Welcome to this week’s installment of “On a Geekly Basis,” a feature that profiles awesome geeky people and things! This week we want to introduce you to Hatm0nster, Cary & The Duck of Indeed, the admins of United We Game, a cooperative video game blog.
I consider myself more of a Geek than a Nerd, or more specifically a Geed with nerd elements. Gaming is my passion and as so being a gamer is a large part of my Geeky identity, but I’m not limited to that. I’m also a fan of sci-fi (Star Wars especially), classic fantasy, and film along with a passing interest in anime. The nerd elements I mentioned earlier come from possessing technical skills with computers and being highly invested in building up said skills.
Actually, I don’t think I started thinking of myself as a geek until I began college. I had all the elements of being a geek before then to be sure, but I guess you could say that I never put the pieces together. I thought of myself as a gamer, a fan of sci-fi, a movie buff, and so on, but I never really thought of any of that as being any different from the norm at the time. It was a quiet revelation; I remember being pleasantly surprised, thinking something along the lines of: “So, I’ve been a geek this whole time…Cool!”
I was first introduced to video games by my father. He brought home a Super Nintendo one year (I think it was 1994) because he dabbled in gaming himself at the time and because he thought it was something my brother and I might enjoy. I remember my brother and I wanting to watch him play A Link to the Past until the game was beaten…and also being scared of Primal Rage (what can I say, exploding hearts creep me out). I wasn’t interested in playing until my younger brother also finished AttP, and not wanting to be upstaged by him, I proceeded to do my best to work through it until I beat it too. From that point on I was, first and foremost, a gamer.
While I’ll always be a gamer first, I really enjoy being a Star Wars fan. I’d have to describe myself as casual fan since I haven’t gone beyond watching the movies and reading a few (okay, more than a few) of the books. I love the energy and enthusiasm that the hardcore fans bring to it though! I love the fact that something like the 501st Legion exists and has grown to become an international organization. I can’t think of any other fandom that matches the sheer magnitude of that of Star Wars.
Aside from various art and design projects, my big project right now is United We Game. I, along with my cohorts Cary and The Duck of Indeed, am in the process of developing it into something that I believe will be very special. Right now it’s best described as an open cooperative blog. Our goal is to foster productive discussion in the gaming community based on the fact that we all enjoy video games. So much of what we hear about the gaming community focuses on the ugliness and vitriol so many of us are often too willing to throw at our fellow gamers for having differing opinions (something I myself was guilty of at one point). We’re working to build a community that celebrates our differences in opinion and shared bond as gamers.
To that end, we’ve given an open invitation to anyone who wants to contribute a post for discussion so long as they’re willing to follow the couple of rules we’ve established. It’s a blog right now, but we’re working to develop it into something more as it grows.
It took me awhile to figure this one out. There are so many characters in games and movies that I like and/or find fascinating that I would never really want to meet, either because I’ve already learned so much about them that I wouldn’t have anything to ask if I were to meet them (like Tali’Zorah from Mass Effect) or because as awesome as they are, I just can’t help but think they would be kind of unpleasant to just sit and talk to due to their personality (like Isaac Clark from Dead Space).
If I could meet one fictional character it would be Nathan Drake. He seems someone who would be a blast to hang out with. He’s an easy-going sort of person with a lifetime of incredible stories to relate, and excitement just seems to follow him wherever he goes. If you’re hanging out with Drake you know you’re in for some exciting times!
I live in Wisconsin and work as an IT guy at a metal-treating shop (you’d be surprised how much a shop relies on having a stable network to operate smoothly). I’ve studied and still practice graphic and web design, and know a programming language or two. I suppose I’m the sort that just can’t sit still and so am most happy when I’m making progress towards one goal or another. I love finding an awesome new restaurant when I’m out and about, and nothing tastes better to me than an ice-cold Coca-Cola!
(Oh, and I’m also trying to build up a group for weekly custom games in Halo 3 so if you know anybody who wants to enjoy some awesome times in Halo 3, send ‘em my way! Gamertag: hatm0nstar)
The Duck of Indeed
Is there a difference? I have, for some time now, considered myself a nerd, and I believe that fits me a bit better. (I looked them up on Wikipedia in order to surmise some kind of difference.) I saw the word “obsessive” used more in the nerd article than the geek one, and that fits me. I am rather obsessive about video games, and nearly everything I do is related to them. When I do anything, I go all out.
I may have been a nerd for some time due to the fact that I enjoy many of the popular nerd activities, such as gaming, comics, and dressing up as fictional people, but it wasn’t until I embraced the word as a compliment rather than an insult that I decided I was one. That was probably a few years ago. I’ve been proud of my nerd status ever since. At least, I sure hope other people consider me a nerd, too.
I can pretty much say I am or have been into all the things listed, and they started at different times. I used to watch my parents play video games when I was a kid. But, a little over ten years ago, my interest in “Pokemon” got me into playing games myself and collecting Pokemon cards, which I no longer collect, but I still keep organized neatly in a binder. Not long later, I began writing because I wanted to create the kinds of things my favorite video games had. Comics started when my uncle got me a comic book several years ago, but I have always liked them. I just always spent my money on games, so I didn’t have many. Cosplaying started a few years ago when I started going to the nearby comicon.
