Check out Josh Hayes, a name Charlie uses for journalism on the internet so that he can say silly personal things without the fear of them being exposed openly. That and to hide from people he knew who he don't want to find him, not no way, not no how.
People come and go from our little community all the time. Some disappear without any big announcement of where they go, some go off and write about games elsewhere, at least one guy went to draw cartoons, and then some dudes actually make it into writing for games. Granted, Aaron Linde, who hates Ocarina of Time, claimed only to have written songs for Gears of War 3 that I really, really searched for when I played through that game, but couldn't find. Even on you tube, I couldn’t find them. I was so proud of him, that he made it to Microsoft and contributed something to a video game everyone had heard of. This wasn’t something for iOS or a downloadable, this was the real deal, he actually contributed to a real video game! He has since left Microsoft, now he’s a writer at Airtight games, where I hope he'll write something more substantial and noticeable, like Anthony Burch has done for Gearbox's Borderlands 2.
As a guy who writes silly things online, it fills me with what I hate the most, hope. It makes me think I can make it like he has. Anthony started off with Destructoid posting about how important Shadow of the Colossus was as an experience not to be missed. I always saw it as a puzzle game hiding behind giant boss battles, but he explained all about how metaphorical it all was. How the ending could actually make you feel like you've done something wrong, killing all these beautiful rock monsters for the selfish goal of bringing back your lady friend for the dead.
And then, there are all the other things he did for Destructoid. I'll only link to ten things you should check out, if you've missed out on what he's done. So here are ten things Anthony did, that I found to be interesting or related to me personally:
* Retroforce Go! was a podcast on Destrucoid, where in the middle break Reverand Anthony would do a "rev rant." He would go off about how much he hates timers or just talk about indie games, but it was always interesting to hear. Later he did RevRants as a video series, wearing a suit and showing off a masculine beard.
* This post he did, came from one of two conversations I had with him while trying to be his friend over Xbox live. It was when Grand Theft Auto IV was new, I invited him to play in the free play mode where we discussed how crappy Playstation 3 was as a brand and favorite games, which surprised him when I spoke so highly of Volition's The Punisher. I like it because I'm a maniac who enjoys toasting bad guys alive and stabbing them in the brain through their chin. He explains why the game is interesting a lot more elegantly.
*Runner an indie game he made that he kept updating for several days in a row.
* Hey Ash Whatcha Playing? Is a thing I was never super into. I didn't get it. I didn't like it, even now I don't love it. I feel bad that I don't love it, I wish I did, but this isn't for me. I don't want to bullshit anybody, if I don't like something why wouldn't I tell you? A lot of people really do seem to love it, go check it for yourself.
* AMC is a television channel that tries to make itself seem like they take movies as an art form seriously. It makes perfect sense that Anthony wrote a series of articles for their website, one of which was about a thing I discussed with him, a certain video game voice actor starring in a b-movie featuring lots of rubber suits, Guyver 2: Dark Hero. When we played Grand Theft Auto IV that one time, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots came out or was coming out soon, and I didn't awful Solid Snake impression, bringing up that dumb movie and how excited for it I was as a kid. I really like guys in rubber suits hitting each other in the face. I can't seem to find that article, but he wrote it, or I imagined it. Either way, he did write things for AMC.
* Podtoid was Destructoid's podcast, where new releases and news were discussed. Around episode thirty, Anthony began hosting, giving the show a focus on critical discussions about gaming without losing the humorous editorial tone of Destructoid at that time. Every episode is great, if you want to know someone without knowing them listen to them on a podcast over the course of several hundred hours.
* Would any other website run an article about a demo disc Pizza Hut gave away for free? I feel the same as he did with that demo, as a lot of people did. It was one of those strange zeitgeist moments, where so many people had the same shared experiencing something none of us were prepared for. Metal Gear Solid changed video games, forcing you to pay attention to what you were doing and making enemies have some level of perceived intelligence by following your foot prints in the snow or "listening" as you as Solid Snake tapped on a wall, and then allowing you to savagely sneak up behind them and break their necks in a homoerotic humping pose, where you press the button seemingly thirty times, that is damned important to video games by itself. Anthony often brought up the importance of the story, which definitely mattered more in that series than others at that point, and the way the demo hooks you by the end, it was perfect. It gave you just enough to flesh out the world, show off the gameplay, and oh yeah, introduce a storyline in a way that wasn't as jokey as other games, this was an industrial thriller on par with a Steven Seagal movie. Suddenly video games now had to have stories and this demo disc given away with what some argue is vomit on bread, well that's an important thing to bring up.
* Somewhere Aaron Linde is crying, the title of the post when my failed game attempt at Bonerquest came out. It was failed, because I had so many bugs and scripting issues, and I'm not a computer guy at all. I can barely do the forum coding in blog posts, but I kept updating several days in a row in a frantic attempt to make my vision of a game realized. I forget which Podtoid it was, but on one Anthony discussed his time playing my game, describing how he liked that one of the townspeople ran around yelling, "I like men!" That is an actual thing, actually in that game.
