Oh, I find it quite on the humble side. I’m just your typical PC and console gamer trying to get the most out of the best entertainment medium out there.
How did you arrive to Gamespot?
Well, back in 2004 I was incredibly hyped for Halo 2 and needed to get my hands on any possible information available at the time. I was so obsessed that I started out ripping out pages of magazines that had features on the game, and eventually came across some Halo 2 features on Gamespot in January of 2004. So I created an account to print out some of the content and kept going back. Haven’t left since!
What brought you into System Wars, and why did you stay?
Honestly, I’d say it was more of a fluke that I found System Wars. My early days of posting at Gamespot was focused on specific game forums but I managed to stammer onto SW in 2005 with a link in another forum (I believe on the Bungie forums) and so I lurked around. I can’t say exactly when I started posting but I want to say early 2006. Most of the time it was just to discuss Halo and Halo related things since I was a huge fan of Halo back in the day so I went back and forth from the Bungie forums to Gamespot. I ended up staying at Gamespot since I liked the forum layout more, and felt it was better on the eyes. The community was exceedingly active and it was just super fun to geek out and talk about video games and platforms.
You became one of the most important and influential members of the board, Stevo. You got a ton of community projects under your belt. Why?
Now, now, now let’s not inflate my head any bigger than it already is. The main reason why I got into a lot of the projects like System Wars Monthly, System Wars Awards, System Wars Game, and other things like Iron Shop was because they were a complete blast to do. Well, maybe not getting my butt kicked by LegendofNerd in IronShop, but besides that, it was always pretty fun. Also, graphs and my threads–who honestly hates them? Of course, it’s always interesting to look back at the transition from lurker to poster to heavily involved poster to System Wars Ranger and finally to a System Wars and Comments Moderator.
Yeah, LegendofNerd kicked your butt good in Iron Shop, especially in the 2011 Microsoft Paint Round. Do you think we will ever see a new Iron Shop?
Bah, I still think my Fallout picture kicked ass. I hope we do, wait, what are we waiting for?
I don’t know. You think we can gather the old gang again?
We should since Adobe is always around, and Lafi & Legend is always on the IRC. Thunderdrone is MIA sadly, he was a good fellow. But I think Jynxzor is still around so it’s definitely doable and besides, we can always recruit some new contestants!
That would be great, especially if we can get some new people on board. The board has changed a lot in the past few years, there may be an artist somewhere that is better than all of us.
Quick! Xbox One vs. PS4 vs. Wii U, which one will win next-gen?
Which one will win? Do not be silly, there is no “winner” for anarchy rules the land of System Wars! I do know one thing though, the Wii U ain’t winning anything. Sorry Willy, I had too.
You founded System Wars Game, correct? What made it come about, and did you consider it to be a success?
I did. It started out with an idea of mine being pitched to musicalmac about bringing back classic System Wars Bets that kcpp2b sarted. Months went by and it always remained a simple idea until I finally got a chance to speak with Jody R about it all. From there she went to corporate to discuss the large ramifications of allowing SW Bets to return to fruition. You see the previous SW Bets was shut down because of its resemblance to gambling and because a user in SW actually went forward to complain about SW Bets which caused the legal crew at CBS Interactive to become involved. That caused quite a stir. All in all, the process from start to finish and actually getting the new Bets OK’d (and getting the refresh to the “SW Game”) took over a year. Jody had to look over everything and every detail before getting through. It was worth the wait though.
Now, I thought it had a successful first year and I even managed to convince (with the help of Verbtex) the GS crew to hand out a fancy-smancy emblem to everyone who won a bet. Yeah, we’re awesome. Sadly though, when I took a three month hiatus from Gamespot because of working full time, going to school full time, and some personal drawbacks in the homeplace, the SW Game started to die out with minimum activity. Eventually, the word was passed to unsticky the thread and let it perish. Can it be brought back? Ohhh, absolutely. Perhaps when the new Gamespot site launches…
Tell me about your involvement on the System Wars Awards.
Okay Willy, grab a chair and have a seat for this may be a long story.
