Every community has their members that are outstanding. They're helpful, informative, active folks that love our game as much as we love making it. But it's not every day that one of these people happens to be a double-blackbelt-world-traveler-dozen-language-speaking-individual that, as it just so happens, enjoys fulfilling the role of an Impostor.
That's the case with Philip Alan Gellner, Jr., a man that anyone who graces the forums will know as Rev.Blacky. Philip took some time out of his busy day to chat with us about his globetrotting life, his love for Impostors, comic fandom, and so much more!
Greetings, Mr. Blacky Roach! Now, we've got to ask, is that your real name?
That's Reverend Doktor Blacky Thanatos Roach to you!
No, not really. My real name is Philip Alan Gellner, Jr. I was named for my father, so, to avoid confusion I have always had a nickname. A girlfriend gave me the name Blacky about a bajillion years ago, and it stuck, so, now it is what everyone knows me as.
That's awesome! Well, it's nice to officially meet you. So, please, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a crotchety old fella, shaking my cane at whippersnappers and cruising for chicks in my wheelchair! I am often compared to the character Sid, from the webcomic User Friendly. Being an old cripple, and medically retired, I have plenty of spare time for games and intarwebs now!
Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't ask you about your favorite games of all-time. So, what are they?
Ah, jeeze, that's tough. I am not one of those people that sticks to a single genre, so I am all over the map. What attracts me to a game is the attitude and setting, the soul, so to speak, of a game. For example, I love Carmageddon, Dungeon Keeper 2, Phantasmagoria, and Thrill Kill, all totally different genres!
We heard that you know half a dozen languages! Is that true? And if so, which ones? (Yes, programming languages count.)
I studied Japanese, Spanish, Latin, French, and German. (Plus English, of course.)
As for programming languages, about a dozen obsolete languages from the 70s and 80s, and I dabble in Perl.
Word on the street is that you're something of a martial artist! You've got two black belts and a green belt. Can you tell us a bit about this? (Mostly, we want to prepare the other Impostors out there for the pain train that follows you around on a regular basis.)
My first black belt was in Judo, my second in Okanawan Shuri-ryū Karate. I achieved green belt in Tai Chi when I my body started to have muscular problems and I needed a good physical therapy exercise regimen. These days my exercise consists of hobbling across the room to get my cane, then leaning on that on the way to the wheelchair, but, I am more than happy to whap people with my cane if they mess with me! (Oh, and I also taught Kendo to kids and teens for a couple years.)
So, we've got reason to believe that you're an international man of mystery. You've lived all around the world! Is that correct?
I've lived in Berlin twice and been back to visit friends several times since, and I've traveled all over Europe. (This was back before the Euro, when you needed to change moneys every time you crossed a border! I think I still have some German Marks laying around here somewhere.) I've also traveled China, Taiwan, and Thailand.
So many other places I wish I had the time to make it to, but, not likely these days. Still, no regrets!
I have seen so many fun and exciting places, the last thing I would do is complain! By the way, best chocolate in the world is Spanish, hands down. Second best is German. After that, who cares?
How'd you first stumble across Gotham City Impostors?
That is an excellent question! I have no idea.
Maybe a friend told me?
Maybe I heard about it at the comic book shop?
Maybe there was mention on a blog somewhere?
For the life of me, I do not recall. All I know is that by the time PAX Prime rolled around, I was already on the forums and sending my minions down to PAX to play for me since I was unable to go!
You seem to be something of a comic fan. Tell us a little bit about your fandom!
My dad collected Marvel comics back in the 60's and 70's, so, as a kid I had plenty of stuff to read. As I reached the age of preferences and decision making, I started exploring other comic companies and their fare, picking my way through stuff to enjoy and stuff to yawn about. I think I still have the original first edition prints of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, packed safely away with my Original X-Men #1 - 20.
You, like Brash_Attack, are pretty active on our forums and have even been appointed with the title of Very Important Impostor! What attracted you to the community, and how do you hold up your title?
I think it is possible that Brash and I are just too nice for our own good! Maybe we are subconsciously masochists...
No, really, we love to help, or, at least I do. (Brash is probably just there for the groupie bimbos!) I have done beta testing for games of so many genres since the 80's, some good, some bad, some better burned from memory, and I have seen just how good a game can become with a good community. I want to make sure this game is better than imagined, and I think we have a good community of testers for that, and if I can give any help or advice to them, I am always happy to do so. (Or at least make a smart-arsed comment!) Strangers, especially in a community like this, of like-minded people, are just friends we haven't had a chance to chat with yet. I love you guys!
Well, except that one guy. Curse him.
How are you looking forward to playing Impostors? With your friends? Just dropping into random games? With members of our community?
All of the above! I am happy to jump in a group of strangers, a group of friends, a group of new friends I've made in the community, or even the devs! Fortunately, I know FPS is not my specialty, so I won't rage quit just because I die in a game. (Very often.)
Thanks for your time, Phil! We're going to make sure to keep an eye on you, and see just how capable of resisting rage quits you are. (But, you know, from a distance. We want to stay away from that deadly cane of yours.) And if you're looking for a buddy on the forums, try adding Rev.Blacky as a friend! We're sure that the two of you can find something to talk about.
That's it for this Community Spotlight. If you're anything like us, you're definitely looking forward to the next one. You know why? Because you could very well be at the focus of it! Keep doing what you're doing, and we'll find you. (But, in an endearing way, not a creepy way.)
(Alright, maybe in a creepy way.)