TA Community Interview: moroniccow

By Mark Delaney, 5 years ago
You've just arrived home from your favorite games retailer, you rip off that awful packaging, tear that silly sticker off the opening, pop out the disc ever so carefully (lord knows it doesn't wanna budge that first time), and you insert it into your Xbox 360. Finally. That game for which you've been waiting for months now has released and you don't need to wonder what it'll be like anymore. You check the achievement list on TrueAchievements.com, post an exclamatory status update about how you own the very thing your life has been building toward for the last half-year and, at long last, hit start. Today's Player One: The brainless beef, the idiotic bovine — no bull about it, folks, welcome to the Community Interview moroniccow!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us here at TA, er, Mr. Cow? Moron? What should I call you anyways? What's your name?

I have had this tag since the AIM days which was many moons ago and I have stuck with it for everything I do on the internet, so I have heard my tag butchered (pun intended) through the mouths of many people. Most popular would be: moron, cow, and moroni-cow. To answer the question you can just call me Kyle which is my first name.

Now if you could, look up.
Now down.
Would you like to invert the Y-axis controls? [Y/N]

The answer is undoubtedly NO.

Neither do I and I get called weird for that. So tell us some basic, cursory information about all things moronic and cow-related. Where are you from? Do you work? Are you in school? Both? Neither? Married? Single? It's complicated? Do you even know where you are right now?

I am a single 23 year old male born in San Antonio, TX and lived in Dallas until recently when I moved to College Station. I am a senior Computer Engineer major at Texas A&M University and hope to get my degree sooner rather than later. I work retail to help fuel my gaming addiction.

Please adjust your gamma settings until the TA logo is just barely visible.

Texas, huh? Is it true that everything's bigger in that state? Does nobody own shoes that fit?

I'd like to think so. I'm 6'4'' if I stand up straight (which is never the case). It is a great state to live in, but I have nothing to compare it to, so I don't know if there is better out there. When I get out of school I might look for a job in a state where I can be #1 in gamerscore.

I'm from Massachusetts, so school this blue state left-winger on what types of things I'd have to see if I rode in on horseback through your parts. You guys still ride horses there, right?

That is one of the stereotypes that for some reason still exists. Texas is a huge state, and I am sure there are a lot of farms and horses out there. I have always lived in an urban environment and happen to hate horses. A car is my preferred method of transportation. Sorry to disappoint.

My answer would be dependent on where I am at the time. If I am in school, I'd probably recommend you go to the movie theater as tickets are only $4 for any non-3D movie. This is something I take advantage of on a weekly basis. That is about it in College Station. If you drive a few minutes on the highway in either direction you are in the middle of nowhere. So if my friends want to do something fun we normally just drive to a bigger city like Houston or Austin which is about a 2 hour drive. Dallas offers pretty much everything any big city would offer I imagine. Maybe check out Cowboy Stadium in Arlington that seems to be a popular tourist attraction now.

Wow, four bucks is pretty good. Here in Mass the tickets are seven at the very cheapest where I go. The cost of living is as absurd as our snowstorms.

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Complete the tutorial

Act One: Hobbies and Interests

What kind of things does a Texas-raised prospective engineer do with his free time?

Besides making money to play video games, I play a lot of video games. My life is truly consumed by video games. About 8 years ago I started podcasting about the Xbox. I'd like to think I have gotten pretty good at gaming and podcasting. That is really all I need to keep me busy.

Yes, that's right, you're one of the evil geniuses behind the Achievement Hounds podcast. You guys even recently interviewed our despotic overseer [MOD EDIT:] compassionate leader, Rich Stone a.k.a. TrueAchievement himself. Tell us how you came up with the idea for your podcast.

My podcasting career has been an interesting one. I first started out on an Xbox Podcast with a clever name of Xbox Podcast which I co-hosted for a few years with wingman709 and bjswick33. We were one of a few sister podcasts and decided to break off our own thing and created This Xbox Life. We added a new host (presar) and podcasted together for another 2 years. Somewhere in between this time period achievements became a huge part of my gaming style. I thought it would be a great idea to start an community based achievement podcast. I picked two people from our community, EliteEDawg420 and Raviolicaponi, and it was off to the races. We posted our first show on July 5, 2010 and we are still going strong.

