[I’m pretty sure I spoiled Bass’ surprise from changing his name to Inspector Gadget by waiting too long to promote this. Oh well! Here it finally is, another edition of community interviews! Photo from Yuri Araujo’s Twitter feed. He’s from Capcom-Unity! ~Marcel]
Hey brothers and sisters! Hope you’re all having a rad weekend. Welcome back to the Community Interview series, where we place a member of our nearest and dearest under the spyglass to find out a little about what makes them tick. Thanks as always for stopping by, because your time, support and comments are always appreciated. Without further adieu, let’s get it on.
This week, we chat to fundraiser, art-hoarder, blog recapper and all-round good guy: TheBlondeBass!
OL: You are sat in my interrogation/bondage chair, friend, because the people demand to know: Who the fuck is TheBlondeBass?
Bass: I ask myself all the time! I’m an A.I. bot pretending to be a French Canadian gamer pretending to be a fish with a fancy haircut, so my identity gets confusing at times. People here probably know me for recapping community blogs and shitting on Torchman on the regular.
OL: Are any elements of that personality legitimate? I believe you have a fancy haircut.
Bass: Haha, I’m pretty proud of my golden locks! And yeah, I’m a dirty fake Frenchie which has made voice chat incredibly embarrassing in the past, and also made me incredibly self-conscious after every blog, so I end up asking Rico the Penguin to proofread me! But I digress, any part of my personality is true if everyone believes in it.
OL: Why ‘The Blonde Bass’ and is it Bass like the fish, or Bass like the music?
Bass: Originally it was neither! I went to English college before university. Once, in class, I teamed up with two guys to complete an assignment. They didn’t know my name, so they just wrote “The Blonde Bastard” on the sheet and forgot to replace it later. So I decided to make a family friendly version of that as my online username.
OL: That’s a great anecdote! I legit lol’d at that. Was it a fair description?
Bass: Haha, who knows! I’m good friends with the two nowadays, so I can’t be that bad!
OL: I believe I gotta question for you: Have you ever played any “Video Games”?
Bass: Why yes! Little known fact, my avatar actually comes from a “Video Game” which I absolutely loved, the Persona 2 duology. It’s a little harder to play games whilst studying, it’s quite a time commitment. But even right now I’m juggling Fire Emblem: NMOE and Yakuza 0! Fantastic games, both of them.
OL: I adore the Yakuza franchise. I’ve played them all, but I believe this is your first, so I’m glad you’re enjoying it. How did you get started gaming?
Bass: I can thank my dad for that one! He’s the nerdier of my parents, my mom’s more into music. They owned a NES, then after that got stolen we got a SNES from insurance. That was my main way to play games as a kid, and I played Super Mario World with him to hell and back.
My father doesn’t really play video games anymore. I think the incident that made him drop the hobby was Super Monkey Ball on the GameCube. He got nauseous playing that and then kind of gradually stopped. He can still play a mean game of Candy Crush though, and he ended up beating me at Fortune Street when I challenged him last week! It’s still in there, I can feel it.
OL: That’s a wonderful story. Most of the time parents were disapproving of video games, because they rot your brain and such, but there have been quite a few stories lately of parental bonding over video gaming. That warms my heart. And it’s nice to know your father’s still gaming in some form.
OL: So what games would you say defined your formative years? What were your favourites?
Bass: I’d say Super Mario Sunshine was my first case of falling in love with a game? Since the GameCube was my first instance of 3D gaming the jump in visuals was just all around mesmerizing. I wanted to complete the entire game, and I wasn’t the kind to cheat with online guides, so I ended up randomly exploring in hopes of finding these dastardly coins. Kingdom Hearts also had a similar effect on me, I’d talk about it all the time with a girl in high school. Fun times. I’m still the kind of Kingdom Hearts trash that writes a guide on how to approach the series, and buys every collection when they come out.
OL: Seeing as you started relatively early, with the 16-bit era, what do you think gaming, and game fans, as they stand today? Due to the internet it’s been a hot-button topic for some years now.
Bass: Oh boy, I could write a whole blog on that. I feel that gaming is in a healthy, but risky spot right now. Games are less expensive than ever, since they don’t follow inflation, but I feel like Steam sales also made everyone’s perception of value lower? You often hear people talk about waiting for a sale as soon as a game is announced. That’s good for the consumer and all, but that also means that publishers set up to reach larger and larger audiences to break even, and that they’re also pushing for alternative ways of getting income that take away from the timelessness of a game, like DLC, NFC figures and all that.
