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Destructoid Community Interviews: Gamemaniac3434

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Weird science

Yo! Yo! Yo! Orochileona (Chris Moyse) here, pulling back the heavy iron door and welcoming you to this week's Community Interview! Thanks for taking time out from your Switches and your Moon Pies to join me as I chat with another member of our wondrous community. As always, I appreciate your continued support in this venture. Let's get straight down to it!

This week, we chat to a man destined to have a lab-based accident that gives him incredible superpowers. It's mild-mannered Gamemaniac3434!

OL: Welcome to the Community Interview Hall of Fame! Please sign in with your answer to everyone's favourite question: Who the fuck is Gamemaniac3434?

G34: A graduated microbiology major who first got into the site a few years back and found it the proper venue to share my sickening interests with bacteria, mold, viruses, and Fallout 3 - things normal people pale from. I love tiny things like that and am more than willing to put it up all over the place and let it fester.

OL: Are you a microbacteria?

G34: No, just the regular kind. I find that size is more than small enough to get the job done right.

OL: This is the first interview I've done on a Saturday! How are you kicking back this weekend?

G34: Hanging out at the apartment, going to do some reading, some gaming, and possibly watch a good-bad movie with friends - my current plan is probably Who Killed Captain Alex?

OL: Sounds like fun. As you may know my life is filled with good-bad movies, maybe one day we can watch one together. Generally what do you do with your free time?

G34: I tend to hang out on Discord a fair amount and shoot the shit. I like to read stuff or listen to music. I've been reading some fantasy stuff as well as a textbook on bacterial genetics (I'm studying for the test to get into grad school). I find it's good to keep a diversity of stuff going on in your free time to prevent burnout.

OL: Diversity in your hobbies is very important. What are you currently reading? There's a lot of fantasy fiction fans on Dtoid - anything you'd recommend to them?

G34: Mmmm. I'm currently reading The Spiders War by Daniel Abraham. I won't say it's the best fantasy ever but the series has been getting better with every book. Game of Thrones is an easy, if cliche, recommendation. It's my favorite book series and it's just some damn good writing, even if the last book stumbles a little.

The Incorruptibles is a fun book. It's got steampunk, demons, and magic, all set in a western world. Really charming and enjoyable. Next I want to go for the Witcher books and see what the dealie is with them.

OL: I think Jinx is currently reading The Witcher novels, someone once told me they're a bit dry. But you don't wanna listen to me, my last fantasy book was probably some '90s Choose Your Own Adventure shit.

OL: Music is the food of love, so what are you eating? I'm correct in thinking you're a disciple of METAL, right?

G34: Metal is definitely my favorite genre. I do wander from time to time but I always find myself rolling back. Interestingly, you'll find that metal's not an uncommon sound in micro-laboratories, and for that I am thankful.

OL: Haha, bacteria and metal. What a great crossover!

G34: There are plenty of bacteria that breathe minerals, making them the most metal organisms on earth, so the crossover makes sense. Lately I've been listening to a few different bands, with Carpenter Brut's synthwave music being the outlier. Also Destrage, Lamb of God, Dethklok, Ghost B.C., and The Damned Things. I'm probably going to go looking for some new stuff soon enough.

OL: Who's your favourite band, when all is said and done?

G34: As with most things, your tastes change over time and I think my current favorite is probably Ghost B.C. There's such a self-awareness to them, their presentation is just so fun, and their music is great. You've also got to push yourself to try new genres and bands though. It's just a good way to go about listening to music.

OL: I'll check them out. Though I'll probably complain that the music "Isn't what it was in my day."

G34: Don't forget to tell the kids to get off your lawn with their babymetal. *shudder*

OL: I'm gonna have to put rubber gloves on for this next section...

G34: MMmmmmMMMmmmMM...

OL: I don't know in what context to take that sound?

G34: People often don't, but eventually you just accept the "Mmm" into your life. I'll probably not stop saying it till I'm dead.

OL: Anywhoo, I need to to wear gloves because we're going to talk about microbiology. As a sufferer when it comes to matters of germs and bacteria, it's gonna be real horror show for me. But I definitely want to get into this fascinating aspect of your life. Tell the people what you hope to do in your role as a microbiologist.

