The Reader’s Survey Part 3: The Interviews – Kirby
This week, I share my interview with Kirby.
I’ve known Kirby a while and we’ve talked back and forth many times. I took a “cheeky” approach, kind of like interviewing a kid brother through the bathroom door, while you sneak through the drawers and find all the fun stuff.
(Totally stealing the Chinese finger cuffs for future adventures…. =P )
It was a great chat and I enjoyed getting to know Kirby better. I hope he didn’t mind my “poking and prodding” too much, but I swear it only hurts for a moment!
(I promise, no embarrassing pictures of the scabs being ripped off- this time!)
Kirby and 3++ were mentioned in the reader’s survey in both the “admire” and “influence” categories. I wanted to find out what Kirby himself had to say, and what his thoughts on certain aspects of the hobby. The entire point of the interviews was to get the perspectives of those that help shape and influence the hobby, so I really wanted to see where he stood on games in general, as well as his blog’s place and role in our nerdiness. His thoughts in PINK, of course.
thanks very much!
LOL I know you are Australian, as you have asked me to expand my store down your way (what awesome encouragement, thanks!), but beyond that, I don’t know a lot.
please tell me anything you care to share about the Pink One…
Married, kids? Job? What games do you LOVE?
Anyway – not married, no kids (only 25 come on!), I work as a psychologist in the Australian WorkCover system and a behavioural therapist for children (generally with a disability such as autism).
Games, games, games – well 40k obviously! Nintendo games are probably my big love – Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Kirby (shock horror), Smash Bros, GoldenEye, Mario Kart – the usual, etc. I’m a massive RTS fan as well – Warcraft/StarCraft series probably the most though Total War series, etc. I’m slowly getting into Warmachine / Hordes and its on the upswing with my dislike of the direction GW is taking 40k but that being said, I generally last five or six years in 40k and then take a couple years downtime and head back into it; blogging has kept me interested in 40k longer this time around but my focus is pretty evenly split between 40k and WMH now.
Other than that, I’m not your usual nerdgamer in that I don’t play lots of little games or have insanely massive board game collections (though I am a keen lover of Risk – my friends hate to be reminded of the time I had one guy left and literally took over the world – from New Zealand no less). I do love and play a fair amount of sports as well – basketball, tennis and golf being the most consistent but any time there’s a green (or not so green) field and a ball – I’m out running around like a lunatic.
You mentioned that you started gaming in 1997, and blogging in 2010. I have to say that I started blogging about that time as well, and for as long as I was blogging, your blog has had a presence online.
How do you think you achieved such reach so quickly from the start of your blog?
Hmm reach… I’m not sure to be honest; knowing a lot of the other community helped in terms of they’d link to me but I’d like to think that given we have had consistently good content has helped people coming back. Otherwise given we are one of the fewer blogs that focuses on competitive play whilst being accessible is probably where we slipped into the niche and thus gained the following we have. Being one of the first major sites to also have an accessible chatbawks was probably a good thing. In the end though, we’d be nothing without the community and readers so kudos to them and their feedback! 🙂
How many friends/writers do you have currently? How many have written for you total (do you know)?
How many friends? I wasn’t aware we were in high school!! Writers though – we’ve probably had 50ish throughout the lifespan of the blog but of those that post regularly there’s probably five of us currently.
In the reader poll (to which you so generously provided answers, thank you!), your blog was mentioned as most admired and/or most influential a few times.
I’m glad to hear it from the reader poll! 🙂 It means we’re doing what we’ve set out to do and help the community in some form.
How many hours a week do you spend on adding new material to your blog?
Hmmm, this varies a lot from week to week depending on work load. When we first started out and I was doing studies I could easily spend 10 hours a week updating and doing posts but now that we have more writers and I have less time, probably two hours a week on average; sometimes less, sometimes more depending on work load but these days I like to try and spend my nerd time playing rather than posting! I have many, many battle reports which need to be written and posted…
How many hours a week do you spend on formatting for your blog?
Formatting? Zero these days lol. Matt and I still have a fair amount of changes we need to make for the blog – updating the old pages, revamping the forum, etc. but no time unfortunately. We’ve hopefully added on someone who can assist though!
How much money do you make/spend on your blog?
Not much – it generally pays for the hosting and web services the blog uses. We’re building up our YouTube channel though so one imagines a bit more might come from that so we can hopefully get proper merchandising going for all of those who wish to expand on their 3++ dice with 3++ t-shirts and 3++ caps and 3++ mugs and 3++ underwear (actually, someone’s already sent me a 3++ thong so…).
Has your focus always been news/tactics, or did it evolve over time?
No it was from the get go tactics – I ended up starting the blog so I could actually tell people how poor their tactics / lists were on forums without getting banned. It evolved from there where I started putting down tactics and it really exploded from there as we’ve seen. It’s evolved a little bit with more news / rumors, etc. but the main focus has always been competitive play (not to be confused with being the WAAC asshole *glares at Internet*).