* His final post to our website, where he discusses why he is leaving and how the experience of writing changed him. Which is why it surprised me when Game Informer short changed him, saying he had just written, “Some stuff” for Destructoid. I could say I wrote “some stuff” for Tomopop, but Reverand Anthony was front and center for Destructoid for a very long time. I feel like they snubbed Destructoid with that, those Game Informer jerks!
To know Anthony and be proud of him makes me feel good. He wrote Borderlands 2, and will probably go on to write more games or even movies, I think he's got the potential to do just about anything wants. Especially with a successful video game writing credit. He could parlay that into anything, and I for one, will be there to check out whatever he's doing.
Even if I don't know him that well at all and he probably rightfully thinks I'm a dickhead because of my confrontational humor and the way I never forget dumb things like late night conversations I had with a guy five years ago, I'm very proud to see him do something like this, I'm very proud to see anybody from our site go on to success. I somehow was convinced he just wrote flavor text or did a once over on dialog to make it funny, but according to him in this Game Informer interview, he came up with the villain and a majority of the games content. That sort of thing makes me need to play this game as soon as possible, rather than wait for a price drop or just pass over it entirely. After playing the first game and not really liking it, I had thought maybe I could just pass this over, but no. No this is our Reverand's game, he wrote it. Knowing he worked on it made me want to at least play it and try to find his contributions, as I did with Aaron Linde's songs that I just couldn't find in any shanty town I went to in that stupid game. Fact of the matter is, if I even remotely know your doing something, if I've followed what you've done previously, why wouldn't I want to see what your new thing is? I don't want to play Borderlands 2 but knowing that a guy who did according to Game Informer, "some stuff" for Destructoid, I need to play this game.
Recently I told him over twitter that I watched Firefly because he mentioned it and that I didn't like it, he told me I was crazy. I don't think I am, I think I watched an overly ambitious cancelled show that had moments that were brilliant, but ultimately I felt underwhelmed by the show and mostly fantastic the movie. I would describe it all as mostly fantastic, the way it treats personal character arcs and occasional death of those characters, that is the brilliance of that show. When it attempts to build a larger mythology and believable world, it came off as shallow to me. I told him that over twitter, or tried to, and he called me crazy, which is true.
My last interaction with Anthony was probably the Firefly twitter thing, but the one that somehow hurt me, was being removed from his Xbox buddy list. One of the few times leader boards actually had been interesting to me was with [i]Super Meat Boy[\i] and I could see he was so much farther than I was. About a week later? Maybe two, he mentioned on a podcast that he had finished the entire game completing all the extra levels and everything, while I had given up after it deleted me unlocking characters and progress. I decided that it would be very easy to look on the leader board for his name, that would tell me how many levels where in this silly game. As I looked, to my surprise, I didn't see his name.
That sort of thing never shocks me, I remove people or block people all the time from everything. Especially something like Xbox Live, that only allows so many people. Being THE Reverand Anthony, I can imagine multiple reasons not to have a maniac like the infamous randombullseye on your friends list. Doesn’t bother me, but I thought it would be a funny anecdote to include here, as that really did happen to me. I looked and thought I was looking in the wrong list, which I very well may have done somehow, or even crazier, I removed him from my friends list and forgot. Modern video game consoles feel so complicated with all those god damn menus!
I'm always curious to see where our friends go, as I said before, Destructoid isn't where I come to talk with Destructod anymore, twitter is. Other people use the forums or our user blogs more regularly, and we can play games with each other in the comments sections on our site, there’s a you tube show with the hell that is you tube comments, and I have no idea what the hell is going on with all the Justin.TV stuff, it exists and is a thing. Also there are those secret regional group emails, that counts too as part of Destructoid. The site expanded into so many directions, I can’t follow whose coming or going, whose making fun of actresses, and who it was I looked in the eyes at PAX East and said, “I look foreword to trolling your website.” I know it was Hamza for sure, but I can't recall who it was standing beside him who I said the exact same thing to, looking dead in the eyes. As a side bar to all that, isn't it interesting that I can recall a conversation I had with a guy over the internet years ago, but something that happened this April in person, I'm drawing a blank on?
The fact of the matter is, I’m excited about Destructoid being a thing, and to see that our group has such expanding influence, it makes me proud. I feel like I'm involved, even if I'm not the one wearing a dress and being silly, my voice is still heard around here. It's Rev Anthony's fault that I ever said anything to anybody on this site, he showed up on Rob Summa's YouTube show, which I somehow began watching every week. He was talking about the horror film [Rec] and mentioned how cool Destructoid was. And well, here I am, amongst friends.
Man I really busted all over Linde in this little article without even meaning to, I really am proud of the guy for doing songs in Gears of War 3 and I hope to see what he does for Airtight. He was nice enough to let me use Bonerquest as a title for dumb things, and here I am talking about how hard it was to find his songs. If anybody can locate those on youtube, please link them to me, I’m damned curious to hear them. I love Aaron Linde, I love Anthony, I love everybody on this website. I really hate to break kayfabe and say that, but not really, I do love this place. No where else can I post the same picture of a dog scooping up it's own poop over and over, somehow laughing harder every time I do that. I've tried to write about games other places, it just doesn't feel the same. This is home, and when of family does good, I want to openly say that I'm proud of them.