Rapping with Raijinn
A TenTonHammer Exclusive Interview with SOE's Community Relations Representative
by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
What type of person runs the Communitiy Forums? It takes someone with experience, patience, and most importantly a sense of humour. Joel "Raijinn" Sasaki runs the Community Forums for a number of SOE games but is probably most widely recognized in EverQuest 2. Known for his forum title name changes, and real life fashion sense he's the eyes and ears of SOE. What goes on in the mind of Raijinn? I caught up with him, and decided to find out.
RadarX: First, thanks for doing this. Let's start from the beginning. It's always interesting to find out how someone got intereested in videogames. What was that first game that hooked you?
Raijinn: I can't really recall when I first got into video games; I suppose it was when I was playing the old Commodore64 that really got me started.
Now what really got me hooked was Super Mario Bros. on Nintendo. You remember that old system right? Back when it was the latest greatest I don't know how many days I would spend trying to beat Bowser.
RadarX: No...umm I have no idea what Super Mario Bros. is, nor am I looking in the closet temped to pull out my NES. What game besides EQ2 are you playing right now? How do you like it, and what keeps you interested in it?
Raijinn: Right now aside from EQII I play PlanetSide and The Matrix Online. PlanetSide is a game I got attached to since I enjoy the FPS genre as well as MMORPGs, so it really struck a cord with me. I took up playing The Matrix Online during it's beta since I enjoyed the movies and I still pop in and play when I have some time.
I think with all MMO games what keeps me interested is that it's always evolving and staying fresh with the updates. The story lines that follow definitely draw you into the game more so I have fun with that.
RadarX: I've notieced Planetside can be a lot of fun when there are plenty of people online, although I admit I zerg almost non-stop. The MMO industry has changed over the years. What changes have you noticed?
Raijinn: This is really a hard question to answer, what hasn't changed over the years? You can say that MMO's started on a PC platform and we've seen that move on over to consoles, that's huge in itself because it can appeal to the huge number of console gamers.
We've seen MMO technology bring us MMO FPS games, that's a feat in itself seeing as there are a great number of people playing at once and it all has to be calculated in a split second.
We've seen MMO graphics evolve into something that offers a great deal of immersion, just look at EQII. Graphically and content wise with the voiceovers it's incredible.
RadarX: MMO's have definetly become more diverse and you have a lot more options than you used to. You've been with SOE awhile now from my understanding. Tell us about how you came to work for them? Where was your big break?
Raijinn: Well this one is actually something that I feel I lucked into however it's actually rather straight forward. I have a solid technical background and at the time was looking for something new, when I saw there was an opportunity to get a tech support position here at SOE I jumped at the chance.
RadarX: SWG was one of the games you worked with in the past. What was that like?
Raijinn: In technical support as a message board guy I would have to say I worked on all of our games. What was working on Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) like, hmm ? SWG is one of the most passionate communities about their game and this is what makes working on SWG rewarding.
RadarX: Passionate...lol. I'm not going to touch that one. Ok, give us an idea of what your average day consists of? Most people see a red name and assume you are programming the game. Why shouldn't they assume that?
Raijinn: I'm actually the red name guy that is here strictly for the community and their needs.
An average day, is there such a thing? If you may have noticed we have some new blue name moderators that are abundant on the forums, I try to spend time with them throughout the day assisting them. I address any community needs as the come up, discuss various issues with moderators, so that between posting, working on web content, and reports, you can pretty much say that takes up my day.
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