In our continuing tribute to International GWJ Day, we give you yet another profile from the other side of the world.
There are those who survive the rigors of the Australian wild by adapting, by learning how to wield a big knife and outsmart the local fauna. There are also those who survive by building themselves an impenetrable fortress of green plastic and hiding inside. M0nk3yboy definitely falls into the latter category.
I first met him when he started the "When Your Pile Becomes A Mountain" thread, and quickly learned that he was definitely the best person to start that thread. Well, inasmuch as a 3-pack-a-day smoker is the best person to run a "how to quit smoking" camp. There are those of us who are genuinely surprised when he adds another Xbox 360 game to his backloggery queue, because at this point we assume he already owns all of them.
If you are willing to brave his otherworldly ping and risk possibly having a man-eating scorpion crawl through your headset, he's also a genuinely great guy to play games with. After he got to hear my wife time her labor contractions during a multiplayer session one night (long story) he was very diligent in checking up on us and congratulating us through e-mail. I'm glad he was there to share in our special event. Someday, Simon, I'd love to have a beer with you. :drink:
1) Who the devil are you?
I've been called many things over the last 39 years stuck on this rock, but the name on my extract of birth is Simon. Born in the tiny town of Nantwich in Cheshire, England, my parents relocated us to Perth in Western Australia when I was 9 (supposedly to avoid me growing up as part of Thatcher's 'unemployed generation').
2) What are you supposed to be doing when you're reading GWJ?
Keeping an eye on the kids. This year my wife and I took the gamble of 'switching roles'. I went from having a steady job (graphic designer of almost 20 years) to becoming a stay at home dad. I'm currently doing a small amount of freelance design and some odd jobs around the kids schooling schedule and my own studies. I'm undertaking my masters in design, so I can then get into a post-grad DipEd and move into teaching (again to work best around the kids).
3) When you're not working or gaming, what do you do with your time?
Given that 'working' for me consists of about 4 roles at present, any time left over is being split between gaming and sleep, and I very rarely chose the "grown up"/"sensible" option from those two.
4) How about family? Kids? Pets? Particularly meaningful inanimate objects?
Wife, two daughters (4.5 and 3), a cat, and an "interchangeable roster" of goldfish. Meaningful inanimate objects? That would be my consoles and the legion of toys that surround them — 8-bit through to current day.
5) When and/or how did you get into gaming?
First system was a small handheld Space Invaders clone, called Galaxy Twinvader. I received that on Christmas Day, and I played it until the batteries went dead. 10 hours straight I think it was. I skipped Christmas lunch, and nibbled on a carrot perched in my mouth for sustenance during the marathon session. On the plus side, I clocked both the fleet counter, and the in-game score clock in that sitting. (Fancy that, I just stumbled on the origin of my completionist ways.)
6) What is your fondest gaming memory?
The end battle in Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. That was E P I C. I was also meant to be 'working' at the time Most recently though, soothing both of our kids, in their newborn years, with gaming. Our eldest was rocked to sleep while the soundtrack of Blue Dragon "played in the background," and I used the ripple strips in Forza Motorsport 3 to help jiggle and sooth our second one to sleep as she rested in my arms.
7) Why do you play games? Why haven't you outgrown them?
Fun/enjoyment has no age limit, and I see games as a legitimate entertainment medium, no different than movies or a good book. They have the ability to transport you to a different time or place. I like that.
8) If you could live in a videogame world, which would it be? Why?
That's tough. I've played through Eat Lead: The Return Of Matt Hazard, those scenarios never end well.
9) What is your favorite game over the last year or so? Why?
I'm going to take that as the favourite game I've played over this last year (rather than released) and nominate Nier. Without a doubt, the best story I have experienced in recent times (N+ playthrough is an ABSOLUTE MUST), and easily one of my desert island games. (Thanks for the enabling, Minarchist.)
10) What is your favorite game that you’re playing right now? Why?
Guardian Cross. It's on iOS, so I can grab a quick fix in between Dadly duties or study. I like the compulsive card collection/upgrading, but it's mainly because of the friendship it's facilitated with Cragmyre and myself. He enabled me in the iPad thread, and I think we are the only two Goodjers it sunk its teeth into. We have an hour or so AM/PM where our time zones cross and we'll shoot the breeze via IM. I also grabbed Dishonored, thanks to the enabling thread on the front page ... . Damn video features, my future pile curses you! (Please don't stop them, they're great).
11) Which upcoming game are you looking forward to most? Why?
