Apparently I have an adversary...a nemesis. No wait...I think the proper term was full-blown rivals. Funny thing is I didn't even know it. It's okay, though...this contentious relationship has been upgraded to frenemies. Besides, Member Herding is an equal opportunity organization and this member was nominated by not one, but two other members of the herd. TWO!

Of course I'm teasing (mostly - hah hah) and this week's participant in Member Herding is a mover and shaker in the world of the blogging community. He's doing fantastic things for the community and is very deserving of his moment in the spotlight. I guess he'll have to settle for Member Herding instead.

It's none other than...(and certainly no surprise!)

GIO Name: BlackHeartedWolf

GIO Rank: Veteran Member - Level 11

Gaming Experience (Years playing):

Been off and on ever since I was born. I was practically raised on a PC. Something like 19 years now.

Last Game Completed:

Probably Warcraft 3 earlier this year. It's been a while since I've actually finished a game.

Currently Playing:

Dark Souls and some Starcraft 2 multiplayer whenever I feel up to it. Also Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Finally picked that up again after the 30/30 was done.

Origin of GIO Profile Name:

My typical online alias is LeLoupInconnu (nameless wolf), which I got from the fact that I am always a person who is in a community, but not really involved or known. I got BlackHeartedWolf because I wanted something similar, but that was easier to remember and pronounce.

And now for everybody's favorite element of Member Herding...the questions.

Five Randomly Generated Questions + 4 Bonus questions + 1 New Feature

1. You list your top five games (in no particular order) as Killzone 2, Diablo 2, Advance Wars 2, Starcraft 2, and Shadow of the Colossus. Give us one word that describes each game, or how you feel about each game. What's your fascination with sequels? Imagine explaining Shadow of the Colossus to a six year old - give us a summary of that conversation. How epic is Diablo 3 going to be? word is difficult, but let's see. For Killzone 2, I would say breathtaking. With it being the first game I ever experienced in HD, it was like I had been blind prior to that. Diablo 2 would be epic.  The quests in the game feel huge, and every time you fight a boss the encounter is always a struggle. Advance Wars 2 I suppose would have to be deep. It's easily the simplest turn based strategy game I've played, but the strategies involved in the game are very complicated and involved. I think that Starcraft 2 is the hardest to do this for, but I think the best word is revolutionary. Really I don't think there is any game on the market that has the potential to make professional gaming a real possibility, and that to me is really exciting. Shadow of the Colossus is just perfect. I've already gone into that one though, so I'll leave it there for now.

I never actually realized that I did that with so many sequels. I honestly couldn't tell you, probably because I find the second game is where the mechanics are perfected, but the core game hasn't really changed. I think sequels just find the balance and more often than not get it right.

As far as explaining Shadow of the Colossus to a six year old I think it would go something like this.

"You see, you really like this girl, but in order for her to wake up you have to climb up and defeat these giant monsters. The monsters aren't bad guys though, so you feel bad for doing it, but you really want this girl to wake up. That is why he keeps doing it, and that is why the people are chasing him because they want to stop him from hurting the monsters."

I know I'll have that conversation at some point, but I'd be surprised if it took till six for me to have it.

Diablo 3 will be legend... wait for it.... ary... Seriously I think I might explode if I don't have a computer that is capable of playing it when it comes out.

[SAINT: Brilliant answer(s). I know there were several questions wrapped up into one, but I'm just going to comment on the Shadows of the Colossus. I've never played it (yet) and I know you're a big fan of the game, so I wanted to get your thoughts on it, but added a little twist. I know it has breathtaking graphics, and the story sounds intriguing I'll have to play it some time. ]

2. You list your favorite book as "anything by Albert Camus". For those that don't know (like me) who he is, Albert Camus was a French author, journalist, and key philosopher of the 20th century. So the question is, what is your favorite work by him; and now, incorporate that into an idea for a video game? We see a number of video game - movie crossovers, but not so many video game - book crossovers. What book or book series would you like to see become a video game?

