game to movie, but we blew it.

But since we can’t time travel, I think go forward an adaptation of Darkest Of Days. Hear me out on this one – the game had some cool, if not outlandish ideas. Plucking people out of history’s recesses and turning them into the time police and having them go on missions? They can fire their guns at templars or dinosaurs or Romans? Tell me that’s not a great premise for a movie, or at least a small miniseries on HBO? Since the character in the game is nameless, you could have some fun with him in the movie. Having someone from the Civil War coping with not only futuristic technologies, but time-culture clash as well!

obj – And now, sprocketscnelbow, are you ready for the alternating current of The Lightning Round?

Favorite Game Genre

r- RPGs, both Western and Eastern

Least-Favorite Game Genre

r- Sports games – this includes driving games.

Favorite 360 Game

r- Fallout 3. When that game came out, I stayed up nearly all night and didn’t get much sleep the next week as I was submerged in the Capital Wastelands.

Favorite Game NOT on the 360

r- Chrono Trigger. Maniac Mansion is really close though.

Favorite Game Developer

r- Sierra was amazing during their golden age of Adventure games. But developers actually cranking out material, it would probably be Gearbox.

Favorite Game Weapon

r- Cerebral Bore from Turok 2 on the N64. Any gun that shoots the spheres from Phantasm is just awesome.

Favorite Game Ending

r- I cried at the end of Eternal Sonata. Sniff…

Favorite Game Site (aside from TA, of course)

r- I visit Destructoid for my news, but I am not active in their community or their forums.

If you could spend a “night of passion” with one character from the gaming world, who would it be?

r- Ohhhh Bayonetta …… you’re so dreamy. Those shapely legs, those glasses, that accent. Long flowing hair everywhere. But I know your domineering personality – that attitude….. it could never work. You’re too good for me Bayonetta. Too good.

The caveat is though, if I had a night of passion with Bayonetta, Dieschlinge1066 gets one with Baird.

If you could have lunch/a drink with one real person from “the gaming world” who would it be?

r- Randy Pitchford! This guy goes above and beyond when it comes to games. He saved Duke (what could be saved) and he has an enthusiasm for games I just don’t see in other people within the profession. Dieschlinge and I were at the Call of Duty XP event (as you may know from our news write up) and while there were speeches by flunkies from Activision and Infinity Ward, it was still business for them. You go on Inside Xbox and watch the interviews with developers shilling their new games, but it’s all a sale for them. For Randy, I can tell he really loves what he does, and has an infectious, child-like quality and appreciation for the industry he is in. He also coordinated something up that allowed me to get my copy of Borderlands and Duke Nukem Forever signed by everyone at Gearbox. This guy is just awesome, and he should be a bigger figurehead in the industry. Step down Peter Molyneoux, you had your spotlight.

obj - Any final thoughts, shout-outs or soap-box statements?

r- Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed! I hope people reading it find something interesting and say “Rock on, this kid is pretty cool” and fewer people read it and say “this guy is weird and what a jerk”. I hope to see more things fleshed out here in TA, with added or improved functionality to blogs, negative voting, and searches. It’s a pretty cool community and I am glad to be part of it, so I am eager to see how the site will grow and improve itself in 2012. Props and slops to all my blog readers and followers, and also fistbump to PunkyLiar for facilitating us getting our CODXP event written up.


A big thanks goes out to rotorschnee for taking time to be this week’s subject.

As always:

As always, we're always looking for interesting, funny, well-written community members to be featured in our weekly Community Interview column. If you'd like to be considered, have a question you'd like to see asked at some point or are willing to stand in line for me to get Black Friday deals this week, please write me (osubluejacket) a message with a few paragraphs explaining why you think you'd be a good interview (spelling and grammar count!).
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.