He wants you to wet yourself in fear.
This week's Average Joe came highly recommended. And his interview fails to disappoint. Scroll down to learn more about the man who makes Bungie.net his online home, and keep going to get your fill of some of the more absurd moments he's experienced with some other Bungie notables.
Q. Who are you and what do you do?
A. Well, my GT is Obi Wan Stevobi. My name, as you likely guessed, is Steve. I'm dangerously close to twenty-eight years old. I'm married with no kids and three dogs. I live in Northern Minnesota, where we spend half the year in sub-zero temps and three feet of snow, so gaming is a very warm and convenient hobby for me. During the three months of summer, I like to make it out fishing when I can, and play Airsoft every Sunday.
My official job title is R&D Applications Programmer. I won't bore you with what that entails.
Q. Minnesota, eh? See what I did there with the "eh" and whatnot? No? Uh, new subject. Explain your tag?
A. Well, being the nerd that I am, I thought that a super cool Star Wars Jedi name would strike fear into the hearts of my online foes. Obi Wan Kenobi was taken (huge shock, I know!), so I just personalized it a bit. Unfortunately, no one has wet themselves in fear in any of the pregame lobbies. I recently upgraded myself (with a lot of help from friends with big backpacks) to Force Colonel. I thought the rank would make make me stronger with the force, but I have yet to master my new powers.
Q. Don't give up, Steve. If you end your training now - if you choose the quick and easy path - as boosters do, you will become an agent of evil. When you're not facing your fears in the swamps of matchmaking, where could other players find you?
A. I'm pretty much a Bungie.net junkie and spend time in most of the forums here, trolling BerserkerBarage whenever I sense Foman isn't around. I also frequent Halocharts
, though I don't jump in and post as much there.
At first, I came here just looking to get that cool logo next to my gamertag in Halo 2. Then I noticed the website kept track of how miserable I was doing, which was pretty cool. As playlists started changing and maps started coming out, I started coming more often to see what the news was. By the time Halo 3 was announced, I started getting into posting and groups and generally enjoying the buildup and anticipation.
When Halo 3 finally came out, the first thing I focused on was theater and screenshots. I've always dabbled a bit in trying to be artistic, and Theater kind of gave me a medium to play with. There were always threads popping up with people's Halo 3 wallpapers and creations, so I got into editing screenshots and making annoying threads. I made lots of wallpapers, and got into a lot of what others were doing. I became a fan of Halcylon, CAUS7IC, SniperStealth, Hobogrunt, Predator, and others.
I started talking to them via PM, and started getting involved with artistic groups. When stosh announced he needed skins, wallpapers, and themes for the site is when I really got heavily into fan art. I founded a group dedicated to producing avatars and skins. We bombarded stosh's inbox mercilessly. Most of the avatars and skins added during the last couple updates came from us. stosh also attempted to hold a monthly wallpaper contest in foto, promising prizes. Our group ramped up efforts and again bombarded stosh's inbox. So much so he had to create a separate entry page over at soffish.com. Unfortunately, the first month of his contest took 3 months to judge. PFK, CAUS7IC, and myself (all from our group) were the three winners. A second "month" of the contest never happened and prizes were never awarded, I blame stosh.
But during that time, I made a lot of really cool friends in the community. As we played together online, I made even more. A very interesting (to say the least) pair I ended up befriending was Achilles1108 and Impuri7y. Their Halo video work is the best I've ever seen, which made me get a capture card and start getting into making videos. I'm still a novice, but I've been having a lot of fun with it. I have a YouTube channel up and running.
Q. So, why gaming?
A. Well, I grew up with gaming and setting up a LAN to play Command and Conquer and modding old RTS games is what got me interested in computers to begin with. I pretty much owe my career in programming to my passion for gaming. That passion continues today, any time I spend gaming I consider "interface research".
I do have several coworkers and friends that play, and I've even brought some of them into the Bungie community. My oldest Halo friend is I Am the Dark, who I have real life ties to. We used to play the heck out of snipers and SWAT in Halo 2, though we were never really good at it.
Q. What was the first Bungie title you played?
A. The first Bungie title I played was Halo. I never had a Mac, so I missed out on much of Bungie's early days. I had shifted to mostly playing PC RTS games, and I wasn't an early adopter of the Xbox. A friend sold his to me with all the games for like $75. The first game I played was Halo because everyone seemed to know about it.
I popped in the Halo disc and never looked back. I was then found waiting in line for each subsequent Halo series release. I don't know what got to me so hooked. The first think I noticed was the sounds. The music and effects drew you right in. The story was awesome, the flood was creepy, and the gameplay was just plain old fun.
What really, really hooked me is the people I met up with through the community.
Q. Are you surprised by how hooked into the community you are?
A. No, not really, especially not by comparison to the previously featured gamers. I'm surprised someone thinks I'm that involved. This is where my friends are, so this is where I hang out.
I will say I am surprised at the amount the community has given me. People I've never talked to comment on my wallpapers, send me Friend Requests, and some of the really good artists around the site even make stuff for me. Even before I was notified of this Average Joe honor, sniperstealth was whipping up this epic pic of me
. I've had the pleasure of hanging out with a lot of the best the community has to offer, and even Bungie themselves. They've also been incredibly good to me over at halocharts.
