Putting things in their proper place.
The first Average Joe of 2010, Gnome13 is ready to settle into our cozy couch, drop all of his personal details, and get some Bungie.net therapy on. Even though it's an egregious violation of the doctor/patient privilege, I'm willing to let you sit in and have a listen. Just keep your heavy breathing to a minimum. Observe:
Q. Who are you and what do you do?
A. I go by Max. Max isn’t short for anything, but I’ve heard a lot of potential suffixes. Most of them are pretty tired, but every now and then I hear a good one.
I am 22 so far, I have a job, I go to school, and ladies, I am single!
I work at a Ford dealership. I am the very prestigious Warehouse Manager. Fancy title is fancy. I don’t actually manage any employees and my paycheck actually says "Shipping and Receiving," but there is a warehouse I manage. Essentially, I’m in charge of making sure everything that comes in via our freight service, UPS, and FedEx gets put in the proper place. My job also includes quite a bit of problem solving. Just today I had to figure out how to fit 200 tires into a space for only 100 tires.
I love my job. Even when there aren’t parts to process, there are people to talk to. There are people of many professions involved in a dealership, and they each have something interesting to talk about. I am never bored.
Besides my job during the day, I go to school. I am studying to get my Bachelor’s in computer science at ITT Tech. I am in their electronic program, and I can’t think of anything I enjoy more than electronics. It is like a playground, and I don’t necessarily mean to say I’m giddy as a school boy for my field of study. There is just such a diversity of toys to make my favorite. First, you learn what each toy does and how it functions. Then, you learn how to combine them.
In my free time, I do laundry. I also love puzzles. My latest accomplishment is solving a 7 layered V-Cube (same principle as a Rubik’s cube but with 7 layers) in less than 30 minutes.
Q. Mind peeling back some more of your personal layers and telling us where you got your tag? Won't take thirty minutes. Promise.
A. Gnome13? Oh jeez…
My Bnet tag comes from a high school friend. I went over to his house one day. His house was like Joe’s Crab Shack, set to a Steven King’s It
theme. There were clown dolls and the like lining the walls. His little brother gave me a small garden gnome. What more inspiration do I need, right? The 13 comes from a bit of immaturity that I have long since replaced with a different form of immaturity I like to call creativity.
That’s how I ended with my IRC handle and my gamer tag, Mahcks. Mahcks is actually a common misspelling of my first name. Also, Moks is a common mispronunciation of my gamer tag.
Q. When you're floating around down here, which forums do you make your most frequent haunts?
A. I feel most comfortable on the main forums and groups here on Bnet. Some of the people here are like family. I love the mythic members group. Those guys are a lot of fun.
I like to read all of the main forums. I get a good laugh from the Flood and Halo forums. I love how active they are. Their self healing is inspiring. The Septagon is probably my favorite, though. I don’t know why, really. The people that frequent that place are just easy going and fun to hangout with.
I pretty much live in the #moap and #bungienet IRC channels. It’s another laugh a minute with those guys. It takes a bit of a thick skin for those plain-text punching bags, but you learn to love those people like family after a while.
Q. Do you game with friends and family? What inspires you to play games?
A. I’m pretty lax when I’m playing multiplayer, but not when I’m playing the single player. I get into stories pretty big. I am a huge fan of science fiction, so I can believe just about anything for ten minutes. This gives me plenty of time to determine if a game is going to keep me interested.
The story is one of the most important aspects of a video game and is second only to game play. A story can not get in the way of the game play. At the same time, story can not be sacrificed for game play. If an idea simply can’t be fun and interesting at the same time, don’t push the triangle peg into the square slot.
I like to have fun! Competitive gaming just doesn’t appeal to me. I game with friends almost always. My brother plays with me on occasion, but he’s moved to PC games lately.
There is one guy at work that is a little too into the National Socialist Undead Brainvora for me. Every morning at work he tells me about his games while I smell my coffee.
Q. What was the first Bungie title you played?
A. Halo: CE will forever be the bully that stole my lunch money. I remember my brother and me going to a birthday party at this kid’s house soon after the Xbox’s release. This kid got an Xbox and Halo for his birthday. It was a sleepover, so we spent the early hours of the night playing the Fusion Frenzy demo on Halo: CE, but after everyone went to sleep I booted me some campaign. My brother and I made it halfway through the second level before getting distracted by driving the warthog over hills. The next day we decided we would have Halo. We sold our N64 and saved a bunch of lunch money and allowance to get it.
Since then, my brother and I have had a tradition of playing through each Halo on co-op as soon as it came out. Co-op mode was what made Halo: CE my first virtual crush.
Q. Are you surprised by your crush on the Bungie Community?
A. A little, actually. It has been four years since I first set eyes on the forums on this site. I have been visiting almost everyday since. I can’t think of any habit I’ve kept for that long. I’ve been through so much in the last four years. This community has never abandoned me. I can always relate to the people here expressing their ideas and opinions.
Q. Relate anywhere else online?
A. There have been plenty of other Halo related sites I’ve hung out at, but nothing like my activity on the Bnet forums.
Q. So faithful. We love that. Make some shout outs and play us out.
A. These forums have been a major source of stability in my life. I’ve had some pretty rough patches. You guys are my therapy. I want to thank all of the people involved in this community for putting up with my shenanigans and occasional misguided banter.
I would like to thank all of the people that made PAX this year more than a crazy cool video game nerd hall. DieByMyHand had a great LAN party, and I’m thankful I got to help. Also, I need to thank The Slayer for keeping a watchful eye on me (if you haven’t met him, he looks just like his avatar).
If there was ever a reason for me to have withdrawals from prolonged absence from the internet, it is #moap. You guys rock.
Lastly, I want to thank Bungie. They made Halo, you know.
Everybody knows that. Right? Right
Thanks to Gnome13 for getting all therapeutic up in this piece. If you want to get something off your chest, we're always here for you, Max. Hell, we'll host a discussion thread for this interview if you still want to talk about it.