Since taking up the mantle of Employee Profiles this year, I (with help from the GWJ staff) have had the privilege of selecting which community member would be featured in these profiles. Now, it's your turn.
I present to you, Employee Profile: The People's Choice. For the next week, I'll be accepting suggestions for the final employee profile of the year. Don't PM it to me; don't post it in the comments; don't add it to the thread that (re)started it all. Only nominations submitted through the form will be accepted. And yes, much like the presidential candidates, you can vote for yourself.
Now, let's learn about a man from Iowa. (And if anyone can point me at "the TF2 forums," I'd appreciate it. They don't show up on the list for me. ;))
Psych is a man from Iowa, but let me assure you: He is not a corn farmer. He did take me to a tractor parade when I visited him though, so I'm only 75% sure of this.
Psych stands out to me as a testament to the determination of a man to play video games on the internet. His internet setups have been among the most ridiculous I've ever seen: At one point, calling him on his home phone made his modem lose internet connectivity. Somehow this was considered an improvement over his previous setup, which I'm pretty sure was reliant on clear skies over Kansas City to pick up a wireless signal strong enough to play an FPS.
I first started gaming with Psych back in college in Chicago almost ten years ago, but we both graduated and moved away to different parts of the continent. He has remained an online staple for me and many other goodjers. He's a regular on the Stan's lounge TF2 server, killing mannes and kicking jerks; he was definitely the most emo Loremaster in the Landroval server for the GWJ LotRO kinship; and more recently, he's a regular squaddie in goodjer Firefall runs.
I can honestly say I know very few people who are as instantly likeable as Psych. He has a disarmingly friendly and easy-going manner that does an admirable job of hiding the rage that seethes beneath. I'm sure the regulars on the GWJ TF2 server will agree, Psych is one of best people you've ever called a jerk.
1) Who the devil are you?
My name is Scott, I am a 31 year old male who lives in Iowa. On purpose. Sort of. I went to college in the Chicago suburbs, stuck around after graduation, then suffered some sort of existential crisis and thought I should move back to my home town of Pella. I am still waiting to see if this was a good or bad idea.
2) What are you supposed to be doing when you're reading GWJ?
I currently work at a facility that works with people with disabilities. I work in their residential program, which means when I clock in to work I have at least 24 hours before I am getting out of there. It's similar to what I was doing in Chicago when I decided that this was not what I wanted to do forever, so I can now see how many steps forward I have taken ... .
3) When you're not working or gaming, what do you do with your time?
I love reading a good book. There is a definite increase in my happiness level when I am working through a new book. I also enjoy movies, music, food.
4) How about family? Kids? Pets? Particularly meaningful inanimate objects?
Well, at this point I am single, no known kids and my apartment doesn't really allow pets. I guess I am rather attached to my phone, but it is new, so that is to be expected.
5) When and/or how did you get into gaming?
This one has so many answers. My first gaming experience has to be the Nintendo my sister and I got when I was 6. I remember watching my sister play Super Mario 2, or her getting the neighborhood kids together to watch me beat Zelda for the first time.
Shortly after this, my dad bought our first family computer and I remember playing Tank Wars with my dad and my sister. So many hours spent playing that delightfully simple game, which taught me the danger of stupid people.
Another notable game from my youth would have to be the Wing Commander series. Which I suppose is many games, but that was the first series I really dove into, the first story that really captured and shocked me.
6) What is your fondest gaming memory?
I think I have a couple here as well. The first has to be the first time I tried to take down Mother Brain in Metroid. I had jammed my thumb on the playground that day, and when I was trying to frantically fire missiles I heard and felt a crunching noise. I kept going, but my thumb still makes some strange noises to this day.
My other would have to be in college when my roommate, Nihilo, got me into first-person shooters. I was the Layout Editor for the school newspaper, so I had access to their fantastically new computers. We installed Medal of Honor: Allied Assault on the two machines down there, and used to spend hour after tense hour stalking each other. I will say he was significantly better than me, but playing against him definitely elevated my game. We finally put a stop to our one-on-one battles when we both decided we were tired of actually getting scared when we got shot.
We then moved on to getting more of our friends involved, which culminated in the biggest LAN game we put together, getting (I think) 24 of our friends into the computer labs on one night. We actually divided the teams evenly and each took a side. I am quite happy to say that while he was the much better player, my team performed better that evening.
7) Why do you play games? Why haven't you outgrown them?
I suppose the biggest reason is that it is a one of the biggest ways I have kept in touch with people. I am typically pretty horrible at keeping in touch with friends and family, and gaming has helped.
I still get together two or three times with my best friend from grade and high school to play video games, stay up way too late, and just catch up. And video games are one of the big reasons my closest college friends and I still talk on a regular basis. We are always on the look-out for the next 4-person co-op game we can dive into.
8) If you could live in a videogame world, which would it be? Why?
Man, this is a crazy question. I mean, I could pick some type of terrifying world where I could be incredibly powerful, but honestly I think I would pick some game where everything is quiet and safe, and maybe everyone is financially stable. Ugh, I've gotten old and lame.
9) What is your favorite game over the last year or so? Why?