G34: When most people think of bacteria they think of the nasty little bastards who cause illness, but to be honest they're a pretty tiny part of the overall group. Humans tend to inflate their own importance and in so doing we tend to focus our attentions on a small microcosm over an altogether incomprehensible number of bacteria.

Here's a handy visual aid for that before I go on:

OL: OH MY GOD, MY EYES!

GM34: HAHAHAHA! SCIENCE CARES NOT FOR YOUR EYES, MEAT APE!

...anyway, going forward I'd like to study some of the weird crap that lives in the soil, maybe other locales, to learn more about it. Another possibility is teaching, I want to go into that academic side of things and be a real scientist. There's potential for antibiotic discovery.

OL: It's such a niche element of science and, in a way, the study of the evolution of life itself. Have these studies influenced you to look at life in a specific or different way?

G34: It certainly has its impact. If microbiology has made me consider one thing, it's of our inflated significance of self. Bacteria run this planet and will run it long after we're gone. I think humans have a lot of uniqueness, but I also think my studies are a good reminder that we're not gods. Not nearly as important as we think we are in terms of life-cycles. It's a bit humbling, I find.

My studies have also made me think about death a bit differently. When we die, we are recycled back into nature, to then flow back into the cycle of life. It's a perpetual circle of life and death. It's a beautiful thing that even your death will create a bloom of new life that will continue on.

OL: This is kind of the answer I was excited for when we got to this subject. I can't possibly see how working with such a science couldn't make you strongly consider these matters. Does being so embedded in these evolutionary studies isolate you from having any otherworldly beliefs?

G34: I think it tends to strip the ability to have supernatural beliefs from some people, though I have known people in science who have held on to their religion. I personally have my own religious views but I reconcile them with science. If you don't let your religion invalidate your science then hanging onto it is not so difficult.

I have known people who don't believe in evolution from ape to human but were still involved in micro-studies and to me that's a dangerous thing. Picking and choosing your beliefs like that makes me concerned about your ability to do science. My best advice is shape your religion somewhat to the science but don't let it override science and just play it as you feel comfortable.

OL: I think that life is a complicated and incomprehensible concept. Bending and shaping is basically our only real defence in adapting to it. We could talk about just that for hours; well, people do all the time. So what's the next step in your career aspirations? Is it the exam your mentioned earlier?

G34: Pretty much. This test is the first step, then application, then figuring out what I want to do and looking for a position.

OL: Well, I wish you the very best of luck. I have huge respect for you for choosing that field. It's fascinating and important. You could save lives one day. Good luck with it.

G34: 'Preciate that!

OL: After a hard day's germifying, what more could a Gamemaniac do than pour out a cold one. But apparently a very specific cold one.. Tell us about your self-professed "beer snobbery."

G34: Hee hee! Last year I started taking a brewing class for fun. It kind of ignited an interest in craft beers for me, and eventually me and a myco (fungus) buddy went out drinking and I tried my first craft beer - a sour beer called Blood Orange Gose. Ever since then I've gone on a self-proclaimed "Beer Quest" and I try as many different types of beer as I can. So far I haven't found a truly terrible one.

OL: When I used to drink I would often try guest beers at various pubs, but some were truly Rottytops. Last year, at a friend's, I was handed some homebrew and it was wonderful. I woke up without my pants and with toothache, but it tasted great. Someone reading this is saying: "Fuck you Gamemaniac, all beer tastes the same." Explain to that jerk what you look for in a beer that sets it apart from others.

G34: I used to think beer was crap and didn't get why people liked it. My first beer was a Miller Lite. *shudders* Most people start out with common beers, a lot of those are crap or possibly skunked due to import. They're designed to be drank in high quantities and it tastes bad because it's not made for sensory wonder, it's just made to get people drunk.

OL: Insider terms! What is "Skunked?"

G34: Skunking is, basically, when beer goes bad. It then tastes sulfurous, like skunk stink.

OL: Ah I see, so how would you suggest our readers find their perfect brewski?

G34: The best thing to do is to try different types and not give up, because if you let a few bad brews stop you from trying others then you're denying yourself a great experience. There's so much variety in what you can find. If you can, find a barrel-aged craft beer that's been kept in another spirit's barrel. They can create some really interesting flavors.

