Like clockwork and as I mentioned a few days ago, its Friday and here is the latest installment of the Member Herding blog. This week's member was hand picked by a few of the former member's of the horde, a term coined by the very person being interviewed this week. You've probably seen him around Game Informer...he's an active and positive contributor to the site...he's none other than...

GIO Name: xXxSKOLxXx

GIO Rank: Power Member - Level 8

Gaming Experience (Years playing): 11-12 years

Last Game Completed: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PC)

Currently Playing: Actually... Nothing... I've been busy and haven't had much time. Because of this, there is no game that I have been going back to day in, day out. So...I'll change this to "Last Game Played (but not completed): Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 at a friend's house this past weekend."

Origin of GIO Profile Name: I'm a Minnesota Vikings fan. Their fight song is, "Skol, Vikings!" I added the xXx to fill it out and did skol in all caps for symmetry.

(NOTE: GIO Member - Happyginger came up with this wonderful idea to ask people the origin of their user his blogs to catch the latest episode.)

(Saint says, I had to look up Skol because I didn't know what it meant...this is what I found courtesy of Wikipedia..."Skol (written "skål" in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish and "skál" in Faroese and Icelandic or "skaal" in transliteration of any of those languages) is the Danish/Norwegian/Swedish word for cheers, a salute or a toast, as to an admired person or group.")

Five Randomly Generated Questions + 1 Bonus question

1. Under your game systems, you have listed, among other things, PC and Nintendo Wii - but no PS3 or Xbox 360. Which system would you say you play more games on and how would you market these platforms as competitive and alternative solutions to the Xbox and Playstation? What's your favorite Wii and PC game?

Well, I do most of my gaming on the Wii. This is mainly due to the fact that my gaming rig is quite out of date (last video card update... 2 years ago?) and because it has this one really weird problem that even my tech-savvy older brother can't solve.

How are these two systems competitive and alternative solutions to Xbox and PS? Well, I would divide them between those two descriptions. The PC is obviously a competitive solution to Xbox/PS because the graphics are, in general, far better, and because the same kinds of games are released for it. The Wii on the other hand falls under the "alternative" category. The motion controls can be a nice break from standard controls, but they only hit the nail on the head with certain games, mainly First Party games. Anything made for other consoles tends to be watered down and lackluster on the Wii version.

My favorite Wii game would have to be...The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It was my first Zelda game, and though I only got to play part of it, it is definitely my favorite. My favorite PC game is Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. I've always been fascinated with open world games where you can just Dick around.

[SAINT: Yeah, that is the downside of PC gaming - upgrades are often necessary to play the latest and greatest games with all the settings maxed out. Some of us enjoy that though. Did I read might be getting an Xbox 360. Thought I saw that somewhere. What's the first game you're getting, Black Ops?]

2. Younger gamers might have better reflexes and dexterity, but older gamers have wisdom and experience. Which attributes are more important from a gaming perspective and at what age or at what point does the scale equalize and become balanced?

I think that in gaming reflexes and dexterity are important, but I think in the end the older gamer will use their wisdom and experience to effectively counteract the younger gamers abilities. I'd say they equalize at about 26 years of age.

(Why does this picture seem okay...)

(...and this one seem so very creepy?!?)

[SAINT: Hmm. Well played. I'm a bit older than 26, heh I'm on the downward spiral of skill and hopefully...hopefully I'm becoming a bit wiser. This was kind of a trick question because I know you're a younger gamer and I think it says a lot about you how you answered. I'm impressed. I think younger gamers have the skill hands down...but as far as playing games for fun...I find it's a better experience the older and wiser the crowd is. Of course there are exceptions...I've seen young players act more mature than old players and vice versa. I know I've acted irrationally before...certainly not my age...but those moments are rare.]

