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GIO Member Herding Part 50 of XX...

The first Member Herding blog was posted in June 2010 and here we are nearly 2 years later with the 50th episode. I never imagined it would be as popular or meaningful as it turned out to be, and am thankful each time I post a new one of these to see the level of interest they still manage to attract. This latest episode is unique and special. I know there are going to be a few who question my pick, but I emphatically stand behind it.

With only a pair of blogs to his name, the member featured in this episode isn't a blogger. He doesn't host a podcast or even submit user reviews. But what he does do for the community is arguably more important than being a content provider. A community is not built by blogs, or reviews or podcasts. It's built by individual members collaborating with one another and supporting each other. Rising to Level 13 through supporting the community with comments and forum posts; for being a positive force and supportive team player; and for displaying wisdom and tact well beyond his years, it's my honor and pleasure to present to you the 50th member of the herd.

GIO Name: Keyes

GIO Rank: Veteran Member - Level 13

Gaming Experience (Years playing): 14 years

Last Game Completed: Alice: Madness Returns

Currently Playing: Battlefield 3

Origin of GIO Profile Name: It is my last name.

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

Randomly Generated Questions from fellow members of the herd.

1. Chris Mrkvicka asks, "The world is in peril. Somehow, every video game ever created has become real and all of the enemies have banded together to take over the world. Humanity's last hope is you and your squad of 5 video game heroes. Who do you take with you?"

This first question is an easy one. Jak of the Jak & Daxter series, Gordon Freeman of Half-Life,  Rico Velasquez from the Killzone games, and Link of the Legend of Zelda games. I would have said John -117, but it seems like most people who spend time fighting around him die.

[SAINT: Interesting choices. I would agree with Gordon Freeman, but I'd probably pick Marcus Fenix, Master Chief, Commander Shepard and as much as it pains me to say it, Duke Nukem. All these characters have one thing in common - they faced insurmountable odds and triumphed.]

2. Born4this asks, "The Batman fans I talk to all agree that Rocksteady did an excellent job with the Batman license. Their games made Batman fans say, "THAT is how you do a Batman game!" Assuming they could bring the same magic touch to any licensed franchise, which one would you like to see them develop a game for?"

Well now, that's a tough one. I was about to say that I'm at a tie between Firefly and the Stargate series, but now that I think about it I would love to see more of the Firefly universe over the Stargate universe.

[SAINT: I gave Dean a hard time about asking a Batman related question. Somehow I knew he would be able to sneak that in. That would be an interesting game; kind of like Mass Effect. I don't have an "original" answer, but I am excited to see what they do with TMNT, if that rumor is true.]

3. Meta77 asks, "Do you think gaming has changed in the way companies approach us in how they advertise games. From the 90s commercials were filled with game ads or product tie-ins. In today's age it seems that has died off and rarely do you notice ads - what do you think?"

Well I can't exactly answer this one as I haven't had cable for over a year now, but it definitely seems like the way games are advertised has changed. As gaming becomes more mainstream there is less need for money to be spent on advertising to a large amount of people, as news will likely be spread person to person.

[SAINT: Let me tell you, it has changed immensely from my early days. You were lucky to hear or read anything about video games back then. I don't think they "advertise" as much as they market now. You might not see as many advertisements, but you certainly see it all over other products. I did a blog on the commercialization of the video game industry, which included pictures of video games on unusual products - like Commander Shepard on Axe Body Spray.]

4. Sakabato24 asks, "If there was one video game convention or video game tournament you would like to go to, where would you like to go the most?"

Well, I don't really follow any of the tournaments or conventions, but off the top of my head I'd have to say E3.

[SAINT: Couldn't agree more. Since E3 is considered an industry event and access is normally limited to those actually working in the industry, I'd like to think if I was attending it was because I was working in the industry.]

5. Hist asks, "Some stories in books and movies have downbeat endings. Do you think an ending like that can work in a video game? If you've spent 10-15 hours playing a game, being the hero, would a "bad" ending satisfy you?"

I would love to see more downbeat endings in video games. In the majority of games you always save the universe, save the girl, beat the bad guy, etc. But for once it'd be nice if I couldn't save the town, couldn't save the girl, the bad guy gets away, you're near death or dead, whatever. It'll be something gamers aren't used to and so much more can be done with sequels besides a new evil or problem presenting itself.

[SAINT: I like the idea but I don't. I hated the ending of RDR, but it was perfect. I didn't want to accept it. So as much as I agree, I really want to disagree. I want my characters to live forever, just like I want my cat and my dogs to live forever...even though I know that's not the way it is.]

6. Saint - In real life we humans often commemorate or at least consider defining moments in history that shaped our nation. List one company, system, video game and character that contributed to the growth and popularity of the video game industry and briefly describe the impact each had.

