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▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Interview #179 - @PraetorPat ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
“Life’s too short to care about others' opinions. Rather, just do what makes you happy!”
Interview conducted by: @Skittles
Could you tell us about yourself?
Hmm well... as many of you are probably aware, my nickname is Pat, shortened from Patrick. I think that's fairly obvious considering my username, but more on that later. As of writing this, I am currently 22, but turning 23 by the time this interview comes out. Right now, I work full-time in refineries, chemical plants, and a bunch of other places. I do emergency leak repairs on lines that involve high-pressure water, steam, acids, crude, and lots of chemicals. Pretty much everyday is a dangerous day! Some of the stories that I hear there are fairly scary, but they're just part of my daily work life. I have a degree in Digital Media Production, but then I thought, why continue to pursue that field and be in debt when I can have a vocational job and get paid more without debt instead? I feel that sometimes college is pushed for too hard, yet it doesn't always pay out in the end. Just some of my two cents.
Umm... more on myself. I'm 5’10, blonde, and 170 lbs, so fairly normal in that regard. Aye, there's a pic of me on my profile, so check it out if you're curious enough. I live in the south side of Chicago, which is very much a one-of-a-kind city. Just going to places such as Millenium Park or Navy Pier is enough to completely fill a day with activities. But I'm also not gonna sugarcoat it: the Chicago Loop area is fairly dangerous. Other than that though, you're going to have a good time. Man… I feel like a salesman trying to convince people to come to my city. I like to go on roadtrips and explore often. Last year, for example, I think I travelled to about 20 US states? I don't know the exact number, but I think the point was made.
If I could pinpoint one characteristic about myself is that I'm definitely easygoing. Rarely do I ever really get upset or offended over something. For some reason, too many MAL users find me unapproachable or lofty….? I dunno if that last bit would describe me well, but I guess I'm more of an outlier in that regard. So yeah, that's all I can think of right now unless I'm inquired for more detail.
How did you choose your username?
Okay, so my name wasn't a random coincidence or made on the spot; it actually took a few weeks to nail it down. One thing about usernames is that it has to last and be across the board. Before my current name came about (before MAL as well), my username was Pat0ram, which I had for years. It was my nickname through most of the start of high school as well. It wasn't until 2013 when I wanted to move to a different username. So, I began thinking around for a new one. However, there were a few stipulations:
So with these criterias, I set out to create my new username. It wasn't easy at first and I kinda got frustrated at times. My sister was also helping me out too (kinda shows how dedicated I am to discovering a new name). It wasn't until reading through one of my favorite book series, Heroes of Olympus, that I saw the term Praetor come up. So, I researched more into it, and began to really like the term. After coming up with the name PraetorPat, it really stuck around. I'm fairly happy that it turned out nice. Why change your name all the time and confuse people when you can make something lasting?
Could you give us a brief history of your time on MAL?
Well now... When I first got into MAL, I hardly ever used any of the forum functions. I mainly used the site for its primary function of keeping track of things. After a bit of time (let's say a month), I stumbled across the forums… and well, everyone should know how that went. It's a vortex that sucks you in and spits you out as a new person. I got into a really good group club, and we ran Forum Games during that time. Shoutout to you peeps, you know who you are! Then came along I would say as the first MALpocalypse, and then Forum Games became a wasteland for some reason. Still miss the glory days, but can't really complain about how it is now.
Also since this seems like the place to mention it, I didn't start doing any sort of Photoshop or editing until I got on MAL. I basically self taught myself how to graphic design. I actually switched my degree because of this site (previously I was in Game Development, now I'm in Digital Media Production).
Any users you like/dislike? Why?
Hmm any users I like or dislike…. well, that's hard to say. Over the years, there have been many people that I like and dislike. In terms of both, nothing ever lasts. From the time I started using MAL until now, the users I'm close with have continually been changing. Some people I'll give a shoutout to are:
@Chaste - Go back to richie, you hoe.
@Brooke - Sorry for not replying since I've been busy as hell, but you're still the longest held conversation I've ever had with.
@Paceus33 - Yo scumbag, if you ever read this, I'll buy you a beer! Love ya!
As for users I dislike... there are some, but why bother? Words don't hurt me. If you're trying to do it that way, you're failing miserably.
How did you get into anime/manga?
