SwampYankee

A year and one day ago SwampYankee registered in the forums and GWJ is still in the process of recovering. Whether you've taken a trip (to the ground, nose first) in Swamp Air or lived under his vicious rule as commissioner of the GWJ football league you have to admit that Swampy is a pillar of the community. He's also a detective which, let's be perfectly honest here, is awesome.

He would be even cooler if he was a private detective but Mex would probably read that wrong and before you know it there would be grabby chaos.

Who the devil are you?

IÂ'm a late 30Â's gamer who started with things like Magnavision, Intellivision, and the C-64. I started playing role playing and complex board games in high school. Thankfully, I do not have that gene that makes you feel stupid for continuing to do those things into middle age.

What are you supposed to be doing during the day when youÂ're reading GWJ?

IÂ'm the detective division commander for a smallish (52 sworn officers) municipal police department. ItÂ's all just case management, really. And I personally investigate all regicides that occur within the town limits – thatÂ's my bag, baby. Just over 17 years on the job, and am looking forward to starting a second career in 3 more years - Too bad that as a result of being in law enforcement since the age of 19 I am now vocationally retarded. But I hold out hope.

When youÂ're not working or gaming, what do you do with your time?

When IÂ'm not working or gaming, huh? Err, well, not counting boring stuff like yard work and home repairs, IÂ'm just trying to be a good dad and husband. When the weather allows we canoe and swim, and I play golf (very badly). I like to read, history, military history, Clancy/Bond type stuff comic books, and fantasy, and to watch the occasional movie, but the truth is that between working overtime, the aforementioned and much hated Â"maintenanceÂ" around the house, and doing things with the family, I really have time for only one hobby, and that is gaming.

How about family? Do you have any kids?

I married and have two kids, a 12 year old daughter and a 14 year old son. They both are in 4-H and raise animals with the help of my wife. My daughter rides horses and my son shoots archery (but I canÂ't get him to do that move where he stabs one target in the eye with an arrow and then shoots another target with the very same arrow. Yet. Both like to game, too. My daughterÂ's a full blown Zelda nut, she and my wife like allot of the Nintendo classics. Gaming has provided me with a special connection to my son that many fathers donÂ't have. We roleplay together, jump servers together, and always have a way to bridge the gap between father and son thanks to our shared love of games. You may have met him, or perhaps you'll recall a projectile sent into your skull by himÂ"….He likes to assume different noms de guerre and get on a server IÂ'm playing on, unbeknownst to me. He'll then tell me later how he enjoyed hearing me curse his dark deeds. Do the names Â"Lazy UN SoldierÂ" and Â"Joe LampshadeÂ" bring back any bad memories?

What was your favorite game over the last year or so? Why?

Can I name a genre? Thanks. IÂ'd say playing First Person Shooters with the GWJ crew has been the best gaming experience for me over the last few months. IÂ've had so much fun joking around on TeamSpeak and playing with and against the GWJ crew in Battlefield Vietnam, Joint Operations, and Raven Shield, that gaming has become even more of an obsession. I have such vivid memories - being pinned down and calling for help, then watching as Dramatic Marlin swoops in over the rice paddy in Â"HastingsÂ" to blow up a tank menacing me, spamming gas grenades in Raven Shield, trying to talk people into giving "Swampy Airways" one more try at getting it right, and so many others - Things that to me are almost real experiences. Single player IÂ'd have to say that Medieval Total War had me hooked big time. The strategic portion of the game was so deep, and the battles were bloody icing on the cake of my tyranny.

Which game are you looking forward to most?

IÂ'd have to say that Rome Total War has me salivating, as it will be even deeper than MTW. And the fact that it looks gorgeous makes it even more desirable. IÂ'd be lying if I said I wasnÂ't looking forward to WoW, but then who isnÂ't? Playing with my son, my wife, and the GWJ guys will be a real treat. ItÂ'll be my first MMOG, and I canÂ't think of a better one to start with. And all the future mkilitary shooters that I will play with the GWJ gang.

What is your fondest gaming memory?

Before the term Â"LAN PartyÂ" became vogue, GWJers RichyRambo and ShotgunPhil, along with me and a few other guys started getting together about once every 3 or 4 months for a long weekend of gaming. We started calling these Â"DoomFestÂ", as at first they were to play Doom 2. At the time we would hot seat the 4 computers, playing deathmatch and making up team games. Then it was on to co-op Quake, Rainbow Six, Warcraft II, Diablo, Starcraft, Duke Nukem – WeÂ'd eat pizza, drink Snapple, and play until our eyes hurt too much to continue. Then weÂ'd get up the next morning and play again! We continue it to this day, and now my son comes and shares it with us too. Those have been some of the best times of my life. Good friends, good games, and junk food. Booya!

Finally, why do you play games at all? Why havenÂ't you outgrown them?

I guess like many people, theyÂ're a diversion for me. LifeÂ's worries get shelved for a while, and I can concentrate on something other than work and worries. I actually feel sorry for folks that sit in front of a TV and watch crap every night. I feel like gaming helps me keep some semblance of mental acuity. That and itÂ's the only way I can fly helicopters. Hell, I guess it just comes down to this: It keeps me feeling young, and gives me things to look forward to and to laugh about. That it brings me closer to my son is an added blessing.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our hard hitting questions! Any last words?

Sir, I am not aware of any such mission, nor if I was would I be at liberty to discuss it.

Comments

Good friends, good games, and junk food. Booya!

Seconded.

I have a Chief Wiggam action Figure on my desk.

Excellent.