Greetings, viewer! You have arrived at the profile of SSMB Moderator Patticus.
I have been a member of these boards since sometime during the summer of 2002, and over the years have gone by several different monikers. At points over the past decade and a half, you may well have known me by my former usernames, which include my very first one, Metal Sonic, and later ones, including Shazra the Hedgehog, D'harhan and Ashurbanipal. Currently, you know me as Patticus.
I am interested in many different things, some of which I can get really quite passionate about when pressed. Among these, I include the following:
I include this as my 'foremost' interest (well, put it at the beginning) because it is why I first joined these forums all those years ago, and it has been an important part of my life, for better and for worse, since I was a child living in the great British border city of Carlisle. In many respects they have been a lifelong obsession, and they count as one of my favorite means of escaping from the rigors of daily life. I love my videogames.
My love affair with videogames began when my parents bought us (for I was not an only child) a SEGA MegaDrive II in 1995 (or 1996, I forget which). My first game was the Sonic Compilation, containing the first two Sonic games alongside Mean Bean Machine; thus began my long love for all things Sonic. After this, we eventually acquired a Windows 95 PC in 1997, which was used for gaming and word processing in equal measure (although gaming was its unofficial primary purpose). Between then and 2003 followed a string of annual or bi-annual system acquisitions; a Sony PlayStation in late 1998, a GameBoy Color in 1999, a Nintendo 64 and a Windows XP PC in 2000, a SEGA Dreamcast and Nintendo GameBoy Advance in 2001, a Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2002, and a GameBoy Advance SP in 2003.
I played a lot of games on each system purchased over these years, except the PS2, which I simply couldn't get into, as the controller felt terrible after I had held the majestic GameCube pad. The PS2 was nominally my brother's system anyway, so it didn't bother me much to ignore it, but I digress. In 2005, I acquired a Nintendo DS. In 2006, I would trade it in for a shiny new DS Lite, which is still with me today (though the shine has long since worn off), and in December that year, right in the midst of my first taste of heartbreak, I would buy my first home console with money I earned from my first job as a supermarket cashier; a Nintendo Wii. Mid-2008 saw me get my very own Microsoft X-Box 360 (Falcon chipset), which is also still with me in the USA, and in late 2012 I came to own a Nintendo Wii U.
I have a great many favorite games of mine from my time spent gaming, too many to mention, but if I had to say which might top the pile, I would probably include Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles, Ristar, Quake II, Age of Empires 1, the Metroid Prime trilogy, Metroid Fusion, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Skyward Sword, Metro 2033, SimCity 2000, the Mass Effect trilogy, the Assassin's Creed series, the Gears Of War series and more.
I love to read; it's a great way to lose oneself in another world, in another person's mind and body, without planting yourself in front of a screen and giving yourself eye strain. It does take a degree of imagination to really put yourself there, granted, which is why noise and talking distracts me horribly from reading, but when it's just me and the book (and maybe the toilet), I am happy.
I read both Fiction and Non-Fiction; if I find the subject interesting, then I'll probably read about it at some point. I especially enjoy reading books authored by Adam Roberts, George Friedman, Joseph J. Ellis, Paul Strathern, Robert Cowley, and Timothy Zahn, and I will actively seek out new works by them when they become available, so I suppose they're my favorites.
Books in particular that I have loved include works like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, American Creation, The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior, Facing East From Indian Country, Fahrenheit 451, The Forever War, I Am Legend, Medici, New Model Army, The Next 100 Years, The Passage, Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising & The Last Command, Wanted, Watchmen, What If? and World War Z.
This is one of those subjects which gets me really impassioned, maybe because my parents were both Archaeologists before they retired, the house's bookshelves were always filled with countless historical tomes whose language I couldn't quite understand, and they liked to watch historical documentaries and dramas on TV. Whatever the reason, I really and truly love to learn about the past; the early Earth, life from any and every pre-Human epoch, early Human civilization, later Human stuff too.
Particularly interesting 'bits' of history, for me, include much of the pre-Human world, the rise and fall of early Human civilization and Classical Antiquity, the Renaissance era and 18th century colonial America. Many other areas I find a bit dull and boring, but if it can be made interesting to me by a particularly good author, film, game or documentary, I am always happy to explore other areas, too.
If you are interested even remotely in the history of our species, I would like to recommend that you find the time to listen to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast. I'm not normally one to listen to podcasts, but I've been loving these, so I can assure you that you won't regret giving it a chance!
I like to know what's going on in the world, and I'm not happy if circumstances (especially those beyond my control) leave me out of the loop for extended periods of time (e.g. no TV reception and no internet). Politics, war, disasters, scientific and technological developments, historical discoveries, gaffes and scandals; if it's interesting, I'll lap dat shit up. I don't find everything under the banner heading 'Current Affairs' interesting, however; there's a crap ton of impenetrably boring, tedious shite out there too. That said, in general I really like to be up-to-date on things.
Sci-fi has been a huge part of my life since I was but a child; it was the first genre, before even History, that really fired up my young imagination. I suppose it helps that the re-mastered version of the original Star Wars film trilogy was released in cinemas when I was 9, and that my mother has been a science fiction fan for decades, so I always had someone I could enjoy these things with and who could recommend things to me, or, these days, whom I could recommend things to.
I thoroughly enjoy imagining what the future might be like, what today or the past might have been like if x or y had/hadn't happened or was/wasn't possible, and I love reading, watching and playing what others think it might be like.
I am far from being alone in counting music as being one of my interests; a lot of people do, it's very common, but that's no reason at all not to include it. Before 1998-1999, I didn't really care about music at all, but it was about that time that I was turned on to music by several songs; Savage Garden's To The Moon And Back, Sonique's It Feels So Good and Jamiroquai's Deeper Underground, for example. After a couple of years, I found myself desiring to listen to whatever music I wanted to listen to, whenever I wanted to, rather than whatever the BBC decided to have on its chart show Top Of The Pops. So, when one year I got a CD Player for Christmas or a birthday, I bought a couple of Now That's What I Call Music CDs (Now 52 and Now 53) with my pocket money and I haven't looked back since.
Over the years, my tastes have changed and evolved, and certain songs have grown to be especially evocative, as they have become associated in my mind with certain events, times, places, people from my life. These songs come from a good variety of genres, because that's just what I like; I'm not stuck in one or two genres as some of my friends have (rather frustratingly) been.
Some of my favorite musical artists include rock group After Midnight Project, alternative rock band Blue October, folk duo First Aid Kit, film composer Hans Zimmer, indie rock band Idlewild, singer-songwriter James Blunt, energetic dancer and violinist Lindsey Stirling, rock & metal group Linkin Park, folk-rockers Mumford & Sons, ambient/post-rock group Sigur Rós, the folk/rock/cabaret group Steam Powered Giraffe, and film composer Thomas Newman.
Alongside those, I also enjoy videogame music scores, such as those produced by composers like Kenji Yamamoto, known for his work on the Metroid Prime game series, and Koji Kondo, who is known for his work on many Nintendo game scores, including the Legend Of Zelda and Mario series'. In addition to official composers, I also appreciate quality fan-made remixes of videogame music, from artists including DarkeSword and DJPretzel.
I enjoy a lot of Rock music, as you may be able to tell, but I also enjoy Classical-styled pieces, Folk music, Ambient, Pop, Metal, Celtic, Remixes and more.
THANK YOU FOR READING!