My name is Ryan. I’m currently a student at Indiana University but am from Ohio. To clear a couple things up, I’m not a Lt. Col. in real life and am not in the military. It’s up to speculation whether or not I am a space helicopter though. I’ve played about 16 MMO’s and have seen the sun twice.
I’ve been visiting dtoid for just over a year and never really got around to making a blog post. I’ve obviously decided to change that. As you can see I have my avatar and even made a horrible banner, so I hope Mr. Sadistic loves me. Instead of giving you just a dull paragraph or two like intro blogs seem to be, I’m going to do something more interesting. I was given the opportunity to sit down with Dtoid’s own Jim Sterling and ask him all sorts of things. First I’ll offer a little background info and context.
I was tasked with a project in one of my classes to seek out and interview someone in my desired job field. Enter Jim Sterling. I ended up having to do this project in about 4 days and actually conducted the interview the day before it was due. It had to be through phone or in person, so it ended up being a skype conversation. Stupidly enough I’m in a different time zone than Jim and contacted him an hour early, thinking I was an hour late. You win this time Earth’s rotation.
So the below interview is 18 of about 30 questions I asked him. I tried to keep it pretty close to what was actually said. So you’ll have to try and imagine Jim saying all these things. These are the ‘for fun’ questions I asked, not the project ones. Those were more serious and I’ll post them at a different time.
Me: What is a ‘feather ruffler’? Whose feathers do you ruffle?
Jim: I tend to ruffle the feathers of what is typically known as in this business as ‘fanboys’. I tend to rattle their cage more than anyone else and it’s very fun, very fulfilling. It’s what I’m paid to do, I’m a professional troll and I want to put that on my business card at some point, whenever I’m allowed. Sometimes I upset people within the games industry itself. It’s not something I set out to do. I never try and personally upset or offend anyone, but I just tend to write how I am. And how I am is offensive and upsetting, unfortunately. So yeah, that’s typically who it is. Unfortunately, the more I write, I tend to upset everybody at least once including close friends and family. But, you know, that’s what I’m paid to do.
M: Who do you think would win a three-legged race between you & Anthony and Nick & Dale and Niero & Hamza?
J: Umm, I’d say Nick & Dale would win. I am not a fit man, obviously, and Anthony Burch is quite thin and I assume quite weak so I don’t think he could carry the excess baggage that would be me. Leading to just a disastrous team. Hamza & Niero are in with a chance but if there are any attractive females watching, which there would be obviously- watching such athletes as us, Hamza would be too distracted. Which would mean Dale & Nick, who have always worked together very well as news editors- and they’re very fit as well- very athletic, because they run around E3 a lot while I prefer to be carried through E3 on some sort of—by uh – slaves basically. So I think they would definitely be the winners of that particular race.
M: Name three videogame companies – Work for one, Liquidate one, Burn down one’s office.
J: I would burn down Activision’s office, no offense to the people I know who work there. The ones who I like I would warn beforehand. But, you know, Activision is evil. I don’t mean that in an ironic ‘hey look he’s saying something funny’ way, I mean they are literally evil. So they would definitely be the ones to burn to the ground, although I fear that not even fire could destroy something that satan himself has touched. Liquidate? I would say Atari. Not because I have any ill will towards them, I just feel sorry for them. I feel that that is the business equivalent of putting a sick dog to sleep. Work for? I would probably say KOEI just because they are the only ones who would actually give me a job.
M: What game do you wish you could go back in time and create?
J: I’d probably say Guitar Hero. As much as a hypocrite that makes me for just saying I’d like to burn Activision’s office to the ground. But Guitar Hero was a genius idea and has made ridiculous amounts of money. So, definitely – I don’t want accolades or trophies for being innovative and unique. I just want lots and lots of money and Guitar Hero would do that.
M: How did you get Uwe Boll to say ‘Also, cocks’ on the phone?
J: It took a lot of doing cause he’s obviously German and I’m from England originally. So, he didn’t quite understand me. And I was trying to get him to say ‘Also, cocks’ and he barely actually heard of Destructoid as far as I could tell. So, he didn’t even know why he was being asked to say this. He didn’t even know it was ‘also, cocks’ at first. (In German accent) “Vwhat vwhat vwhat is this you want me to say? ‘Awesome cocks?’ I do not understand zis. “ And eventually I’m just like “No, not ‘awesome’--- ‘also’. “ And eventually he was just like (same German accent from before) “I appreciate to be on your website! Also, cocks. Is that right?” And I was just like, ‘”yeah that’s fine. That’s perfect.” And then I just finished the conversation.
M: That’s pretty amazing, actually.