At the risk of flushing away my entire gaming cred, Skylanders Giants. My girls love it, we have a LOT of fun as I play the game, and they watch the stories unfold. We then switch off the 360 and continue to play with the toys. The cynic in me knows the release model is a way of getting money out of parents, but the way we work it, with the "after play" and stories we make up, it's worth every cent.
12) What first brought you to GWJ? What keeps you coming back?
It kept cropping up on my leaderboard side listing. I thought to myself, "I'm a gamer, I have a job, wonder what the site is like?" I finally clicked on the link and I was blown away by the place. I signed up, and as I slowly chipped away at my 1,000 posts I began to spend more time in the forums than on the front page. The real draw, the thing I keep returning to above all else, is this community. I know Certis says he and Elysium "only built the playground," but there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thankful for it. I have made many "real friends" in this virtual environment, and for that I am truly grateful.
13) Is there a particular forum on GWJ that you frequent/favor? Why?
This one's tough. I've deleted and reinserted this a few times now, but I'm going to run with it, because it's kind of what this community is all about. The support. I'd have to say, recently, the "Depression is ruining my life" thread. I was (finally) diagnosed with clinical depression two years ago after suffering from it for almost 30. The honesty and support I received from the people in that thread has, I believe, quite literally saved me during some pretty dark times. I won't list you all here, but you all have my deepest and heartfelt thanks.
On a lighter note, the "True Achievement" thread is always great for smack talking, and organizing boosting sessions, and the "A personal announcement, emphatic thank-you, and cheers to Fedora" thread set up by NSMike is just an amazing testament to the diversity and acceptance this community shows to it's members.
Hemidal's monthly pile thread, and of course, my own 12-month pile plan rate a mention also
14) What is the story behind your handle?
Mainly from a favorite movie of mine. It's been with me, in various forms and character limitations, since I've had a virtual presence (and props to Maq for getting the source in my tagging thread).
15) What is the story behind your tag (time zones and toddlers permitting)?
Mrtomaytohead is responsible for suggesting that little gem. It came up in the July 2010 Pile thread when I was discussing playing through Gears 1 & 2 single player that month to avoid spoilers in the first online 100xXP event. I wanted my wings, and I was trying to hook up with the GWJer's Gears Clan, "time zones and toddlers permitting." That has become a recurring theme, given so many of you are soooooo far behind my side of the world, but that hasn't stopped some amazing playdates when the planets have aligned. I hooked up with nel e nel one evening (local time). He invited a crew along from his friends list, and we were getting a good rhythm going in the Gears 3 beta. I still remember the surprise in the voices of some of our team mates when they were discussing what to have for lunch, and I had to leave to go to bed as it was almost 1am. Good times.
16) Do you have any notable rivalries and/or friendships with someone on GWJ?
This is really tough, as I have made soooooo many great connections with so many community members, this list would be huge if you let me list them all.
SallyNasty - not just sassy, but also the Father of my Fable 3 baby. Quite simply the weirdest answer I had to give my wife when asked "What are you guys playing up there?" Also referred to as Northern Hemisphere Me as we have so many similarities, he also has the honour (?) of being the first Goodjer I learnt the real name of.
Minarchist - almost present at the birth of his latest addition as we played X-Men: The Arcade Game and boosted Fable 2 with Garden Ninja (what is it with Fable?)
Bonus Eruptus - the best game of Crackdown I've never played and all round great guy.
ClockworkHouse - never stop Clocking, my friend. You're an institution, and an inspiration.
TrueHeart78 - not just for teaching me the fine art of Gears 2 online, but also for being a constant voice of reason in the 12-month pile threads (although you did enable me on Saint's Row 3 — yet to be played, of course).
Hemidal and Clemenstation for helping me with wanting to buy the new hotness (via TA), and then managing them after they've sat on my pile of shame (for 3 months or mor, of coursee).
The GTASC A and B Teams - the Parisian Dandies, and Team Certis is Awesome. The fitocracy crew, the Ascension League, the Hero Academy collective (especially TheCounselor), Vinnie the Wonderdog (and SillyRabbit of course). All the Backloggers. Everyone I gifted a copy of Sparkle Ponies to ... . What's that? I hear music playing. But ... so ... many ... more ... awesome ... Goodjers! Noooooo!
17) Thanks for taking the time to answer our hard-hitting questions! Any last words?
I was going to write something witty, but I settled on genuine sentiment instead. I love you all, never change.