I feel like games have to increase in price or become lower-budget endeavors, or else we’ll hit a wall and lose a lot of developers to free-to-play nonsense. That’s where the profit really is nowadays. Personally, I’m not a fan of most of them. I sure don’t like pop-ups that tell me to buy costumes whilst I’m in the zone.
OL: You have a point, many games today are almost valueless. Mankind Divided was available at less than half price within mere months. Then there’s the problem of balancing out high sales with an attractive entrance point, which hurts games such as Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, which already have a niche, die-hard audience to begin with.
OL: Speaking of die-hard games, why not tell us a little about your relationship with the superb fighter Guilty Gear.
Bass: It’s a pretty recent love story! I first heard about the series when I was younger, still subscribed to Nintendo Power (god bless their souls) I saw a review for Guilty Gear XX, and I thought to myself “Wow, they’re really milking the franchise if they’re already at the 20th game!” That was a bit dumb of me, but the names they choose for these games are ridiculous!
I didn’t end up playing Guilty Gear until Xrd: Sign. I’m very glad I did because it is a blast to play. The whole game has great visceral impact when you strike, and controls that are surprisingly intuitive for a fighting game. I ended up playing with Larxinostic and TrippyTip online and it quickly became one of my favorite games of all time!
OL: Do you have any favourite characters of its luscious cast?
My mains are Sin, Sol and Kum. Sin’s range is pretty ridiculous, Sol has a versatile toolset, and while I’m not quite as good with Kum she’s definitely an interesting character.
OL: It has a great tutorial system but GG, to be fair, is complicated and daunting when starting out. I think that puts off a lot of new players.
Bass: It’s really not that bad! The tutorial does a fantastic job at telling you the mechanics that differ from, say, Street Fighter. Double jumping, Bursting and Roman Cancels are pretty easy to get a grip on even if you’re not super efficient with them. I’ve personally had a much harder time getting into some other fighters, like KOF and BlazBlue.
OL: Before we move on, there’s a really important GG question you need to answer: Who is Best Girl?
Bass: Ramlethal, obviously!
Bass: She’s so cute! Definitely a Rei archetype done right.
OL: Time for the obvious.. What’s your favourite game of all time?
Bass: The original Paper Mario! I love that game so much, I already wrote two blogs on it… And I’d gladly write a third one if not for the fear of beating a dead horse. But it’s such a fantastic combination of terrific world-building and engaging action.
OL: You are quite ’embedded’ in Destructoid. You post regularly, manage various recaps, add blogs and Qposts, and even arrange community activites. In my eyes, you are a pretty important part of the community. Is that a fair comment?
Bass: I’m having a ton of fun interacting with the community. Lots of really nice folks here, and the atmosphere is generally more positive than on other gaming websites, that’s why I embedded myself here. I don’t know if I’m that important, but I’m trying my best to contribute and bring everyone together. The drawing blogs I’m particularly proud of, some users here can draw impressive feet!
OL: The drawing blog was an example of a way where you have brought the community together for a joint effort. Recently, you ran a fundraiser to help my fellow feet fan Inquisitive Ravenclaw get himself a PS4. What is it about Dtoid in particular that makes you feel it’s worth these ideas?
Bass: I feel like other websites just don’t have the same focus on building a community compared to Destructoid. Promotions of C-blogs to the front-page are a great way of making people interact with each other, and the built-in Twitter that is the Qpost section is fantastic for silly things like eating off toilets or getting an idea across quickly. You don’t see that on other major gaming websites.
I try my best to keep an open mind and do justice to that spirit of community. For example, I wasn’t too fond of Chris Bradshaw‘s posts at first, but recently I find myself interested in what he has to say. I particularly enjoyed his newest blog, very personal and well written.
If I put the time I’m put into Dtoid towards any other website, I wouldn’t have any time to study or play games. So you definitely don’t have to worry about me cheating on you bae. 😉
OL: Glad to hear it, sweetness. I agree that Destructoid has a very vibrant and passionate community. I myself put a lot of free time into the site, particularly with these interviews. So there has to be a spirit of friendship here that makes us feel that this time spent isn’t time wasted. I’ve said it before and again, there’s nowhere else quite like it.
OL: Despite this, some people outside of Dtoid have a negative view of the site and its regular crowd. Why do you think this might be? What can Dtoid do to improve its standing In The Meta?
Bass: Ahh, the meta. I’m not sure if we should even strive to improve our rank in the meta, but I can think of a few reasons. For starters, a few front-page writers lay on the political opinions pretty thicc, which is going to put some people off who are tired of internet politics. I know I’ve had my fair share of shitflinging on Twitter, so I understand where they’d be coming from.
