Hey, I actually had the motivation to get in on one of these while they were pseudo-relevant!
1. I have probably been on DToid longer than you
People like it when you gloat right off the bat, right? Well, I am figuring its probably true, given how many people I recognize from my early days. I learned about the site through my roommate freshman year of college in 2006, so I have been a member at least 7 years. I remember Retroforce Go, Rev Rants, Rose Tinted, 2 reviewers reviewing one games, and drunken developers melting in the comments section after receiving a 1 out of 10 from 2 reviewers. It was good times, and for a while it really did feel like the soul of Destructoid has left. I do want to say that after the real talk moment from Dale, I have been enjoying the site a lot more. DToid has gotten me through many a boring day at work, school, and home! I have apparently written about 130 blogs, with my first being on 7/21/2008 (and it is currently hidden, due to my deep shame of my earlier works). I stuck around because there is a fantastic community, especially off the front page. I’m not super active in any part of it, as I live too far away from civilization for NARPs, Cons, and other such events, and I am too shy to get involved in the forums.
2. I worked in a Chinese Restaurant in High School
This is just because I like to talk about this job - it was pretty insane. The owner paid all staff under the table, so the job was 100% cash. Most of the reason why the other wait staff were around is because they owed money to the boss. Why did they owe money? One of the regulars was their drug dealer. I saw a lot of drugs in that freezer. I also learned a few casual phrases in Chinese to yell at the chefs, including “you don’t know me” and “I own you” as well as picking up some conversational Spanish from the other chefs - “your mother is a whore”, etc. We were constantly understaffed, even on critical days. One year for Valentine’s Day we had 2 waiters staffed for 50 or so tables, so 25 each. Eventually it stopped being service and started being triage. Oh yeah, the other waiter spent some time panicking in the bathroom while shooting up heroin. But at the end of the day, a good paying job and free Chinese food were well worth the cost of admittance, and I actually had a good time overall. If you want a link to videogames, the owner has an obsession with the band ABBA and would play it all the time. I would be forced to listen to it over break while playing the manager’s copy of...Ghosts and Goblins. It was two kinds of hell.
3. I voluntarily live in Des Moines (and its pretty great)
A picture of a small portion of the farmers market.
I went to school out in Des Moines and stayed because I found a job. At first, I was kind of sad because I didn’t get to know the town while on campus, but once you know the cool places to go it is really great. Small enough to not have gangs and crimes, and large enough to still have everything you need. We now have 2 barcades open, enough bars to drown an Irishman, and foods ranging from Italian Beef style street food to upscale cornfed Iowa Beef Steak and Cigar joints. Every Saturday in Summer they close down a section of downtown for a farmers market that is probably about 6 blocks wide and 2 blocks deep, and it is glorious. They have food vendors representing America, China, India, Ecuador, Mexico, Thailand...all of them delicious. It takes place on our stretch of bar streets, so most of the bars open up to serve early morning food and booze. There are a variety of bands, from piano players, to blues guitar, saxophones, acapella groups...and oh yeah, I guess there’s produce, too. Its in the middle of nowhere, but I actually really love the city and am glad that I have settled down in my house here.
4. I tried getting into stand up comedy
Airline food, am I right?
There is actually a bustling stand up scene in Des Moines, with an open mic night about 4 days of the week, I think. I tried getting into it, and you learn a lot about comedy and yourself while doing that. I wasn’t nervous at all about getting up on stage and talking to a group of strangers, and I didn’t even mind if no one laughed. Of course, I wanted my jokes to do well, and when I got any kind of boo or disapproval, I felt really bad and went over the joke in my head over and over to figure out what went wrong. At the end of the day, there is drama in the scene though, and a lot of large personalities and voices that wind up conflicting, so I didn’t want to deal with some of that. But they do have 1.50 beers….
5. I have been programming games my whole life
Maybe not since I was out of the womb, but for a long time I have been typing code in front a computer. I actually started in QBasic transcribing code that my older brother got from who the hell knows where. Sometimes it would produce a super simple game, sometimes it would make an animation with different colored geometric shapes, and sometimes it just wouldn’t work at all. In high school, I learned another Basic language so that I could reprogram my calculator games more to my liking...adjusting variables to make the game easier/harder, changing strings so that instead of dealing drugs, you were fighting zombies, that kind of thing. In college, I studied to be an actuary, but took a course in programming my freshman year to fill some elective requirement. I realized soon into the year that being an actuary is pretty much impossible, so I switched over to IT and took more programming and database courses, and kind of fell in love. In a COBOL class of 12 with an average in the 70’s, I was the kid at the top of the curve with a solid mid 90 average. Suck it, classmates. Even today at work, I spend time writing up code to automate processes, or when boredom strikes, making my own games. Our computers don’t have Minesweeper installed, but you would be surprised what you can do with Excel and Visual Basic. I think this helped me appreciate games more, because of all the times I messed up while writing something as simple as Pong. Coding is complicated, and modern games are very, very complicated.
