Playing to win.
Whoa. Been awhile since we shined our spotlight on an Average Joe. And like a busted escapee splayed out against the wall of an island penitentiary, Ant Flibaboua's been caught in the act and he's ready to spill the beans on his whole nefarious operation. Let the interrogation begin!
Q. Who are you and what do you do?
A. My name is Ian Couture and I’m a professional blogger and website content writer for several different major automobile shipping websites. I write mainly for search engine optimization purposes, but it pays the bills so I’m not complaining that much. It’s a cool gig – I love to write, be it novels or blogs, so this keeps me doing something that I’m interested in. Aside from writing, though, I love just hanging out with my wife and daughter and playing video games. I also enjoy long walks on the beach and romantic dinners by candlelight.
Q. Sounds like a match so far. Tell me something interesting about yourself.
A. How I got my tag is actually a pretty interesting story. My good friend Matt let me borrow Diablo II (before the Lord of Destruction expansion, mind you), and I was sitting at my computer trying to think of a good name for my Barbarian. My friend Matt just randomly shouts out “Flibaboua!” and it stuck, I guess. That happened in…what, 2000 I guess, so I’ve gone by Flibaboua for over ten years now. Through Halo: CE, Halo 2 and Halo 3, plus my Gamertag is AnT Flibaboua, so…yeah.
Q. So, where do you hang out around here?
A. I’m actually a part of several different groups and am the leader of the private group ODST Recon
, so I’m there most of the time that I’m on bungie.net. Also, I’m a moderator in The Backdrop
, which is another group that was born from the ashes of Thee Warriors, so I spend a lot of time there as well. If I’m not in either group but still on b.net, I’m lurking in The Flood, because…well, sometimes I just have to get that “idiot” out of me.
But if I’m off b.net I’m on the mlgpro.com forums checking out the latest news and videos there. I’m heavily into MLG and it’s always interesting to see the stuff that those people come out with. I lurk the Forge Forum there as well, because I’m a stickler for custom games on awesome community maps.
Q. So, is that what compels you to game? The competitive and custom stuff?
A. I’m a competitive person by nature, so when I play I play to win. I have a few friends that I play with regularly, but for the most part when I play competitively I’m forced to go into the MLG playlist or the MLG FFA playlist by myself. I do enjoy Team Snipers and Team SWAT as well, though.
But my wife also likes to play video games, so more often than not we’ll sit together and play through Halo: CE together or Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (which is one of my wife’s favorite games). She also enjoys Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, so I’ll play those with her as well, with me playing and her picking most all of the dialogue choices.
Q. What was the first Bungie title you played? (Keep in mind your answer may effect your Paragon status.)
A. The first Bungie title that I played was Halo: CE on the original Xbox. My good friend and neighbor, Perry, bought it to escape from work, so he would invite me over to play through the campaign together or play some 1v1 (shotguns and pistols, infinite grenades on Hang ‘em High) with him, because at the time I didn’t have my own Xbox. Once I got my own for Christmas (this was 2004, mind you; I found Halo: CE in 2002) he bought a 100 ft Cat-5 cable and we strung them between our carport (I lived in a duplex at the time) and played many a 1v1 on Coagulation and Lockout. We had some great times there.
What really sucked me in was the game play. It was the first true FPS that worked on a console, and it made me love using an Xbox controller as opposed to a keyboard and mouse for shooter games. Not only that, but the story of both Halo: CE and Halo 2 were absolutely fantastic to me at the time…but what really made me a true Halo fan was The Maw. I actually played that level last night, to be honest, and even after playing it dozens of times over the years I still found my heart racing during the final Warthog drive to escape the doomed ring. That’s what did it for me.
Q. Spoilers! Are you surprised by your current level of community involvement?
A. I am, to be honest. I’m a bit of an introvert; I work from home and don’t go out much, but I find myself lured to b.net seven, eight, sometimes nine times during any given day. I originally found it when I had some downtime at my 8 to 4 job at a lead generation company, and I’ve never looked back. Most of the time I lurk the forums, but in ODST Recon (the group that I lead, in addition to three others) I find myself trying my hardest to make things interesting for the members there. It can be hard work, but I’ve finally gotten a system down – that is, if I’m not feeling lazy, which to be honest is quite often. But the community here on bungie.net is absolutely fantastic; once I found that out, my level of involvement increased ten fold. I’ve met some really great people on this website.
Q. Do you check into any other online communities?
A. I’m a member on the MLG forums at mlgpro.com, but that’s really it. Those are really the only two forums that I visit – b.net and MLG. They have two of the most interesting communities that I’ve met, and their forums are always active. I’ve tried getting on the forums at places like Lionhead and BioWare, but to me the community just isn’t as fascinating or interesting as the ones here and at MLG. Most people on b.net are accepting and welcoming, but it’s not like that on other sites – which is why I spend most all my time here.
Q. Yeah, we put something in the water. Wanna make some shout-outs before you kick off?
A. I honestly was surprised when Urk sent me a PM saying I was up for an Average Joe interview – I didn’t know I had done that much to get me noticed! But I love b.net and hope it lasts forever, because I can’t imagine a better place to spend time when I’m online than here. I want to give a shout out to everyone in ODST Recon and The Backdrop – you guys are truly my home on Bungie. I want to thank my wife for her support of me, my daughter for being absolutely gorgeous. I also told DataBase90 that I’d give him a shout out, as well as mediocresniper, FearTheSwoop and gimballz, who are my co-leaders in ODST Recon, and Kodemyster, who heads up The Backdrop (formerly known as Thee Warriors). And I apologize to anyone I forgot to mention.
And, of course, thanks to everyone at Bungie for making some of the most amazing games I’ve ever played, and Urk for giving me a chance to speak my mind. And Eric Osborne for his help with ODST Recon’s Bungie Favorites submissions.
Urk's pretty cool, but I hear that Eric Osborne guy is a Grade A jurk. Thanks for the interview, Flibadibabouea. It was my pleasure. You can expect a throng of fanatic forumgoers to sing your praises in the discussion thread attached. Soak it up.