Wordsmythe

If you ever want to make a splash at Gamers With Jobs, you could do worse than being a long-winded smart ass with a philosophical bent. Wordsmythe certainly joined our community with style, quickly making a name for himself by hounding Elysium's every step and pouncing at the first sign of a grammatical error. The fastest way to my heart is abusing Elysium, so it's no surprise that I choose him for our first Employee Profile in quite a long time.

Read on for the interview!

"Who the [fudge] invited E Munnie anyway?" – Gumbie (among others)

1)Who the devil are you?

It's been said that I am the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled. Grandma says I'm a heart-breaker. I'll leave the decision up to you on whether you want to believe the anonymous, missing actor in that passive-voiced first sentence or if you want to believe a little, kind, old lady from a small town in Wisconsin.

My grandma also calls me "Erik" sometimes. My folks chose to spell it "the Swedish way" so that I could have "ethnicity" and "heritage." It also helps me tell from the envelope whether I was getting junk mail or bills.

As for my GWJ and XBLA tags, you can pronounce them however you want (it is the object of the signifier that is important, after all), just as long as we all know you're talking about me. Actually, just talking about me is what's important.

They started as intentional misspellings of "word-smith" and "E Money." These are actual things people have called me, which I find only slightly troubling.

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

I do insurance work in a cubicle. I realize that it's the sort of job I would claim to have if I was asked by someone in a bar and I wanted to make them lose interest in me. I like it well enough, but I often daydream about being a professor... or Adam Sandler.

How about family? Kids? Pets? Particularly meaningful inanimate objects?

"I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel." I come from a family of five kids, but there's no "Mrs. Wordsmythe" just yet.

I think my Weber grill is pretty sexy, though. I won't make the obvious pun there. I sometimes think about purchasing a dog or a Roomba. Also, I have this thing for E Hunnie.

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

Does XBLA Joust count? I sure like that one. It's got enhanced graphics (i.e., an non-black background) now! …Have I started every answer with a lame joke so far? Does that count as a game? I'm pretty good at it. I wouldn't call myself a "winner" per se, though.

On the "games as art" side, I really love BioShock and Mass Effect. BioShock did a lot of great things in terms of storytelling and in terms of meta-textual notions of volition and ethics in gaming. Mass Effect doesn't do as much outside the game itself, but it does an awfully good job of allowing for and adapting to various characters you may choose to role-play (and I'm a pretty big fan of RP). The character morality idea that was so lauded in Black & White, KotOR, BioShock, etc. was really intelligently done in ME.

On the "just games" side, I really dig the Rock Band-GH games as well as the Wii games. I don't know that I feel emotionally invested in them, though. I like them more the way I like ice cream.

Which game are you looking forward to most?

There are a lot of great games out now or soon to be released. My gamer cup truly runneth over with casual and lighter games, as well as with deeper games that, as of yet, haven't had all their expectations entirely quashed (e.g., Fable 2 and Too Human), but the top of my excitement is reserved for Fallout 3 and the Napoleonic miniatures rules I've been helping create with some friends and family. Who doesn't love pewter?

What is your fondest gaming memory?

That would probably go back to playing games with my brother as a kid. He's always been more "left brained" (and rather obsessive) and appreciates the challenge of grinding and the puzzle aspect of min/maxing characters. Rather than chart the desert in King's Quest 5 myself, I gave him some graph paper and a can of pop and went to bed. This worked well for RPG leveling, too. We had a really good time with Betrayal at Krondor and Ultima 7. We had a worse time when we got a new computer while playing U7 and had to reinstall it. He pulled out the 3.5 before it was done reading...

Wait, that's probably not a good memory.

Once we were both in high school, I helped found an RPG club so that I could more efficiently dork out those afternoons I wasn't already spending nerding it up with debate team and marching band. This might not surprise people, but I liked giving my fellow players a hard time in game: little moments like when my cleric was asked to heal the character who had neglected his friends in battle in favor of a lust for loot. The cleric laid his hands on the wounded dwarf and… cast inflict serious wounds. "My god is a god of vengeance!" declared the cleric.

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

Is not all the world a game, and we merely quarters passing through its seedy, red-lit bowels?

I find it telling that nobody seems to ask this sort of question to an adult who plays sports recreationally into his or her adult years. Certainly sports tend to provide a side-benefit of exercise, but that is seldom the primary reason they're played. They're played for fun and for community.

Once upon a time, it was considered uncouth for a grown man to engage in any but a very select few physical activities. Instead they were expected to do things like read and write poetry for fun – and what kind of a nerd would do that? (Did I mention I love poetry?) Times have changed, but nobody will call you childish for reading Joyce or Milton. I'm not saying that Ken Levine is gaming's Kerouac, but he might at least be a Heinlein.

I also find it important to note that sports, poetry, and video games tend to be associated with drinking for me. Maybe most things do. That's a good thing, right?

