I’d like to start this post by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has nominated Later Levels for an award since the beginning of 2018. After a year into the blog, I’m still amazed by the level of support (not to mention the talent) that comes from the awesome people around me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the WordPress community is one of the best to be a part of, and I’m proud to be a part of this eclectic jigsaw.
For most of Later Levels’ past nominations, I’ve opted to focus on one specific question posed by the nominator and have turned this into an entire post dedicated to them to show my appreciation. But every now and again, someone poses a set of questions which all deserve to be answered – if they make you laugh out loud while reading them, you know you’re going to have fun answering them.
What is your all-time favourite sporting moment (personal or witnessed)?
I’m not sure if this strictly qualifies as a ‘sporting moment’, but my choice is when I managed to complete the British 10K for the first time in 2016. In the weeks leading up to the event I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it across the finish line because my training had been sporadic towards the end. So to do so without stopping, and be there supporting SpecialEffect, was amazing.
Which food item would you most like to bring into reality from film or video games?
Root beer, but not the drinking kind. I’m talking about the potent, lethal, undead-defeating type featured in The Secret of Monkey Island. We all know the zombie apocalypse is coming any day now and it’s us gamers who are going to be the most prepared for it due to all of our intensive training. If root beer is a weapon deadly enough to defeat a nemesis like LeChuck, then I’m going to stock up on it.
In your opinion, what is the greatest episode of The Simpsons?
This answer probably won’t be a popular one but I’ll confess: I’m not really a fan of The Simpsons. I tend to prefer my humour a little drier. Plus putting up with a younger brother who quoted episodes verbatim continuously throughout the early 1990s; then going to school with friends who did exactly the same; and then working in IT for over a decade with people who still to it today… it’s enough to put anyone off.
What is your favourite blog post you feel has been overlooked?
A couple of months after I started blogging on Later Levels, I decided to publish something more personal than I’d written previously. It shared the difficulties that come from trying to teach my stepson how to game responsibly when his mother and stepfather don’t have much knowledge of video games. This post that went on to set the future tone for the site so this, along with its subject, make it one that means a lot to me.
What is your favourite album?
It’s not a ‘trendy’ choice but my favourite album is Everything Is New by Jack Peñate. This was playing during a big moment in my life: unpacking boxes in my new flat after getting out of a horrible relationship and moving to a different town. Looking back on it now, I remember a feeling of hope for the future and looking forward to what would come next – which happened to be my other-half and stepson.
To the nearest thousand, how many cigarettes has the Smoking Man smoked in The X-Files?
The Cigarette Smoking Man has appeared in 42 episodes of The X-Files. Each episode lasts on average 45 minutes; and according to various sources online (being a non-smoker myself), it takes six minutes to get through a single cigarette. So: (42 episodes x 45 minutes) / 6 minutes for a smoke = 315 cigarettes. But that seems way too low so I’ll just go with ‘far too many’.
If there was one message conveyed with your blog, what would you hope it would be?
I hope everyone who stumbles across Later Levels feels included. It doesn’t matter who or where you are, how long you’ve been blogging or how good a writer you are; there’s a great community here and there’s a part in it for everyone. Plus there’s the fact that quite a few of us happen to play video games in our spare time so that makes us pretty awesome people.
If you could sit down and have a beer with any video game character, who would it be?
If I went with the answer to the second question above, I’d be having a root beer with LeChuck but I’m not sure that would work out well for either of us. Instead, can I choose someone from real life rather than a video game? If so I’d love to go for a drink with Peter Molyneux; I know he isn’t popular with a lot of gamers but he’s someone I admire for his ambition and ability to dream big (even if it doesn’t always come to fruition).
What colour is the most over-rated?
Pink. Definitely pink.
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?
Time for another confession: I have a phobia of horses and I feel very uncomfortable around them. One of my classmates in junior school had her thumb bitten off by one when we were about seven years old, and the animals have freaked me out ever since. One horse-sized duck therefore seems much more manageable… and just think of all the crispy pancakes (joking!).
Is it ethically right for trainers to keep Pokémon?
A ten-year old kid decides he wants to become master of these creatures and vows to catch ‘em all. He’s given a temperamental electric rat by a scientist to start him on his journey, which he repeatedly orders to fight other wild animals until they’re weak enough to be captured. They’re then trained to fight other Pokémon and the boy repeats this cycle until he becomes the ultimate master. Need I say more?
Thank you once again to Joe for the nomination, and for giving me the opportunity to answer these questions. I’d love to hear everyone else’s answers; let us know yours in the comments below!