Gearbox Community Badass is a new feature we’re trying out as a way to recognize members of the Gearbox Community for their creative efforts – be they cosplays, artwork, community events, guides, or any other means of letting their Gearbox flag fly! Each week, we’ll spotlight one of our awesome community members and the cool things they’re doing. Anyone is eligible to be a featured community badass, so being a member of the forums isn’t required (although it helps since this is where our badasses will be featured!) Additionally, every featured Badass will receive a “Legendary” forum badge, so it’ll be hard to enjoy your flair without a forum account, right?! Please note that while each week’s Community Badass will be selected by forum staff, nominations are welcome and will be taken into account. If you’d like to nominate someone to be a Gearbox Community Badass, just PM @JoeKGBX with your nomination!
This is week and next week’s editions of Community Badass are very special “Mod Appreciation” editions. Next week we’ll be featuring @Kitty_Jo, but this week, we’re featuring a man who needs no introduction. He’s a man who you’ve probably conversed with on the forums. He may have helped figure out the answer to a question you had, given you another way of looking at things, or he may have even posted pics of cute animals at you (which means you were being naughty). Ok, now I’ve gone and given an introduction to man who needs no introduction…
This week’s Community Badass is none other than the “5th Prettiest Mod” himself, @Psychichazard! “PH”, as he is affectionately known to the forum staff, is our most veteran mod. He’ll give you more insight into his history below, but I want to make sure that he and everyone reading this knows that, on behalf of our forum staff and every single developer at Gearbox Software, we sincerely appreciate everything that he’s done for this community. He’s a shining example of what the Gearbox Community is all about and if you’re reading this and have any interest in becoming an exemplary member of the community yourself, look no further than PH to show you how it’s done.
This is one edition of Community Badass that should’ve been written a long time ago. Thank you for everything, PH. This community would not be the same without you. For the first time in Community Badass history,
OK – let’s all dry our eyes and enjoy Gearbox Community Badass: Psychichazard Edition!
*How long have you been playing Gearbox games?*
Siiiiince....let me see....Half-Life: Opposing Force.
What’s your favorite Gearbox title?
Has to be Borderlands. No, BL2. Uh…Battleborn…Uhmm…Borderlands. That’s a tricky question. It depends what mood I’m in. I love the feel and unique mood of the first Borderlands…and I played that game so much that Pandora feels like a second home, and full of happy memories. Like…playing it co-op with my partner. She’d never played a FPS before. I distinctly remember going into FFYL, surrounded by spiderants, and asking for a revive. Nothing. I asked again…and through the blood-red of the screen, saw her zooming off into the distance in a Runner, on fire, laughing maniacally.
But so worth it. No other games have given me moments like that. Your games make stuff like that happen all the time.
How long have you been on the forums now?
I signed up 3 weeks after the release of Borderlands 1, after lurking for a while. I remember watching the game and forum grow and grow and become a huge thing, followed by utter madness when BL2 hit. That was just after I got covered in purple stuff, just before Kitty. At this time I had been running the Sanity Thread for a couple of years as an antidote to the serious anguish that kept cropping up and spoiling the mood. I still don’t fully understand how people get to think it’s okay to have a public meltdown about their hobby just because there’s a screen between them and their audience/victims. I guess this is what got me the offer to mod, that and the way I’d try and get people to talk calmly about what they were chewing the keyboard about. Usually people do have a point, but it gets lost in the anger. I do get why people are so passionate about their fun, I am too, but that’s no excuse to insult anyone. Ever, really, because usually they’re insulting people who care just as much.
What does a “Moderator” do and how did you become one?
Randy Pitchford explained it better than I can. If the forums are a party held by Gearbox, we’re the ushers who are there to ensure that everybody has a good time. That means that we deal with the folks who might be spoiling the party for other guests.
We try and keep the place from becoming too much like other forums. This means that we have really quite high expectations of the people who come by. It’s really, really, easy to be a jerk on the net. We think that this place should encourage a different standard of behaviour. The absolute, number one reason for people getting contact from a mod is that they didn’t read the rules, and they think that they aren’t going to be held to account for what they write. So, yeah, anyway, I was just fooling around here, trying to lighten the mood, feeling really comfortable here because there’s genuinely something special about the people who really get what Gearbox are all about, made loads of close friends, and then out of the blue got a pm from ChrisF (former Community & PR Manager) asking me to mod. I was surprised and honoured and a little confused, but jumped at the chance to really try and do something to help the community.
What’s your favorite thing about the forums?
The creativity of the fans here, whether it’s a really finely created post or a knockout cosplay, or just a wonderfully stupid, random and joyous thread that takes on a life of its own with thousands of contributors. That kind of stuff is amazing. And the astonishing amount of help and knowledge that’s available. I’ve lost count of the number of posters who turn up with a request for help or information, who get the most detailed, knowledgeable and in-depth responses from other users- and they are surprised! When I see anyone take the time to guide and advise and encourage a new player, I get the warm fuzzies. Every time. It means this place is working as it should. Our best members remember when they were new, and take the opportunity to welcome new folk in a way that means they’ll want to stick around.
Oh, also, I get to see a new perspective every single day, and be given new things to think about.
Any advice for the would-be Mods out there?
Be yourself. Trust your instincts. Don’t get sucked into the ego-driven popularity contest. If you’re able to retain a sense of humour, be polite at all times, understand that everyone who comes here is a person with feelings and faults, and be upstanding in the face of those who don’t care about the feelings and faults of others, you’ll be on a list. You know…the secret list…that absolutely doesn’t officially exist. Oh, and do good flagging.
Who’s your overall favorite Gearbox character?
I cannot answer that. All of them. You guys can write characters. Okay, put the gun down. I’ll try. Krieg is a heartbreaker, a beautiful antihero, with such a sensitive and achingly tragic backstory who also happens to make the screen bloodsplode. Honestly, the gameplay of that guy, the rhythm, the axe-ballet, the adrenaline-pumped destruction…just amazing. The most fun. So yeah. Krieg. And… Mord, because of the things you can do with a little finesse… And Claptrap (Because CLAPTRAP). And Reyna and Marquis and ISIC and…seriously, I cannot pick one. I will not. It feels like betraying a whole group of friends.
What are you most looking forward to seeing from Gearbox in the future?
More Battleborn! I’m really excited about the story missions, in particular, and in general where the hell you’re going to take this beautiful new thing you invented. (And BL3 obv.)