OL: What kind of a drunk are you?

G34: Ah, the type who likes talking about high-minded stuff, like the weirdo I am. I also become more comfortable saying what I'm thinking. Though I tend to get tired and quieter when I start losing the buzz.

OL: Well, good luck in your quest to find your perfect beer!

G34: To me, perfection doesn't really exist, but I honestly think Blood Orange Gose is a perfectly realized beer. It tastes so good and it's just a wonderful example of the "sour style."

OL: You are Gamemaniac. To earn this title you would have to be a Maniac about Games. I believe you are. You seem to play a HELLUVA lot, often Qposting about your purchases or current in-game status. What do vidya gamez mean to you?

G34: Video games to me are one of the best mediums, they stuff you into their world and bring about a joy or sadness that can be really profound. They're a rich, complex medium that we still have so much to learn from. They can cause stress or remove it, let you have some mindless fun, or even force you to do things you'd rather not.

I play games frequently, own more than a few systems and hang around talking about them on a website dedicated to talking about them. I love it when people get together to share thoughts about stuff. The Switch reveal was such a cool watercooler moment and a breath of fresh air in the staleness that was choking us as the year drew to a close.

I love video games, I love talking about them and I love seeing whats next on the horizon.

OL: Like yourself, games have been a huge part of my life, and it goes way beyond just "having fun playing." I see them as bridges to social situations, help with depression and stress, and community builders. How long have you been gaming now?

G34: Pretty much my entire life. I remember playing the TMNT arcade at Chuck E. Cheese's, Mario on the NES, many other games. What probably got me most into gaming might have been getting a PS2, Xbox and GameCube. There were so many standout titles on there. The PS3 opened up a new world. Fallout 3, BioShock, LittleBigPlanet - that console encouraged me to try all sorts of different games.

OL: What are you hoping for in gaming's future, either from a product standpoint, or from an industry/social standpoint?

G34: Mmm. I suppose from a tech point I don't want for much. I've tried an Oculus VR and I think it would be neat to see that potential get explored as time goes on, but the current state of games, tech-wise, is pretty good. I guess what I mainly want to see is more standardization of better graphics, 60FPS and, for fuck's sake, let's reduce the file size of games. DOOM takes up nearly 100 GB by itself and it's insane to me that the game is that monstrously large. I think fixing that issue is going to be priority.

As for the industry, I hope we keep getting more diverse experiences and that such things become the norm. Trends are a thing but if last year proved anything, it's that even in the same genre you can still get a large variety in the experience provided. I hope gamers treat each other better and become less easily fooled by hype. I hope that the more bullshit practices get stomped out, with good customer treatment and policy being rewarded, as opposed to just avarice.

OL: I agree. Somehow we have problems that should, in theory, have been nailed to the wall long ago. That said, I think there is a HELLUVA lot of good in gaming, we just have to support those who do right by us.

G34: There's certainly a lot of good in gaming. The best thing you can do is throw money at people who make good, well-crafted products and avoid the cynical trash. There's always going to be garbage parts to the industry. All you can do is avoid those products and make publishers hear your voice and miss your dollar. It's a constant uphill battle, one that will probably never truly end, but I think if you care about gaming passionately you owe it to yourself and others to consider such things.

OL: And speaking of the good in gaming, it's time for the obvious: What's your favourite game of all time?

G34: Oh goodness me, what a question! Honestly I've been having a bit of an existential crisis about that lately. Before DOOM it was Fallout 3, undeniably. This statement has already sent swaths of people into the comments to tell me that a game I love is objectively wrong :p

OL: I love Fallout 3 too. Don't worry, you're in good company.

G34: DOOM is a game that has stuck with me hard. Even now I still think about it, still hear the music in me brain, still think about the visuals. I even got the artbook recently and paging through it was a sublime delight. So I guess my answer is either Fallout 3 or DOOM. Lacking in decision on that, but I do what I wannnnt.

OL: Your love of vidya gamez have brought you through the wastelands to our very own Brotherhood of Steel: The Destructoid Community. What are your thoughts on Destructoid and its people?

