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This week's interview features the user Highway.
When did you find Newgrounds and why did you join? Why did you choose the username Highway?
"My memory isn't the greatest but I do know that I found Newgrounds around late '07 or early '08, so I was 15 at the time and it was around the time I moved to my current residence in Ohio from Texas. And the only reason I did find this site was from wanting to whack off to shitty porn games such as Frank's Adventure, Dress My Babe, and all of those really bad dating sims. I know it's quite embarrassing but it's the truth. Unfortunately I signed up way past Newground's prime. Believe me, I would have loved to have found this site earlier. But I couldn't because I actually didn't get a computer until I was 11, and even then my dad needed it for work. I guess an 2008 sign up date isn't too bad? Staying with a website for 5 years is pretty good if you ask me.
As for my username, well, when I first started browsing the web, I didn't really have an alias. I was just lurking around as an anonymous number. But when I did eventually sign up for this site my name originally was HighWayStar365, and the only reason for it is because I was playing the original Rock Band game and one of the songs on there was Highway Star by Deep Purple and I thought "I quite like that". Added the 365 because HighwayStar was already taken. Why did I capitalize the W? I honestly don't know or remember. Ask me 5 years ago if you want an answer to that one."
Do you think that you changed over the time you were here, as user, or also in real life?
"Oh most definitely. I think you would be a liar if you say Newgrounds hasn't changed all of it's users at least a little bit. I mean look at me, I used to be the kid who would post something like "teh sex0rz" and now I still kind of post the same thing but it's all coated in a layer of irony.
But Newgrounds really did help me mature (surprisingly enough). Like I said before, I found the site a little before I moved from Texas to Ohio. Moving across the country is hell, and I basically had to start a whole new life. Going into 8th grade and high school not knowing a single person in town is really alienating. You feel left out of things because you don't have those ties that all of the others have because they grew up together. And that's what attracted me to the forums; people from all walks of life together as one. It wouldn't matter if you're a fisherman in Taiwan, the Sultan of Brunei, or a kid who just moved to the Midwest and has no friends, like me! Here, everyone is community."
Are there any other users that you like, and how do they affect you?
"There are a few users that I like, not like it means much. Most of the users that I am friends with are barely active anymore, but there are a few who do post once in a blue moon, like Wegra, Gagsy, and Bees aka Twilight (although I'm sure he would object to me being his friend). Most of the people I used to roll with have either went to Reddit or 4chan or some other forum that aren't as dull as a bucket of warm wallpaper paste.
Speaking of websites that as dull as a bucket of warm wallpaper paste, I run a forum with my good pals Grub-Xer0 and SteelChair called Teh-Non. It's a bit of a ghost town at the moment but it's a cool little site to check out if you want to see three dudes just get bored of with a site and do whatever with it."
Are there any users that you would consider enemies or that you just don't like?
"Enemies? No, not at all. There are certainly people that I don't care for, and I really don't want to go into name names, but I wouldn't call them enemies. I mean it's inevitable that you're not going to like someone who uses the same website as you do. If you stick a bunch of people in a room together some people aren't going to get along. It's just human nature."
What is your opinion about the forums? Is there one forum that you prefer? And is there another forum user that you want to see getting interviewed by me?
"Like I said in my first answer, I found the site past, what I think, was it's prime. Now it's getting dangerously close to it's expiration date. The only reason it's still on shelf is because the workers keep changing the expiration date sticker. Sure it has it's charm, but it's more of a "oh you used to be cool" kind of charm. Most of the forums are now a collective circlejerk. Just groups of friends jacking each other's dicks off.
I prefer to post in the video games forum, even though I don't do it much. It feels like a better place because it doesn't have as much riffraff as the general forum does. But if I want a quick giggle or to get really depressed or angry, I'll just go to the general forum. I used to be a forum sig maker and was fairly active in the clubs n' crews forum, but now I rarely make sigs or even enter that forum. All the others I never visit."
I guess that you have an opinion about the moderators of Newgrounds. Do you think that they do a great job or not?
"I wouldn't say that they're doing a great job, but rather just a job. I think Luis said something like "the moderation here is a broken system, but it's a human system, and that's what works the best for Newgrounds.". The fact that it's not robots doing everything, but rather actual humans makes the site a much better for it. Plus real people are way funnier than robots. It's been proven by science."
Would you like to become a moderator on Newgrounds? If so, what kind of moderator?
"I think everyone wants to be a moderator at one point in their life on a website, and I'm not going to lie but I wanted to become one as well. But now that I've thought about the logistics of being a forum moderator, it sounds like hell to me. I mean to me, being a mod is sort of like being in the 5th grade and all of the regular users being in the 4th grade. The 4th graders look up to the 5th graders but in reality, the 5th graders are just like the 4th graders, only they have more stuff to worry about. Also, being in charge of a site that has, I think, has somewhere around 3 million users would be insanity. It would be like trying to babysit an infinite sea of misbehaving eight-year-olds. Don't get me wrong, I love running the little forum I have with my friends, but we get about one post every two or three days, if we're lucky. It's much less of a hassle to handle three people than it is to handle 3 million. Let's be real here."