Well, that's actually a funny story. See, I used to be super against anime and thought of it as stupid-looking and childish. It wasn't until one of my best friends was like “You are going to watch this show [Sword Art Online]” that things started to change. I was being so stubborn against watching the series that my friend hid all the TV remotes and forced me to watch it. And all went downhill from there, haha.
What are your hobbies outside of anime/manga and MAL?
Outside of anime and the sort, I am very much jack-of-all-trades when it comes to hobbies. For one thing, I love going to the gym about five times a week. I've been on and off with my workout routine after high school, although the most recent time has been for a year and a half. I couldn't be happier with that, and have really improved myself a lot.
I would consider my next biggest hobby to be gaming, which is something that I have always been into since my early childhood. The games that I tend to gravitate towards are FPS and open-world games. Personally, I would consider my love for them as my defining trait, but that's just me.
During winter, I frequently snowboard. Nothing is quite like it really, super serene and peaceful.
Recently, I picked up the violin and began teaching myself. I am currently seeking a teacher for the long run.
Some more things that I am really into are board games, reading books, and rollerblading. Honestly, there are probably wayyy too many things to list as I really dabble in a lot of things, but I think these are the main ones that I would like to state.
How do you feel about how the site is run? Especially in regards to the moderators and admins.
In regards to the admins and moderators, I appreciate what they do for the site. They donate their time, I assume, to monitor and keep up the site. Always trying their best to be fair and lenient to all. On that front, no, I don't really have a problem with any of them. My mantra is a more open and diverse forum with less moderation.
What is one of (or are some of) your most positive memories on MAL?
I've had many days spent on MAL with many different people. I think those are some of the best memories, like being able to just kick the can around in Forum Games and have a good time. Also without MAL, I don't think I would have gotten my drive to do graphic design stuff.
What about MAL makes you smile?
What makes me smile….well, it's all the users here and their crazy antics! I think this is a good time to say that I'm grateful for all the people on MAL and all the times that we have had here. So if I ever disappear for some reason, I will never forget this place!
Working in a refinery sounds dangerous! Have you experienced or witnessed any severe accidents while on the job?
So far, no, I have not (which is a good thing). There are many safety precautions and permits that you need to process in order to be allowed to work, so injuries in the workplace have been on the decline. However with that said, it's almost impossible to completely avoid injuries. My boss told me of a time he was at a refinery and someone died while he was there. This happened during an alkylation unit, which is a highly corrosive process where they turn crude oil into gasoline. The man tasked with it was doing his job improperly and got a blast of H2S to his face—a very fatal amount of it. He ended up dying in an instant after being shot 140 ft into the air, so they had to crane his body down. A big investigation happened after that. So yeah, while it's fairly rare, it still happens.
Here are some images of kinda what it's like in my workplace (can't really do better than this). Just a little bit about my job:
Since your Photoshop prowess is well-known among the denizens of Forum Games, would you like to share with us your journey in graphic design?
Surely! So when I first started getting into the forums, I was always enthralled with the signatures of other users, and at times a bit jealous. In turn, I began to teach myself how to make my own. My journey started off with this website, which I initially used to work and manipulate images. But soon, I wasn't satisfied with just static images and transitioned to using GIFs. Using that website, I could really only make basic GIFs. Around this time, I was going to switch my degree, so I ended up getting a subscription to Photoshop. Basically, all I know on Photoshop is self-taught, even GIF stuff. As you can see, I think my stuff turned out okay even with all that! Now with GIFs, there are a lot of tricky issues that you need to work with. For one, the 300kb limit on the forums, which is sometimes hard to circumnavigate. There are some ways to downgrade the quality or reduce some elements, but I'm always trying to push the possible boundaries with GIFs. I have been trying out in the MAL Contests, but I don't think that my style is generally a winner in the eyes of voters sadly.
Skittles: Every GFX maker has their own style. I think yours is unique!
What is your all-time favorite video game? The best first-person shooter and open-world game in your opinion?
My ALL time favorite video game… is probably The Witcher 3. I know, such a shocker right? I think it's perhaps one of the greatest games of all time, at least in my opinion. True, it does have some faults, but man... does it deliver a compelling and complete experience. Going along with this is my number two pick: Jak 3. Now this one is a classic, but Jak 3 was probably the first open-world game to really capture my imagination and introduce me to the beauty of exploration. I'm super picky with games, so they must have a huge impact on me to be significant.
