Pulling "The Man" out from behind his cloak of shadows and mystery should promise for some epic reading, at least if you've got nothing better to do, and as we head into E3 week I've had a chance to do just that. Certis, who wears the title of CEO like a freshly earned Boy Scout Badge - right alongside his Medal of Sarcasm and Delegating Authority Patch - is most visible on the site by telling us to write stuff, and locking forum threads, but there's more. So very much more, or so he tells me.
Look, if we could all just pretend to be interested in what he has to say for a moment, that would be great.
Elysium: So, here's the question I've always had: why do people think you're the evil one? You're just a big fluffy kitten far as I can tell.
Certis: You would be right, I'm just a friendly guy trying to keep everyone in line. Sometimes that involves sending threatening private messages and sometimes it means showing up at their door with a rusty hook but that's just my style. I don't mean anything BAD by it really, I just want everyone to have a good time and behave or I'll kill them.
Elysium: So killing people with hooks, that a Canada thing? Never really happens 'round here, and I'm told you're from America Lite.
Certis: I rarely have to resort to actual killing. And I'm offended that you would take my "little Canada" comment from your interview and twist it into something so grotesque.
Elysium: Offended? Wow that was much easier than I'd planned. I had a whole line of questioning full of innuendo about your parentage. Disappointing. Anyway, tell me about life in "Canada".
Certis: Do you mean life for a Canadian, or my life in particular?
Elysium: Well let me check who I'm supposed to be interviewing here ... all of Canada />Noooo. So, let's go with the other one.
Certis: Well, life is pretty good. I'm a self-employed computer consultant with a couple of major clients and a lot of smaller ones here and there. I tend to sleep until10AM or so; sometimes I work in my robe all day and if everything goes according to plan I get to point out the fact that I'm still in my robe to someone who works in a cubicle.
I'll be getting married to Karla (hoochie) on May 22nd after being together for over five years and I just bought an igloo (house, to you Americans) last October so I'm feeling pretty good about life right now.
Elysium: Sounds like a busy, vaguely fulfilling life! With all that consulting, robe wearing, and threatened hookings what kind of games do you find time to play?
Certis: Good approach on that question there, you'll be our interview correspondent at E3 if you keep that up!
Yikes. I'll play anything if it's good. Lately I've been putting quite a bit of time into Winning Eleven 7 (excellent game), World of Warcraft, Rise of Nations, Beyond Divinity, Raven Shield and I just picked up Yoshi's Island and Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga on the GBA for the trip to E3.
Elysium: I'd bring my Gameboy, but all the games for it were stolen ... but let's not bring that up.
I had suspected you were sizing my questions up. Those first few, those were some stinkers - not that you livened it up - but I think we're coming around. You've been doing these interviews for a while now; how does it feel to be the one answering the questions?
Certis: I feel powerless and yet infinitely powerful. It's kind of like moderating the forums really.
Elysium: How ironically paradoxical and yet so totally nonsensical.
Normally this would be the part where you'd ask what the other person's favorite gaming memory is, but that's such a crap question. I mean it's always something trite like the first time they went to a LAN, or the time they played Quake instead of going to prom, or something. Who cares?
So instead, if you could be any member of the A-Team, who would it be? (or you can answer the crappy best gaming memory if you must)
Certis: I uhhh... damn. You know, I barely remember the A-Team. I know Mr.T was in it and that guy.. Doc? Mac? Doogie Howser? No, he was a doctor, had his own show. Spanky? No, that was my Grandma's cat.
You see that? That's a trite response AND I'm going to answer the gaming memory question. Sucker! My fondest gaming memory has got to be playing the XCom: UFO Defense demo that came on floppy disk in a gaming magazine. My brother and I played that thing for months, every day after school. We'd take turns controlling different guys, try new ways to beat the one demo level and eventually get into fist fights over who screwed up the mission.
Elysium: I'm sorry, the correct answer is: Face.
Moving on, I suppose it would be accurate to say you're responsible for the creation of GWJ in several important ways. What the hell made you want to start your own gaming site, and how's it turned out compared to your expectations. And I want more than "It's [adverb] exceeded my expectations". I want a good image of what you imagined GWJ would be.
Certis: Well, what I hoped it would be is what it is right now. A small community of mature gamers who aren't a bunch of idiots chatting about games, playing games together and forming creepy, virtual friendships. What I expected it to be was a three month exercise in futility where you and I talked to ourselves in the forums long after everyone who came over from Evil Avatar to check it lost interest.
As for why I wanted to make a site in the first place, I guess I was just bored with the gaming scene and I was missing the sort of community we had at Evilavatar.com before things changed. I didn't feel like many of the sites were interesting anymore and I knew that my hobby isn't nearly as enjoyable when I can't share it with mature, intelligent people.
Elysium: So, we're like 3/4 the way through this interview and neither of us have said anything offensive about Pyro or Sway yet? So, let me set you up an underhand pitch.
Any thoughts on what you're looking forward to and/or dreading about E3 this week?
Certis: If you would have just given me the question straight I totally would have gotten a shot in without the big blinking neon sign you know. It's like you don't even know me any more!
Anyways, I expect E3 to go a lot like our Teamspeak sessions only I'll SEE Sway drinking a lot and making inappropriate comments about his sister. I'll then have to avoid making eye contact with him and find some excuse to leave. When I do leave I expect to stumble across Pyro making passes at some terrified Japanese journalists while you whisper nonsense to your son (or wife really) over the phone.
Elysium: Or is it that I know you too well? I wonder if Sway will not answer us when we're talking to him in person the way he does over Teamspeak. I picture us trying to talk to him at the Meet and Geek, and he's just sitting there blinking and drinking.
So, I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. It's like interviewing a glacier. I keep nodding off waiting for your response. You have any final words?
Certis: First of all, I find your insults and sarcasm to be hurtful and I demand an apology sir!
Elysium: I'm sorry, I dozed off in the four minutes it took you to write that one sentence.
Certis: If you must know, I'm watching The Office so it takes time to come up with responses to this drivel. Yes, I called it drivel, we're all thinking it. Last words... last words. Well, I want everyone know that despite these self-serving, masturbatory "interviews" GWJ is really all about the community and we have very little to do with its success even though we do like to partake in the occasional bout of virtual back slapping. I want to thank everyone for making this a place I really enjoy visiting every day and I hope you stick with us as we continue to grow until we crumble under the weight of our success and start pushing McGriddles.