Today we feature the motley muse, Minarchist. And to tell us a little more about him, the bland bard, Boogle.
I met Minarchist on the bloodied hills of the Stan's lounge TF2 server. Little did I know at the time that TF2 would turn into the world's foremost combat hatte simulator and that Minarchist's own foppish tendencies would do him well in the new hatte-based future that awaited us all.
As time has gone on, we have all grown to know Minarchist better. Minarchist the frequent P&C poster. Minarchist the lover of smoked meats. Minarchist the dandy of sartorial wisdom.
Is Minarchist what is best in all of us?
Probably not. He does wear the hell out of a Panama hat though, which is pretty cool.
1) Who the devil are you?
Andy High. In the flesh. The man; the myth; the legend. I was born in Kentucky to young parents [insert stereotypical barefoot and pregnant joke], then moved to Nashville, Tennessee for college and just ... never left. It's a pretty fun place.
2) What are you supposed to be doing when you're reading GWJ?
Mostly trying to make the music industry suck slightly less. I work in product and marketing for a pretty big publisher, so I spend my days pitching songs to print and merchandise licensees, selling and positioning product to retailers, and managing all the licensed relationships. I also oversee the products we still create, and do a lot of writing and editing of press releases, marketing copy, and the like. Currently shopping around, though. I also still keep up a freelance business of arranging, orchestrating, typesetting, and just about anything else that could possibly need to be done to music — I've even managed to score a few commercials and indie movies.
3) When you're not working or gaming, what do you do with your time?
I'm an armchair economist, avid cyclist, chess connoisseur, unabashed libertarian, techaholic, green thumb, hat habitué, insufferable food/wine snob, and fly-by-night fashion fanatic. I also tend to enjoy a few things involving games and video equipment from time to time. Pointing out editorial errors to my wife in major publications like USA Today is always fun, too.
4) How about family? Kids? Pets? Particularly meaningful inanimate objects?
I live with a wife of ten years this month (hi, honey!), a Disney princess rapidly rounding the corner on four years of age, and a son still pushing his canines through. We have two dogs, both half-bred Great Pyrenees: one with a Samoyed, the other a Sheltie (the logistical implications of which are both staggering and hilarious). So far, all five of these creatures have managed to coexist peacefully while I'm at work, but I'm just waiting for the day when I walk through the door to a scene of unimaginable carnage. My money's on the 9-month-old as the last man standing; he has shifty eyes and a grip that can grind Cheerios to dust.
5) When and/or how did you get into gaming?
There were 300-baud modems, deliriously happy Christmas morning unwrappings of NES systems, and arcades involved, but if I had to pinpoint what really drew me in, it was probably the early adventure game. My very first memorable experience with said adventuresome visual novels was at the house of an uncle who built PCs on the side (back when this was a new thing). He sat me down in front of Zork and then left to continue grilling copious amounts of meat for one of those large family gatherings that most of us only have very vague memories of due to heatstroke and over-consumption of undercooked hot dogs. I was really young, and didn't fully grasp what was going on as I poked innocently around the abandoned house in the starting scene. I spent too long upstairs and was, of course, eaten by a grue. This made quite an impression on me (I think there was running to mommy involved), particularly that a game of simple words could be so affecting. I was hooked.
6) Why do you play games? Why haven't you outgrown them?
Eh, there's nothing good on TV.
7) What is your favorite game over the last year or so? Why?
Catherine, with Nier a close second (about which I've already written plenty), with El Shaddai and Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors as my "not really for everyone but I loved them to pieces" picks. (Yes, that's four games.) Catherine mostly for a deceptively deep puzzle system and for being the first game ever that actually took an honest, realistic look at real adults' real relationships and issues, like divorce, apathy, cheating, and not knowing what to do with your life. Also that whole positive feedback loop of gameplay tying into the narrative that Atlus has been very good with lately.
The astute observer will note that all four of these are Japanese. Contrary to the generally-accepted wisdom, [dons hipster glasses] I've found Japan's titles to be far more original, eccentric, and willing to take risks than Western games in the last year or two.
8) What is your favorite game that you’re playing right now? Why?
Maybe this is cheating since I've played it before, but I do so enjoy giving Quintin Stone cirrhosis and bringing Elysium to the brink of tears, so I'll say Persona 3. I've been the trench-coat-wearing corner-walking pusher who's gotten a sizable chunk of GWJ playing this game right now, so when I received my copy back in the mail after loaning it to another fellow GWJer, I decided to pop it back in. I know, "don't smoke your own stash" and all, but damn if this isn't one of the best games ever made, top-to-bottom. I mean, how many games get their own discussion thread five years after release?
9) What first brought you to GWJ? What keeps you coming back?
I only read it for the articles. Er, uh, that is to say, I got a taste of the front page some years back, and appreciated that it wasn't a bunch of hyper-adolescent boys drooling over what game had the biggest explosions and/or boobs. Not that there's anything wrong with either explosions and/or boobs (though I don't want to see the two combined into exploding boobs) ... uh, where was I? Oh, right. So I started reading the front page because it was a bastion of sanity in the whirling tide pool of pubescent testosterone that was and is most of games journalism. Also, the centerfolds are HOT.
A few years later I ventured into the forums and discovered that they were also a cut above the norm and quite an enjoyable place to hang out and pretend to work, probably thanks in no small part to Shawn's iron fist when it comes to moderating. Shawn's bulging, rock-hard, leather-and-stud-clad- ... uh, where was I again?
10) What is the story behind your handle?
For a long time I was greenboy, Green Shoes, or some variation thereof pretty much every place I posted. Then I joined XBL and all of those names were taken. I didn't want any numbers or handles after my name, so I started trying vaguely descriptive words until I found one that was available. I think Minarchist was the twelfth one I tried.
Heh. That word looks funny. "Twelfth."
11) Do you have any notable rivalries and/or friendships with someone on GWJ?
- To ClockworkHouse: The many speaks to us.
- To all my TF2 homies: We've had some good times, haven't we? Let's go kill ukick one more time and reminisce.
- To Quintin Stone: It's been fun sending you to an early grave. Persona? Persona!
- To Elysium: It has been far too long since I've pilfered your pawns, burgled your bishops, and nicked your knights. We must remedy that.
- To SallyNasty: Forgive me, father, for I have sinned: It has been three days since my last achievement.
- To wordsmythe: [shakes fist angrily] wordsmythe!
- To M0nk3yboy: Glad you could be there for the birth of my son. Well, almost.
12) If you had to describe yourself as the illegitimate love child of two of the podcasters, which two would you choose, and why?
Well, I have the wispy, not-really-a-beard facial hair of Shawn, and I do enjoy both Rock Band and chess just like Sean ... and there was that one night, when the moon was full and they forgot the Pillow of Heterosexuality ... but I'd probably have to choose Lara and Erik. Lara because our choice in literature is pretty much identical, and Erik because, well, I'm a card-carrying member of The Society of Pedants. [Editor's note: There is no card. Minarchist is a liar.]
13) Thanks for taking the time to answer our hard-hitting questions! Any last words?
To all the wives, husbands, and significant others who have been neglected; to all the pregnant bookshelves heavy with the weight of many games placed upon them; to all those hounded daily by Bak'laag and his minions; to the moth-eaten wallets and red-balance bank account — I am sorry for so ebulliently shouting the praises of these great games. Well, not that sorry; they are pretty fun. Okay, a little sorry. I guess.
P.S. come join us and play adventure games!