J: Well the thing about Uwe Boll is I think he will say or do anything you want him to. If he knows, if he understands, what you are saying to him – he will say it. He’s Uwe Boll and he’s got no shame left.
M: Yeah. These next set of questions I hope you’ll enjoy, because I had so many of them and had to narrow them all down. Who do you think would win a fight between Lu Bu and Gordon Freeman?
J: Uhh—Oo. Um, I’d say Gordon Freeman. Not because he’d actually win the fight, but I think Lu Bu would just be so in awe of Gordon Freeman… I’ll need to start that again because for some reason you say ‘Gordon Freeman’ and I thought ‘Morgan Freeman’. Hence the ‘awe’. Actually no, just keep that. Out of a fight I’d say Lu Bu would win against Gordon Freeman but would get his ass kicked by Morgan Freeman.
M: Did you ever kill Lu Bu in the hack and slash versions of Dynasty Warriors?
J: Yeah. Yeah, I have killed Lu Bu in every version of the game. And that’s certainly--
M: That is impressive, sir.
J: Yup, certainly not something any reasonable human being with any shred of dignity should be proud of.
M: Yeah, I used to play 3, well 2 or 3, all the time and it took me two and a half hours to kill him. And he wiped my entire army out, I was playing Dian Wei. I was like, “I can’t believe this?! I better win the game for killing this guy!” and all I got was 7 strength or something. I was so pissed.
J: It’s weird how they set Dynasty Warriors out. Like he is the toughest opponent in the game and he’s in the second level of every Dynasty Warriors. And then after that, everything else is easy.
M: Historically he was some super bad ass even in real life, which is interesting. I saw you read the Romance of the Three Kingdoms book and I was surprised you even found a copy, cause I can’t find a copy anywhere.
J: Oh I never bought a copy. The whole thing is reproduced online. I think it’s called ‘threekingdoms.com’? (Which it is, I found out. Thanks again, Jim) You can read the whole thing there.
M: Well that’s good to know. Bah…where was I… Who was your favorite officer in Dynasty Warriors?
J: Zhang He. Just cause I like my ancient Chinese generals looking fabulous.
M: The one with the claws?
J: The one with the claws and the um—Yeah.
M: And he danced around?
J: Yeah. He was a very classic bishonen.
M: Do you think he was portrayed properly from the book or history?
J: In history there is not a lot about him. All we know is that he was just a brilliant warrior who was, I believe, Zhuge Liang of shu was afraid of him. He was that good. Although, I did hear he was also a fan of poetry. So that might have been the contrived way the extrapolated the ridiculously camp Dynasty Warrior character out with the historical figure. But I don’t think they thought about it that much. I think they just thought – ‘we need somebody who is like Vega. Pick one at random.’
M: Semi off topic- Did you know that there was a Magic: The Gathering set for Dynasty Warriors?- er uh Three Kingdoms actually.
J: Rings a bell. I’m sure I’ve heard that somewhere but that seems new to me. I’m actually gonna check that out.
M: I didn’t know about it until earlier this summer and I was surprised. It came out a long time ago. If you find a booster pack it’s worth about a hundred bucks or something crazy like that.
J: Jesus. Ok, I should not be collecting them then.
M: Well you can collect singles. Like, get the three generals and Cao Cao and stuff… You did mention earlier of having a wife, does she play video games? I don’t know if you’ve ever mentioned…
J: Yeah, she does. Not as much as me, but she does. She’s a big fan of Left4Dead. She probably likes the game more than I do. She’s always been a big fan of Bioware as well. She loves KotoR, Jade Empire, not that huge a fan of Mass Effect, which I approve of. But yeah, she does play videogames. She’s not a huge hardcore fan but she likes the ones that she likes. She has a very selective tastes, but if she gets into a game and enjoys it then she will be on the Xbox 360 more than I am.
M: Do you guys argue games or fight for console control or anything like that?
J: I’d actually say the worst argument she and I have ever had—We don’t argue often or really at all. We have very measured, intense, conversations rather than arguments. But the only time anything ever approached an argument was when we were both arguing over how to effectively use a smoker in Left4Dead. And that is probably the most bitter argument we have ever had.
M: That is…That is actually awesome. Probably the best response I could have hoped for just now.
M: If you were stuck on the moon with enough oxygen to play one game for one hour, what would it be?
J: I’d probably say Silent Hill 2. Because I think that the stuff that happens in that game is perhaps the only thing that could take my mind off the fact that I have only got an hour left to live on the moon. Plus it’s one of the few games I can play over and over again and not get bored.
M: What genre do you wish never existed?
