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Gimp Mask
Mamma's Gang member
Mamma's Gang member

Joined: 18 Apr 2002
Posts: 4030
Location: cool running B)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Just an interview with Megatron. icon_chew


Gimp Mask: Hope you're well mang. How has the whole COVID-19 dealio affected you, have you & your family stayed healthy?

Megatron: Everyone's good thanks, I've been enjoying being in lockdown in England, I'm mostly teaching adults here and there at the minute. Hope you and yours are well! I haven't been keeping up to date with Finnish COVID-19 news but hope you and Sanitarium can play gigs again soon x

GM: Ok so did you like Fallout 3? Just kidding I don't think anyone gives a shit whether or not you like Fallout 3 at this point so I'm not going to ask that. How about Minecraft, did you like that one? I thought it was pretty boring, had this sorta autism vibe if you know what I mean.

M: I haven't played Minecraft still, Terraria was alright though. I stopped playing games for ages because I was out and about a lot, but luckily I don't have any friends now and can return to PC gaming. I started that new old Xcom game before Christmas, generally slow games because I'm a slo-mo old shmuck nowadays.

GM: It's funny, I was going through the old messages in my DAC inbox and we came very close to actually meeting when I was in your near vicinity years ago, but you were in Poland or something that weekend. Do you think if we met it would be enjoyable or awkward and a letdown? Never meet your idols like it says in the Bible. It would probably have been a disaster back then because I was a bit of a trainwreck at the time. Now I'm more like a car wreck, people slow down for the good stuff but then turn their heads in disgust after a bit.

M: I remember that, I had a funny head myself. I think it'd have been fun but who knows with internet personalities like ours, would we have just been like Maddox or something? Either way I think it would be fun to meet up nowadays in the future, back in the day showing a photo of yourself online was taboo, now people meet and have families thanks to tinder so maybe we should do that.

GM: You've been doing these really cool 3D animations for quite a while; they're a bit Prosper-esque and I do mean this as a compliment. Do you think DAC has had any meaningful influence on your creative tendencies or am I just overthinking things?

M: Definitely, it was great fun making stuff with the community and I learned so much about Photochop and everything, much more than in school or college. I just finished my Masters in digital art and have had a career in the art world, so it all goes back to DAC basically. It was a good laugh writing bits and making comics, I think I even put on my CV for a bit that I won a fiction contest with Duck and Cover but pretended it was the fashion brand, so I owe a lot to DAC and especially Prosper.

GM: Are there any DAC catch-phrases or words that have seeped, consciously or not, into your non-DAC life? I mean stuff like byzantine, "how Kubrick", spinepunch etc etc

M: I use Byzantine a lot, and I still sing 'through the wastes I ride, shotgun by my side, polishing my highwayman' in the shower sometimes, or if 2.8 appears anywhere I think of old Rex (funny how he turned out hey). Otherwise I have totally changed my language, appearance, back into witless protection

GM: Your original username was Pyro, at some point you changed it to Megatron. What's the story behind these usernames and why the switch? (for the record I originally posted under my real name until I realized this Internet thing was here to stay for good and pseudonymity started to make sense, Gimp Mask was just the title of some drum&bass track and I'm almost a bit embarrassed about this revelation because it's a pretty lame backstory for a supervillain but whatever)

M: I forgot why the change, but I think we were chatting on IRC about it and you suggested Megatron and there we go. My own embarrassing revelation was that I didn't know who Megatron was at the time, I barely remembered The Transformers. I first had the name 'pyro' as I liked setting little fires in the fields behind my house and thought it was a clever and unique name back in 1997, maybe I changed it as I liked each profile I used on different sites to have different names and be less traceable, more pure, more beautiful in fact.

