Employee Profile: Strangeblades
I don't honestly know where to start with this.
I told myself this would be easy. I'd just go with the "wild Stangleblades appears!" angle, or maybe treat him like an endangered animal we were tracking for a documentary. Somehow I figure that even a fictional safari would quickly turn into a retelling of Apocalypse Now (or Heart Of Darkness, Far Cry 2, etc.). The point is, Strangeblades is no more man than he is a force of nature. To enter his secluded, foreign enclave, crawling from Lake Huron along unmarked estuaries, is to enter the living realm of a mad god. The journey alone is enough to make you lose your mind, but perhaps that madness is itself a form of enlightenment.
Flip on an old Doors LP, and let the madness flow through you.
1) Who the devil are you?
I'm the guy that always looks familiar on those wanted posters at the police station. In real life I'm Shannon Quesnel. I popped out of another human in Toronto (Hi Mom!), moved to ye old rust town of Coniston, then migrated to Sudbury. By the way, all those places are somewhere in Canuckistan, just past the de-militarized zone. I tried out three different high schools and found out secondary school education wasn't for me so I hit college and took the only course I liked and was qualified for – jorbalism (journalism).
2) What are you supposed to be doing when you're reading GWJ?
I'm a reporter-photographer by day, sometimes a hack-shutterbug by night and an underpaid shill on weekends. I work for a small weekly newspaper in Elliot Lake, Ontario. That's a 'city' of 11,000 people 2.5 hours east of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The average age of residents here is 55 years, so that makes me young blood :). (I'm 40; I like parentheses and a long walk through a hail of gunfire). [Editor's Note: He also likes leaving out commas.]
3) When you're not working or gaming, what do you do with your time?
After seeing the second season finale of Game of Thrones on HBO, I jumped into reading the books via Kindle. And that's about it. Currently, I'm looking for a hobby other than reading and video gaming.
4) How about family? Kids? Pets? Particularly meaningful inanimate objects?
I am married to Lasherthecat (Katherine Quesnel). We hitched our wagons about 12 years ago. We have two cats, Lasher and Giles, named after Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and an Anne Rice character. As for inanimate objects I have two skulls sitting on my desk. The white one is Skully McSkull and the glass one is Shiny Head.
5) When and/or how did you get into gaming?
Pong, or some knock-off built by Canadian Tire, was my first videogame experience. I was at a friend's house and there was this electronic gizmo with faux-wood paneling. It looked like a rejected prop for Star Trek, the original series. On it were two or three games or game modes. One was like Pong, where you turned a dial to control the on-screen bat. I think I also played the original Space Invaders arcade cabinet. None of these things got me hooked, however.
The machine that got gaming into my veins would have been the Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor - what a sexy name ). My elementary school had a whole bunch of those, and students who did well in class got the privilege of playing with these 400-pound calculators. As for The Game That Started It All, that was probably Lawn! for the PET. What was Lawn!? It was a
game where you had to mow your lawn. The graphics? Think original, unmodded Dwarf Fortress. Or just look at this.
6) What is your fondest gaming memory?
When my female Commander Shepherd walks away from the carnage at the end of Mass Effect 1 with a slight smile on her face.
6 Version 2) What is your most memorable gaming memory?
Seeing my first glimpse of the thing in Amnesia: Dark Descent.
7) Why do you play games? Why haven't you outgrown them?
I've never thought about why I play games. I just love 'em.
8) If you could live in a video game, which game would it be?
The world of The Witcher.
9) What is your favorite game over the last year or so? Why?
Metro 2033. Nothing says atmosphere like stabbing someone and taking two rusty bullets. Or pulling out an air filter from a mask to extend its life while you breathe in radioactive particles, thereby shortening your life.
10) What is your favorite game that you’re playing right now? Why?
Legend of Grimrock. The little narrative at the beginning really grabbed me. It evoked Steve Jackson's old Fighting Fantasy game books, which were a big part of my childhood. And man does moving one square at a time feel really good in a game that looks this good.
11) Which upcoming game are you looking forward to most? Why?
Planetside 2. Come on, this was an easy question. A persistent, free-to-play, massively multiplayer shooter where you get to be an important bus driver? Sold! By the way, GWJ should totally maintain their loyalty status with the Terran Republic. Death before dishonor and whatnot.
12) What first brought you to GWJ? What keeps you coming back?
Hearing or reading something about Troy Goodfellow and Julian Murdoch on the PC Gamer US podcast. I then Googled something, and instead of the porn I was looking for, I found Gamers With Jobs. And what kept me coming back was the site's design. Here was a site using a white background with black text. It was clean, mean and the friendly folks here make this the greetestiest site on the internet.
What keeps me coming back these days? A vain hope that Troy Goodfellow will come back on the GWJ podcast.
13) Is there a particular forum on GWJ that you frequent/favor? Why?
Blanglestrades Catch All Why? It's another forum thread where grown adults can act like goof-balls. :O
14) What is the story behind your handle?
It's the handle I use online and to date I've never had to stick a number at the end of it. Well, at least until Diablo 3. Thanks Blizzard! [size=8](Jackass.)[/size] I wanted something bizarre and simple — a compound word, basically. Weird Blades was too strange, but Strangeblades seemed to evoke kris daggers and stuff. And if that makes me sound like a heavy metal loving 17-year-old, *headbangs to Enter the Sandman* then so be it.
15) What is the story behind your tag?
Are you serious? Oh. You are. Well then. Ahem. I like taking pictures of myself doing silly things. Mostly, it's to flex my photographic muscles while entertaining myself. Plus I love the attention! Hee hee. I need help.
16) Do you have any notable rivalries and/or friendships with someone on GWJ?
1) Tanglebones – He is the nicest/first New Yorker I've talked to. Plus he looked like a hit man with that beard he used to have, and hit men are cool.
2) Parallax Abstraction – I loved his handle and then his Canuckistan-ness. We know the burden of what it's like living with only two days of sunlight a year. Plus he loves Waves. That game is awesome.
3) Tamren – He introduced me to playing AI War co-op, and Men of War. We killed Santa Claus together beneath a moon and under a veil of pink mist.
4) Lasherthecat – Um, we play kissy face :kiss:. And Ascension. And marriage.
As to who I'm grateful to have met online or in person the list is wayyyy too long. Here is a small sample of some awesome folks: Oilypenguin, Cheeto, Fedora, Tigerbill and Gunner. GWJ is a collection of the world's best.
17) What musicians/television show/podcasts/Satanic rites were you listening to when writing your answers?
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, White Stripes and Ke$ha.
18) Thanks for taking the time to answer our hard-hitting questions! Any last words?