We found out that Rich was a fan of the show and have been trying for awhile to get him to come on. Just recently we interviewed him and had a blast. He was very fun to talk to and his service to the achievement community is unbelievable. TA has been great to the Achievement Hounds, and I would like to think we have brought a lot of people to TA as well.

It looks to me that 2013 will be a great year for the Achievement Hounds. We have a lot to offer our community, and things continue to grow as our community grows. Viral Games is the largest pillar of AH which we distribute 150+ "easy" games and just ask that you pass the game a long. Our Boosting Club is exclusively hosted on TA, and without TA we wouldn't be as successful in organizing sessions without TA's help. Plenty of giveaways go down on a monthly basis (at least $50 a month). If you haven't given us a shot, you should! We have a lot of great people!

I love the artwork at the top of your website. The literal depictions of you and your partners' (http://www.trueachievements.com/EliteEdawg420.htm and RAVIOLICAPONI) Gamertags are great. Who did it?

Ha, all our artwork is community done. Justice Juice 3 & OG T Unit made it for us. It is awesome, and isn't exactly a flattering depiction of myself, but probably accurate.

What kind of things have you learned over the years from running a podcast for so long? What's been your favorite memory from the show?

Having a podcast has opened me up to a lot of great people. We have had a really good run of great people get involved in our community and everyone has been very friendly. I think that is the best part is watching something that started so small start growing bigger and bigger.

I think a good indication of success is when you can appoint someone to take it over. We have had a ton of great people from our community take over all our ideas (Viral Games and Boosting Club) and make them so much better. It is really awesome to create something and see people embrace it like that.

Podcasting is something that I haven't yet involved myself with too much, but I'm not sure why because it seems awesome. I see you also blog quite a bit here on TA. Daily, in fact. You're one of just nine site users to have over 100 blog followers and you rank fifth on the leaderboard behind local legends like Stallion83 and the infamous litepink "[Deal Blog]". What keeps you motivated to blog at such a pace?

Well I wanted to start a daily blog when GSPM started (which we placed 3rd in by the way ) and actually kept it up during the whole tournament. It is a good way to reflect on the day ahead and I am surprised that people like to read what I write. I am pretty proud of my daily blog and I hope to be able to continue to pump out good content on it. I think right at this moment it is the hardest it has been to get the motivation to blog because I am taking a break on the Xbox as I am borderline burned out. My last few blogs have just been about unlocking one achievement and working, watching TV, or hanging out with friends. I would probably not be playing Xbox at all if I didn't have a 137 day achievement streak on the line and an Achievement Podcast I host on a weekly basis.

Do you ever like to get personal with your blogs or is it 100% gaming and other media-related?

Ha, personal eh? Video games are my life. So when I blog, I pretty much talk about my whole day. Sure I talk about school and exams and such, but that is probably it. If I do something with friends I don't go into too much detail because I just don't think it is all that interesting to the average person. I try and deliver useful gaming content on both my blog and the podcast as much as possible. My main goal is to try and help people by describing my gaming experience on a day to day basis.

Good stuff. The blogging community on TA has really emerged as one of its strongest attributes, I feel.

So you're a college student studying to be a computer engineer who moonlights as a podcaster and daily blogger and you also have over 315,000 gamerscore. I guess my next question is when did you discover sleep was optional for you?

Ha, I love my sleep. You forgot that last year we placed 3rd in GSPM (I haven't mentioned that yet right?) which was practically a year long tournament. I find time to get everything done, and when school throws down on me, I know when to turn the Xbox off.

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: I'll sleep when I'm dead

Act Two: Gaming

Despite your surely strenuous studies (and despite my alliteration), you clearly love games too, right? Wait, do you love games, or do you love gamerscore?

My gaming style has clearly evolved over the years, and some would say it is not for the better. As I have continued to devote my gaming life to gamerscore things start to suffer. I have, for the most part, stopped paying attention to any storyline and just tried to get through to get the maximum points I can until it goes back to Gamefly. Thanks to this gamerscore tournament last year I have turned my back on a lot of AAA titles. Currently I have Borderlands 2 and Forza Horizon still sealed waiting to be played. Does it mean I might need help if I just have no will to play them? I know they are good games, but those 25 point achievements in Cabela's Hunting Expeditions just makes me happy.