Wow, that's quite the question, Saint. I don't think I'll be able to answer all the parts of it as I haven't spent much time brushing up on my video game history. I will say the one part of the question that I'm sure about is which system, and I'd have to say the Wii. Because of the Wii, a very large amount of people were able to get into video games either for the first time, or the first time in awhile.

[SAINT: Yeah, that was probably a bit much, but you still get partial credit for answering. As a gamer and a blogger, the Wii sure taught me a few things. Don't ever underestimate what you don't understand and don't always listen to the industry experts who proclaim something will fail (or succeed for that matter).]

7. Colton asks, "If you could have one Pokémon as a pet which one would it be?"

Ghastly, after my first encounter with that Pokémon I near immediately started using ghost and dark Pokémon for the majority of my team.

[SAINT: I wouldn't. Um, I don't really know too much about Pokémon. I only recall Pikachu and Charizard, so I'll just throw Charizard out there and hope I don't embarrass myself.]

8. The One and Only Happyginger asks, "If you could change one thing about the website, what would it be, and why?"

The video player.

[SAINT: The what? The video player? I think if I could change one thing about the website, above my name where it says member it would say staff. Sorry, couldn't resist. I might also fix the fake moderator glitch. Not a big fan of that.]

9. TOGNick asks, "Given that new IP typically releases around the release of new consoles, what kind of IP do you expect to arrive in the next generation of consoles?"

Well, I don't know what kind is likely to appear, but the type I'd hope would show up in the next generation of consoles would be IP with a darker theme.

[SAINT: Hmm. Hard to say. Although I wouldn't be surprised if the team behind Limbo released their Project 2 on the next generation Xbox. Just a feeling, but could be gas I suppose.]

10. bjdbuch asks, "Favorite Game Console of All Time and why?"

The PS1, and mostly just because that's out of sentimentality. It's not the oldest console I have owned, but it was the first, and it's because of it that I am the gamer I am today.

[SAINT: NES. It was such a game changer and the controller alone is almost the universal symbol for gaming. I have a lot of fond memories of the NES, and I know I'm not alone.]

11. Cody Gilley asks, "This generation has been full of exciting new IPs. We've had everything from Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Batman Arkham series and way too many for me to name. I'd actually go as far as to say that this generation has created the best IPs we've ever had in the gaming industry.  My question to you is very simple: What are the 3 most stand-out new franchises of this generation to you. It can be anything you want and it doesn't have to be your favorite. But your choices do have to have only been created this generation."

Borderlands, Assassin's Creed, Gears of War.

[SAINT: Crikey. I wonder what is considered "this generation"? Um, I definitely think Mass Effect ranks up there. Possibly the Uncharted series. Does Halo count? It certainly has left its fingerprint permanently imprinted in the history books. This one is impossible to answer.]

12. Warbuff asks, "Which video game (title or series) has had the biggest impact on who you are now?"

Surprisingly I'd have to say Flower. Not only did that game get me more interested in other indie games, but I enjoy my walks around town more often than I used to for some reason, ha.

[SAINT: Warbuff sent along a comment that is definitely worth including with his question, so instead of me commenting on this one I'm just going to post his comment. "For me the answer is obvious, Medal of Honor. The series came at a critical time in my life when I was just starting an interest in WWII. The stories, people, locations, gear, all came to life through the games. The music, which I still listen to on a near daily basis, moved me the edge of my seat and eventually to tears. Medal of Honor on PS1 is to me as FF7 or Half-life is to others. It's the game that all others measure up to in my mind. I deconstruct the design and fiercely defend against those that use terms such as "generic shooter" and "just like call of duty" (that last statement only applies to the WWII era games not the 2010 abomination) because of my infatuation, I'm always eager to know which game or series has had this same impact on someone else. I feel all of us gamers have one." -Warbuff]

13. Mray901 asks, "What is the most frustrating experience you've ever had with a video game?"

I was going to say Portal, but then I remembered a part in Mirror's Edge where, no matter how often I go through it, I forget where I'm supposed to go and it takes me forever to figure out that, hey, I was supposed to just turn around and take a few steps to the left.

[SAINT: This depends on whatever game I'm currently playing. Maybe its age, but I find I get frustrated far more often than I used to. For example, right now I've been playing a lot of Mario Kart on the Wii...and I'll tell ya, I'll yell at that game to no end. When I'm leading the race and those cheating computer controlled cars get item box after item box and I'll drop down to sixth or worse...yeah, that's frustrating. I also hate when Creepers sneak up on me and blow up my stuff in Minecraft.]

14. Eyros2k asks, "What three attributes (characteristics, virtues or lack thereof - whatever) do you value most in your best friend and significant other/ current romantic interest respectively?"

Ha, now this really is a tough question as I don't have a significant other nor have I been around any one I would consider a friend in some time. So I'll go off of what I valued in one of my friends before she moved away. She was strict, was able to take a joke, and didn't mind me often being quiet as she did most of the talking.

