Employee Profile: Prozac
Ever since 2010, October has meant International GWJ Day around here. This year, it's on the 27th, but we're starting a little early by focusing on members from the Eastern Hemisphere this month. Here to introduce this week's featured employee is his "special friend," Quintin_Stone.
The Fremen have a saying: "God created Arrakis to train the faithful." And so we must believe that Australia was created to train Prozac. Only a continent of lethally poisonous spiders, snakes, jellyfish, octopi, and even fish could produce the terror that is Prozac — a creature so monstrous that he immolates his own teammates in Left 4 Dead. He builds entire labyrinths in Dwarf Fortress just to kill his own followers (despite his many failures at killing yours truly). And don't get me started on his XCOM leadership qualities. Also, he writes me love poems.
So who or what is Prozac? Bounty hunter? Murderous psychopath? Mutant marsupial? Pineapple aficionado? Historians will likely argue for aeons to come, but for my money, he's a murderous marsupial bounty-hunter pineapple aficionado. Yeah, all those things I just said. Q out!
1) Who the devil are you?
I’m just some antipodean terror with a penchant for stealing American womenfolk with my dulcet Australian tones. I spend my days fighting off hordes of spiders, snakes, stingrays, jellyfish, dingoes and crocs while trying to make ends meet and spend my evenings escaping into worlds where the only things trying to kill me are dragons, zombies, orcs, aliens and the like. Much safer.
2) What are you supposed to be doing when you're reading GWJ?
I primarily read GWJ at home as my job keeps me far too busy to do anything but work. I am lucky enough to be in a position where I spend my days helping people into employment. It’s not everyone that has the opportunity to make a tangible difference in people’s lives on a daily basis.
3) When you're not working or gaming, what do you do with your time?
The majority of my free time is spent gaming or at play in one form or another. My son is a marvelous time sink and the hours just disappear, but they never feel wasted. I also spend as much time as possible out in the yard and in the pool and given where I am in Australia there are only a few weeks through winter when it is too cold to go swimming.
4) How about family? Kids? Pets? Particularly meaningful inanimate objects?
I have to say wonderful things about my amazing wife (as she may read this) who, while not a gamer herself, understands the place gaming fills in my life and respects that. Then there is my son who had a rocky start in life but is coming on strong and will be my co-op buddy in no time. We've also got two dogs that do a great job keeping the homestead safe, killing snakes by the dozens in the summer. My most meaningful inanimate object is Gerald, a stuffed toy giraffe that has been with me since I was two. He was most recently press-ganged into service holding up my son’s breathing tube after his heart surgery. He’s a good old giraffe.
5) When and/or how did you get into gaming?
My first system was an Atari 2600, but my first really meaningful gaming memory was Christmas at my uncle’s house with a brand new Sega Master System and Alex Kidd in Miracle World. My family watched with bated breath as I played through that sucker over the next few evenings sharing in my joys and my miseries. My family has never been more involved in gaming before or since. It was a special moment in time.
6) What is your fondest gaming memory?
Probably all the time I sunk into Left 4 Dead. It was at a time in my life when I was somewhat self employed, but mostly unemployed and allowed me to, according to Steam, spend 471 hours in the company of some great people. It was during this period that I really became active in the community, as before that I had primarily been a lurker feeling like I had nothing to contribute.
7) Why do you play games? Why haven't you outgrown them
Games give us the opportunity to learn and grow, to experience the monomyth and live through the hero’s journey all in the comfort of our own homes. In more tangible terms, if I am ever called to justify my addiction, because really that’s what it is. I can cite my geological knowledge (Dwarf Fortress) my historical and geographical knowledge (various Paradox strategy games) my critical thinking and problem solving skills. Hell I wouldn't have gotten through some of my business subjects at college if not for Trevor Chan’s Capitalism Plus.
8) What is your favorite game over the last year or so? Why?
It would have to be a toss up between Skyrim and Crusader Kings 2. Both of these games have given me a wonderful sandbox to tell my own stories in and combined, account for over 500 hours of my life in the past year.
9) What is your favorite game that you’re playing right now? Why?
FTL – Such a great way to waste a few minutes ... or hours. I’ve always loved games of this type, with the “losing is fun” mentality, and the unique setting helps.
10) Which upcoming game are you looking forward to most? Why?
XCOM. As some of you may know, I’ve had an on-again, off-again love affair with the original for the last 15 years or so (it’s in the commandments). I fully expect to see many Goodjers die under my inept command in the new version.
11) What is the story behind your handle?
In the time I was lurking on the site back in 2004, my housemate had a go at me about how I never got upset, sad, happy or excited and dubbed me Prozac. It stuck, so when I finally signed up an account in January 2006, I went with Prozac.
12) What is the story behind your tag (Moon Ping Ninja)?
It comes from my time in the Left 4 Dead universe with Goodjers on the other side of the world. They were, for the most part, amazed I could simply function with the latency I had to deal with, let alone pull off the crazy things I did.
13) Do you have any notable rivalries and/or friendships with someone on GWJ?
I’ve got so many friendships and rivalries here that it seems unfair to single out individuals, although some career highlights would have to include treading on Quintin’s dreams, or my time with the Crustacean Crimelord’s mom, Laarrs’ corruption, how “big” Yonder’s other half found me, or the Goodjer I helped convince to take a job at EA (who wished to remain nameless). I think my favourite part of the community is breaking out the Santa Prozac costume every Steam Sale season, although that will now be tax bills and toddlers permitting.
14) Thanks for taking the time to answer our hard-hitting questions! Any last words?
Thank you for having me. I love this place and at this time of year when the international GWJ community comes together wherever they may be, I think we need to take the time to appreciate how wonderful and unique our community is. Also ... pineapples.