RaptorLC Interview 2012
1. You vs. Burgess in a fight. Who wins?
- Well, that's an easy one. I'm a broken down (ch)Air Force Vet, and Burgess is a prison guard. Even though I probably shoot better than him, I suck with melee weapons (like a night stick, for example). He's also a pro wrestling fan so I can't even pull any of those stunts on him. In short, Burgess would likely kick my ass with ease.
2. What do you like about being a mod? What don't you like?
I like knowing that I contribute to this site in some small way. It is small nowadays as the only really measurable thing I do is answer appeals and the occasional dispute, but I also have no real pressure to do more as that suffices nicely. I don't really have any gripes aside from a couple people that still haven't adjusted fully to the relaxed rules, but those issues tend to be easy to fix.
3. When you stepped down from being a mod, did you intend to ever return? Or, were you just taking a planned hiatus due to "real-world" issues?
At the time, I was just shy of my 30th birthday, and didn't have any real plans to return. Call it a mid-life crisis and/or an “I'm too old for this shit” kind of thing. Nothing real-world spurred it on, nor were there any site related issues aside from general burnout. Sometime since then, I learned to not take things all that seriously (plus, I got bored) so I returned.
In other words, damn I'm old.
4. Is there anything about your military service that you regret? Are proud of?
No real regrets here. I did my jobs (both of them) quite well for the 12 years I was in. I never went out to win any medals or anything, and never had any rah-rah war hero zomg delusions, so my service was pretty much just a job that was fun while I was physically able to do it. I did like my year in Korea though, where by the end of it I was the lead technician who monitored pretty much every secure circuit across the peninsula. I like the dynamic of me doing pretty much all of the maintenance and almost none of the paperwork so that really worked out well for me.
5. If your knees didn't act up, would you still be in the military? Why did your knees act up?
I could probably see myself still in the military if my knees didn't act up. I was fairly sick of standard military bullshit when I opted to separate, but the main reason I did so was because my knees were continuing to deteriorate. As is, I have a family history of rather bad arthritis, and 12 years of running on concrete and tarmac didn't help that. Then again, the fact that I never really ran pretty much ever before getting into shape to join the military likely didn't help either. Where I stand now, several joints in my arms and hands are in bad shape just from normal use. My knees are pretty much completely shot, and being physically unable to run kind of precludes the notion of continued military service.
6. Were you active on GF while in the military? If so, did other people know about it?
Well yeah. I was already three years in before becoming a moderator. There's a surprisingly big geek subculture in the military. Most of them work intelligence, surprise surprise. I only really mentioned GameFAQs when people were talking about issues with video games though. I DID moderate from a computer lab in an atoll in the Indian Ocean while deployed, and somehow still managed to be one of the more active moderators though. Go figure.
7. If you had to do the military all over again knowing what you know now, would you still join?
I joined primarily to get the hell out of a two horse (and 300 cow) town in Oregon. I achieved that goal and had a pretty good time. Why wouldn't I do it again?
8. If you could meet one person, living or dead, real or fictitious, who would it be? and, why?
Ah, the standard Gmo question. My answer would be the one person who is all four of the qualifications you mentioned (living, dead, real, fictitious), all depending on who you ask – Jesus.
First and foremost, I admire him anyway. He was a pretty cool dude, if the stories about him are correct at any rate. I'd try to pick his brain a bit, especially if it were presumed that he were aware of current events. I think his answers would be fascinating to say the very least. I'd refrain from trying to get a comment on his views of the crap that's said in his name though. I figure he already went Bruce Banner once on the money changers in the temple, and I don't see a need to provoke him. =p
9. What is the worst game you have ever played?
There's a lot of terrible games out there. Several NES ports of arcade games (Rally Bike, Ikari Warriors) are especially abysmal, but I'll opt to focus on the game that disappointed me the most: Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls for the GBA. It was ostensibly a remake of the first two Final Fantasy games, which featured the second release of Final Fantasy 2 on US soil – the first was Final Fantasy Origins on the PSX, also a collection of the first two FF games, and infinitely superior in every possible way.