6. I built my own PC with no knowledge of what I was doing (and so can you!)
They grow up so fast!
Speaking of computer magic talk, I build my own PC last year and much my surprise, it hasn’t caught on fire yet! I started looking at getting a gaming PC two years ago, but I kept getting annoyed at the cost and the specs. I decided to be really diligent about the research at stores like Best Buy. I learned about the metrics that were important (MHz, Visual memory, RAM). I didn’t know what any of it meant, but I could tell you which pre built had more of one than another pre built, thats for sure! Eventually, I found a benchmark site that I would use to compare the specs. But I realized they all sucked, and I could build it for cheaper myself, if only I knew how. Protip? Real talk? YouTube is the best. There are thousands of experts at our fingertips for the most insignificant of all problems. Newegg had a series on how to build a computer, so I watched that multiple times. I settled on a build. As they shipped, I took apart an old laptop to get a feel for what a processor looks like, how it goes into the slot. Then I put together my entire rig with my laptop on instructions on my left, South Park on the Wii U on my right, and Seagrams 7 in front of me. It wasn’t easy, but I really think with enough research anyone can do it!
7. I know a joke for almost any occasion
I think over my life I have memorized thousands of jokes, but any time I get put ‘on the spot’ to say something funny, nothing comes to mind. However, if people are talking about almost any subject matter, I think I know a joke that is related to it. Recently in the comments there was a demand for a vampire/menstruation joke, and I actually know of one! As long as you can deliver jokes properly, it doesn’t matter how nerdy or awkward you are, you have something that you can do at parties. Some of my favorite memories from events in college were when we just had a group of us outside, sipping on beers, taking turns trying to outjoke one another. And yet is always amazes me when I hear a new one! I think my go to favorite is usually “a man walks into the doctor’s office. Can’t stop singing the Green Green Grass of Home. Doc says ‘well that sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome’ Man asks: Is that rare? Doc: Well, Its Not Unusual’. Its so esoteric. I love it.
8. I have a youtube channel.
Most of the video views are me
You can watch it if you want. I don’t like to advertise too much with it, but Ill probably throw more stuff up there if there’s love for it. I played through all of EDF: IA, most of Dark Souls (lost the passion in two separate runs right at the end), Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 1 and 2. I think in my mind I want to be a ‘someone’ on the internet. There are a lot of big names, even on Destrucoid alone, and I just want to feel like I am one of them. But, as I said, I don’t like to advertise much because it feels pushy, so for now Ill just post the videos to all the twelve people who want to see them. Love you guys, forever and always! I also have a twitch, but that is really awkward. With youtube you know that someone will be watching, and wants to hear you talking. With twitch, it feels like you have to be ‘on’ the whole time, but you know that people aren’t watching and you are just talking to yourself. With momentum it could be good. I would like to get together with one of my friends to commentate scrub tier level DotA matches for fun, and I also would like to have a Destructoid radio game show going...but those require motivation and scheduling and man, that is a hassle!
9. I’m a Dane (ish)
A lot of people, myself included, think its pretty silly to be proud of your heritage, but I figured this would be something interesting to talk about here. My great grandfather, and I think my grandfather, moved over from Denmark and brought a lot of traditions with them. There was a lot of odd Danish phrases thrown around in my youth, but mostly its just down to using it for silly arguments. We still carry over a lot of strange traditions, especially around the holidays. There is a cucumber dish that is basically pickles, but not quite pickle-y enough to be real. And plenty of stink fish that no one really eats. Overall though, it has gotten me into a few tasty foods (pumpernickel bread), a few fun words (frikadillers), and some tasty alcohol (kijafa), so I’m pretty content with it.
10. I used to swordfight in High School
In choir, nonetheless. We had a medieval dinner kind of thing for choir, so we included all kinds of juggling and swordfighting things to amuse the people who showed up. We had the bamboo swords to go over what it would look like with real steel swords later, so it was really common to good off with those. We played a game where if you got hit in a limb, you couldn’t use it for the rest of the fight, and you were dead if you were hit in the chest. It was super fun. We also had some foils, so we did a smaller amount of fencing as well, but not in any kind of professional manner. That kind of one on one fighting has really made me appreciate tournament fighters, because it reminds me of those days. The biggest similarity that I see between the two is that the technical execution is significantly less important than the mental aspect of it...reading your opponents, knowing the right counter at the right time, being one step ahead. Although, I never could get past the technical aspect of those games, so I mostly like to sit on the sidelines and pretend like I’m knowledgeable.