My favorite book by Albert Camus is 'The Stranger'. It is a book that follows this man named Mersault after his mother dies. He goes about life though, much as he did before, living it to the fullest which many people around him find strange. Eventually though he ends up killing another man, and is then tried and eventually executed.

For a game I think it would be an action/adventure game much in the style of Heavy Rain. It would start out going through his life after his mother died where he is going out and living. You would be making choices throughout the beginning section about what to do, where to go and everything, eventually ending up on the beach in a confrontation with the man he kills in the book. That confrontation would play out, giving the player freedom to choose what they wanted to do.

If they don't kill the other man, they can fight, walk away, or try to talk it out. Some of these will give a game over, and others will let the game continue.

If they do kill the man however, the game goes into a second part with Mersault in jail. That then goes into his mind as he replays memories from his past. These sequences and the choices made in them, as well as the choices made by the player in the beginning of the game would eventually decide what would happen to Mersault. From here he could be freed, spend time in jail, or be executed depending on what the player did. This would end the game though, giving a number of different endings.

As far as a book series that I would like to see turned into a game. I would have to say "the hunger games" series would be good for that. I have never actually read them, but the story behind the series is that there are a number of different tribes in a post apocalyptic world, and the way they determine which tribe leads the others is that they all send two children/teenagers into the wild. The tribe that the last two alive are from becomes the leaders. I think this would make for an excellent premise to a game series, and would be good for co-op as well as competitive multiplayer.

[SAINT: While your game based on "The Stranger" sounds interesting and very much Heavy Rain inspired, your book series to video game crossover sounds like a fantastic idea. Imagine an MMORPG type game where much of your status was determined by how long you've played the game. That certainly adds an interesting element to the game, especially when somebody less experienced than you throws a coup to overthrow you from power. I can envision a game like this.]

3. I'm not a Starcraft II player, but I hear there are Protoss, Terran and Zerg. Pick someone from the GI community to represent each race and explain why you picked them. Then have them face off in a huge battle - who wins? Is the notorious "Zerg Rush" a legitimate tactic or cheap shot? Could you beat Demon Ragnarok in Dance Dance Revolution?

Oh my lol. Well let's see. I believe that Mray and the bronies represent the Zerg race, seeing as Zergs are a collective, controlled by the overmind and his lieutenants. I think that is a pretty accurate analogy for the bronies and Mray, but the good thing is Zerg is my favorite race. As far as Protoss I would have to say that is best represented by Demon Ragnarok. They are honorable warriors who fight against evil, much like I imagine Ragnarok would do as much as possible. For Terran I would have to say that it is you Saint. Mainly because like Terran, you are so OP.

As such, since Terran is so OP the Zerg rush is always going to be legitimate. It is not as cheap as it was in the original, so at least they have that to fall back on.

As far as beating Demon in DDR, I can confidently say that I have more of a chance of breaking something on DDR than I have of ever beating anyone. There are children who can't stand that could probably beat me at that game.

[SAINT: Wait, what?!? Me, the Terran? I assume you mean OP = Original Poster, right. Surely not overpowered. I have no power; I'm just a regular guy. A Jedi gains power through understanding and a Sith gains understanding through power.]

4. You recently caused a ripple in the space time continuum when you announced on the Indie & Mojo show that as an owner of a functioning Sony Playstation 3, you haven't played any of the Uncharted Series games, one of which received a perfect score by our beloved GI editors. Having never played the game, but surely hearing about it, give me your "summary" of what you "think" the game is about (or make something up). The fact that you have not played them might suggest you are not one to get all caught up in hype. Do you attend midnight releases? What game are you most eagerly awaiting? How does this affect the buzz surrounding Uncharted 3? Would you ever consider playing a game out of sequence or play it not having played its predecessors?