3. On the last episode of Robot in the Corner, the crew discussed their picks for a four man dodge ball team comprised of "original" video game characters. Original video game characters are those who started their career in a video game - like Gordon Freeman; not another form of media - like the Predator. Who are your picks for your four-man dodge ball team and why?

I managed to come up with two teams. One is a mix-up, while the other consists of a single franchise.

Master Chief, Halo (because he's Master Chief, why else?), Mario, Nintendo Universe ("If you can dodge a turtle, you can dodge a ball." "Wait, don't you mean wrench?" "Shh."), Mattias Nilsson, Mercenaries 2 (If you look up the word awesome, you'll find his beard and Mohawk. Plus he's Swedish.), and Captain Macmillan, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Special move: "Oi, Suzy!").

Captain Price, Viktor Reznov, Frank Woods, and SSgt. Griggs. Why? Because who wouldn't want to see that?

[SAINT:  I'll let Dean - born4this - know and he can add you to the dodge ball tournament bracket. I'm not sure what Robot in the Corner has planned once the teams are formalized, but it might be something. I'd WANT to see Price, Reznov, Woods and Griggs!]

4. You list "Sports" as one of your favorite genres. Do you think professional video gamers are athletes and is playing video games competitively considered a sport? Do you think we'll ever see video game competitions and tournaments broadcast on a major TV channel? What about the Olympics, do you think we'll ever see South Korea take the Gold in StarCraft II?

I suppose they could be described with those terms, but I don't believe they fit those terms literally. MLG (Major League Gaming) is certainly entertaining, but it does not fall under the definition of a sport. The participants are not athletic by any meaning of the word. They are simply lucky people (I say lucky, because if it was so easy to just walk in and become a MLG gamer, there would be a /lot/ more).

They already have one in South Korea dedicated to SC tournaments. Besides that? Maybe, but probably not.

I could never see this happening. South Korea would take the Gold, but it will only ever be in our dreams.

[SAINT: Interesting response. I don't know that we'll see them on TV anytime soon either; certainly not the Olympics. But I think one day we will. I've watched many of the shows that are on like WCG. I enjoy them and as many gamers as there are, I'm surprised more people don't watch them.]

5. In Pixar's Toy Story, Andy has Woody, a cowboy; and Buzz Lightyear, a spaceman. Andy's all grown up now and of course he's a he has Red Dead Redemption or Halo. Which does he choose and why? (Buzz or Woody - RDR or Halo).

I think Andy would pick RDR, because it is my belief that Woody has had the most influence on him. This causes him to have more of an affinity for cowboys than space marines.

[SAINT: I agree with your comments...if I were young Andy I'd prefer the Buzz Lightyear because spacemen are cool, but if I had to pick between RDR and hard of a choice that is...I think I'd go with RDR.]


Hist asks, "Should Brett Favre retire? Why or why not?"

He has already said he will retire after this season, and I agree that it is in his best interest to do so. He's a great guy and my favorite player, but unfortunately his inability to remain retired has made that opinion far less common. If he is lucky, the Vikings will finish the season 8-0 for an 11-5 record. Then they will hopefully go to the playoffs and win the Super bowl. Will this happen? Probably not. But even if he doesn't make it to the big one, he should just hang up his cleats. After 20 seasons, he's gotten pretty banged up, and the injuries are starting to catch up to him. I mean, just last game he was playing with: A surgically repaired ankle, two bone fractures - one in his heel, the other in his ankle, a stitched up gash on his chin, and tendonitis in his throwing arm. All this while forty-one years old. *cough*what.a.beast*cough* He can only last so long. Plus, at the end of this season, his record consecutive starts will be at exactly 300 (not counting playoffs).

[SAINT: What?!? Brett Favre is playing football again? Really? I thought he already retired a few years ago? Wow, I had no idea. Is he still playing for the Packers? LOL.]

A special thanks to xXxSKOLxXx for spending some time with us while divulging a few details about his gaming personality. To read more about xXxSKOLxXx, view his GIO profile here.