Welcome to the Bitmobber Twitterview!
A Twitterview is an interview done over Twitter. Each Twitterview will consist of me asking various questions of one of the Members of the Bitmob Community.
This Twitterview is with Evan Killham. Evan has been a Bitmobber for quite some time now – can you believe it has been almost 6 months? He is very active in the Bitmob Community, and in his own community as well. He holds the record for Double-Plus Goods on the Bitmob Community Jukebox and is planning an intervention for a fellow Bitmobber.
So without further adieu, here is a Twitterview with Evan:
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Hmm…not much to tell, really. I'm 28, I live in Lincoln, Nebraska (and don't like football, which is kind of a sticking point for some people.) I have a Bachelor's Degree in English and Film Studies, so I work in an office applying neither of them. And I have one of the most impressive Piles of Shame some people have ever seen. It goes back several console generations. And sometimes I write short stories about zombies and vampires.
What is your earliest gaming memory?
My earliest gaming memory involves the APF TV Fun; I think my grandma bought it for us. It was basically four versions of Pong. Once we were playing it and there was company over and my older brother beat me and I went, "Well, shit!" Needless to say we stopped playing after that. I was five or six years old, I think.
What got you interested in writing about video games?
I like writing, and I like video games. That's a pretty simple answer, but that's really it. I can speak at great lengths on topics of little to no importance to "normal" people, and I just happen to direct most of that towards games.
Who are some of your favorite video game writers?
That's a tough one; I guess Ludwig Kietzmann and the McElroys over at Joystiq are up there, but I don't actually read much about games outside of Bitmob. As for non-game writing, my favorite writer is probably Ambrose Bierce.
How did you find out about Bitmob?
It was through any one of the many podcasts I listen to in my attempt to stay sane at work. I want to say it was The Geekbox, but don't quote me on that. Actually, I guess you're quoting me on everything I say here. Never mind. It was probably The Geekbox.
What is Extra Life and how did you hear about it?
Extra Life is a 24-hour gaming marathon to fund pediatric cancer research and treatment at Texas Children's Hospital. Sarcastic Gamer founded it, and this is its second year. I heard about it through their podcast.
How did it feel playing video games for 24 hours?
It was a lot of fun! Odds are I was going to spend most of the day playing games anyway, so it might as well have been for a good cause. Of course there's always that part at 3 or 4 in the morning where it doesn't seem like it was such a good idea, but you work through it.
How much did you raise, and is there any word on the total raised?
I had another donation come in today (they're accepting them through the 31st), so I raised $406. The grand total is about $143,000 so far. They'll have the final total sometime in November, but it's looking really good so far.
You wrote a great three-part post called Game Maladies – things in video games that drive you nuts. What are some examples of games that – for you – do all the right things?
Wow…you know, it's so much easier to complain. But I think that the Silent Hill series has consistently done a lot of things really well. But if I had to pick one game that did everything right (or close enough), I'd have to say Shadow of the Colossus. And I'm glad you liked that series; I think I could have done a lot better with those.
You have been a Bitmobber for quite some time, what is it about the site that you like, and is there anything you don't like?
Since I don't have my own website, I think the thing I like most about Bitmob is that it's a place I can post something and know that people will actually see it. And I've gotten a lot of good feedback from the community that I wouldn't have seen if I was just some guy with a WordPress or Blogspot page. But I think that Bitmob's community might also be something of a liability; we get to be friends and I don't know if the feedback is always as honest or useful as it could be. My feelings won't be hurt (long) if somebody says an article I wrote sucks (provided they say this constructively), and I think it's ultimately better for the site and for us as writers if we allow each other to do this.
You are the third or fourth person to say that! So you are looking for constructive criticism? I will try harder to give that.
Yeah…I mean, nobody's looking for the Boot-O-Doom here, but I think it would be a lot of help. Then again, once something's on the site there's not a whole lot of changes to be made. And I tend to just post and move on to the next thing, other than maybe a comment or two.