I think, for this past year I would have to go with XCOM. They did a great job of capturing my nostalgia for the original game, but updated it to simplify everything. I actually just started playing it again yesterday, which is why it took me so long to finish writing this.
10) What is your favorite game that you’re playing right now? Why?
This is such a toss-up. Again, I just started playing through XCOM again. I also just picked up Borderlands 2, loved the original, and have not been disappointed so far with that. I am also STILL playing Team Fortress 2, and the hours I have put into that game have to mean something. Also, please no one check my hours in Football Manager 2012. Ah yes, the why. I started playing Team Fortress 2 shortly after the release, and honestly it is probably what brought me to GWJ. The community for that game is amazing. You know who you are. Football Manager ... is really easy to leave running when I go to work for 48 straight hours. And then to keep playing when I am home for the next 72. It is hard to explain, but I think it is my crack. [Editor's note: That is not how crack works.]
11) Which upcoming game are you looking forward to most? Why?
I am pretty bad at staying on top of what is coming out, and when. But I left this question here so the numbers are sequential and I then I don't have to go crazy.
12) What first brought you to GWJ? What keeps you coming back?
Like I said before, TF2 was the game that first brought me here, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention Nihilo and Secret Asian Man. They are the people that first turned me on to this community of gamers. I admit, I was very hesitant at first, but they convinced me and I have been here since.
It took me quite a while to really get into GWJ. I used to just lurk in the TF2 forums, hardly posting. I felt like I belonged a bit more when I started posting there a bit more, but really I would say it was when I started hopping in the GWJ IRC channel that I really felt like a part of the community. Those people are terrible and wonderful at the same time.
13) Is there a particular forum on GWJ that you frequent/favor? Why?
Well, my first year or so here I am pretty sure I didn't leave the TF2 forums. I have slowly branched out since then, but I do still stay clear of P&C. That place is full of anger and tears.
14) What is the story behind your handle?
Ah yes. "Psych." I went through quite a few handles in college and beyond before I settled on Psych. Two of my favorites were "I'm a pretty lady" (from Home Movies) or Swiss Miss. But I kept getting teenage boys flirting with me, so I decided I needed to find something a little more "me." After a few attempts where I realized I will never be pretentious enough for a really cool name, I settled on "Psych." It was my favorite show at the time, and it fit the criteria of being short and easy to say.
15) What is the story behind your tag (This is awkward)?
Again, Nihilo is the credit here. Hmm, he is coming off pretty well in this whole thing. Well, he's a jerk. Anyway, my tag. "This is awkward" is a phrase I found myself saying far too often. In Vent while raiding in LotRO, I don't think I could go a night without saying it. Nihilo also lived with me in college for a few years, so I he is very used to me finding someway of turning a normal social encounter into something much, much worse. I wouldn't say I am an awkward person, but I have a knack for finding the awkwardness in any situation. It's my superpower.
16) Do you have any notable rivalries and/or friendships with someone on GWJ?
Again, I have to mention Nihilo, Secret Asian Man, and the very infrequent poster BogusZ. Three of my closest friends from college, who have put up with me and my awkward emotional outbursts in games since 2003. You guys are great, and gaming wouldn't be the same without you.
Next would have to be Dimmerswitch. The first person from GWJ to really transcend from forum friend to actual friend. Dimmer and I both went through a spell of unemployment recently, and it was great to have someone going through the same thing to help take my mind off things with a conversation or a game. I still miss our midday TF2 pub stomps.
Of course, Badferret, I will not leave you out. We bonded over Lord Of The Rings Online, and when I realized that when I wasn't playing LotRO he would stalk me in the forums just to torment me. A wonderfully nice man, who just had a baby (Congrats again!) and is still trying to convince me to give Guild Wars 2 a shot. Sorry I missed the free weekend; I got the stomach flu. It was horrible.
This is where things get dicey, because I am now realize there are far too many people to list here. I should list every single person I have played TF2 with, as they are all wonderful people. I should mention ukickmydog, who handled the accidental banning incident with grace and isn't as horrible as everyone wants to believe, and MyBrainHz, who has done a wonderful job pseudo-leading the group and dealing with my iron fist when dealing with pubbies.
Anyone who feels like they should have been mentioned here, I am sorry. If you plead your case with me I will try to give you a write-up in the comments. This is terrifying, and I hope I never win an award.
Oh yes, I must mention Laarrs, who is and always will be my enemy. You, sir, are horrible.
17) Thanks for taking the time to answer our hard-hitting questions! Any last words?
Apparently my last words should be "Don't forget to answer the last question." [Editor's note: I had to get Psych to type this up as we went to press since I didn't notice it was missing until then.] I suppose I could also get all emotional and talk about some of the wonderfully nice things I have seen this community do over the years. I could mention how many laughs I get from the forums and the people.
I guess I will say I am glad I signed up. I was hesitant, as I am with many new things. I was hesitant to sign up for this forum when it was suggested, but I did, and here I am. I was hesitant to do my first Slap & Tickle (almost forgot to mention you, Kannon, St. Hillary and APErebus!) but I did, and I had a great time.
I am glad I am here, thanks for having me.