... mushroom, mushroom. So why have we just bombed you with this tired yet perversely persistent earworm? Because like the proverbial mushroom, WoW Insider reader Badger has kinda grown on us, unanimously capturing the enthusiastic accolades of the WI staff when we decided to feature a WI reader/commenter on 15 Minutes of Fame. We discovered that fellow WI bloggers keep their eyes peeled for Badger comments on their posts because he's warm, funny, thoughtful ... All the traits that make other readers (and us!) want to pause to engage in a little World of Warchat.
So Badger, this is your 15 Minutes of Fame – but not before we carve out a few seconds for the other readers our staff felt deserve a WoW Insider shout-out:
- J Parris
WoW Insider reader: Badger
Main character: Andronikos
Server: Moon Guard ("great RP haven, but queues are now up to 500+ at peak times")
Guild: House Talshara ("small, close-knit, light RP with awesome people, some of whom prefer heavy RP at times")
WoW player since: Summer 2005
15 Minutes of Fame: We've missed you around lately! Where have you been?
Badger: All over the freakin' place, really. I was researching grad school stuff for a while, trying to get my finances in order, taking care of a few big changes at work ... Basically, "real life" has just been getting in the way for the last few months. Things are starting to calm down now, though.
How long have you been a WoW Insider regular?
That's a good question ... I don't remember, exactly, but I *think* I've been visiting the site and posting comments since late 2007. As with any type of media, the vast majority of readers pick and choose what they read and then move on without commenting.
What's drawn you into the comments and made you such a recognizable mainstay of the WI reader community?
I'm kinda surprised (and flattered) that anyone would consider me a "mainstay," but I will be the first to admit that I'm rather vocal in the comments sections. It's an interesting opportunity to interact with the other readers -- especially when they have questions about the setting of the game -- and really build a sense of community, which is what I like the most about sites like Massively and other "themed" blogs. Also, you can never have too many friends.
What are your favorite regular columns/features?
David Bowers writes All The World's A Stage and I'm a big fan of RP, so that's easily my favorite out of any of Insider's regular columns. (Michael Gray is great when he fills in, too.) (Editor's note:
The feeling seems to be mutual. "I've loved reading Badger's comments on my articles," writes David Bowers. "It would be neat to turn around and interview him when he least expected it! :)") Know Your Lore is typically a fun read; it's great to laugh your ass off while you learn more about the history behind the game's setting. It adds to the immersion. Matt Rossi's column, The Care and Feeding of Warriors, is also really, really informative for someone who likes to feel important (like me) simply because they get hit all the time (again, like me). And, of course, there's always [1.Local], where I get to see what the other readers are thinking about and saying at any particular time. The comments are usually either eye-opening and insightful or they're hysterically funny.
Also, even though he was never a regular Insider reader (to my knowledge), I just found out tonight from reading last week's posts that Ezra Chatterton passed away. I just wanted to say: The Earth Mother may have lost her greatest mortal champion, but his legend will live on forever. Regardless of our allegiances to the Alliance and the Horde, I think we can all agree on that. R.I.P.
What other WoW sites are part of your WoW media diet?
I read Natalie Mootz's blog The Game Dame and visit John Patricelli's Big Bear Butt Blogger semi-regularly. I'm very slowly integrating myself into the blogosphere and the LiveJournal community (though I visit LJ far less frequently). I also frequently use Wowhead and interact with the other site users there via their forums. When I need harvesting or crafting advice, I check Lootables in addition to the Wowhead forums. Mania's Petopia site is essential to any good Hunter, so I check there all the time for my Horde-side character(s).
Tell us about your gaming background. Where's the Badge coming from?
God, that's like asking "What days of the week do you go outside?" (Friday, in case you were genuinely curious.) I have several dozen PC games, from recent stuff like Bioshock to classics like Full Throttle and Baldur's Gate II. My fave PC game, other than World of Warcraft, is Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and its expansions. I'm also a huge fan of Team Fortress 2. (That's another game where I have been told I'm quite good at vocally impersonating the character classes.) Not a big fan of consoles; call me a classicist, but I prefer the sword-and-board style of a mouse and keyboard. Other MMO experience: Guild Wars (the most graphically gorgeous game I've ever played, with a soundtrack that stirs the heart), and EVE Online (trial -- redefined the phrase "epic scale").
What attracted you to WoW?
The setting and story, for starters. The fact that there are dedicated RP communities was a huge help, too; as a writer, I love character development, and the idea that I can be involved directly in developing a storyline.
What kind of a player are you -- solo, small group of friends/relatives, big guild, raiding, PvP, RP, tradesman, altaholic ...?
I have played this game off and on for nearly two years, and still, I only have two characters that I seriously play. I'm a perfectionist, and I have a problem dividing up my attention between hundreds of alts, though the roster is growing. As for my playstyle, I'm all about RP, so I try to run quests and carry on business in town while remaining in character. I usually either run quests solo or I work with a small group of in-game friends -- usually folks from House Talshara, but there are many others, too.
We hear you have a thing for gnomes ...
Sure do. Snoop Pup and Little T are my Gnomeboys. Y'all are short -- but you're real, baby.
"Ahhh ..." You've just finished the perfect WoW play session -- what did you do?
Most likely, I finished a ton of quests in sequence and banked some gold selling the materials I harvested in the field. I also probably took advantage of every opportunity to further develop Andronikos as a character (in the literary sense).
So we've talked about what you do in game, but it's what you do out of the game here at WoW Insider that's gotten you noticed. What does the guy behind Badger do in real life?
I work in advertising at one of the biggest and best-known newspapers in the southeast. I don't handle the sales directly, but I'm one of the behind-the-scenes crew who makes sure all the gears in the great publishing machine keep turning.
Have you been to Blizzcon or any WoW or guild meetups?
... You're kidding, right? With my debts? I could save up for months, working several jobs, and still not be able to afford a trip to BlizzCon. As for "guild meetups," that would be awesome -- but for now, I just settle for talking with the other guildies in House Talshara (who, as I've said, are awesome) on voice chat whenever I can.
Any plans ahead for Badger in Wrath?
Oh hell, yes. I actually spent a decent bit of time playing with the Death Knight class during the beta, but as I said above, real life interfered and I ended up spending less and less time in the testing environment (though -- spoiler alert? -- I thoroughly enjoyed almost all of what I experienced). I plan to work my arse off to experience as much Old Azeroth and Outland content as I can before I take on the Scourge in the frozen wastelands of the North. Lorewise, I'm planning for my first Death Knight to be the lost, presumed-dead father of my current main. (I'm tempted to link here to the old Flash animation for Dad's Home. )
Thanks, Badger. It's been great "meeting" you – see you in the comments!