(By the way, send me your address in a private message and I will mail you these games and you can send them back when you're done with them. They are so good, everyone should experience them.)

I am familiar with the games. I know that Drake is a treasure hunter that goes off and is trying to find some of the greatest treasures. I don't know much about the first game to be fair. I know that Elena is Drake's love interest and that she is a reporter (I think). I actually forget what they are looking for in the first game as well though but I think it's something Aztec (maybe lol).

In the second game I know that it's more about revenge than anything else. I know the beginning of the game has Drake pretty much retired to a beach when Chloe and the other guy show up (don't know his name again lol). The two of them want you to help them steal an artifact from a museum. It takes a bit of convincing, but eventually you give in.

Then they double-cross you and leave you to rot in jail.

You eventually get out and then start on a quest to get back at the guy and whoever he was working for. Eventually this takes you all over the world and then to Nepal.

And then somehow Purple Gorillas get mixed in? I think that is how that goes.

As far as hype goes, I rarely ever get caught up in hype. When I do though, I get wrapped up in it pretty badly. I mean I bought Deus Ex pretty much exclusively on hype. After all I had never played any of the series prior to that, and honestly didn't know what to expect. It turns out it was worth it though and I hope to finish it and get to the DLC soon. Seems really cool, and I've been avoiding spoilers for it for a while now.

In addition to this though, I actually have never attended a midnight release. Then again the PS3 is really my first adventure into serious levels of gaming and the communities with them so it's not really that surprising. Also though, I was working overnight prior to my current job, and my new job has me waking up at 5:00am so midnight releases are difficult at best.

For future releases there really isn't anything that I have to have right now. I mean I want Skyrim, I want Uncharted, I want a bunch of other games, but there are no more 'must haves' for me. Maybe I'm weird like that I don't know, but between the Shadow of the Colossus/Ico Collection, Deus Ex, Dark Souls, and my PS+ games I should be good for a good at least until Mass Effect 3 comes out.

I think though having just got Dark Souls and the Ico collection I just don't really have the desire to get Uncharted 3. Really I don't particularly mind playing games out of order, as I have done so with Deus Ex, Killzone, and a few others. With the Uncharted series I really want to play them in order.

[SAINT: Your response to the UC question was brilliant and honestly I was smiling the whole time I read it. Its funny hearing someone's' thoughts on a game they haven't played but have no doubt heard a lot about. Surprisingly you're close on a few of the points, but you would still be pleasantly surprised. I'm done with both and will let you borrow them, seriously, if you're interested.

I am shocked you have never been to a midnight release, but then again, based on your years of being a gamer, I'm also surprised at how young you are. I would've guessed you much older. So, in that regard, it shouldn't be too surprising you haven't been to a midnight release. Maybe one day? They can be a lot of fun.

I have to play games in order. With UC3 on the horizon, I had to blaze through UC 1 and 2 to be ready. I'm now ready.

I'm not really affected by hype either. When it's ready, it's ready. I'll get it then and play it.]

5. Its take your "Game Informer buddy to work" day - who do you bring with you and what should they expect to experience (You don't have to say where it is or what you do - just describe the experience)? If you could swap places with somebody from the community for the day, who would it be? What about a video game character? If you could play online with anybody in the video game industry, who would it be, and why? What game would you play?

I think the person I bring to work with me would be Mojomonkey12. I don't have any particular reason for that, I just think he would be the best choice as I have found that I still keep to myself quite a bit even with my series drawing in a number of new readers to my blogs.  That being said I wouldn't take him to my actual work. That job is far too boring and honestly I fall asleep mentally while doing it. Really it serves as my brainstorming time, hence why I'm able to put so much effort into all of my series.

That being said I would love for him to see what it is I do when I start writing and thinking up a series. Eventually maybe I'll have a video up describing the process, but really it's actually kind of funny to see me go through the entire writing process.