I do have a problem. I know that. I have recently completed my collection of region consoles and they are all of the slim persuasion.

Finally a nice addition to my electronics family is my Hori EX-2 Turbo controller. If I can unlock achievements when I am at school or work, I'll do it.

There's no right or wrong way to play, I say. I play almost solely for story but others are but for gamerscore or bragging rights or a million other reasons. Though it's obvious Microsoft has really changed the landscape with Gamerscore, huh?

So with over 460 games played, as tracked by TA, what are some of your favorites?

Here are some of my favorites:
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction
FIFA (any year)
Halo Wars
Dead Space 1, 2

Those are the main ones I have enjoyed. I am sure there are plenty more but those come to mind first.

That's a very eclectic list and you include a few of my favorites too, namely the Dead Space series. On the flip side of that, what is the worst game you've ever played on the 360?

You don't have to listen to AHP for very long to know this answer. Undisputed: Brave: A Warrior's Tale. It was recommended to me by a friend and we played it together. We both completed the game, but with many problems. We concluded it was the worst game ever made, and I never took another recommendation from that friend again.

Since you've been hounding for achievements for over half a decade now, what is the one that sticks out as your most proud?

I am going to split this question into two. One for completion and one for TA.
Completion: Halo Wars. This game was simply amazing and I played this game so much online it wasn't even funny. I think it was 200 hours in just the online mode. Ensemble Studios is one of my favorite developers and after they lowered the General XP requirement a few times I finally got it.

TA: Sonic Free Riders. Not a lot of people have the TA I got in this game. I played it off a recommendation for TA to help during GSPM and got pretty good at the game. Will I complete it? No, but I like the TA I got in it, a lot!

You clearly visit the site quite a bit and your gaming habits make you the stock photo, so to speak, of people who flock to TA regularly. Having said that, which statistic tracked and measured on the site do you most concern yourself with? And what is your goal for that statistic?

If you ask me this in a year, it will probably be different. I am focused on pure gamerscore. I love the leaderboard aspect of the site and all the leaderboards I track myself on I am concerned about. I made a real run in Texas and got 3rd for a while, but lost it just recently. So I will be working to get my spot back as well as get some distance in there above all else.

Kinect and I have a love hate relationship, but I am #13 overall in Kinect gamerscore on TA. That is pretty impressive to me and I would love to improve that.

Thanks to tournaments like GSPM (now called AHPM because we are sponsoring it) I will also be trying to increase my overall TA ratio, and normally that means playing a lot of Kinect games.

CUTSCENE: Show us your gaming set up

setup 1

This is my current set up. In this pic you see a 32' Sony, Kinect, 250GB Slim NTSC, 4 GB Slim PAL, a $15 clearance surround sound, and a RB3 pro drum kit in the corner.

setup 2

My TV WAS much better, 2012 was a bad year for my TV. Pictured above is a 60'' DLP 1080 Samsung that got sick and slowly died. The DLP chip is pretty much dead and hundreds of tiny black dots are all over the screen. I was heart broken for a good while. I loved that TV....

setup 3

Back in the day, when I was into computer gaming, I built this machine as a high school graduation present. Its only current use now is my podcasting studio. Max Payne SE statue and picture as well as the crappy plastic batarang from the SE of Arkham Asylum keep me company while recording. The two Xboxes above are my 4GB Slim NTSCJ and Elite NTSC.

I see you have a vigilante fetish with that memorabilia being displayed prominently. It's also interesting to see someone who has done a world tour with their region-specific Xboxes. I've never seen that before. You're like the little girl in Signs leaving glasses of water everywhere.

Act Three: These are a few of my favorite things

For this section, all I ask of you — and might I add you've been so obedient thus far — is to list your favorite things. I've always felt you can tell a lot about someone just by knowing what their favorite "stuff" is. What's yours?