There are people who believe that Destructoid’s focus on community content is unprofessional. There’s not much that can be done about that without hurting one of the website’s best features. Seeing the reaction to GajKnight’s interview by very influential folks that don’t really interact with the site made me shake my head, honestly.
There’s no way to please everyone. I’m not sure there’s anything that can be done to make people outside the website take the articles here less seriously. After all, we’re still talking about that long after articles about the best Amiibo butt-plugs.
OL: It seems that websites the world over are struggling with the modern internet’s obsessive thirst for controversy. To that end, maybe nothing can be done about negative opinions held toward any website. I think we have to learn to do right by ourselves and others who come into our worlds, and understand that, as you said. You cannot please everyone.
It’s shoutout time, Bass! Who’s invited to your love orgy?
Bass: I have to start by shouting out Larxinostic! He was my first follower, and he’s a great pal. Love his blogs, love playing him in GG, love his comments. Even forced me to play Hyperdimension Neptunia! AND I LIKED IT!
Next up is TheAngriestCarp! Sure, he has some hot opinions and he insults me all the time, but he’s also a great guy on the inside. Sometimes. Plus he draws super-well and likes Monogatari!
I’d also like to shoutout CJ Andriessen. I absolutely l-o-v-e his Fauxclusive series, they never fail to bring a smile to my face. His comedy style works wonders for me. Of course, I have to shoutout Occams! Super funny guy and a great mod, he supports others when they need it most.
I’d love to namecheck more, but there’s only enough space in my tiny, shriveled heart for four people at a time.
OL: Do they have specific roles in your heart/bed?
Bass: Hmm.. Hypothetically I could see Occams being a tender lover, Larx being a passionate secret lover, and Carp giving me rough love when we both feel down. I’m so not worthy of being at CJ’s side, though.
Unfortunately though, this hole is taken, folks:
Blaze will come back to me any day now.. Any day.
OL: When it comes to non-gaming interests. What topic do you think gets covered the most here on the Community Interviews?
Bass: Hmm… Butts?
OL: Close, the correct answer is Torchman. Now, let’s talk about anime.
Bass: Nice, that was one smooth transition!
I’m a relative newcomer to anime. I didn’t watch at all until college, but the influence of my Chinese friends finally got to me. I don’t know a whole lot about old shows, but I’m glad I started watching because I really like the majority of what I’ve watched so far.
OL: Oh, so you’re relatively new to the weeb world? What have you been watching?
Bass: I prefer dramatic shows, so stuff like Fate/Zero, Madoka Magica and Kimi No Na WaI’ve devoured like candy. Steins;Gate in particular is my absolute favorite show, anime or otherwise. Really powerful moments when the shit hits the fan. I also enjoy comedic shows from time to time. Nichijou was stellar in my opinion, and if you can look beyond a few incestuous moments I can’t recommend Monogatari enough. Kaiki and Senjougahara are best girl.
OL: You’ve mentioned a lot of modern shows there. Are there any older shows or films you’re planning to visit? Have you seen the obvious movie classics: Akira, Ghost in the Shell, etc?
Bass: I haven’t, which brings great shame to my family. The oldest show I’ve watched is either Serial Experiments Lain or Getter Robo Armageddon, otherwise it’s all new stuff. Well, I also watched Evangelion but dropped it because of the filler in the middle part. Double the shame! I am planning on checking out Ghost in the Shell though.
OL: Going down the rabbit hole of anime, there’s thousands of shows and movies out there. Do you have anyone helping you sift through the garbage for the gems?
Bass: Yeah, kinda! My friends got me started by recommending their favorite shows, which is how I ended up starting with Madoka Magica & Red Line. I try to watch shows with members of the Dtoid community (mainly vxxy, Hypno Coffin and Malthor) whenever possible, which means I get new suggestions all the time.
On the flip side, when Torchman suggests a show I try to avoid it as much as possible. So I also dodge plenty of stinkers that way!
OL: Well, you’re definitely among a huge party on knowledgeable anime folks on Dtoid, that’s for sure. But what are you doing, mang!? Watch Akira.
Bass: Haha, alright! I will!
OL: Away from the glowing screens of the world, the video games and Qpost-based orgies. How is life treating you, Bass?
Bass: I can’t complain! I’m about to finish university and enter the grown-up world of a full-time job, renting my own place and all that. It’s a scary shift for me, but also super-exciting. I wish I could stay at my parents’ place longer, see how my two little brothers end up handling college… But I guess I can just be annoying and visit uninvited as often as I want.
