GS: As of March 30th, 2012, you have been a Gunslinger member officially for a year. How did you happen to come across the rest of us, and with which GSer(s) did you first get into game?
House.Lannister: Amazing that it’s already been a year… Wow, what a great year it’s been! Anyway, I had just gotten my PS3 about a month before finding the Gunslingers and the only game I had was Killzone 3. I tend to enjoy the objective type of games over the straight deathmatch stuff and since I was so new to the PS3, I didn’t have any buddies to squad up with. I went out to the Killzone site and was shocked and appalled at the incredible nastiness and disrespect that existed there. To this day I always feel like I need a shower after visiting that cesspool. I almost threw in the towel and resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to go it alone; but as a last ditch effort, I started sifting through the clan threads. That’s when I came across Murph’s gunslinger thread. I swear it’s only a slight exaggerating to say it was like the heavens opened and a chorus of angels sang – I signed up immediately. The first Gunslinger I gamed with was Scars… (normally I’d throw in a jab here because it IS Scars after all and who doesn’t like to poke fun of HIM!), but to be perfectly honest he’s the main reason I knew I was hooked from the get go and would make Gunslingers my online family – he really made me feel welcome and got me involved immediately. Within a couple of days I was running with Bison, Steak_N_Fries, Sosyc, CheesyMonkey, BigBangBear and quite a few others.
GS: Your original Introduction post remarked that you signed up for KillZone 3. What many people may not know is that the Nintendo Wii and your kids have a big role in you getting back into gaming. Can you tell us about that? Did it affect your decision in buying the Playstation Move? Additionally, let’s put some context the questions. What was the first game you ever owned and what was the last game you played prior to giving up gaming until picking it up again?
House.Lannister: First games were for Atari 2600 – Breakout, Combat (since it came with the console), Defender, Yars Revenge, and Pitfall come to mind as favorites among the shoe boxes full of cartridges. Pretty much kept up with most new consoles from then until the early nineties when I went to college. Even though I took my SNES with me to school I ended up playing more games on my computer at that time… Maybe it just felt more like studying!! For the next 10 years or so I’d get an occasional game on the computer (Sid Meier’s Civ and Alpha Centauri were a couple that consumed me for a month or 2 at a time) but for the most part games took a back seat to Real Life. Then a few years back my Mom gave my kids a Wii for Christmas and the seal was broken. At first, it was just some Wii Tennis here or some Band Hero there… with the kids of course. Then IT HAPPENED. A friend handed me this disk and said I should give it a try… COD4: Reflex. This was my first ever experience with Online Multiplayer (and first FPS since Doom) and Holy S^*t was I hooked. I convinced a co-worker (and now fellow Gunslinger Iskaral_Pust) to pick it up as well and we’d always try and play together. Only major complaint we had was we couldn’t talk to each other while we played (well, the noob tubes and quick scopers too, but that’s another long winded post all by itself!). That’s when the wife surprised me with the PS3 as a belated birthday present. It was bundled with KZ3, but I immediately ran up to Gamestop and bought COD4, figuring “hey, I know the guns and maps, I just have to get used to the new controller and I’ll be in business!” Um… Nope. That’s when I realized that aiming with analog thumb stick is a skill I just do not possess. So COD went back to the store and the PS Move came home.
GS: You have been playing KillZone 3 for over a year now. Do you find yourself as the type of gamer who enjoys one title at a time or do you juggle other titles as well? What unreleased game that is coming out in 2012 do you find of interest, and in what ways may your experiences in KillZone 3 serve as a meter stick to your expectations?
House.Lannister: Historically I’d say I tend to have one primary game at a time. I’m a bit of a “completionist” (some would call it OCD) so I tend to keep at a given game until I’m done with it. Online multiplayer has changed that a little for me though since it’s never really DONE. So now, I’d say I have one game for online gaming and a couple of other single player/offline games to mix in when I’m in the mood for just getting lost in a game by myself. As far as future titles are concerned, I’m really looking forward to Dust 514 and Counterstrike: Global Offensive. I wouldn’t say that I use Killzone 3 as a meter stick per se, but fun gameplay, varied game modes and good graphics (all while being Move supported) is a combo that’s been pretty hard to find so far.
GS: You have remarked that you are an engineer in your GS forum profile. What sort of engineer are you? How long have you been in this profession, and what do you find most appealing about the profession?
