Inden gårsdagens store Guinnes-forsøg med Fatal1ty i Quake IV stillede hovedpersonen op til et interview udført af Pixel.tv på den lille scene i Akvariefoyeren, hvor der var mulighed for at høre lidt om den verdenskendte gamer.
Det blev fra alt det formelle til lidt mere snak om, hvordan Fatal1ty blev så kendt, som han blev, og helt over til den seneste store mediestorm omkring spil og skolemassakrer.
Undertegnede var på pletten og fik optaget hele interviewet såvel som at få et enkelt spørgsmål ind til slut. Vi kan nu bringe hele interviewet til jer nedenfor.
Jonathan, how do you like Denmark so far?
It’s cool, I came here four years ago I did this shoot-out playing Doom 3 and did some shows here last year and it’s my third time here, the weather is nice, so it’s good.
Why is your nickname “Fatal1ty”?
I used to play a lot of fighter games. I was a big fan of Mortal Kombat when I was a kid around 12 years old and basically in the games I play my role is obviously to kill the opponent so I thought Fatal1ty was kinda fitting.
What happened in your life, why did you choose gaming?
Well, I’ve played sports mostly my whole life but I did some gaming on the side, and I did it when it was raining outside, cold, or dark at night, so obviously I love it, it’s very competitive and with the internet coming out in ’94-’95-’96 it made it easy to play with people all over the world. I kinda found out I had a knack for killing people in a virtual world.
Normally professional gamers around the world are good at just one game, you’re good at several, why are you so special?
I think a lot of it is hard work but also hand to eye coordination, reflexes, and learning curve. I think in real life you have to be able to take a smack in the face of your own confidence since you might be a world champion in one game but that doesn’t mean you’re a world champion at the next game. So you have to realize that you suck at the game, and then you have to get better. I was always good at sucking in the beginning and then get better. Then I got really good and won world champion in five different games. I was always above average when I switched to new games but I think you just have to train hard and put the time in.
Can you tell us a little bit about what games you’ve been playing?
I’ve been world champion at Quake 3, Doom 3, Unreal Tournament, Painkiller, AVP 2, recently I’ve been playing a lot of Team Fortress 2, Quake Live, Call of Duty World at War, and some other games that are fun and stuff.
How come you’ve become such a big name with so many big companies behind you?
I guess being from Missouri helps? I started doing this as a hobby and I was a normal guy in the Midwest and was able to get a lot of fame by winning the biggest tournament and getting the most cash wins of any gamer. Being on MTV and 60 Minutes and the all the big time media gave me a lot of exposure. My name is pretty famous around the world.
What does Fatal1ty do when he’s not playing video games?
When I’m not playing videogames I’m playing sports. I’ve played a lot of racquet ball recently, and some golf here and there. I’ve been getting more involved into poker recently. But anything competitive, I’m a very competitive person so if I’m not gaming I’m doing something else competitive for sure.
You’re going to set a new record in Quake IV killing the most people, how do you feel about that, are you psyched?
Yea’ of course, it’s always been my dream to kill people in a virtual world. I train eight hours a day of combat in a game. I’ve been doing this for about six years now, playing this game and trying to get the most kills in a short amount of time, mostly in four minutes but this one is going to be one hour straight of mayhem. I’m looking forward to getting a lot of kills and expecting over 300 but let’s see what happens. (Fatal1ty endte ud med 672 kills)
What have your mom and dad said about this whole gaming thing?
At the beginning my dad was very sceptical but I made a handshake deal with him that if I didn’t win any money in my first pro tournament I’m done, I’d go to school fulltime and work fulltime and start my career. I went to a tournament, won four grand and came home and stuck the check on the table and said “Man, I won four grand playing video games” and he was like “If you keep doing this on the side this will be great for you”. So I just kept doing it and about two weeks later I got invited to Sweden to represent USA and won the world championship. I got sponsors and everything and eventually through my career I got more famous through MTV and stuff, and started my own company Fatal1ty Inc. making products for gaming starting out with the big mousepad, and now working with Creative, Soundblaster, XFX and OCZ making Fatal1ty headphones, RAM, Sound Cards and everything.
Here in Denmark and Europe there’s been a lot of talk with games and the school shootings you’ve probably heard about, blaming computer games on the violence. What do you feel about that?
I think it definitely sucks for the families to go through the heartbreaking moment of their kid being shot that’s really sad. For us games if you come to an event we’re always smiling, having a great time. If you ever go to a LAN-event in Jönköping, Sweden or Dallas for QuakeCon it’s just a big party. It’s a lot of fin and a lot of excitement. I think people are trying to blame games to fast. I think you need to look more at how the kid was raised and the condition they’re in. The recent one here in Germany, the dad was a member of a club that goes to shooting range and shoots real weapons and the dad just happens to leave the gun out for the kid to get a hold of it. What do you do? Do you blame the dad for leaving the gun there for him or introducing him to the club? Is the shooting club the problem or is it bad parenting? I think there are a lot of things to look at. If you look at all the gamers that do play the games there’s always a smile on our face, we’re having the time of our life.
What do you think is going to dominate the future for eSports, I’ve just seen they’ve announced a Painkiller sequel, what do you think about that?
I loved Painkiller and I thought it was one of the best games I’ve ever played cause I could use every possible side of the game, sound, movement, timing strategy, and everything. I think the future for eSports, well obviously the technology is going to push the eSport world. We’re going to be wearing 3D-glasses very soon to experience the game in 3D. I think that’s what I’m most excited about right now. I think for now we’re building the spectators for tomorrow. The hardcore gamers, the grandfathers of gaming are still only 33-35 years old, so we’re still a very young demographic of doing this for the last 10-20 years. As time goes on we’re building more fans for the tomorrow, and with Pixel and other TV coverage coming here to cover these kind of events we’re going to get more popular and more famous. Especially with the internet we’re really going to be able to take hold of it. But I think the most important thing for us right now is to just be who we are and not be something else. Just play, have fun, compete and win if you can. The spectators, money and sponsors will come naturally because we’re doing what we love.