Community Spotlight : Sassafrass
Life on the internet is very fast: Forum users come, go, and sometimes come back again before all is said and done. This high turnover rate makes it pretty tough to keep track of who's who, and quite the rarity to find someone that's stayed put for any amount of time. One such rare creature, Sassafrass, has an Escapist post count of 64 THOUSAND, and has been a staple of our community since 2009. Sassafrass is a reminder that, yes, you can post a lot and not get banned from the site.
Sassafrass is someone many people may know of, but might not know intimately. In his time on The Escapist, he has founded one of the site's most popular user groups, PRIATE, written several user reviews, and become an active contributor in the site's forum games community.
If you've ever wanted to get to know the man behind the post count, here's your opportunity - I asked, he answered, and here are the results!
1) How long have you been a member of The Escapist, and what about the site brought you here?
I've been a visitor to The Escapist for three long years now, joining on the 24th August 2009. As for what brought me to The Escapist, it's a bit different from the usual response. I was linked to a Fallout 3 thread by Fat Man Spoon on another site called The Vault, the wiki site for all things Fallout. I visited The Escapist through that link, lurked for 5 minutes, made an account and here I am today, still as lost and confused as when I joined.
2) What is your favorite current Escapist feature?
At the moment, it's Critical Miss. I enjoy the humour from both the comic and the comments. I'm also a fan of Miracle Of Sound and Feed Dump too, both of which are pretty awesome features. But Critical Miss is my favourite right now and probably will be for a while yet.
3) How does it feel knowing that PRIATE is no longer a thing, having been replaced by a couple of similar groups?
It's tearing me apart, Matt. Really though, it doesn't bother me. It's good to see some small pockets of friends forming in the community to keep things a little bit interesting in the forums themselves. I do miss the fun PRIATE had outside the forums, like April Fools 2010 and JimGaga Day but the groups that have sprung up since then seem to have the same fun factor we did. They're just not as awesome as PRIATE was.
4) You have one of the highest post counts on The Escapist. How did you go about doing that, and what does it mean to you?
Well, that involves small sacrifices to The Escapist servers and back alley bribes. Oh, and four Escapist users called Swollen Goat, Pararaptor, Last of the Chinchillas and Empireth, can't forget those four. I acquired my post count by pretty much spending my free time chatting with these four fine people in the Forum Games, just messing around and having a laugh with them. I then found another Forum Game, which introduced me to some great friends (I would list them but you all know who you are) and things just sort of snow-balled from there. There's no real secret to it, it just sort of happened. As for what it means to me, it means nothing. It's a simple number that tells you how many times I've clicked a post button on a website. Putting any meaning onto a post count is just pointless because at the end of the day, it's simply a number. There's no reason to make someone a forum "celebrity", no reason to make landmark posts when you hit a certain marker and so on because you hit X amount of posts.
5) What has your job experience been like? Any interesting stories?
I've had 4 jobs since the end of 2011 and all but one of them have ended under strange circumstances. My last job was a cleaning job at a factory in the middle of nowhere. I expected this to last a few weeks as it was a pretty simple job, if hard work. Long story short, I did two weekend shifts, got a phone call from someone to inform me that, along with all the new hires, I'd been let go and I'd be receiving the wages I earned soon. That was over 4 months ago and I still haven't been paid for the work. There was also my first job, which was working as a volunteer in a charity shop. It wasn't a bad job and was actually pretty fun. But every now and then, you'd get some guy who thinks he could walk in, change the price stickers around and get a DVD for 50p when they were priced at minimum. That guy was fun when we caught him, saying he'd call the police on the staff just because he was accused of being a liar.
6) In your free time, apart from browsing The Escapist, what do you do with yourself?
I have long intellectual conversations with my friends. Well, I say intellectual, we trade funny gifs back and forth and make really bad puns for a good few hours before we resort to genital jokes mostly. I also like to unwind by playing games, reviewing said games and pretty much hanging out with friends, be it on Skype, Twitter or in person. I'm a pretty easy guy to keep busy; you could throw a set of keys at me and I'd be set for 30 minutes or so, honestly.
7) Do you have a favorite game/movie/band/painting/etc. that you'd like more people to be aware of?
Got to give a favourite game shout out to The Walking Dead here, it wouldn't be right if I didn't. I know it's pretty well known but I need to reiterate my love for it. Also have to say Viva Pinata, the most hardcore kiddies game ever made and a game I've currently sunk about 400+ hours into since I got it back in 2008. As for films, obviously The Scorpion King 3 needs a lot more love than it currently gets. The fact it's not on any nomination lists for awards this year is downright shocking, I think.
Band wise, I don't really have a favourite as I'm pretty open to everything. But the bands I've listened to the most would be Paramore, Clutch and Psy. Now to address the Psy pick, I'm not talking about "Gangnam Style", despite my love for that song. He's actually done catchier songs like "Right Now", which is my new favourite song at the moment. It's pretty good, I'd advise you to go and give it a listen on Youtube.
8) We've recently received news that there might be a Scorpion King 4. What are your thoughts on this, and what type of storyline would you like to see?
When I woke up to find this news on Twitter, I was very happy. Imagine waking up in a bed of kittens, going for a shower and kittens coming out of the shower head. That's how awesome I felt when I heard that news. Storyline wise, I'm not sure what I'd like to see. At this point, SK4 being made would be enough. But one things for sure, SK4 needs Billy Zane again, ninja tigers and Ron Perlman. It just wouldn't be a sequel to SK3 without them all.
9) Where do you see yourself in five years' time? Do you have any goals that need fulfilling?
In five years? I don't really know. I guess I'd like to get paid at least once for something I wrote but that's all I can really think of. We'll see what happens when we get there.
10) You write user reviews. What's the most rewarding part of doing that? Do you have any tips for the struggling writers out there?
I think the most rewarding thing about them is being able to post something that draws people in and spark a healthy discussion about what I've reviewed, be it a small discussion or a big one. It also allows me to speak my mind a bit more often without fear of being called an idiot, which is also rewarding in a small way. As for any tips, I don't really have any except to keep at it if you've just started. My first review was a terrible mess and I eventually got the hang of it and became semi-decent at writing them. Practice makes perfect is all I can say.
If you would like to nominate someone for an upcoming Community Spotlight, feel free to let me, Marter, know through a PM or by posting in the official thread or user group! When nominating, please tell us why this user deserves to be in the next Community Spotlight and provide links if possible.