G34: I think Destructoid is a great site with an amazing community that's full of uniqueness and open opinion. That can be a double-edged sword, but it's hard to imagine another site I'd like as much. It's not perfect, it's had its issues, but homes are rarely perfect so I can take the good with the bad.

OL: You have a large selection of blogs, which are mostly your thoughts and reviews on various games. We haven't seen anything new in 2017. Are you currently taking a break from writing?

G34: Yeah, I've slowed down on writing lately. I don't like it but the muse hasn't been with me. I plan on getting back into the swing of things. I have a Micro-themed article planned that I hope will be as entertaining as my Cordyceps blog. Hopefully I can finish editing my current blog and put it up this week, fingers crossed! (Hint: it involves a very small infectious organism, though using the word "organism" might be divisive to some.)

OL: Oh! I've got it! It's a love letter to BioShock: Infinite, isn't it?

G34: *Angry Emoticon*

OL: Sorry mate, Emoticons don't translate into interviews, So I'll just write "Yes" instead.

G34: Guessing someone's been digging into my blogs and also wants a crack across the skull with me fist.

OL: It's called research. It's what us top-tier professionals do.

Instead of violence, why not profess love! Here's your chance to shoutout your Dtoid buddies!

G34: Hah, this one's hard. I don't want to leave anyone out but at the same time there's probably just too many to list!

OL: That's a common response, don't sweat it. Everyone knows how tight we all are.

G34: I guess everyone in my closer circle of friends on the site is great: Torchman, vxxy, Bass, Lawman, Panda, Carp, Rico, Amna, Limo, Malthor, Nekro, and Scrustle are some good friends. I know I'm leaving people out. My brain memory doesn't always work good, so if you're not on there, my apologies. Occams, Mike, and Wes are all really cool dudes who I talk to often and I think they, and the other mods, do a good job of keeping the place nice and neat.

OL: Yeah, I always give people the spot to shout out, but everyone feelsbadman because they want to mention everybody! It's a testament to our Dtoid family.

OL: On the home straight now, friend. Time for everybody's favourite section (because it means the interview's over): It's the Final Five!

OL: What's a particularly good-bad movie of choice?
G34: Super Mario Bros. That movie is an amazing amalgamation of talent and lack of talent combining to form something truly, beautifully, awful.

OL: What's the first law you'd implement if you were in charge?
G34: Mandatory science early in teaching as well as microbiology being in all schools. Also, the removal of power over textbooks from people who don't like science.

OL: What music track from your much younger years do you still listen to today?
G34: Don't really have one. If pressed I tend to listen to the music from Fallout 3 and BioShock. Also, Weird Al's music.

OL: What is your first purchase if you won the lottery?
G34: A fancy piece of microbiology-themed artwork, like these glass sculptures. (see above)

OL: What one lesson do you know now that you wish you knew then?
G34: That you should talk with people often. Try to hang out with them and make connections, especially with college professors. Still one I struggle with sometimes.

OL: I'm incredibly tired from writing this weekend. I thought I'd really struggle with this interview. But you've made it easy. It has been so good to sit and chat with you about your passions as well as peer into your world of microbiology, a subject I feel like we could expand upon for hours. You're a stalwart member of the Dtoid community, smart, communicable, and a true lover of sweet video games. It's not likely, but I'd love to sit and enjoy a Blood Orange Gose with you one day.

G34: Glad I could do my part to make this interview interesting for ya. I've had a pretty good time as well! And as for that last line, same to you brah. But mainly so I can crack open your skull for what you said about BioShock: Infinite.

OL: And drink the sweet beer contained within. The PERFECT beer.

G34: Yes. Brain beer. Mmmm.

OL: The final words are yours, so grasp the mic:

G34: First off I want to thank you for having me. Since these have started back up I've had a hopeful little part of me that wanted to be a part of it and I'm really happy you decided to let me be a part of this really cool thing. Second off, I'd like to thank all the Dtoiders and writers who make this community a better place and help make it so nice to hang around.

I'm hopeful as we go on we can keep being cool to each other, let some of the more negative feelings and snapping about politics subside, and continue getting better as well as playing all the new cool stuff that games can offer. Thanks for reading, and remember that you are never alone because you are coated with bacteria, viruses and fungi inside your gut and on your skin and they'll eat you when you die. Have a great weekend folks!

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