For the GBA port, they decided to go with the easy mode version which took out any hint of challenge from the original game, which was blasphemy to me. Sure, the original Final Fantasy was incredibly buggy and hard to play in some areas, but the difficulty level was also just about right, especially for a NES RPG in 1990. The PSX version allowed you to basically play an enhanced version of the original game with the strategic parts intact. The GBA version was basically just “hit A to progress through all battles since you can't lose”. Hell, I wrote a review on that travesty (which was the only contribution I made to the site itself in 10 years), and 75% of the points I awarded that collection were for the FF2 remake, which made an unplayable mess of a game actually somewhat enjoyable even if it made it easier while doing so.
10. Have you enjoyed the time you spent on GF?
Well, I'm still here aren't I? The Hotel California aspect of the mod staff aside, there's enough decent conversation that goes on here. There are also plenty of opportunities to make fun of stupid people and since I enjoy doing that, it's a win-win all around.
11. What do you do for work these days? If nothing, what do you plan to do?
At the moment, I sustain myself with a combination of VA benefits, odds and ends, and working part time at a local retro game store. While I like the job, it's nothing I'm able to do part time. My immediate plans are to work with the VA to get training for a job that can use my skills with computers that's basically a desk job, as that's all I can really work full-time at this point.
12. What's your favorite movie?
I don't really watch a lot of movies to have one. I mean, I used to be able to quote Ace Ventura almost line-for-line, but even then I preferred other moves. I guess I'll just say Seven and leave it at that. It's very hard to come up with a better movie than that one.
13. What are your top three bands/groups/artists?
According to last.fm, Porcupine Tree, Nine Inch Nails, and Opeth top the list. That sounds about right even with my habit of listening to black and/or death metal lately. This year should be a good year for industrial rock as both Trent Reznor and Al Jourgensen are resurrecting their iconic bands from the mothballs and working on new material. Now if we could get Opeth to play other material than their rather mediocre Heritage album and PT to come anywhere near Denver, all would be well.
14. C/D: Skyrim?
Sure, even if I haven't had the time to play it as much as I'd like to.
15. What does "More metal than you" mean?
Mainly it means that Canadians suck at metal. Look at what happened to Cryptopsy after Lord Worm left the first time. Even Devin Townsend has gone soft, and Kataklysm hasn't released anything good in years.
Canadia... What is it good for?
16. What kind of: Car do you drive? Cell-phone do you use? Computer specs do you have? Video game systems you own/currently play?
I drive a 2008 Mazda 3. It's reliable enough and doesn't empty my wallet at the gas pump, plus I prefer small cars anyway.
My current phone is a Droid Bionic. It was cheap and has 4G capability, and can actually hold a radio feed during baseball season. That's really all I need.
Of the three computers I use at the moment, two are Asus computers (one desktop, one laptop) of decent enough specs to pass as serviceable gaming rigs with the third being an old HP that I use for media.
As far as video game systems, I have pretty much every mainstream console or handheld that's been released since 1980 aside from a Sega Saturn, Game Gear, Colecovision, or Magnavox Odyssey. My PC, PS3, and (3)DS get the most play though.
17. What's the backstory to your username?
I first started using the name “Raptor” playing LAN games of Warcraft 2 in the mid 90's. Jurassic Park was an influence, and it kind of stuck since then. Hey, I already covered that I'm old.
The “LC” is a reference to the deceased pro wrestler Brian Pillman, whose most famous gimmick was the unpredictable Loose Cannon. He revolutionized the business in a very big way, and I was always a fan of his.
18. What (game) made you come to GameFAQs in the first place?
The original Final Fantasy on the NES. I'd done a lot of research with a friend of mine from high school on that game as far as the random encounter code, to the point where we realized that both the number of steps to the next encounter and the enemies you would meet could be predicted ahead of time. (Translation: He figured out that the code wasn't random at all and I plotted most of it out since grinding a few hours in one spot was standard fare for me anyway. =p)
Either way, I registered an account first to share that knowledge with the board, which already had a bunch of people reading far too much into an old NES RPG.
19. What made you want to become a moderator?
The first time, a combination of knowing that I was pretty well versed in the rules and knowing I could help out, and naively wanting to make a difference in making the boards a better place.
