Average is such a relative term.
We’re not using it here to belittle or besmirch, but rather to distinguish. The people we’ll be spotlighting in this series are plucked from the community for a variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with mediocrity. Far from it. These folks are some of the platelets flowing through the community's lifeblood—people who aren’t making the games, but rather celebrating them. These are the montage makers, the song writers, the fanfic authors, and the discerning men and women who make the forums paginate. They’re also the store clerks, the people who pull our teeth, and the men and women who make the world
an interesting place.
First up, Bryan Simon, maestro of the musical tribute.
Q. Explain yourself?
A. My name is Bryan Simon and I’m an IT guy at a family owned Lumber & Hardware center. I say IT guy, but it really is a lot more complex since I’m considered part of the family. I clean the owner’s pool during the summer time (and accidentally fall in to cool myself off). I do the on-hold messages. I design the company newsletter. I organize the annual contractor dinner. Like Ron Burgandy would say, “I’m kind of a big deal.”
My hobbies consist of surfing the Internets (mainly Bungie.net, Xbox360Fanboy.com, Halo.Bungie.Org, and MLGPro.com), playing guitar, and trying to help Bungie take over the world.
Q. That's a 1337 gamertag, eh?
A. My gamertag is my actual name. Can you see it? b12y4n 51m0n. Some people can’t. The 12 is an R. My actual name came from my mom. I love my mom. She’s a really sweet lady.
Q. What does your online schedule look like?
A. I am ALWAYS on Bungie.net. I think I would win an award for amount of time logged onto the forums. If my boss knew how much I surfed Bungie.net during the day, I would probably be excommunicated from the family and I’d have to find another job. I love the main Halo 3 forum, but there is just so much chaos in there. I’m a member of the group Halo 3 In The Workplace (H3ITWP) on Bungie.net. It’s an awesome group. Basically it consists of people who have jobs and families and balance their family life and their Halo life.
I’m a member of B5D, The General Public, and Mythbusters forums. I just recently joined http://www.real7alk.com
and that’s a neat place as well. Lots of cool people to talk to. I just really enjoy talking to people. The Internet has given us such a huge opportunity to make friends with people and build relationships. Even though we may never physically meet the person on the other end, we can form bonds and speak into each other’s lives.
Q. What compels you to game? Do you game with friends and family? Co-workers?
A. I just love the satisfaction of seeing that 1st place standing. Nothing gives me more of a chubby (if I’m allowed to say that) than logging on to Bungie.net in the morning and seeing my game history full of 1st place finishes. I normally play with anyone who is willing to play Social Slayer or Skirmish. Those are my two favorite playlists. If you want to play them, I’ll play with you.
I tried to get my wife to play with me once. I showed her where the Needler was on Snowbound. I showed her how to pick it up and fire it. She killed me once and said, “This game is dumb. I’m going to go watch Friends on TV instead.” That was the end of her Halo gaming.
Q. What was the first Bungie title you played? How did you discover it? What was is specifically that sucked you in?
A. I played Halo CE for the PC a few months before Halo 3 came out. My buddy and I were in Wal-Mart and he told me to buy it because it was only $20 and it was awesome. I played it and really enjoyed it. Oddball on RatRace for the win!! I’ve always loved FPS games. Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Shadow Warrior, they were all my favorites back in the day. Halo just seemed to be the best FPS I ever played.
Anyways Halo 3 came out, I went to Wal-Mart that night and bought an Xbox and Halo 3. I’ve logged hundreds of hours ever since and am very glad I made that decision. It’s the only game I own. If Bungie’s future games are as exciting and contain the same multiplayer experience, I’ll buy every one of them.
Q. Are you surprised by your level of community involvement?
A. Not really. People who are passionate about something will always tell others because of that passion. I really enjoy playing Halo. I’m pretty passionate about music. I fused the two together and wrote some tribute songs. I’ve written 10 songs
about Halo and Bungie so far and as of 10/24/08 have reached 50,000 views on YouTube.
The thought first came to me to write a Halo song when I saw a video someone recorded about Geometry Wars on www.xbox360fanboy.com
. I wrote “Thank You, Bungie” and it was pretty successful so I wrote another called “Teabag Me,” “I Bought My General,” “One Shot On My X,” and others. I’ve gotten a lot of positive response. I’ll probably write a few more cause there is always something to talk about. “I Just Can’t Kill That Banshee” will probably be one in the future.
Q. Are you involved with any other entertainment-related communities?
A. No. Not really. I used to play music at a church for a Saturday night service. You may be able to find the promo video on YouTube along with the songs if you search for my name! I had my first daughter and took a step down from certain commitments to spend more time with her. It’s been a while since I recorded tunes so I needed an outlet. Thus, the Halo 3/Bungie videos.
Q. Anything you would like to add? Wanna make a shout-out?
A. I just want to say that I really appreciate everything Bungie has done. I have no reason to suck up, really. I’ve been hooked up with the Mark VI MJOLNIR Armor /R variant, so that’s not why I’m thanking them publicly. They deal with a lot of crap from snotty nosed little kids about how their game sux0rz and how the BR is broken. Bungie really works hard to be involved in the Halo community and I think that they do a great job listening to everyone’s opinion and making things work for the best. Keep up the good work.
Shout’s out to H3ITWP on Bungie.net for helping me get the music into the public eye as well as Facility B5D. I appreciate everyone who has left me a comment on Youtube and everyone who sends me messages on Bungie.net and Xbox LIVE.
Lastly, I want to encourage everyone to become more positive and respectful on LIVE. There’s enough chaos and hate in the world. Getting online and gaming with each other should be like a vacation away from all that hate. Sure we get frustrated when headshots don’t land or maybe we’re teabagged, but let’s start a revolution to make online gameplay more enjoyable. KEEP IT CLEAN. Say good game. Pass it on.
Mad props to Bryan for taking time out to answer our questions. Make sure you return the favor and subscribe to his video channel. It's the least you can do.