House.Lannister: I’ve been a Mechanical Engineer in the Jet Engine Business for the last 15 years; initially in the design and improvement side of the business but now in the troubleshooting and repair side of the house. Basically I’m the onsite technical support for the Air Force whenever they have engine problems – If the engine isn’t operating like it should, they look to me to help figure out what’s wrong and get it fixed and back in the air as quickly as possible. It’s taken many years of job shopping within the company to find my niche, but I can honestly say now that I Love My Job. At the risk of sounding kind of cheesy, to me the most appealing part of my job is the pride that comes with helping keep the F-22 flying – that and getting to walk out of my office throughout the day and watch Raptors take of and land (yeah, if it hasn’t been fully established by now, I’m a geek).
GS: Being a parent, which gender has caused you more grey hairs? Your sons or daughters?
House.Lannister: Tough question… It is true I didn’t have a single grey hair before kids, but each one causes grey hairs in their own special way. I struggle with the mind blowing emotional swings with the girl (and she hasn’t even hit puberty yet!?!) and the strong willed defiant nature of the boy. But I’m not sure how much of that is gender based or simply the particular personality of the kids.
GS: We now know House.Lannister, the professional and the gamer. What are some other loves in life you wield that we may not yet know? Living in Virginia, does any of your other interests have a more local application?
House.Lannister: We’ve only lived in Virginia for a few years and really haven’t found a local niche hobby yet – does shuttling kids around town count?? Before VA (and kids), we lived in Connecticut for 7ish years so we really embraced Skiing and Snowboarding. Before CT, we lived in South Florida where my in-laws introduced me to SCUBA diving. By far diving is still one of my favorite hobbies; we just don’t get to do it as much as we’d like to anymore. Last but not least, motorcycles have been a life long passion – I’ve been riding them in some fashion since I was about 5 years old.
GS: What was the last vacation or trip you and your family took? If asked, what would your family say it is like traveling with the House.Lannister? Please refrain from using phrases such as “God-like” or other red-flag terms of untruth.
House.Lannister: Nearly all of our family vacations involve driving to visit family. Since that’s the way it’s been since the kids were infants they actually handle the 6-16 hour drives like champions. Where the complaints tend to come from is the seat next to me… She’d be the first to tell you that my right foot is entirely too heavy and I’m not the most tolerant of drivers that aren’t paying attention or think they are the only car on the road.
GS: What was the first album you remember buying, and, to date one’s self, on which media format was it on?
House.Lannister: I love music in general but I never really spent much of my disposable income on it. My parents had a pretty large record collection that I’d sift through when the radio inevitably got too monotonous, so I never felt the need to have to go out and buy more music. However, the first album I remember buying for myself was Metallica’s Ride the Lightning on cassette tape. The main reason that one sticks out is I had just gotten this new fanged device called a Walkman (how’s THAT for dating myself) and was amazed that I could actually bring my own music with me while I was cutting the grass.
GS: You have been a responder to the “What Are You Currently Reading?” thread and have noted in your GS forum profile that reading is among your interests. What sort of genres do you most often read? If left on a desert island (yes, I did just add a desert island question), what are some reads you just couldn’t live without?
House.Lannister: I try to mix it up a pretty good bit. Fiction tends more toward the sci-fi and fantasy genres with some spy, mystery, and horror mixed in for spice. I also try to have a non-fiction in progress (usually political or science based, but occasionally I’ll pick up a historical account or biography as well) to try and put some perspective on the 20 second sound bites that are thrown at us on a daily basis and passed off as “News”. As an aside, for anyone still in the “reading with kids” stage of life, I highly recommend The Strange Case of Oragami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back… They are just full of win. As far as the desert island question goes, I’m going cheat a little: I’d choose my Kindle with a solar charger, that way I can load it up with Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, and Tolkien. Almost sounds like an awesome vacation… Don’t suppose I’d have access to the 3G network would I??
GS: Prepare yourself. The following question is going to be a tough one. What is your drink of choice?
House.Lannister: Sweet Iced Tea! But, I assume that’s not what you’re really asking; if I’m aiming for something a little stronger I’ll usually go with a Jack and Diet Coke.
Thank you, House.Lannister, for being a member of the Gunslingers and taking the time to answer our interview. To our readers, thank you for your attention and game on!