The second time, boredom mostly. I mean, I know I've made a difference through the years and actually shaped things more than most anyone knows, but with age comes the realization that it's not really that big a deal anyway.
20. Do you still remember how you used the word angst? (IIRC, that was still in place, maybe not...)
I didn't, because it wasn't in place yet. I answered the call because I had the necessary karma and was decently well known on MBH (back before the board was full of sycophants and idiots). The only “test” we really had was that we were told upon selection it would be a few days to a week before we were promoted, and we had to keep quiet about it in the meantime, lest we be dropped from the list of people selected.
21. Finally, what's Raptors day like?
Depends on the day really. Most of them tend to involve work, video games, and/or beer though, not necessarily in that order.
22. Has anyone told you that you're the Simon Cowell of GameFAQs moderators?
What's a Simon Cowell? I kind of make it a point to not watch reality TV.
23. Do you resemble Red Foreman (from That 70's Show)?
No, I have hair.
24. What is the dumbest message you've gotten when someone contested a moderation?
Some of the dumbest ones are along the lines of “It's not flaming because it's true” and “You're racist if you thought my horrifically racist post was offensive”, usually with a ton of misspellings to accentuate the derp.
25. What's the funniest topic you've ever locked?
I generally only lock dumb topics. That might be why the general Hellhole trolls whine so much about me, because they don't realize their topics are dumb. I'm merely performing a service.
26. Favorite game series?
Still Final Fantasy after all these years. I've played through and beaten every game in the numbered series aside from FFIII and FFXIII-2, and both of those are on my eventual to-do list.
27. Favorite meal?
I've always rather liked Asian cuisine, and the year I spent in Korea only increased that. I prefer Japanese and Korean cuisine to Chinese, mostly because authentic Chinese cuisine is incredibly hard to find, and my favorite dish would likely be sukiyaki, though dolsot bibimbap is rather awesome as well.
28. If you had full reigns of the site would you be stricter with the rules or let the site slowly turn into a 4chan clone?
I was always one of the more lenient moderators on the site, and I like the rules pretty much as they currently are. No system is perfect of course, but conversation doesn't feel as stifled nowadays, and the quality of the boards hasn't deteriorated because of it. Yeah, new game and system boards are always going to have idiots on them, but welcome to the internet.
29. What's your favorite Aircraft?
Hell if I know. I only worked on the B-52 when I was a mechanic, and while that plane is impressive for its longevity (the current models are over 50 years old at this point, and still scheduled to fly for another couple of decades) and its carrying capacity, the military has moved to more precise warfare than simply carpet bombing.
I'd probably have to go with the A-10, simply because the plane is one of the toughest bastards the Air Force has had for a long time. Those things are damn hard to shoot down, and can even stay in the air after losing part of a wing or their hydraulics.
30. Did you always have an interest in Fighters and Jets or just working on incredibly complex machinery?
Neither, really. I actually scored the lowest in the Mechanics field on the ASVAB, and go figure that's what I ended up being. Electronics was the only other field I didn't score at least a 94 in, and I ended up doing that for my second job.
31. what was the most expensive piece of technology you worked on directly?
The B-52 alone is worth over $50 million, and that's not even getting into any armaments that may have been on the aircraft. I think that probably takes the record.
32. Why do you hate Error?
I don't hate him. It's just fun to moderate people on the NFL board and/or CE and watch Error get blamed for it. Error's started to retaliate though. I think he got two different boards to invade Hellhole and bitch about me while I was on vacation in Florida. It was kind of amusing having something to read on my phone while waiting in line at Busch Gardens at least.
33. Have you met any mods or users of GameFAQs?
I've actually met a couple moderators. I talked to Jesterguy once or twice when I lived in Virginia and he worked on base. I also hung out with Devin Morgan for a couple hours last summer when I took a weekend trip to Philadelphia to catch a Phillies/Braves series. Devin was kind enough to lower himself to visit Philly, which is apparently vastly inferior and more boring than New York. Cool dude regardless, even if he is a Yankees fan.
34. Is it true you were discharged from the army? What happened?
Air Force, actually. My enlistment ran out, and I fulfilled my commitment.