I've had the chance to meet and have fun with guys I respect as both entertainment icons and industry professionals. I have new friends I can reach pretty much whenever I want or need. I have a lot of people that I've come to know and enjoy a lot, real friends. Quite frankly, I have not put in a fraction of the effort into the community as it has put into me.
Q. Are you putting in effort at any other online communities?
A. I am an occasional poster at gamepolitics.com
, and frequent the games section at slashdot
. That's about it.
Well, I did have a brief stay at the Nintendo forums, but we'll just leave it at that.
Q. Wanna make a shout-out?
A. Certainly. I have a full friends list of people that make playing Halo and hanging around the community fun. I can't very well name them all, but you guys and girls out there know who you are. You guys and girls are the best group of friends a person could hope to have. Thanks for the good times, there are more to come. And of course, thanks to Bungie for making it all happen, and the treatment you have given me and others in the community.
I do have to give a very special shout-out to my three most faithful teammates. immortal eNeME, Hawkeye543, and Achilles1108. Those guys should be in the spotlight, they are infinitely more worthy than myself.
Last but not least, I have to say hi to my lovely wife, Heather, who has shown infinite patience with my "research." My family at home, dealing with a lot. My nephew Miles, the next MLG superstar. My dad, who has given me all the tools in life to succeed, and who has been fighting like a true pro this last year. I love you guys.
Ah, the love. We can feel it. Hope you can too, Steve. Thanks for dropping in to answer some of our questions and thanks for the kind words. For those wanting more outta Obi Wan Stevobi, he's obliged and provided some fun stories from his time on Bungie.net and his romps in Matchmaking. If you came for the interview, why not stay for the lols, and scroll down for the Director's Cut, with commentary from Steve himself.
I was very accustomed to seeing Bungie employees floating around in friends' parties, but had never actually met or played with one. One night while playing with Achilles, Achronos popped into the party. We filled the room with 16 guys and headed into Big Team. Not wanting to be a spaz and freak out, I didn't really say much. Neither did Achronos. In fact, he didn't say anything in the pregame. The first game, I got split and was on the other team. After that, game, he was still silent in the pre-game. Then next game, I was on his team, but he had a call and went afk the entire time. He didn't return until the third game, when he was on the other team again.
The game was a very close game of CTF on Standoff. Unfortunately, they were up 1-0 in the closing minutes of the game. Curiously enough, I hadn't seen the flaming head all game. In desperation, our team made one final push for the flag. After clearing their rocks and most their defenders, three of us were clear to rush the flag. We went in single file, I was last in line. To my horror, I saw both the tags in front of me turn into red Xs. Not having a choice, I rushed in to see a flaming head standing on top of the flag with the shotgun. Like the two before me, I ate buckshot and laid down for a nap. As the respawn timer started, I heard a voice over proximity proudly proclaim "Triple Kill....Bi7ches!". And that was my introduction to Achronos.
Fun With Messages
One night after playing, I sat around in the lobby talking to Achilles and Predator for hours. As 3:00 AM rolled around, the tiredness started to affect us in weird ways. Seeing that Achronos was playing with Foman, evilcam, and their crew, and they were all still up too, we decided that we would pester them with messages. It started with Achilles saying "lololololol" into the mic until you could here him about to pass out. Then predator with a Wilford Brimley diabetes commercial. Then Achilles spammed them with a barrel roll remix. Then, Achilles sent them a voice message entitled "A minute in the life of Helen Keller". It was thirty seconds of recorded silence. To that, Achronos replied "KEEP IT CLEAN", during the height of the SI's countdown to the ODST announcement. It was followed shortly by another message "What, are you guys drunk?"
One night while playing, I get a message from Predator. It read, "M2AF: Im drunk". I sent him an invite, and sure enough, he was right. We played a couple games, but all we got from him is incomprehensible mumbling. He is a highly recognizable person, and this really confused the opposing team in the pregame lobby. Around the third or fourth game, He started running in tiny circles, looking straight up into the sky. Shortly following was the sound of snoring over the mic. We let him go for a couple games like that and betrayed and tea-bagged the crap out of him. When his controller shut off, our fun was over and we had to boot him.
I'm Not Playing This
While playing Big Team Battle with Foman, we had that glitch occur where it splits people off into a bunch of tiny games. Foman was split off into a game all by himself. After our game was over, he was warped back into our post game lobby. While discussing what happened, he told us he got put into his own game by himself and he won as soon as it started. We asked him if he got Sandtrap just like we did. He said he did, then we told him we vetoed, got Valhalla and won. He said, he had done the same. Now, if you know Foman, he's a sharp guy. Now think of him sitting in a lobby all by himself, vetoing games he's not going to play anyway.
You Guys Suck!
We've played with Achronos quite a bit lately, and if you've seen any of our videos, you'd know we tend to bump into him a lot with our warthogs. In fact, the game loves to choose to always spawn him in front of a speeding friendly truck. This weekend, he finally started to take it personally. One of us accidentally crushed him as he was bringing the laser on Valhalla back to base. He finally broke down and started frantically fumbling for words for words, "dammit!...I had laser!...why would you?...YOU GUYS SUCK AT DRIVING!"