As far as switching places with another community member, I have always been of the belief that as long as you've made your own decisions in life there is no reason to be unhappy. For the sake of the question though (because after all how boring is it to give that simple of an answer) I would have to say Eyros2k. Seriously, that dude is awesome and he seems to have life going for him, so I would happily trade.

A videogame character is a bit tougher for me lol. I think though that my choice would be Welkin from the original Valkyria Chronicles. Talk about loving life. I mean that guy just seems to be perpetually happy, and nothing seems to get him down. Granted his story is tragic as anything, but essentially becoming a hero and leading a small nation's army against a much more powerful force? How cool would that be?

If I could play online with anyone from the industry I would have to say it would be battlefield 2, 3 or 2142 with the guys from Dice. Mainly because I want to see how they would play their game, and the strategies and tactics they would use for it. I think that would be a really fun thing to do especially because I love the series.

[SAINT: Well, of course swapping places is a hypothetical question and not meant to suggest you're not happy and content with your own life. Its fun to consider, but I wouldn't do it either. I'd like to bring Jon Keyes to work with me, because if all goes well the Navy is going to be carting his butt around anyway, so it would give him a look at his future. My A## Rides In Navy Equipment = MARINE.

Of course picking a video game character is challenging, because as much as I would love to be, say, someone like Gordon Freeman...would I really want to be subjected to the brutality of City 17 or head crabs. I'd love to fill Nathan Drake's shoes, or would I? I might just settle for Mario or Donkey Kong...they seem to have it made.

If I could play video games with anyone in the industry, no doubt it would be Gabe Newell and Portal 2 or maybe Team Fortress 2. I'd love to be able to talk about the development process that went into making the games and see how good he is at playing his own games. Or maybe John Carmack...see how much he still plays.]

Bonus Questions

NOTE: Mojomonkey12 took advantage of the opportunity to submit one or two questions by submitting (7). The questions were so good, I've opted out of asking any bonus questions this week and will instead use over half of his questions as the bonus questions.

Bonus Question #1: mojomonkey12 asks, "You have just landed a great job interview with a company that you admire, when asked about your hobbies, do you mention gaming? Why or why not? If yes, how do you describe the hobby while still sounding like a professional?"

I do mention gaming. I'm very comfortable with who I am and as such I tend to have a lot of confidence when going into interviews. As such I don't worry about how people judge me, because I know that they have no basis to judge. Especially when I also mention the fact that I read and write for fun. That tends to balance the load in even the most biased of people's minds. As far as describing it, I'd just be honest. I tell them simply that I play games with my free time, rather than watch TV. I just tend to find that TV is rather dull and lifeless anymore while games provide a better medium for stories in my opinion.

[SAINT: Hmm...this is a bit tougher for me to answer because I've never really had a job other than being in the military, and it's not something I really bring up and discuss in that environment. I do with fellow gamers, but we don't always get that personal. I would venture to say most people I work with have no idea of my hobbies - gaming, blogging or otherwise. Saint? Who? I'm ninja like that. My hope is my next (first) job interview requires being a gamer, or at least earns me brownie points for being one. You know it's a good job when you can include your gaming experience on your resume.]

Bonus Question #2: mojomonkey12 asks, "I often hear people say that game journalism isn't taken as seriously as other types of journalism. I feel there is a lot of pressure in this industry to get the story out first, particularly when it comes to internet gaming news sites. Do you feel this perception has any merit, and if so what are some things that can be done to begin to change the image?"

I believe that is true, but really that is mainly because game journalism really isn't journalism for the most part. I find in normal journalism there is a science to making news, where as in gaming journalism it is more reposting of the news. I think this is especially true as in where it is important to get the story out first, and as such it tends to be a lot of hearsay rather than going through the process to check facts and figure out what is really happening. That more than anything else is my least favorite part of the industry. I think if they fixed that part of the industry it would go a long way towards improving its industry.

