If you run a website long enough, eventually you'll reach a point where you can't imagine it without certain people. Danjo neatly fits into that catagory, being someone who always seems to be around when I'm playing games online. If games were like Cheers, everyone would yell his name when he logs onto the server. He's a sturdy presence, you can count on him to kick some ass if he's on your team. You can also count on feeling pretty good about kicking HIS ass if you manage to score a kill on him. This is Danjo Olivaw's profile.
Who the devil are you?
One fourth of Team Awesome, one third of GWJ's cursing contribution to Xbox Live, and five twelfths of something else.
What are you supposed to be doing during the day when you're reading GWJ?
More often than not I'm supposed to be doing boring clerical stuff involving invoices, manila folders, envelopes, and the like. I'm a middleman between middlemen, in a company that functions solely as a middleman for other companies, and I try not to think about it. Nothing is produced, our profit margins are high, and no great service is provided. For a while this was amusing, like I was wandering around in Catch-22. Since that motivator evaporated I try to remind myself that I like to eat, but I don't really like to eat, so I guess I keep showing up for the sake of consistency.
Sometimes a stray belligerent post makes its way from LSUS, where I'm perpetually one year away from teaching the high school maths. Sines, fractals, and rhombuses aren't going to insinuate themselves into the minds of future generations. Well, fractals might.
How about family? Kids? Pets? Particularly meaningful inanimate objects?
I don't have any of those things. Thanks for asking.
What was your favorite game over the last year or so? Why?
That's a rough one. Last year was a killer. A single year isn't enough time to judge these games objectively, but I think I'll have to go with Halo 3. The last thing that game needs is another advertisement, but combat mechanics, indulgently scifi setting, and enemy AI just gel with me. The ability to run through it, with the rest of Team Awesome is irresistible.
Which game are you looking forward to most?
It's difficult to tell. There's a slew of coin-toss releases coming in the next year, each with potential but with a fifty percent chance of turning up crap. Resident Evil 5 seems like the best sure thing, so long as the recently announced coop pans out. Resident Evil 4 was glorious, but begged for a second player to team up with back-to-back.
Most of the others don't really strike me as sure things, even if they have the potential to be pretty amazing.
What is your fondest gaming memory?
The first time I saw Mario 64 in a kiosk at Sears, thinking, "The bastards finally did it. They made a world." They didn't just describe it with words, or paint a two dimensional sliver, but crafted something new from scratch, right out of their minds. It takes quite a bit to humble a thirteen year old, but that first romp in the Mushroom Kingdom was more than enough.
Finally, why do you play games at all? Why haven't you outgrown them?
It's mostly for the worlds. The medium itself presents all these opportunities for the exploration of fantastic settings. I can't help but wonder what's around the next hill. I have to know.
Beyond that there's the element how these fake worlds relate to how we perceive abstract concepts, misusing our built in ability to understand the world in three dimensions in order to form analogies for abstract counterparts. We think of the future as in front of us, unless your an obscure tribe that reverses the analogy. Words are on the tips of our tongues.
There's this forced application of space to ideas, and so I can't shake the feeling that there's a relationship there to the worlds we run around in games. If abstract ideas can take place in space, what about abstract spaces crafted entirely from ideas? I think there might be some insight hiding around one of these hills.
Maybe not, but since I'm looking anyway I might as well pay attention.
Also, they're something I can get better at. Learning by itself is fun, and games provide opportunities for learning in a manner that is accelerated enough to provide an opportunity to learn about how we learn. Give us a new control scheme we must figure out how to walk again. That's an amazing tool.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our hard hitting questions! Any last words?
Make sure to define victory for yourself, because winning isn't the point, it's the context.