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

You're more than welcome, though you can probably tell that I have a tendency to avoid direct answers. I considered answering each question by drawing in the dirt and then telling a parable, but decided not to. As for last worlds, I was going to go with the "boneitis" quote, but Luna already took it. I'm not going to pout about it (here), though. Thanks for taking an interest, and thanks for providing such a wonderful site for us to fill with over-analysis and navel-gazing. Butt pats all around!

Comments

You've got the whole John Belushi eyebrow thing going on in the second pic.

IMAGE(http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/153/3695~Senator-Blutarsky-John-Belushi-Posters.jpg)

Sweet interview. No mention of how Chicago is the greatest city in the world?

Can't wait to partake in some Weber grilling this summer as well.

boogle wrote:
5 on Jazzhands.
Word doesn't have the height. :)

You are extremely overestimating my level of competitiveness.

McChuck wrote:
You are extremely overestimating my level of competitiveness.

At least tell me you're a mean drunk?

An excellent subject for the return of the Employee Profiles! Nice write-up, Wordsy!

Podunk wrote:
Nice write-up, Wordsy! :drink:

You guys are always complimenting the front page articles. We all know this one is old news.

wordsmythe wrote:
Podunk wrote:
Nice write-up, Wordsy! :drink:

You guys are always complimenting the front page articles. We all know this one is old news. ;)

All right then. You smell and you're mother dresses you funny.

cartoonin99 wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
Podunk wrote:
Nice write-up, Wordsy! :drink:

You guys are always complimenting the front page articles. We all know this one is old news. ;)

All right then. You smell and you're mother dresses you funny. :D

Also, Full Windsor? I mean, that's only for fat guys, come on. Step up your tie based game.

McChuck wrote:
boogle wrote:
5 on Jazzhands.
Word doesn't have the height. :)

You are extremely overestimating my level of competitiveness.

Having seen both of them standing next to each other, I am betting on Jazzhands and his massive guns.

Good to see that you finally got your name in lights word. And I'm very glad to see that you have outstanding taste in women.

Cheers!

Cool to see/read you, Wordy. I wonder who'll be next.

Duoae wrote:
Cool to see/read you, Wordy. I wonder who'll be next.

Check back in a year and the next one might be up.

Thin_J wrote:
Duoae wrote:
Cool to see/read you, Wordy. I wonder who'll be next.

Check back in a year and the next one might be up.

Hehe, my thoughts exactly.

boogle wrote:
Also, Full Windsor? I mean, that's only for fat guys, come on. Step up your tie based game.

What are you, a lobbyist for used car salesmen? Half Windsors are only for those without enough skill or class to go full.

wordsmythe wrote:
boogle wrote:
Also, Full Windsor? I mean, that's only for fat guys, come on. Step up your tie based game.

What are you, a lobbyist for used car salesmen? Half Windsors are only for those without enough skill or class to go full.

Or for those of us who are skinny or tall. The Full windsor dominates a neck under 17 or 18 inches. What, I blame private school.

Party type, intellectual with all that poetry, good looking girl in other photo, trendy yet scary sunglasses...
Works at insurance company, Word Nerd and spends a lot of time playing games and posting on here.

It's like Ying and Yang. Cool to see some insight behind the scenes.

kilroy0097 wrote:
Party type, intellectual with all that poetry, good looking girl in other photo, trendy yet scary sunglasses...
Works at insurance company, Word Nerd and spends a lot of time playing games and posting on here.

It's like Ying and Yang. Cool to see some insight behind the scenes.


Walt Whitman wrote:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

boogle wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
Half Windsors are only for those without enough skill or class to go full.
Or for those of us who are skinny or tall. The Full windsor dominates a neck under 17 or 18 inches. What, I blame private school.

You see in that picture the fattest double I've ever worn. Like I said, it's a knot that takes more skill than the average cable actor might be able to manage.

Schoolboys might stick to the schoolboy, also known as the four-in-hand. Juveniles, after all, are expected to be sloppy.

wordsmythe wrote:

Schoolboys might stick to the schoolboy, also known as the four-in-hand. Juveniles, after all, are expected to be sloppy.

Schoolboys can also tie a tie, button a shirt, throw on a jacket and sprint towards chapel all at the same time. Life skills taught to me by the Episcopalians.
Sing your song to your self good sir.

boogle wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
boogle wrote:
Also, Full Windsor? I mean, that's only for fat guys, come on. Step up your tie based game.

What are you, a lobbyist for used car salesmen? Half Windsors are only for those without enough skill or class to go full.

Or for those of us who are skinny or tall. The Full windsor dominates a neck under 17 or 18 inches. What, I blame private school.

Catholic high school. When I graduated, I was 5"11" and 145 lbs. I think a 16" neck. I wore a Windsor every day. My father, rightfully, taught it to me as the proper way to wear a tie. Never used anything else.

It's only too wide if you're buying cheap ass ties, like the wide polyester stuff I picked up at the thrift store.