I think that’s everything Lo except my SSN (which doesn’t exist in Australia so neeeeh) 🙂
Tell me a little bit about how you made the jump from video games to table top. That’s not an especially easy transition in most cases, particularly when you don’t have traditional “nerd gamer” background. Did a friend introduce you? Did you see a flyer for a specific game? I’m truly curious how you got to 40K.
Friend introduced me when I lived in Queensland – picked it up when I moved to America just as 3rd edition came in and went from there really. I was the youngest at my club at the time (in Austin, TX no less) but did quite well, generally placing top 3 (it was actual W/L based as well there!). Moved to Australia and had my enthusiasm die down as smaller player base and 4th edition and then picked up again when 5th dropped (when I was ironically in England).
You talk about sports and you mention specific video games as big in your life. Would you say that you’re competitive by nature, and drawn to things that allow you to enjoy that about yourself?
Competitive by nature is an understatement – I love competition. I don’t care if I lose as long as both parties tried hard but the struggle that is had is what really tickles me pink.
You mention merchandise as an offset to the cost of your blog. Do you ever get accused of or feel like a sellout due to actually “making money”?
Nope – we don’t make much and our ads aren’t in your face all over the place unlike some others.
Have you ever been hit with Cease & Desist or what have you from any major game company or Nintendo?
No. GW wouldn’t dare :).
You mentioned getting banned. How often did that happen? Have you ever had to ban a commentor, and if so, why?
Not regularly but you know what Warseer and Dakka are like these days – have an argument or debate and get banned. We don’t ban people at 3++ – just spam bots. You are allowed to have your opinion even if you disagree with us 24/7. Debate and argument lead to enlightenment – generally at least… There are some in the history I’d like to have banned (i.e. people who are just yelling insults and not contributing but for the most part, people have been pretty good within our community in that regard).
You have five folks writing on your blog. Do you have a schedule, or do you just post whenever?
One post a day if we can manage but lately we have not. I’d love for them to each do a post a week but that doesn’t happen either :p.
You’ve moved quite a bit. Is there military in your background, or something else that has you globetrotting?
Dad was a property investor – when markets went, we went! I sort of caught the travel bug from that.
By the time I was 13 I think I had lived in 21 different houses/apartments and made 6 international moves.
What faction are you playing in WarmaHordes? Favorite caster?
Circle, Scyrah, Menoth. pSevvy.
Say what now?
Sorry, a total joke. My husband (TheDude) plays the Churchies. HIS favorite caster is eSevvy due to the model and how badass it is.
We laughingly refer to it as the “Pimp Stick, People Shoes, and a Cookie” model.
I mean, Sevvy’s using servants (ie people) to walk on!
Ah fair call haha. That makes sense then :).
What do you think of MarkII? Do you miss being able to sacrifice zealots in a flaming mob?
I didn’t play Mk1 so I cannot comment on the difference. I don’t like the caster kill mechanic and likely never will; anything to me which allows you to sac total game plan for the win is a bad mechanic :P.
What are your thoughts on the weird Elves? I don’t know anyone that plays them.
I like them – they’re getting a lot less shit match-ups with new releases and mine are pink; thusly.
You mentioned battle reports a bit ago. I have to say that reading them without a lot of pictures is very hard for me. What style do you like to read most?
Our battle reports are the best on the Internets :P. We always use pictures, Matt uses moving GIFs. We will use those pictures to highlight reader attention to areas or draw on them where things should have gone, etc. We also don’t just write what happened – we look at it from both angles. We’re not perfect and it helps us get better, too. Otherwise great learning tools. We’re trying to perfect video battle reports as well using the top down view 11th company made popular with their NOVA streaming.
Do you use Vassal at all? What are your thoughts on it as a tool?
Yes. It’s fantastic as long as you are playing with someone you vaguely know. It doesn’t replace 40k but if you can agree what terrain is like before and the 3-d concepts, it allows you to playtest a lot really quickly.
Do you play any MtG?
Not anymore, I did from about… ugh IDK when I started actually but I stopped when I moved to Australia last in 2002 just before 7th edition came out.
[Reader’s note: here is evidence that I was up at crazy hours doing these interviews- I totally misremembered/didn’t read an answer and was completely wrong.]
Did I read it right that you started blogging in 2008? you were …….19???????????? for real?
Oh no it must have been… this is 3++’s 4th year so 2010. My bad if I said 2008. I have been active online since about… 2007 though, mostly through Relic Forums, then Warseer, then blogs and then 3++.
Is there anything you’ve done blogging wise that you look back at and are super proud of? What about anything you look at and go “man, that was a mistake”?
I’m obviously pretty proud of 3++ (and more all the Internet whiners out there, backing up what I preach) and building a solid community where people can come discuss tactics. We obviously have our detractors and trolls and I think not having to resort to bans or sinking to their level and keeping the general image of 3++ would probably be something I’m most proud of. Obviously we’re not perfect but in general.
I could name several mistakes but we live and learn and don’t make them again. Nothing I regret doing (like trying to clear the waters with another certain blogger) or haven’t gone out of my way to make up for (like defending SinSynn :)).
Is there anything we haven’t talked about that you want to address?
Um, I don’t think so. You’ve been pretty extensive in your questions!
Can always do a follow-up if you like :).