Favorite movie: Drive
Favorite TV show: Conan
Favorite band/musician: Journey
Favorite song: "Little Secrets" - Passion Pit
Favorite book: Tom Clancy's End War
Favorite Youtube video: My reviews?
Favorite website: Achievementhounds.com/trueachievements.com
Favorite podcast besides your own: This Xbox Life/Nerdist/Prof Blastoff
Favorite quote:
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite food: Mexican Food
Favorite beverage: Dr Pepper
Favorite vacation spot: Alaska
Favorite sports teams: Texas A&M Athletics, FC Barcelona (futbol), San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
Favorite gift you've ever received: Kitchen Aid Mixer

Hey we're pretty compatible! I too love Drive, Mexican food, and Christmas. Though, for your favorite TV show, you seemed to have spelled "LOST" wrong.


Boss Battle

This segment of the interview demands you take all you've learned from the interview so far and apply it to defeat the final boss. No cheat codes! No strategy guides! Sign out of TA right now!

Wait, don't. Answer this question first: Life seldom works out the way we all want it to. In an ideal world, we would all get exactly what we want, but it doesn't always happen. Let's pretend for a moment that we're ten years in the future (using the Terminator rules of time travel, mind you) and all of your heart's desires have been realized. Describe for me what that scenario includes and what is the one part of that potential future you refuse to negotiate about, even if you have to settle elsewhere in life.

10 years from now? Have a great job and find a wife. There are a lot of things I would like to remain the same, like my podcasting career and the amount of video games I play. I would refuse to stop playing video games. I would be okay with slowing it down a bit, but video games are who I am, I can not compromise that!

I don't know if I'll ever outgrow video games either, nor do I feel I'll ever want to. If you can find a good woman who at least tolerates your gaming, if not joins in with you, that's a great situation to be in. Just remember to feed the kids once in a while.


Congratulations! You've completed the community interview. It's game over!

No wait — What's this?!

Day One DLC

Ohh it's that damned day one DLC! The polarizing component to many modern day video games. At least this one is worth the Microsoft Points. Feel free to take this space to say anything you want as long as you don't sound like a certifiable crazy person (I'm okay with it, but my bosses prefer sanity in most cases). Make a shoutout or link to your podcast or promote your favorite charity, or do anything else you want. This is your space. You were an early-adopter, so this Day One DLC is free for you... to use as you see fit.

I haven't found a day one DLC package I like until now! I especially hate the ones that are on the disc and they want you to pay for them! What a rip. I won't charge any money and wrap it up pretty quickly.

I appreciate N0T PENNYS B0AT for taking the time and putting together an interview package for me. I think this is the first time I have ever been interviewed and it is a lot different than asking the questions yourself. I hope people found my life somewhat interesting (if you didn't I don't really blame you), and in closing I have a few (linked) shout outs.

I encourage everyone to check out our podcast and especially join the growing community we have in our forums. We have a points system in place (called Achievement Points) that you can buy stuff with (virtual or real), medals you can earn, and giveaways you can join. I could write a research paper on the amount of stuff going down on our forums so just check it out. Here are some links to get you started.

Main Website
Main Forums
Podcast Feed

We have an Amazon Affiliate Program link and all the money we raise goes back into the community to fund prizes, if you shop at Amazon, use our link (it costs you nothing) every time you make a purchase!
Amazon Affliate Link

Follow My Blog If You Want?
TA Blog

Other Podcasts? (Some really good guys over there!)
This Xbox Life

Lastly, I want to mention that we will be sponsoring 2013's GSPM, but we are renaming it to AHPM. We have procured the domain (www.ahpmarathon.com), but haven't gotten anything up yet. We are shooting for a start date of March-April, and ending sometime before the next Xbox comes out (November). More information to come, but be ready because there is going to be a lot of great prizes. Look on our website's forums and TA's forums for more details as we get closer. If you have any suggestions on possible rules or format, we would love to hear them! Check out our forums and post them!

Thanks for sticking around and see you online!
If you'd like to be featured in the TA Community Interview, send me, N0T PENNYS B0AT, a basic introductory PM. Tell me why you'd make a good interviewee. Your ability to form well-written sentences, make me laugh, and explain LOST season 5 will be weighed heavily in the final decision.
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He's the Editorial Manager on TA, loves story-first games, and is one of three voices on the TA Playlist podcast. Outside of games he likes biking, sci-fi, the NFL, and spending time with his fiancée and son. He almost never writes in the third person.