[SAINT: I don't think video game journalism is taken all that serious by mainstream society because it's natural to compare it to current events journalism. Comparing a news report relayed via satellite link from an embedded reporter working with Special Forces troops inside the border of Afghanistan with a video game journalist covering E3 isn't really a fair comparison; however, comparing video game journalists with say...sports or pop culture journalism, then I think it's comparable. As a dedicated gamer, I think video game journalism is a real job and something I would be proud to do. It's a big part of our culture and will continue to grow exponentially over the coming years. Pretty soon, Game Informer will knock off AARP as the most widely distributed magazine. As far as changing that image, time will fix it. Pretty soon, we'll all be gamers.]

Bonus Question #3: mojomonkey12 asks, "Describe your most embarrassing moment involving gaming, or if you are feeling brave, use any experience from your life."

Oh my... well let's see. I have so many. As far as gaming goes, it has to be in Starcraft 2. I played team games originally and since I was not very good I was typically the weak link. As such I would get killed very fast, every time. One specific time I was cannon contained. For those of you unfamiliar with what that is it means that I was unable to leave my base without being killed. This was due to the fact that I wasn't paying attention.

Yeah, my teammates loved that one.

So when I did see this my teammates were like 'WTF how did you not pay attention to your ramp?' and my response was 'No it's okay... I'm zerg.'

..... famous last words.

That next moment there were 6 zealots and 10 marines in my base killing everything

And then the moment after that I was gone.

[SAINT: I dunno, I've done some fairly stupid stuff in my gaming career. Here's one that's kind of funny...wasn't my fault, but was embarrassing for me. I was banned from a server.

It happened in Battlefield 2 on Wake Island map. My teammates and I were in a Blackhawk, hugging the coast and headed towards the airstrip, trying to make a covert approach. I was in one of the door gunner positions...the bird was heavy - like 5 or 6 other gamers onboard + me. Well, an enemy jet detected us and on the first pass grazed us with a missile. Our bird had the smallest sliver of health left; it was smoking badly and was a matter of WHEN it was going to crash, not a question of IF it was going to crash. It was fairly obvious it was doomed. The bad guy jet swooped around and was coming back to finish the job. Well the pilot and passengers all bailed out faster than I did, so I was automatically promoted to the pilot position of this doomed bird. In the second it took to put me in the pilot chair and everyone else having bailed out, the bird exploded and killed my teammates; all of them. I was awarded four or five team kills and not only that, but I was automatically kicked from the server. I tried to rejoin only to discover I was also automatically banned from the server. I didn't even do anything, but I was banned. Well back in the day, Battlefield 2 tracked all sorts of stats including the number of servers you've been banned from...and to this day, I still have that 1 server I was banned from.]

Bonus Question #4: mojomonkey12 asks, "Welcome to Subway, what would you like on your sandwich?"

I don't need subway, I have Wawa.

[SAINT: I've noticed some Subways have this policy where you just say, "the works" and they give you the regular - Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles...or something like that. Honestly...I'm much more of a Whopper with cheese kind of guy.]


(A number of you crazy people have asked about "herding" myself or asking me questions...why you would want that, I have no idea...but in order to play along, I've decide to implement the newest feature to Member Herding - the person being interviewed gets to ask me a question.)

BlackHeartedWolf asks Saint, "I find that you don't talk about yourself very often in your writing, is there any particular reason for this, or is it just a personal philosophy?"

[SAINT: I don't want to make it any harder for the readers to stay awake than it already is. Jokes aside, I dunno why, but I'm sure it relates to a philosophy I try to live by that suggests, "The humble shall be exalted and the exalted shall be humbled". I always cringe when I see a fellow blogger who has established a reputation here post something that projects an attitude that implies they are somehow better than the rest of the community or entitled to special recognition. I decided a long time ago to focus more on others than myself, and just let others say what needs to be said about me.

Either that...or...

Because it's none of your business, that's why! (I'm kidding, of course.) :D ]

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