The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I know some of you are just as anxious to see the Member
Herding series return as I am, but before I start I want to take a moment to
recognize and remember a handful of our fellow Americans that perished in
Afghanistan on Saturday. I heard and read about this tragedy shortly after it
was reported but it didn't really hit home until I made it into the office
today. Though I'm not a member of that community, I've worked with them before
and have the upmost respect for them. A loss of that many shipmates reverberates
throughout the Navy and across the nation. Regardless of your political
affiliation or feelings about the war, these brave men just showed up for work
one day and paid the ultimate price. Their sacrifice and the sacrifices large
and small by all of our military forces past, present and future ensure we will
always be the land of the free and home of the brave. Fair winds and following
seas my brothers. Semper Fidelis.
It's been 123 days (April 07, 2011) since the last Member
Herding blog was posted. In that time there has been an influx of new faces and
contributors to the GIO blogosphere, so I think an overview of Member Herding
and a list of members in the "Herd" is relevant (the list of members
is at the end of the blog).
The Member Herding feature is a weekly blog series where
I provide a number of randomly generated questions (typically 5) and a bonus
question or two specifically tailored to the individual being interviewed. The
person answers the questions that I ask them, and then I provide a brief
response to each of their answers. The genesis behind the series is its loosely
based off of GI's Blog Herding feature, and although this isn't an official
product, it has been recognized and endorsed by a few of the staff members
including the former Blog Master, Annette Gonzalez.
The selection process varies and is normally randomized
so I don't have control over who is picked in order to ensure fair and balanced
results. I've used different methods including having other notable members
nominate candidates, the first correct response to trivia questions, clever
formulas and Plan B - I just pick someone. The Member Herding feature is not restricted
to bloggers, rather, it is a feature that recognizes positive community
involvement - everyone has a shot at it. It is not meant to be an exclusive,
limited access club; it's mean to spotlight active productive members of the
community that make this place so awesome.
The success and popularity of the series ballooned up far
beyond my expectations. I created a "herded" button to insert into
the blog and before I knew it, many members were adding this to their profile.
I've had all sorts of people that normally don't message me contact me over
this series and provide their endorsement and support. When I returned to GIO I
had more people inquire about this blog than anything else.
Yeah, so I guess that pretty much sums up Member Herding.
It's a community member spotlight, if you will. Let's get on with it and see
who the newest member of the Member Herding community is.
None other than...
GIO Name: Masterassassin
GIO Rank: 12
Gaming Experience (Years playing): Um,
the Sega Master System was the first console I played, so about 16 years.
Game Completed: Episodes
From Liberty City.
Currently Playing: Shangri-La on
Black Ops, and The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass.
of GIO Profile Name: I'm a huge Assassin's Creed fan. That pretty much
sums it up, LOL.
And now for everybody's favorite element of Member Herding...the questions.
Generated Questions + 2 Bonus question
What do you think is the best game released so far in 2011 (whether you've
actually played it or not) and what game has yet to be released in 2011 that
you are most excited for?
Hmm, that's difficult. I haven't had the
money to get many games this year. Out of the games I have played, I would say
Dead Space 2. I loved the first one, and this one improved so many things. I
loved the new pacing, awesome environments, and the fact that Isaac finally has
As far as what I'm most excited for, it's definitely The
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I didn't
originally start playing these type games until I tried Fallout 3 in 2009, but
now I'm glad I did. I love the openness, and the fact that you're free to be
who you want to be. And to top it off Skyrim seems to be improving nearly
everything people complained about in previous games.I can't wait to jump in
and start slaying dragons!
[SAINT: It is
difficult, isn't it? I've only played a handful of new games this year (saving
my money for games released later in the year) but the ones I have played have
been exceptional. Dead Space 2 is a very good candidate, I concur. Probably a
tie with Portal 2 for me. I think you and everyone else will be very pleased
with Skyrim. I've said I think it will get game of the year if it releases as
scheduled. I guess I'm looking forward to Battlefield 3. Its predecessor is one
of my all time favorites and I'm hoping it provides that same kind of
2. Fill in the blanks. You're helping design
the perfect video game; it would have graphics like (blank), audio effects like
(blank), a single player story like (blank), multiplayer online gameplay like
(blank) and be developed by (blank).
Graphics like Battlefield 3, audio effects like
Battlefield: Bad Company, a single player story like Red Dead Redemption,
multiplayer online gameplay like Red Dead Redemption, and be developed by
Battlefield 3 (I concur), audio effects like Dead Space (none better), a single
player story like Halo (my favorite game), multiplayer online gameplay like
Battlefield 2 (Wake Island + jets, 'nuf said), and be developed by Valve (best
developer in the business if you ask me).]
3. If you could
have a replica object as a collectible (for the purpose of this blog will say
something small that you could hold in your hands like a weapon or piece of
gear) from any video game, what would you choose and why?
The Assassin's Creed hidden blade. As I mentioned up there,
I'm a huge AC fanboy. And ever since I saw it, I thought it was the coolest
weapon. For awhile I was even using YouTube to try to build one, which never
worked out. I'm hoping to someday find
or buy one (for display, I never plan on using it of course).
[SAINT: Funny you
mention that because I saw a story on this very item...hmm, let me see if
I can find it. Oh yes, here it is. That is an interesting choice. It's definitely a unique item
full of mystery and intrigue. Also funny that I ask the question and have no
idea what item I would choose. Let me think about it for a second. Well that
didn't take but maybe a half a second. Now the challenge is deciding on one. At
last year's E3, the Future Soldier exhibit had soldiers armed with the MR-B, a
high tech assault rifle. I wouldn't mind having one of those. But since I wave
the Valve banner as much as I do, I suppose I wouldn't mind having a replica
Portal gun or gravity gun from Half Life. Then again, a Lancer from Gears of
War would be cool too. Yeah, I gotta stop thinking about it or I'll go mad.]