GM: Where were you when the twin towers fell? I was browsing DAC at the time

M: Having a bonfire coincidentally. I remember staying up all night in AIM chatrooms listening to conspiracy wank about 'Osama bin Laden' and other stuff. The internet in 2001 is different to 2021 internet of course, how would each one have reacted to 9/11 or Coronavirus? Did they happen the wrong way round? A lot of the early part of that decade for me consists of what would now be called 'memes' about 9/11 and George Bush, though back then the only memes in town were Mr. T ate my balls and You're the man now dog. I wonder what impact 9/11 had on internet humour at the time, and in turn had effect on grown up producers and directors, culture connoisseurs, taste makers if you will.

GM: Check this shit out: kinda cool huh? I dunno, maybe not.

M: I had kind of fucked Fallout off by the time New Vegas was coming out (still haven't played it lol) - I remember years later seeing a Pipboy tattoo on someones arm and wondering how Fallout had become more mainstream, they've even come out with 76 Fallouts since. It's a billion dollar franchise, and I think part of that popularity was down to Toxic Waste Boy and Davide. It is still bizarre to me to see Fallout stuff out and about as I associate it so much with the olden days.

GM: I'm too old to think of people I've never met IRL (a bit of online jargon for you, look it up) as my friends but you're the closest thing to it I guess. Also you're one of my favourite internet people overall; have you been active in other online communities over the decades and have you enjoyed the same level of popularity in them? For me it was just DAC and #fallout (and a few other IRC channels I had with my IRL friends), I haven't really cared about any other forum or whatever. I tried posting on RPGCodex for a bit but that place sucks.

M: The only other one I put any decent time into was SomethingAwful, though around 2007 or so I started drinking properly and didn't go on the internet much for about ten years. Nowadays forums have been replaced with reddit or social media and I can't be bothered to learn how they work. I haven't been as big a kahuna on campus since luckily. I wonder now and then if in the future people would find out about space cat and other old stuff and my career would be in ruins, a sort of reverse doxxing, but then again I was about 10 when I first started posting on DAC so give the boy a break.

GM: Why do you think DAC drew in so many weird / creative people, or people simply interested in the weirdness? Like, NMA is the mecca of autism, but do you think there was something inherently different with the two sites or was it just that a few prolific posters happened to pick one over the other for whatever reason thus creating a perfect breeding ground for whatever bullshit both sites birthed?

M: I think at the time the first 2 games - sci-fi with a bit of sex and violence in - were relatively niche and attracted a certain kind of slimeball, slimmer still that they'd go on the internet to post about it. I think the original admins, Kreegle and Killian, had a good balance of being dorky punks so that helped, as well as our community being a bit more rough and ready whilst NMA was more for people who have disputes with their neighbours about the height of garden fences. I preferred DAC because I thought the community was funnier and more creative and it allowed for space to experiment, even right down to putting code in your posts that could break the website, so I appreciated that.

I know people went from both sites on to form RPGCodex which was pretty much entirely responsible for gamergate, the election of Donald Trump and the downfall of western civilization, kinda weird huh? I always was a soft lefty soyboy communist myself, so thinking how some people in the community went on to storm the capitol building with DAC open on their tablet computers was kind of shocking. Still, the creative and weird side was fun and obviously the best fanbase on the whole internet at one point.

GM: Kind of a related question: you're one of the few remaining people who used to post on DAC back when it was hosted by GameSpy. I posted like a few times there but the forum software was shit. But the community was very different back then I believe, what do you think caused the forums to go to a completely different direction after the departure from GSA? I think The Wasteland forum was a big reason behind it; suddenly there's a place where you can post pretty much any weird and sick shit (even though it wasn't that bad in the beginning) and that's going to attract a certain type of audience, or bring forth some aspects of people's personality they normally wouldn't exhibit but were now anonymously able to.

