Original image courtesy lemon because I'm too lazy to shoop a new one
Dr. Boa. He's a real doctor. Or a snake. Or both. Or neither. Nobody really knows.
Well, the Destructoid staff knows, but they won't tell anyone. Not even their Tomopop brethren, so I don't have a clue as to who this is, and if I did know, I sure as hell wouldn't be running around blabbing it out.
But clues have been dropped that let us in a little bit on the ol' doctor's secret identity. I have yet to piece them together into anything significant, but here's what I've uncovered:
Dr. Boa may sound like someone who starred in a porn with Dirk Diggler, but his true passion is interactive entertainment. He's notched +15 years in the gaming industry from QA to launching several big hits, so he's got a healthy perspective on what goes on from the flipside. It's amazing he's not a jaded cynic yet. He's finally glad to see more drug filled parties with playboy bunnies and B level celebs like all other entertainment fields. Yes, gaming has finally made it.
Of course, this is the most obvious part of the puzzle. Dr. Boa works in the gaming industry, likely as a developer or producer by now, and has several big hits under his belt. He's been working in the industry for at least 15 years, and at one time was working somewhere in quality assurance.
Given that he likely didn't start in the industry until he graduated high school, meaning he was probably 17 or 18 at the time, we can assume he is now at least 32 or 33 years old. That puts his birth date no sooner than 1976, the year that would make him 32 years old.
So great, he's between 32 and 115. Big deal. That means nothing without some other clue, and he kind of gave us one:
It was so bad in the 8-bit days, that anytime you had more than just three to four enemies on screen, all of the characters would flash like they were disappearing. Today, you've got games like Assassin's Creed which simulates a whole freakin' city with people moving about. I use to dream about times like this when I was a yun won.
The first and last parts are key. He was a "young one" in the 8-bit days, which were during the 1980s. Though we can't be sure when exactly he's referring to, our intrepid game developer was probably still relatively young during this period. Given that, I don't see him being born anytime before 1960, and probably not any time before 1965. He also provided this bit of clue in his 2007 holiday wishes:
2007 has been such a grand year that I wonder how 2008 can top it. I'm talking about the kind of thing that would actually bring together all the fanboys from each console camp, convince them all to lay down their weapons, and hold hands to sing "Hands Across America." Or since it's the holidays, maybe "Don't They Know It's Christmas." Man, I would kill to see Bono, George Michael, Sting, and Boy George perform together again. I wonder why George and George never hooked up ...
"Hands Across America" was from 1986, and "Don't They Know It's Christmas" from late 1984-early 1985. Dr. Boa speaks on the latter as if he has memories of it, meaning he had to have been old enough to remember these events.
Given all these facts, I'm going on the assumption Dr. Boa was born some time between 1966 and 1976, meaning he's between 32 and 42 years old right now. Location
We know Dr. Boa is fluent in English, which severely puts a cramp in any idea he's from Japan or Europe. In fact, I can prove he's not only from neither, but that he's from the U.S., maybe even a specific state.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times I nearly passed out from blowing so hard into my NES just to get it to work. The combination of lack of oxygen and the rising anger would probably have killed me if I was bloated as I am today, thanks to Mickey D fries. What I don't get is how the Japanese NES worked like a charm.
Here's where the Japanese with perfect English thing goes to rest. It was never the NES in Japan, just the Famicom. Sorry guys, it's not Miyamoto. :p
But Destructoid is not the only spot Dr. Boa's magic is worked, as he is also a part of the team at sister site PopRox, writing under the guise of Mr. Kaa (very clever...). And there, he's given up another hint or two to his location:
I was at Safeway last week, and they had a twofer for Honeycomb, so I bought two knowing full well a box and half is going to waste.
What's Safeway? It's a supermarket chain located in the western United States, with the largest concentrations in the state of California. They don't exist outside of that region, so he's clearly not from the East Coast or Midwest. Stick a fork in this being CliffyB, Ken Levine or Ed Boon.
Recently I had the chance to hang out with some Hollywood folks when I was down in LA. I won't go into names, since they were kind enough to have me over on their home, which was one of the coolest pads I've ever seen, with a mix of old school castle design, with modern day trappings.
Notice the word usage there. "When I was down in LA." Obviously, Dr. Boa is important since he hung out with some Hollywood folk, but that almost gives me two clues: he doesn't live in LA, but he does live north of there. And the only real places this would make any sense are either northern California or Seattle. What eliminates Seattle for me is the following:
A few years ago I had the chance to go to the Super Bowl of wrestling events: Wrestlemania! Now I'll admit, I was mocked by a few friends who wondered why I never grew out of wrestling. My girlfriend at the time was merciless in her loathing of wrestling, which is why I dragged her out along with me. When the show started, she had no idea who any of the wrestlers were. But the end, all the mocking that she threw at my face turned into unbridled fanaticism. She was foaming at the mouth, yelling at the top of her lungs, climbing on top of the furniture like a monkey, cheering on Batista as he defeated Triple H. And before you say that she's smoked too much dried banana peels and flipped her lid, I'm telling you, wrestling had her twisted by the nipples, and she loved it.
Here, we learn Dr. Boa and his then-girlfriend went to Wrestlemania, where they saw Batista and Triple H wrestle each other. This only happened once: Wrestlemania 21 in Los Angeles. Now, Dr. Boa could have flown there from Seattle... but Seattle already had Wrestlemania XIX. Why would this be his first chance to go? He could have gone two years earlier. And that, my friends, is why I think out friend Dr. Boa is a resident of northern California.
And finally, two quick personal things about Dr. Boa that might aid in our search:
Now, before all the hardcore gamers shout out "Who cares about casual gamers! Bah!" -- I for one would love to have my girlfriend, and mom, and gay uncle Charlie buy more games. Share my love of gaming with them.
Apparently Dr. Boa is both unmarried, as he has a girlfriend, and has a gay uncle Charlie. I have no idea what the latter correlates to. What many people don't know is that in the mobile games industry, one game needs to be ported to nearly 200 different phones. And phones have different CPU power, different screen sizes, and even different button layouts. Trust me, you do not want to be a mobile games developer! So what problems does this cause? It all comes down to added cost. While typical mobile game development can run $100-200K, the cost of porting a game to so many handsets more than doubles the cost. That includes the cost of porting, QA testing, and just learning about all of the new phones that come out each year.
Dr. Boa knows a surprising amount about cell phone gaming development. Though it doesn't mean he has ever developed these kinds of games, it could be a hint that he might have. Who knows...
So here's what we know about the mysterious Dr. Boa:
Likely born between 1966 and 1976 (32-42 yrs old)
From North America, almost certainly a U.S. citizen
Is an important figure on PopRox under the alias "Mr. Kaa"
Lives in the western half of the United States, likely in northern California (based on Safeway and Wrestlemania references)
CliffyB (the nickname will stick with you forever, Cliff. You can't hide from it!)
Shigeru Miyamoto (or any non-American personality)
As for who he really is...
I don't have a fucking clue. But these hints might help out, and Ron's going to be wasted at the Cincy NARP. We'll find out one way or another...