"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1
"The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1
"I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes
1) I would have never had the balls to apply for a job here if it weren't for Ron Workman
I still haven't gotten to know Ron half as well as I'd like to. We've only talked on the phone a couple of times, and the only time we've met face to face was at E3 last year, when we were both up to our asses in work. Still, Ron has had a huge, lasting effect on my life. Back when I was cblogging as Tron Knotts, Ron called me on the phone, totally randomly, and told me all sorts of crazy shit. I'd never talked to the guy before, and to me, Ron was (and still is) a celebrity. To have him call me out of the blue was pretty damn cool, even though I was too nervous to really talk to him. I could listen to him no problem, but talking was a bit difficult.
One thing I did talk to him about was my potential to get a job at Destructoid, doing art or writing or tips or whatever I was asked. He was like "Oh yeah man, just email Nick Brutal and he'll give you something to do". I couldn't believe it could be that simple, or that the Ron Workman would be that willing to help me get a job at my favorite videogame news outlet on the planet.
Fifteen or so emails to Nick later and I was hired. Sometimes, I still can't believe it.
If you're reading this Ron, thanks again. I owe you for life.
2) I am a total Destructoid fanboy
I don't feel like I deserve to work here. At E3 last year, I remarked to my friend Andy (who was doing video with me for the event) that working for Destructoid is like dating the hottest, smartest, funniest girl you've ever met. You constantly wonder why she's with you, and wonder how long it's going to take before she figures out she could dump you for someone better.
There are tons of Cbloggers here that I think are better writers than me; much better writers. Same goes for all the Dtoid editors. Jim, Anthony, Colette, Nick and Chad are especially amazing to me. If I can ever get to a point where I can write even half as well as any of them, I'll feel fucking fantastic. I don't think I'll ever get there, but the fact that I've been given the opportunity to try is something I'll always be grateful for.
3) I currently own 54 Mighty Muggs
That includes every Star Wars Mighty Mugg ever made available in stores, all the Marvel Mighty Muggs ever made available in stores except for Venom (I hate Venom), two Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs (Short Round and Mola Ram) and two G.I. Joe Mighty Muggs (Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander).
If they ever decide to make a Might Muggs game, I'm buying it day one.
4) I used to Wrestle for Kaiku Big Battel
Probably the second coolest organization I've ever been associated with (the first being Destructoid) is Kaiju Big Battel. Just like Destructoid is Niero's childhood dream of creating his own videogame lmagazine, Kaiju Big Battle is Randy Borden's dream of taking the Godzilla movies he grew up with and bringing them to life. I went to college with Randy, and after meeting him, I got to wrestle with Kaiju as Kung Fu Chicken Soup, Dusto Bunny, and Beefy Le' Ox, a Kaiju of my own creation.
Beefy was minotaur who dressed like a preppy, and when he got in trouble, he could pull his pull his horns out of his head and use them as nunchaku. I still think the idea is pretty kick ass.
Due to my now ex-girlfriend wanting to remain a part Kaiju after we broke up, I had to she asked me to leave. I'm still sort of bummed about it, but it seemed like the right thing to do. The last thing I did for Kaiju was co-writing and singing the theme song for one of their characters, Neo Teppen. You can barely hear me, but that's my voice in the background.
I'll occasionally feel a sudden burst of desire to call Randy and ask him if I can start wrestling with him again, maybe even as a Destructoid robot or something, but so far I haven't done it.
4) My great-grandfather started a religious commune
My great-grandfather was a guy named Eberhard Arnold. Just prior to WWII, he started a religious commune in Germany that was all about treating people well, living in a peaceful community, renouncing personal possessions, and generally doing the right thing.
Of course, this led to Hitler hating their guts. He didn't kill them though, because my great-grandmother was a descendant of the German aristocracy, and Hitler apparently loved that sort of thing. Instead of killing them, he kicked them out, so the whole commune moved to England. That's where my mother was born.
Only a few months after she was born, the British government started kicking all German immigrants out of the country for fear that they could be spies. The only neutral country the commune could find was Paraguay, so that's where they set up camp. That's where my poor German mother grew up, amongst members of a religious commune twice deported, living in mud houses in the middle of the jungle in Paraguay.
Weird stuff, huh?
5) I'm still sad about the N64
You know how some people view the Wii as Nintendo's ultimate betrayal of their hardcore fanbase? That's how I used to perceive the N64. Everything I had loved about Nintendo games at that time, the beautiful 2D graphics, the precise controls and masterful level design found in platformers like the Mario and Metroid games, the humble, simple, but deep RPGs like Earthbound and Zelda, were all dumped by the N64 in favor of ugly 3D graphics and slimy, imprecise analog controls.
I liked a few N64 games, but not many. Off the top of my head, the only ones I can summon any truly fond memories of are Majora's Mask, Star Fox 64, and Dr Mario 64. I think that Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time are two of the most overrated games ever. Neither are bad, but neither are half as good as the SNES games that preceded them.
6) I work full time as a licensed, independent, clinical social worker
I wish I had the self confidence in my writing to work in videogame journalism full time, but I just don't. Before I started working here at Dtoid, I had gotten my masters degree in social work, and had been working full time as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. I still work at there now, and as long as the economy doesn't shut us down, I'll probably still be working there.
It's an incredibly stressful job, but it's given me the opportunity to meet thousands of different people, and many of them have told me that I was a great help to them.
That's a hard job to give up.
7) I was on a show called Road Rules
It was over ten years ago now, but I was once a cast member on a now canceled show on Mtv called Road Rules. I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. Being a cast member was an amazing experience, filled with a genuine sense of adventure, and I was really lucky to be chosen for the show. However, the show itself was part of what led to the end of Mtv as I knew it, which is pretty painful.
Before the Real World and Road Rules, Mtv had tons of shows that I loved, Liquid Television, Remote Control, and the Maxx just to name a few. One of the last of such shows was The Sifl and Oley show, created by Liam Lynch.
I got to meet Liam at the Mtv Video awards back in 1999. He was such a cool guy, funny, nice, and totally humble. To think that Road Rules, a show devoid of much in the way of creativity, comedy, or any real "ideas" ran on Mtv for 14 seasons, while Liam's show ran for 2, just totally bums me out.
However, if Road Rules didn't exist, then I never would have been able to meet Liam in the first place.
The whole thing is a paradox wrapped up in a conundrum tied together with string made from irony.So yeah, I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing.
8) I'm currently sort of fat, sort of bald, and sort of black
My avatar makes me look totally black, not at all bald, and not too fat. In the summer, being in the sun will probably lead to my complexion becoming a lot blacker, which will be fun for me. I'm like Zartan in that way, and I love it. I'll also hopefully loose some weight by then. Wii Fit currently claims that I'm obese, and though I don't totally trust it's opinion, I know that I'm not half as skinny as I was in my twenties.
So my skin color and weight can change, but the hair situation is probably not going to get much better. I used to have HUGE hair, and I loved it. These days, my scalp just doesn't seem interested in producing that kind of volume.
Enjoy your hair while it lasts, kids. You never know when it's going to give out on you.
9) I'm a total sissy gamer
...or as some of my friends tell me, I'm "gender queer". Unlike most dudes, I don't like games with too much realistic violence in them (unless for in horror games.) I love games that feature queer leads like Nights and Cho Aniki. I hate sports, don't know a thing about cars, and I sometimes I just want to be held.
In other words, I'm a lesbian gamer trapped in a man gamers body. And I love it.
10) I've done a lot of embarrassing things, including some soft core gay comedy porn