My favorite fandom is video games. I’ll give up every hobby before I give them up, and they are actually the hobby that almost all my other hobbies stem from. I love them. I love the stories and the characters and the challenge and getting to feel for a short while every day that I can do really awesome stuff. Watch my mad skills as I save the world from a variety of evil beings. All in a day’s work.
I always have so many projects. Besides my ongoing gaming (I’m currently playing “Muramasa: The Demon Blade”, as of writing this), I have been trying to work on an original comic, though I’ve been lazy with it lately. I also have been working on two blogs, my own “The Duck of Indeed”, and of course, like the other two interviewed here, “United We Game”, which we all hope is going to really go somewhere someday. (I don’t know about them, but I’m hoping for fame and riches.) I also have grown bored of original writing (besides blogging), but have found I have a knack for writing fan fiction (at least, it’s more fun, and the game developers did most of the work for me), so I’m working on what I plan to be rather long “Jak and Daxter” and “Kingdom Hearts” stories right now.
This is a hard one because my favorite characters are often evil, and I don’t want to actually meet them. Well, slightly, but not really, too. But, I do have one actually good character I like that I would want to meet, and that would be Sora from “Kingdom Hearts”. He is the sweetest person in the universe, and I know we would be friends within minutes of meeting. Sora’s the kind of friend everyone needs.
About me. Well, you already learned a bit about me from my previous answers, so how about a few extra things. Aside from my love of video games, and everything else related to that, I also love computers. I find machines interesting (and I wish I knew how to build robots), and I love now being able to help people with their computer needs. I also admit that I live in a bit of a fantasy land, which suits me fine. I also love dressing up for Renaissance Faires and comicons, and I find these clothes to be much more appealing than the clothes normally accepted by society. Darn society. I am the kind of person that loves quiet and likes to keep busy, and I actually almost never watch cable TV, as I’d rather work on my projects, play video games, or practice playing the piano.
I’m probably more of a nerd, but I have my geeky moments, especially when it comes to video games. I see geeks as connectors and gatherers of information and nerds as users and preservers of information. And the latter analogy definitely applies to me, especially at work. The bulk of my life has revolved around a love of history, and I can get rather obsessive about it – so it’s safe to say I’m a history nerd. From costume history to transportation history to political history, it’s all good to me.
Probably around the time I first saw Return of the Jedi, with which I became simply obsessed. I found that once I had discovered something I really liked, I was driven to know absolutely everything I could about it. Jedi led to learning all about Star Wars generally, which led to space, which led to the solar system, which led to the Milky Way, which led to black holes, which led to Disney’s The Black Hole… Well, maybe my logic isn’t very logical; but this process didn’t just occur with Star Wars. It happened, and continues to happen throughout my life. I kinda live like James Burke’s Connections, because you never know where one piece of knowledge might lead.
I’ve always enjoyed writing and storytelling, and the idea to start a blog had been kicking around in my head for a number of years before I finally followed through with it. After I got engaged I knew that my favorite pastime, gaming, which has been an on-again-off-again part of my life for a few decades now, was going to have to take a back seat for awhile because we had so many plans in place. So I thought it would be good to get some on my gaming memories “on paper” before they became erased by time.
The Muppets. I have a deep and enduring affection for Jim Henson and the people who continue his work. As much as I loved Star Wars as a kid, I adored, and still adore everything Muppets. From Sesame Street to the Dark Crystal to Fraggle Rock to the Muppet movies – I love them all. The online, entertainment, and historical communities that explore, recreate, and preserve Henson’s legacy are simply amazing.
In addition to United We Game, I have my own blog, Recollections of Play (which I try to update once or twice a week), and I post weekly (on Fridays) to the Geek Force Network, a fantastic and supportive collective of writers, podcasters, and video producers that focuses on all things geeky!
Dr. Mordin Solus from Mass Effect. Mordin is one of the best and most interesting characters in the Mass Effect universe. Even though I’m a diehard Garrus fan, I think I spent most of my “character conversation” time with Mordin in ME 2 and ME3. (In ME3, the decision Shepard faced with Mordin on Tuchanka was one of the most difficult I had ever had to consider in any game.) Mordin’s world view and communication style are unique and quirky. I’ve no doubt it’d be a blast to spend an afternoon chatting about or observing current events with him.
In addition to being a blogger extraordinaire (ha ha), I work as an archivist, and I’m a pretty decent knitter/crocheter, seamstress, piano player, and history aficionado. My husband, cat, and I settled in New Jersey not long ago, and most of my free time is spent in our garden and complaining about helping out with house projects. My main hobby is gaming, and though I don’t have as much time to game as I used to, I’m still adding games to my backlog. I’m totally can’t wait for the release of GTA V and Beyond: Two Souls.
Are you a Dungeon Master, gamer, cosplayer, have a geeky podcast, blog, or an extensive action figure collection? Are you a comic book writer/artist or storeowner? Do you make geektastic films or viral videos? Are you into geeky crafts or creations? We want to hear from you for a weekly feature on our blog!
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