4.In Left 4 Dead 2, the four characters
Coach, Ellis, Nick, Rochelle work together to survive the aftermath of an
apocalyptic pandemic that has resulted in hordes of infected zombie like
creatures. You find yourself leading your own little band of survivors in your
hometown. Pick 3 other "team mates" (can be anybody - friends,
family, GI staff, etc) and outline your survival plan.
LOL, I actually have a cousin who would be a perfect
zombie killer. He hunts (and has some nice guns). But anyway, it's something we
always joke about, when he takes time to line up a shot, he always misses.
Though when he quickly shoots in a panic, it's almost always a hit. Seeing how
zombies would probably be up in your face a lot, panic shots are what we
need. As far as the two other people,
the best I can come up with is his hunting buddies. The best survival plan I
can come up with is: holding them off in a department store like
"Wal-Mart". You'd have guns, ammo, food, drinks, and other random things
that would come in handy.
[SAINT: Hah Hah.
Great answer. Going with the old "Dawn of the Dead" approach. If you had a
Sam's or Costco you might even be able to hold out even longer. I suppose my
team would have to consist of my Art of War: Video Game Edition co-authors -
Demon Ragnarok, Tactical Rash (assuming parenthood hasn't weakened his
abilities) and Drubacca117. All are or were former military. Couple that with a
solid gaming background, and we would be a force to be reckoned with. I think
we would make our way to Alcatraz since it's a rather formidable and defendable
location, but we might have to settle for the United States Penitentiary
Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Fremont County, Colorado.
Prisons aren't the
first place that most people think of when contemplating zombie or alien
response plans, but think about it. There are weapons, ammunition, food and
backup power (generators and gas). If this supermax facility can keep the worst
of the worst in, then hopefully it can keep the zombies out. I won't go into
too many details about it, but I can see a lot of value in holing up in a
Not that I've ever
given this much thought or anything, LOL.]
5. You're obviously a gamer but your profile
also indicates you play guitar. Given that neither Rock Back or Guitar Hero are
listed in your favorite games list, what are your thoughts on the musical
instrument games, and have we seen the last of them or not? What video game's
sound track best describes your guitar playing?
I actually got really, REALLY into music games at one
time. I originally laughed them off as another gimmick. That is until I played
Guitar Hero 2 when it was set up at a GameStop. I was instantly hooked. I
continued playing each new game up until Guitar Hero: World Tour (which was my
last music game). I think the problem was: the game play wasn't very deep, and
never changed other than minor tweaks. So it didn't take much to burn out on
it. The only way I can see them making a comeback is by changing something to
make it feel fresh again. Like, maybe making it possible to use your real
As for what game soundtrack best describes my playing: I
would say The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I haven't actually played it, but I
have listened to the music. I like playing the slower finger style stuff like
that. The Morrowind theme is actually one of my favorite things to play.
[SAINT: I dismissed
these games for years and years until I finally played Rock Band. Now I love
them and we've had many a family game night where we have guitar, bass, drums
and vocals going. It's a brilliant but tired series that I still enjoy playing
and probably always will. Whenever I hear a song on the radio that was an
included track on one of the games, I always say, "Ah, I love this Rock Band
(or Guitar Hero) song." Never mind it might be a classic that was out a dozen
years before the game was ever even created.]
BONUS Question #1: Who is your favorite
character on Big Bang Theory and why? And, if you were Leonard, would you pick
Penny or Priya?
Sheldon, for me he just makes the show. It seems like he
gets crazier with each passing episode, which makes you wonder: how much
crazier can he get? As for who I would pick, to be honest I don't really know,
LOL. It's hard to say without personally knowing either of them.
[SAINT: Hah Hah,
completely agree with Sheldon. It's one of the few shows that can literally
make me laugh out loud. Big Bang Theory makes being a geek cool; absolutely
love this show and all their references to video games and other geek stuff
like comics and computers.]
BONUS Question #2: Be honest, how many times
did you jump while playing Dead Space 2? Any specific stories you'd like to
share with us?
I don't think I ever went a full hour without jumping
while playing it, LOL. The best story I can think of, is when I tried Hardcore
mode for the first time. For anybody who hasn't played it, Hardcore mode takes
all the checkpoints out, and only let you save the game 3 times, any death
results in game over, or restart at the last save point. Which means just like
in real life: you die, it's over.
Anyway, I decided to give it a try. I moved as slowly as
possible searched every inch for ammo and health packs. And I usually jumped
out of my chair when an enemy attacked. I was finally able to make it to
the first big enemy in the game (the Tripod I believe). It put me on the edge
of my seat through the entire fight. It managed to weaken me down to my last
hit right before I killed it with my last shot. I then literary had to
pause the game to breathe. When I started back up a enemy hit me from behind,
resulting in game-over.
story. I skipped hard core mode and sounds like it's a good thing I did. I
wouldn't have the patience for that. I will say that the ending of Deadspace 2,
the last five or 10 minutes, is jaw dropping. Especially if things don't go
well for you the first time around.]
A special thanks to Masterassassin for spending some time
with us while divulging a few details about his gaming personality. To read
more about Masterassassin, view his GIO profile here.
And if you're wondering who the other members of the herd
are, wonder no more.
Dark Lady Sarai
Jack, the Quixotic Gamer