The redesign happened last year. Tell me what you think about it. What do you like and what is not so good?
"I really like the redesign. It looks great and works fantastically. But I will always have that nostalgia for the old design. I really do miss my wrench level icon. But the past is the past and nothing can bring it back, unless they somehow find a way to chose what site design you want. That would be pretty cool. The admins should work on that rather than whatever the hell they are doing."
I heard that you like racing games. Which one was the first that you played? Do you prefer racing games that are more realistic, arcade racing games or games like Mario Kart? Is there an upcoming racing game that you are looking forward to?
"Believe it or not, the first racing I played was actually the very first game I ever played. It was LEGO Racers for the Playstation 1 and I have some great memories with that game. Especially the music. It had some of the most fun music of any game I've played in a long time. That game just makes me smile. It's probably one of my favorite games I played when I was a kid.
I lean a little more towards the realism side of the racing genre, but I do love arcade-like games from time to time. Something that makes you have a big, dumb smile and have fun. But something that is more like a hardcore racing simulator, such as the Gran Turismo games, also excites me. Something about the realism and authenticity of all the action feels strangely good. You would expect something designed to be so realistic to be frustrating but weirdly enough it feels right in a car game. Maybe it's because I really like cars.
There are a lot of new racing games coming out for next generation consoles which kind seems kind of odd to me because I don't remember that many racing games coming out so close to launch of this current gen of consoles. But then again I don't remember much of anything from seven years ago. I'm obviously excited for Gran Turismo 6, which is unfortunately coming out for the Playstation 3 and not the Playstation 4, but that's another discussion for antother day. Other than that none really peak my interest."
You play Pokémon games. Which game was your favourite so far? If you could build a team out of all the known Pokémon, which ones would you choose? What is your opinion about the upcoming Pokémon X and Pokémon Y games?
"My favorite would probably be Heart Gold / Soul Silver, preferably Heart Gold, followed very closely by Black 2 / White 2. I did really like BW2 and it was an all around solid game. However, having your Pokemon walk with you adds a whole new dimension to the game. It may not add anything mechanics-wise, other than it may pick up items from time to time, but it makes it easier to form connections with the Pokemon in your party rather than have them be just isolated in little balls. Plus nostalgia is one hell of a drug.
The problem with "building a team" is with the whole meta game. You can't just pick your favorites and battle. Especially if you expect to be good. There are tiers of Pokemon and move sets for the pokemon in each tier and it gets really confusing really quickly. But if we are going on favorites, I would have to pick my trusty team which consists of: Snorlax, Latios, Swampert, Infernape, Staraptor, and Scizor.
My opinion of Pokemon X and Y greatly depends on how close to getting a 3DS I am. Right now my feelings are "I really want this but there is no real way I can get it.". I mean the game looks super fantastic and is probably going to live up to the hype, but they say too much hype is a dangerous thing. Hopefully this won't kill the game for me. There have been many a time when hype suckered me into buying things. All of that money wasted."
I know that you watch Let's Plays. What do you like about Let's Plays and do you have favourite gamers whose Let's Plays you watch?
"For me, let's plays are a way for the viewer to experience the game along with the player. It's also a way to connect with the player. When I watch certain players, it feels like I'm sitting on the couch with them, but they're wearing headphones and can't hear me. I also like let's plays because I can use it as a preview to see if i would like the game or not. I can think of a few games I bought after seeing some let's plays with it. But on the reverse of that, there are also games I didn't buy because I already watched someone play through it and now I don't need to waste $60.
One of my favorite let's players would have to be Jesse Cox from OMFGcata. One of the funniest guys I've ever seen and he's a lore super nerd, which is good because I am a bit of a lore geek as well. I've also long said that he's also the hardest working in the business. Just an all 'round cool dude."
Every person has secrets. Can you tell one of yours or something else that we didn't know about you yet?
"I've only recently gotten back into anime. I'm so ashamed of it because kids from my generation basically grew up on animes like Pokemon, Dragonball Z, and Transformers. I mean I watched Cowboy Bebop for the first time last week. I still have yet to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion and all of the other animes everyone says is amazing."
What can we expect from you in the future, HighWay?
"The fact that you have expectations of me is really flattering. I wanted to get to 10,000 forum posts before the end of the year. Obviously that isn't going to happen. But I do eventually want to hit the magical number to see what all the fuss is about. So expect me to keep posting until I get to 10,000 posts, then I may just stop. It's all I really want from life."
Now you are filled with more knowledge about Highway, dear reader.Feel free to leave a comment here, saying what you think about the interview, requesting users to get interviews is also appreciated. Tune in next week :3