[SAINT: Money is always good. Just kidding. I just like honest, humble and humorous people.]

15. WS-N asks, "What is your favorite moment in the Uncharted series and why?"

After you get back to waking up just after the train wreck in Uncharted 2. You go through it for a tutorial in the beginning, so you know Nathan will be mostly fine up until that point, but afterwards you have no idea how bad things might really get, for all we knew, Nathan might have died at the end of the second game.

[SAINT: OMG, where to begin. I'd have to say in Uncharted 3 - when that cruise ship starts flooding and you have to abandon ship. That was freaking unbelievable.]

16. Matthew B asks, "Where do you think the gaming industry would be if Nintendo had never existed?"

Well, I'd imagine there wouldn't be as many cartoony or light hearted games as there are now.

[SAINT: It would exist, but to think about a world without some of the most iconic characters in gaming, I can't guarantee it would be as artistic, imaginative and charming as it is today.]

17. Koob24 asks, "What is the worst possible scenario you can think of?"

Worst possible scenario, hmm....it's not a zombie apocalypse, the majority of the world's population has just resorted to cannibalism.

[SAINT: In real life or in video games; for me or for all of mankind? I suppose depending on your spiritual beliefs death has to be on the list somewhere.]

18. Kyledk05 asks, "What is one feature/gameplay mechanic in games that really grinds your gears? (i.e. I hate inventory weight and over encumbrance in my RPGs) Why do you hate it so much? "

Aim assist, sure it's optional, but it used to always annoy me that just as I'm about to take that headshot, another enemy runs in front and the reticle follows after just as I pull the trigger.

[SAINT: I hate Quick Time Events (QTE). God of War has improved my skills, but I still suck at it. I hate it so much because I suck at it...so much.]

19. Kyle Wadsworth asks, "You're playing Minecraft. Like CoD's Double XP weekend, you're given a bonus of unlimited resources, but only for three hours. What one weapon, object or structure do you create and why?"

A functioning Death Star, I could use it to reshape the landscape to whatever I see fit! Bwahahahaha!

[SAINT: Unlimited resources...man, I'm filling up a trunk with diamond weapons and tools for sure. Then I'll need plenty of iron ore. It would help me in my quest to build my mine cart track from one corner of the map to the other corner of the map. Yes, it's true...just like the race to build the first transcontinental railroad in the USA, I have taken on this challenge. It's a lot tougher than what it sounds like. Did I mention that it is being constructed underground at the lowest possible level?]

20. Doctor Apozem asks, "Commander Shepard and Master Chief walk into a bar. They engage in some friendly banter and begin a game of pickup badminton. Shepard goes Renegade and accuses the Chief of cheating. The two agree to a duel. Where do they duel, with what weapons, and who wins? Along those lines, if you had to duel one member of GIO, who would it be?"

Master Chief with an energy sword, Commander Shepard with his omni-tool's blade in the Roman coliseum. I favor neither but I'd imagine Master Chief would win.

[SAINT: Hah, I like Keyes's response and agree with his outcome.]

21. Jack Gardner asks, "What is the worst game you have ever played that you loved despite its flaws?"

Brink. I regret buying it, especially since I had decided not to cancel my pre-order for it even though the PSN was down the entire month. But besides it being the worst purchase I have ever made, it was still a fun game and if not for the PSN being down and a fair amount of flaws in it, I think it would have done quite well.

[SAINT: I forget which Rainbow Six it was, but the game shipped for the PC and the developer console was accessible, even during online gameplay. It was a wonderful game but you couldn't play it online because too many people would open up the dev console and make themselves invulnerable or have unlimited ammo. The game was quickly abandoned by most even after a patch came out fixing the problem.]

22. Masterassassin asks, "If you could live in any video game city, or town, what would it be?"

City 17. To be part of the events of Half-Life 2 would make it worth it.

[SAINT: City 17 does sound cool, but not sure I want to deal with the Combine. I'd want something more peaceful and not quite as deadly and dangerous...something like Mario World or wherever Pikmin live.]

23. Blaze6106 asks, "What classic game (N64 and back) holds the most Nostalgic Value for you? Why?"

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. It was the first game I personally owned.

[SAINT: As soon as I read classic and N64 I couldn't help but think GoldenEye 007. It's certainly a classic and accomplished so much. One of the first console based First Person Shooter, it had dual wielding, scoped weapons, many different maps and a decent story. Loved that game.]

24. Mojomonkey12 asks, "In your time at Game Informer, what is your fondest memory that involves the community, or at least some people from the community?  If you could change one thing about our community, for the better presumably, what might that be?"

Well, I'd have to say my fondest memory is all the ongoing conversations I have with members from the brony group over Skype. I honestly can't think of anything I would want to change about the community, the problems that I've seen flare up on occasion just make it seem more like one large family.