35. What major incidents in GameFAQs history are you directly responsible for?
I think Ricky really wants me to talk about Black LUEsday for some reason. So be it. This will be a long one, but first here's a quick summary for those who aren't caught up on who was behind what all happened.
Anyway, LUE was fond of doing “truth or dare” topics in those days, and these topics invariably became dares to go to a random board and troll it. After cleaning up the aftermath of several of these topics, it was discussed and agreed on that this was a form of board invasion and that was how the next such topic would be treated. This was back in the days before purgatory (a user level originally made just for Dais because CJayC was sick of warning him every time he got suspended, which was at least twice a week), and board invasion was one of two violations that was basically a guaranteed ban*.
Anyway, since notifications and warnings didn't really do anything to discourage these topics from organizing widespread trolling of random game boards, we decided to simply suspend anyone who followed through on these dares, and boy did that work. I think only a few people got suspended and banned before the topic died. As I recall, one of the three users was actually not a troublemaker and I felt kind of bad about suspending her, but she was later unbanned anyway due to basically being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As certain users on the board were prone to do at the time, they had a rather severe outburst with a lot of the more well known trolls of the day suiciding their accounts as a result, most notably DarkCobra – one of the most well known anti-religion trolls on the site. As the one good user who got caught up in it was unbanned and the troll population of the site took a notable drop, the only real way to sum it up is “all in all, a pretty good day”. Plus, some of the suicides were pretty damn hilarious, back in the day when such things were actually somewhat original.
* The other violation that was basically a guaranteed ban was censor bypassing in those days. I remember a user on the top 50 karma list getting banned for protesting his censor bypass warning (lenience given due to his high karma, of course) for posting “funking motherfunkers” by re-posting the same bypass about 100 times in all caps. His name has sadly been lost to the sands of time. Contrast that with now where it's one of the more minor violations.
36. Why metal, and what's your favorite group in said genre and why?
Because when you're into rock music and realize how badly most of the stuff on the radio sucks, you start wanting your music faster, heavier, and more brutal. Most of the stuff I listen to now is black, death, or doom metal, generally crushingly heavy with harsh vocals.
37. You seem to post primarily on Hellhole. Do you have a higher tolerance for pain than the normal person or are you simply a masochist?
Hellhole has a very interesting dynamic that came from the decline of MBH. Plus, the idiots who migrated there to whine constantly about the moderators are funny as hell.
Example: I made a totally off the cuff comment about stalking people who annoy me knowing that some of the more idiotic trolls on the board would actually take me seriously. Lo and behold, one of the more well known shitposters on the board puts it in his quote. Then again, he's also apparently dumb enough to mark people for not being moderators. Once again, Canadia... why don't we just nuke the place?
38. If SBAllen offered you the title of Administrator, would you take it?
That would be interesting, wouldn't it? As is, I don't think they're hiring at the moment and I can't code for crap anyway.
39. If you did take the position, what would you change? What percentage of current moderators would cease to be?
Actually, the mod staff right now is the strongest it's been for a while. I have very few complaints.
40. Do you miss Baconmod?
In the months since I got this interview and was too lazy to answer it, he came back. I guess this question is kind of moot at this point.
41. Excluding the one we know and love, have you ever had any alts?
None that I've ever kept for very long. I get bored with alts quickly and have never had too much use for them. Way, way, way back in the day, I had a joke account named My Dog Broke the TOS or something like that. I made it because it was getting comical how many people made topics on MBH claiming that someone else posted the stuff they got moderated for, and got bored with it and abandoned it before too long.
42. How many times have you been moderated in some fashion (as a moderator and as a regular user)? An approximation/general statement is fine.
I wouldn't be me if I didn't get moderated at least a few times a year. Hey, it's healthy for you, and sometimes you just have to call a moron a moron.
43. Would you consider yourself liberal or conservative?
I'm a moderate, which would probably put me somewhere in the communist spectrum as far as American politics go given that both major American political parties are right wing. In reality, I'm moderate fiscally and tend heavily towards libertarian socially. I do moderate left and right wing trolls equally though.