OL: You were studying Computer Engineering, right? What are you hoping to do with that? what would be your dream, non-sexual, position?
Bass: I’m pretty good at the coding nowadays, but still nowhere near the level I’d like to be when it comes to hardware knowledge. So I’m pretty happy to have secured a spot working with a software company this summer! Getting an offer with the position I wanted felt great.
I’ve always been conflicted when it comes to working with video games. On one hand, I’d probably feel proud as hell to have a game with my name on it, but on the other, maybe working on a game would kind of ruin the magic? I don’t think working long-term in the video game industry would be my dream job anyway, sounds stressful as hell!
OL: It’s genuinely exciting to hear about you getting ready to finish education and leave home. Though it makes me a bit melancholic. Y,know, I really kind of messed up that time. I had an interesting youth, and a chaotically fun 20s. But now I kinda have nothing. A few interviewees I’ve spoken with are at the same stage you’re at, and it’s really exciting to see where you guys will go.
I hate to sound like someones fucking dad here, but make the most of it. I mean really, really do. You’re smart and a good communicator, I can genuinely see you going far.
Bass: Aww, thanks! Tell me about what happened in your 20s after the interview, will ya? I’m genuinely curious.
OL: A lot of work, wrasslin, travel and adventure which, whilst I don’t regret it, leaves me in a place where I have fucked knees, no money and sketch video game girls, compile movie trailers and write articles for multiple websites for free. The fucking dream. I blew it, brother. But you won’t, I know it.
ANYWAYS, I’ve noticed you enjoy being creative in all sorts of different media. Will we see any more videos, drawings or Dtoid Magic the Gathering cards in the future?
Bass: Definitely! I’m always trying to think of new things to make that the community could enjoy. In fact, I should probably start recruiting people for another drawing blog. Though to tell the truth, I feel kind of dickish for taking the credit when these blogs are front-paged.
OL: Naaaaah, don’t be silly. No one looks at it like that. If they do, then I don’t know why. I call shotgun for a spot in the next one anyway!
OL: I…Is that your entry for the next one?
Bass: Haha, I wish I could draw shitty comics as well as Andrew Hussie.
OL: Well, the end is nigh, friend. Soon I will be loosening the straps and giving you safe passage back into the waking world. But before that, of course, we must tackle the Final Five:
OL: Who is a famous person you admire?
Bass: Phil Fish. Whoops, did I say that out loud? Seriously, Yoko Taro is such a funny character that sticks true to his ideals instead of going for fame and doing safer games. His sense of humor and creative approach are both really admirable.
OL: What is the greatest dessert in the world?
Bass: Carrot cake, no doubt about it. Pies are acceptable too.
OL: If someone were trying to seduce you, how should they go about it?
Bass: I’m a very easy man to seduce. Be friendly, don’t be too pushy, whisper sweet little things into my ears like: “Mega Man 3 was my favorite too.”
OL: Last decision you really regretted? (apart from doing this interview)
Bass: A big regret would be that I don’t have a driving license yet. While my daily life doesn’t need it, it’s useful to get into bars in the USA. :p
OL: Finally, Who would play you, and your love interest, in ‘TheBlondeBass Movie’?
Bass: I’ve been told that I look like a relative of Woody Harrelson, so I guess we could cast him and give him a silly wig? As for the love interest, I can see Blaze being the actress from the Hunger Games movies that I totally don’t remember the name of right now. And Larx could be played by Adam Sandler, which would be terrible and hilarious.
OL: It sounds like this year is a biggie for you, with finishing you studies, moving out, and heading into an exciting new role. What hopes and desires do you have for 2017?
Bass: Not stumbling on the way out would be a good first step. I’d be pretty embarrassed if I failed a class at the very end when I have a job lined up this summer. I also hope the online climate calms down, tensions have been high since the US elections, and I doubt anybody’s happy with the personal attacks being thrown everywhere.
OL: Well, I’ve been happy to be in your company this afternoon. I think your community efforts go a long way in making Destructoid what it is. You’ve also worked pretty dang hard to set yourself up with in-roads to a solid future. Somehow, you’ve still found the time to plug the gaps with anime girls and those “Video Games.” It is great having you around Dtoid, so keep it up, you beautiful Blonde Bastard.
Bass: Thanks for having me, Orochi!
OL: The final words are yours, so grasp the mic.
Bass: Thanks guys for being such an awesome community, I mean it sincerely. The last year has been a blast, and I wish nothing more than to stick around with you all for many years more. Remember to brush your teeth, post your catgirls on Fridays and don’t get mad over video games!