[SAINT: I've made some pretty solid friendships during my tenure here at Game Informer, so that is certainly at the top. Having chatted publicly and privately with so many different people; having gamed online with a handful of them; and having met a couple people in person, what the Game Informer community has developed and fostered here is pretty remarkable.]

25. BlackHeartedWolf asks, "What about the community has made you rethink something about yourself, either as a writer or as a person?  Can you name a particular instance where this has taken place?"

Well, I was always a really quiet person, but since coming to GIO and talking with one member or the other, my inner social animal has really reared its ugly head, haha. And it's always in Skype with other GIO members too.

[SAINT: Hah, glad you asked Keyes that and not me...heh heh. I'd have to give this one some serious thought and take my time responding.]

26. SamuraiZero asks, "When you play games that allow you to create or even customize your character, do you try to make a character that resembles yourself, or do you prefer a completely different experience? Same for choices in a game. Do you choose what you think you would choose in that situation, or do you go another route?"

I usually base how my character looks on how I want to play. If I'm going to be playing as a warrior or novice thief my guy is going to look rugged and dirty, like he's been rolling around in a mud hole for half an hour and was beat up by everyone throughout most of his life, the decisions...I always base them off how what I would do if I was in that situation, it's not always the good choice either.

[SAINT: Hah, what do you mean not always the good choice either? Are we seeing your roguish side? Interesting.]

27. Oni no Tenshi asks, "Do you think that in the future, we will still have multiple gaming platforms with dedicated games, or will we have a dedicated device available?"

So long as there are a few major companies ahead of the others, I think there will be multiple systems for games. Everyone wants a larger slice of the pie then the next guy.

[SAINT: Yup. As long as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo exist, there is going to be multiple gaming platforms (or online services when we transition to cloud based gaming).]

28. Stranger asks, "What game soundtrack do you feel has added the most emotion to a game you've played, and why?"

The soundtrack to Brutal Legends. Besides there just being plenty of songs that are good for just roaming around and slaying monsters to, but the songs used for some of the cut scenes were just well implemented, such as the scene where the song Mr. Crowley was played.

[SAINT: Hmm. I'm not really a music person, so I don't know. I liked the Halo and Portal soundtracks.]

29. Silvershine08 asks, "If you could do a remake or re-master of any game to the current set on consoles, what game would it be, what system would it release on and why?"

I would love to see a remake of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but with a more mature twist. And I don't mean blood, gore, and nudity.

[SAINT: I'll be happy if the new X-COM game turns out okay. One of my favorite games from the past, so we can start with that one.]

30. Aaron asks, "Pretty much everyone has that one defining reason as to why they not only picked GIO to make an account, but made it their digital home away from home. What was that reason for you, what makes you stick around?"

The blogs. As of late, some of them seem like it's just a copy & paste thing, but most of the time its like going through a diamond mine. There are so many quality bloggers and blogs on this site that it makes it hard to want to leave.

[SAINT: Couldn't agree more.]

31. Craigaleg asks, "The enemy is approaching and you must decide on a loadout to battle the masses! Do you typically grab the all-around assault rifle, the heavy hitting and slow moving machine gun, or the pinpoint accurate sniper rifle?"

Well, I'd normally say sniper rifle, but as of late I'd pick the assault rifle...so long as it also had single and burst firing modes.

[SAINT: Trust me, you can't ever go wrong with the assault rifle...and with the right attachments it can pretty much function as both.]

Bonus Question: Saint asks, "So, what was your reaction when I informed you that you were selected as the 50th member to be featured in Member Herding?"


Honestly, I was caught completely by surprise. It took me a good 10 minutes to process and type out my reply (regardless of all the other stuff I was reading on GIO).

[SAINT: Hah Hah, well it probably didn't help in the manner in which I informed you. Sparing the community of all the messy details, let's just say I contacted Mr. Keyes apologizing for not mentioning him in my "Getting to Know the Community Blog" before telling him I did that on purpose and hope he was upset over it...and oh by the way...congratulations, you've been selected as the 50th member of the herd. Maybe I was testing him a little bit? Perhaps.]

Ask Me A Question And I Might Just Answer It.

Keyes asks, "How'd life change for you when you joined the military?"

[SAINT: I could write volumes and not even scratch the surface of answering that question. It changed me physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, economically...I used to be poor and have nothing. Now I have everything...and I don't just mean material possessions. Also, when you accept that you would willingly and graciously lay down your life for the flag under which you serve and to protect the freedom and liberties afforded by the Constitution of the United States of America, it results in this inner peace and freedom that escapes explanation. Great question!]

As a reminder, with his selection as the 50th member to be featured in member herding, I will send Keyes an autographed Game Informer donated by the staff specifically for this episode and a $50 Gamestop gift card.

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

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