I knew lots of guys who went four years without learning to actually tie one. They slid them over their head and hung them in lockers for use tomorrow. Some did this despite knowing how to tie.

Wordy's definitely right on this one. If you're too lazy to tie your neckwear appropriately, move south and buy some bolos. Don't spout off crap like, "Step up your tie based game" when you're almost guaranteed to be doing it quick and dirty, instead of for fashion reasons.

EDIT: Furthermore, don't ever make me agree with Wordy again!

People still wear ties?

Quintin_Stone wrote:
People still wear ties?

Didn't you know? They double as the human female equivalent of fly paper - apparently they give off an air of intellectual competence, especially when coupled with a blazer of some sort.

I myself am unable to tie a full windsor (was never taught and following the guides on wikipedia doesn't seem to help either) but i'm perfectly happy with a half windsor - not that i wear ties very often.

Duoae wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
People still wear ties?

Didn't you know? They double as the human female equivalent of fly paper - apparently they give off an air of intellectual competence, especially when coupled with a blazer of some sort.

They're also a big arrow that points at your penis. Who could resist such a double whammy?

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

They're also a big arrow that points at your penis. Who could resist such a double whammy?

Note to short people: don't wear long ties.

LilCodger wrote:

Wordy's definitely right on this one. If you're too lazy to tie your neckwear appropriately, move south and buy some bolos. Don't spout off crap like, "Step up your tie based game" when you're almost guaranteed to be doing it quick and dirty, instead of for fashion reasons.

EDIT: Furthermore, don't ever make me agree with Wordy again!

I have a 16 inch neck, 6'3" and 175. In highschool senior year I was 6' and 135. Full Windsors looked comical and still do. Everyone I know wheres halfs, and I personally like them better.
And I don't do it quick and dirty. I do it quick and clean.
And full windsors are seriously a flip and a pull more. It doesn't add more than a 10% increase to time. I choose half for style reasons.
Except when I have a bowtie. I have to sit down to tie those.

Full windsors belong in the 50s with the rest of the dinosaurs.

EDIT: Furthermore, don't ever make me agree with boogle again!

boogle wrote:
LilCodger wrote:

Wordy's definitely right on this one. If you're too lazy to tie your neckwear appropriately, move south and buy some bolos. Don't spout off crap like, "Step up your tie based game" when you're almost guaranteed to be doing it quick and dirty, instead of for fashion reasons.

EDIT: Furthermore, don't ever make me agree with Wordy again!

I have a 16 inch neck, 6'3" and 175. In highschool senior year I was 6' and 135. Full Windsors looked comical and still do. Everyone I know wheres halfs, and I personally like them better.
And I don't do it quick and dirty. I do it quick and clean.
And full windsors are seriously a flip and a pull more. It doesn't add more than a 10% increase to time. I choose half for style reasons.

Seriously, buy better ties, or adjust your tying. I only have the width problem on low quality ties, or when I do it wrong. I don't mean expensive either. I've picked up some very nice ties at Value City for $7, and thrift stores for $1.

boogle wrote:
Except when I have a bowtie. I have to sit down to tie those.

You have me on that front. My tux is equipped with the rental standard wrap/clip job. Bow ties are pure masochism to get right.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Full windsors belong in the 50s with the rest of the dinosaurs.

EDIT: Furthermore, don't ever make me agree with boogle again!

Heh.
And codger, as I said its taste. I like my tie knots thin.

kilroy0097 wrote:
It's like Ying and Yang. Cool to see some insight behind the scenes.

It's Yin. No "G."

Sorry, pet peeve. Continue with the tie debate.

boogle wrote:
Schoolboys can also tie a tie, button a shirt, throw on a jacket and sprint towards chapel all at the same time.

So true, I used to get to school in jeans and a t-shirt at 7:55 and be in coat and tie (half windsor at the time) a whole building away by 7:59 before the last bell.

boogle wrote:
Except when I have a bowtie. I have to sit down to tie those.

Since we are talking about the important things in life like "I can tie a full windsor at a full run, or in my case I can tie a bowtie in the dark, I thought the men here would like to see the 75 things that Esquire thinks we all should be able to do. Bowtie tying is #16.

boogle wrote:
And codger, as I said its taste. I like my tie knots thin.

I really don't give rat's ass how you like your tie, or what you prefer. It's also about class. I've been in enough meetings where people who wear the wrong ties, or their ties wrong, or an ill fitting suit, or old shoes, or ... are passed up for hiring or promotion. The first time I died a little inside.

I'm not trying to defend that hideous thing at the top of the thread (looks great on you though Wordy! ), nor am I trying to defend fashion nazis. I wear jeans and t-shirts to work. Just don't delude yourself into thinking it doesn't matter, because sometimes it does. You want to wear a half to your sister's wedding? Fine. Going to a job interview? I'd highly recommend a properly tied Windsor.