I wasn’t involved in the first two awards besides only being a (valuable!) voting participant and a winner. The first two were smooth as butter. 2010 was an interesting term of events because that is when SWM was rebooted and we thought–hey, we represent the community as a whole in this magazine and we have a variety of users in here, why don’t we take the load off Ninja’s shoulders and help him out and do the SWAs? So I personally reached out to Ninja and asked him about it and he loved the idea.
Curiously, this was seen by a very select group of users as a coup d’état and that it was a “conspiracy” in that we were conspiring to rig (and take over) these “internet awards” against these users and rig it for the users in the SWM union and the GUFU union (since SWM could have been considered a sister-union in some respects). After some serious bickering and Ninja reeving a slew of bitter PMs, Ninja decided he didn’t want the drama and told me he would take it over again. It was his baby so to speak, so he always got the final say. I still reached out and did the graphics for him however.
Hey, we had two years in row that went to crap which caused some apprehension to start it back up again in 2012. In early November I approached the SW Rangers about what to do with the SWAs since Ninja’s thread on his union wasn’t getting any traction, and I believe CaseyWegner also approached me about the SWAs at that time as well. I did some graphic work again like I did with the previous two SWAs and approached Ninja was his plan was for the 2012 SWAs. He never responded back to me, but Darklink was curiously planning on getting everything together this time around since he saw Ninja was AWOL. We talked it over and thought why not join forces and put all of our ideas onto the plate and iron this out.
In all, 2012 SWAs went relatively smoothly. It wasn’t perfect as one of the drawbacks were that it had too many award nominations which caused the nomination process/voting a little convoluted and inefficient. For the most part the discussion went incredibly smoothly… until the results came. Because of the sheer amount of awards, and the limited amount of vote counters (just charizard and freedomfreak), the counting didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked. The numbers were counted correctly but listing who actually won the awards ran into some errors which caused a user to go above the SWA crew and complain directly to an administrator of unfairly voting and fraudulent activity. Going as far to accuse the counters (charizard in particular) as a troll whose only purpose was to lie and cheat the award process in order to pay homage to his friends. An admin stepped in and closed the thread leaving the entire crew confused and in the dark. The crew was pretty upset and thought it was pretty skiddish and childish that a user would “cry to the admins instead of being a gentleman and calling us out on it.” Of course, the accusations against the vote counters were pretty bogus and the thread was finally reopened after a long hiatus.
I wonder how 2013 will turn out? Still though, all in all, I have to levy out some serious props to Ninja-Hippo for being part of the process for so long and dealing with all the garbage that was thrown at him. He is an incredibly well rounded and respectable poster and it was always a pleasure working with him. I hope he can lead the 2013 awards and we have a smooth operation. As for the folks who got their panties in a bunch over “internet awards?” Well, perhaps you should stop worshiping that Playstation and look towards being a respectable fellow like Ninja. And kudos for the 2013 crew that stepped up, regardless of the errors, spending hours counting votes on your own time is not something that goes unnoticed by me.
What’s it like being a mod?
It’s not so bad. It’s interesting to see how moderations are handled, and the moderation tools. I’m mostly in the comments trying to keep things from going completely Wild West on Gamespot. If people like to say “System Wars is bad,” then they haven’t seen the comment sections of Gamespot. Things should start getting better from here on and out though. I think the best part was some of the reactions of users when they saw my mod tags; “Holy crap, you’re a mod now?”
Years ago, you did this piece called “Xbox 360 vs. Playstation 3″. Do you think your opinions have changed from back then? Or was your analysis pretty much perfect?
Oh yeah, that piece of mine. I’m actually quite impressed by how objective the article is and actually how much it still holds up to this day. I never got a chance to finish that article though and the most important piece of them all–the games–was going to be the final part. Maybe since the generation is finally coming to a close, I can actually finish that piece. My opinions there haven’t changed at all and there can be a few minor tweaks to that article with respect to the writing and grammar; and maybe the content on the power difference and update to recent games like Halo 4 or Uncharted 3. Once I finish part three, I can finally crown a “winner.” Oh the anticipation…
Quick! PUSH or GUFU?
PS3 Fan Appreciation Union! No, I kid. GUFU!
The Stevoth has spoken! Thanks for the interview!
Always a pleasure, Willy. :]