M: I know a lot of this interview has been very nostaglic, must be like interviewing Brando at the end of his life, but I think the anonymity made a massive difference in what and how people could post, made it a bit more theatrical and performative rather than a photo of some cunt standing next to their ugly pet baby and getting 40,000 likes on facebook or whatever. The unit of culture (sheesh!) tended to be words or manipulated images rather than videos/photos as it is nowadays, so that also forced people to be more creative whilst being well suited for introvert dorks. Having a place like The Wasteland was interesting as you could do anything pretty much, so your mind immediately goes towards the fringe, the edge, the twilight outer zone - and finding things was much different as it required more legwork than stuff being collected and copied into top 10 lists and videos broadcast directly to you.

I think the change in direction was good, and from seeing the last few posters knocking around the forums I think it had a similar impact on them. They were very formative years for me and more or less took place of my social life, very cutting edge stuff twenty years ago, and it was a good laugh. Something like that won't happen again really now the internet is 7 different websites, though I hope/guess that there's still places out there that can encourage mucking about.

GM: My fondest DAC memories are all the projects we did together, and having read Pooper's old interviews it seems like a lot of other members really enjoyed that stuff as well, which makes me feel kinda proud. Which is also why it's pretty cool to be working on this super secret project with you after 10 years or whatever.

M: Aye, the secret IRC channel was the best place to be, all the making things and chatting really. I know as some directors are getting older, like Lynch or Scorcese, they are making these films that explore ageing and are reflections on the passing of time and such. I am glad to join the ranks of 'Agepunk' media with any super secret projects coming up - but aye, it was fun to work together on all that old stuff, nowadays they would call it an 'international collaboration' but back then it was just 2 radical dudes with warez software. At the time my parents had just gotten divorced and I was depressed and didn't have people to talk to, so going on the forums and that helped me a lot. It was also cool that there were people from all over the world chatting away about all sorts of stuff.

GM: The one subforum I miss the most is Feelings Online; the juxtaposition of FO and The Wasteland led to some hilarious stuff. I dunno looks like I'm not even asking questions any more, just reminiscing, better wrap this interview up quickly.

M: I think Feelings Online won in the end as thats pretty much what things are nowadays, even me, but all that nonsense where they separated to the Knight Command Post was fun, when I think back to all that shit about being able to deflect bullets with a katana or whatever I still laugh. Wonder what they're doing nowadays

GM: Do you have any plans for the future? Like what do you wanna do or be when you grow up, do you want to start a family, or whatever, interpret the question however you want to.

M: Been thinking about this a bit recently as I don't feel young any more. I've been very lucky with work, achieved a bunch of stuff I wanted to do and have a decent life all around. Though at the same time I take very little pleasure in completing these things, like I'll come to the end of a big project where I've helped hundreds of people make positive changes in their life and I'm not that bothered about it. I think I'd like to get back to basics a bit really, if I can get away with making stuff for the fun of it and make a living off that, that'd be swell. Otherwise I'll keep plodding along in a regular job then die unfulfilled I guess.

GM: Ok final question: if the 2021 Megatron could give 2004 Kashluk one piece of advice, what would it be?

M: You should record 'Gangnam Style' and upload it onto YouTube in a few years, it will be big stuff. Maybe you did already, I don't know how time works.
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Vault Elite
Vault Elite

Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Posts: 398
Location: DAK Oracle

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I enjoy that Mega turned out to be a teacher
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Gimp Mask
Mamma's Gang member
Mamma's Gang member

Joined: 18 Apr 2002
Posts: 4030
Location: cool running B)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Like the old adage goes: those who can do, can't teach. I could never teach I'd lose my patience like :fingersnap: that, but I can't do shit either so I dunno. I'm stuck in the societal purgatory completely lacking agency but maybe one day Megatron will teach me how to do. Until then I'll just keep on interviewing strangers on an ancient internet forum.

Last edited by Gimp Mask on Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Living Legend
Living Legend

Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 3168
Location: Cackalackyland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Strange to think a website like this has outlasted something as monolithic as gamespy was back in its heyday.
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Mamma's Gang member
Mamma's Gang member

Joined: 14 May 2002
Posts: 5426
Location: Coney Island

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

um bongo um bongo, they drink it in the congo
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