What game would you like to see in the Game Club? You have been in both editions so your opinion is an expert opinion.
This is weird, but for Game Club I'd kind of like to see a one-shot of "Don't Shit Your Pants." There's not a lot to that one, but I think it would be worth it just to see how many synonyms for "feces" the community can come up with.
Toby Davis – What game would you want to see for a Bitmob Community Play Date ?
As for Game Night, I think Brütal Legend would be a lot of fun. I don't play a lot of multiplayer games and it would be fun to have a reason.
Jeff Grubb – How tingly did you get when you met me at PAX?
Hm. "Tingly" is not at all the right word, but it was pretty cool. You looked a lot like Karl Urban, though, which was kinda weird. In general, though, it was great meeting people at PAX, and putting faces with names. And that maybe registered a 2 or 3 on the Tingly Scale, but I'm afraid we can't give all the credit to Jeff. Sorry, Jeff.
Alex R. Cronk-Young – What animal is cooler to ride then an ostrich?
I also understand that this is a trick question? I'll tell you what – I'll answer that question with a question, and then I'll answer the second question. So, Is Alex R. Cronk-Young in love with ostriches? Yes he is, and we're all very concerned. For Alex and the ostriches.
Jazz English – What is the best way to eat ostrich and ostrich products?
The best way is to make someone else eat them for you. Maybe Alex could do it, as part of the healing process. Actually, I'm gonna go back to that. Alex? I know the ostriches draw you in with their plumage and their big, goofy eyes and tiny brains, and it's very easy to mistake their behavior for love. But don't let them fool you, man. They talk a great game, but they will kick your heart out. And I don't mean that metaphorically, either. Ostriches will kill you with their fucking feet. It's time to let go.
Jon Shults – Who is your Daddy, and what does he do?
Something about that question reminds me of Kindergarten, but I can't Cop to it.
And that concludes the Pun Section of the Twitterview.
Is your Dad a Cop?
No, he works for a bread company. I mean, he's a bounty hunter! In space!
Which of your posts is your favorite, and whose posts do you enjoy the most?
Oh, I'm going to piss someone off no matter what I say here. The three Bitmobbers who first come to mind, in no order, are James DeRosa, Brian Petro-Roy, and Alex R. Cronk-Young. But I can always find something good to read, and those come from everyone. This is actually a very bad question, Lance. Why are you making me choose?
You are the one who wants to encourage constructive criticism! You never answered what your favorite post of your own is.
Um…probably the one about the BYU study about gaming. I was pretty happy with how that one turned out, and as a bonus it set off a mini Tesh-storm on the site. And I liked the title. Although, "Maxim vs. Army of Ziff" is a close second, title-wise.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Oh, man…I'm not sure where I see myself in ONE year. My "dream job" is writing (not programming) video games, but I'm not sure I have the Street Cred and schooling for that, especially since that job doesn't entirely exist right now. But in ten years, who knows? I only hope that I can find something to do that lets me apply the skills I like having, instead of doing things that I'm good at but are less fun. I guess what I'm saying is that if in ten years I'm doing similar work to what I do now, I'll be both surprised and extremely disappointed. Did I tap-dance around that question sufficiently? The straight answer is that I have absolutely no idea.
Yeah, good job of not answering it. Your political skills are showing. Any last words, comments, or plugs?
Ha…any political skills I might have would be a huge surprise. I piss a lot of people off. I don't have anything too plug-worthy outside of stuff that's here on Bitmob, but I suppose my final comment would be to Alex: No More Ostriches. Seriously.
Oh, and final word: Tomfoolery. No particular reason; I just like how it sounds.
Thank You Evan!!!
Game Maladies Part One: Open-World Paralysis
Game Maladies Part Two: Plot Apathy
Game Maladies Part Three: Save-itis
Next Up on the Bitmobber Twitterview:
Jasmine Maleficent Rea