J: Hm… I would have to say 2d fighters. Not because I think they are a bad genre. But it's one of the only Genre's I can't actually, as hard as I've tried to play them I just can’t get into them. And I can’t do them. And I see people talking about Streetfighter IV, BlazBlue, King of fighters, and I just get incredibly jealous. I’ve just griped it as a man with no legs hearing two people talk about an awesome pair of shoes they just bought. I just cannot get the same joy out of this that other people get. And it makes me very upset. So I would like to take that joy away from them forever, so that I can feel better about my own life.
M: Your favorite curse word and your favorite overall word?
J: I’d probably say that my favorite curse word is… Is cunt. Not because I really use it as much as people think I use it, but I’m one of the few people that do use it. I find the whole idea of swearing very funny, actually. Just this idea that we have all made up these words and, then as a society, collectively chosen which ones to be offended by. And the fact that cunt is considered the most offensive word in the world for no other reason than someone decided that it should be offensive is brilliant to my mind. I do try to use it not all the time, but more than anyone else. And what was that second one?
M: Favorite overall word.
J: Favorite overall word? That changes often. Just at the moment, at random, I will say it is ‘spatula’.
J: Yup. It sounds like it should be incredibly vulgar but it is perfectly innocent.
M: Yup, even works with food. I suppose earlier you could have said that ‘cunt’ is the Pluto of the words world. Cause, you know, they just made Pluto not a planet because someone said it wasn’t. Just as ‘cunt’ is...
J: Yeah, exactly.
M: What would the name of your game studio be?
J: Probably in true to fashion the way I’ve been naming things lately, especially my video work on destructoid, I’d probably just call it ‘The Video Game Studio What I Have Made’.
M: All one word I take it?
J: It can be all one word or all separate words. Or a handy acronym like ‘Tvvgsswhmada’. That’s not an acronym. I’d need to write that down and read it but I’m too lazy to do that.
J: Yeah that.
M: Could you run us through a day in the life of Jim Sterling?
J: Uh, Sure. Get up. Usually get called a chicken-lemon by my son for no other reason than he finds it amusing. Check my Google Reader. Check my tweets. Start working. Have breakfast an hour or two later. Continue to work. Podcast. More work. Wife comes home, we go out and do something interesting or we stay in and watch a film. Dinner. Last quick check of my emails. And then bed. That is a typical working day.
M: If you could simply run us through, what weapon would you use?
J: If I could run you through with a weapon…. I’d say Zhang He style claws.
M: If you could go bowling with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be?
J: Ray Peacock, Richard Herring, and Wardrox just so we’d have someone to laugh at.
M: Who was the first and third one?
J: The first was Ray Peacock. Ray Peacock and Richard Herring are two British comedians. Wardrox is my associate friend and fellow podcaster who also runs NegativeGamer.com.
M: Where did you buy your monocle?
J: I got that off eBay. It was never my idea to wear a monocle, but I was the only British person working on Destructoid and the readers just decided that I wore a monocle for that reason alone. Rather than dispel stereotypical myths, I decided instead to pander to them and bought a monocle off eBay. A cheap rubble one at first and then I upgraded to the bling-bling.
M: If you could torture someone by forcing them to do something, in particular, any number of times, what would you force them to do and how many times would they do it?
J: I would probably torture Glenn Beck. No, actually. Piers Morgan. Yeah, sorry there were far too many people I would actually like to torture, but Piers Morgan who is—people from Britain will know who he is—he’s a little cunt. I would torture him by making him watch video’s of Jade Goody while she was alive until he went insane. And he would watch all of her appearances on Big Brother and every interview she’s ever done. And extra loud would be the parts where she was racist.
M: Haha, alright…
M: One comedian you’d like to see in person or hang out with?
J: That goes back to the bowling thing. I would probably say… between Ray Peacock and Richard Herring I’d probably go for Richard Herring because I grew up watching his comedy a lot and he seems like a very amusing man to hang out with.
M: What’s your favorite internet Meme?
J: Favorite internet meme………Let me think. I’d probably go for—and again this is one thing that changes a lot as time goes by and I usually change my opinion—but at the moment it’s Indian Thriller. We go back, my wife and I, tend to go back and sort of re-visit memes and lately we’ve been checking out the Indian Thriller. I know it isn’t from India but everyone calls it the ‘Indian Thriller’. And if anybody hasn’t seen that then they should go to YouTube and check it out. I believe everybody has seen it ten billion times already.
M: I’m not familiar with that one actually. Is that the one where he hits the girl, or something? (I was referring to the Indian game show one where the girl slaps the contestant and he hits her back much harder)
J: No, it’s not actually from India. I forget which country it’s from but it is their cover version of thriller. Which is only vaguely connected to thriller in the vaguest of terms and it is just pure brilliant. Just type Indian Thriller into YouTube and you will get it up and it will change your life.