For FPS games, definitely the Borderlands franchise. Very few video game series can rival its replayability, gameplay, and skill required to master everything. I'll give a shoutout to Call of Duty though for allowing me to get really good with my aiming ;D
Would you recommend others to build their own PC instead of buying a gaming laptop/desktop? How difficult is it to build a PC from scratch for someone who has never done so?
When it comes to desktops, I will always recommend that you build your own. For one, you learn a lot of things about the PC; if your computer ever breaks, you can diagnose the problem by yourself. In terms of difficulty for beginners, I would compare it to building Lego models. Can you follow instructions? It's seriously as easy as that.
Now how long does it take to build a PC? That is a different story. The first PC I ever built took me around eight hours. Why? Cause I didn't really have a good understanding of what I was doing. However, there are plenty of good Youtube videos that will help you along the way. Now, it only takes me about 45 - 55 minutes to build a PC, so it gets really easy the more you practice.
One of the strengths of building your own PC is the array of customization. I mean c'mon, that's the whole point of PC gaming. If you wanted to buy something already premade, why not just get a console? With PCs, you have a ton of options of how you want it plus many different brands (Team Corsair, Nvidia, ASUS!). Also when you finish, you really get this sense of accomplishment. It's very enriching and self-motivating. However, if you're always on the move, a good gaming laptop is preferred. A friend of mine has one since he's always travelling for work. At the end of the day, I would always suggest to build instead of buy.
Who would you rather have as a real-life friend? Bakugou or Accelerator?
Well, that's a hard one to answer. I would have to say that I prefer Bakugou. While Accelerator is wayyyy stronger in terms of ability, I feel as though he might go off the rails someday and just obliterate all those around him. As for Bakugou, one could just be a bro with him. You could go out and play some sort of sport with him and make it feel super competitive. If you are in good terms with him, he will protect you to a fault. While the over-the-top competitiveness may get annoying at times, it will drive you to do the best you can.
Which arc is your most favorite in Toaru Majutsu no Index? If the arc has been covered by the anime, do you think it was adapted well by J.C.Staff?
Alright, so my favorite arc in the whole series is the Magic God Othinus arc. This will not be covered in S3 of the anime. However, spoiler alert:
During this arc, some of the most intense and psychological scenes in the series occur. Touma, for one, is killed over thousands of times. You will see the breakdown of his will between an unstoppable force and immovable object. Literally everyone else has died or is dead, and Touma is shown the cruelty and perfection to the most extreme. Don't worry if any of this doesn't make any sense; it's a lot to gather even when reading the light novel.
About J.C. Staff… I really have to say that I HATE the job they are doing with S3. It's adapted well in terms of story, but—and this is a big "but"—the action and pacing are atrocious. Some of the best fights in the light novels occur in S3 of the anime, which were awfully adapted. I do have to give them credit though for trying to adapt this monstrously complex book saga. It's a huge undertaking as there is non-stop action for the most part.
However, I'm actually more of a Railgun fan (the side story of Index). They adapted this series very well, so I'm really stuck in terms of how I feel about it. I guess it all comes down to the fact that they are willing to do it. But I can be upset about the execution, I suppose.
Members of the MAL community have often expressed their distaste towards popular shounen and isekai. As a fan of both genres, what are your thoughts on this?
Haha, so I guess this is a big one for me. What it all boils down to is that I really enjoy these kinds of shows. They have a lot of rewatchability and are always always a blast in my opinion. I don't understand why people shit on them? Sure, there are average to bad isekai and shounen, but the same applies to every genre. They all have their share of terrible shows, so why does isekai and shounen get the short end of the stick? It baffles my mind. I watch what I want to watch and don't let others tell me otherwise. If I enjoy the show, I am going to watch it. I will form my own opinions, thank you very much. I think one reason I tend to gravitate towards these two genres is because of my gaming background since it makes me appreciate these shows more.
Other than the MALpocalypse cutting down the site's number of active users, do you believe there are other reasons why Forum Games has passed its glory days?
Honestly, I think it's just a changing of the guard, or moreso a change of userbase. A lot of the older anime watchers have retreated to other places like Discord, leaving behind a vacuum to be filled with a bunch of new users that are very different in perspective. Also, there are a lot of younger people as well mixed with older ones. I think people are more fragile these days too. That may be just me being cynical and moving into a political aspect, but that's just my two cents, I guess. I just wish that the old users would eventually come back.
Any feedback on the interview format?
Not really. For the most part, I think it's perfect for the format that we are working with.
Is there anything unasked you would like to talk about?
Ah well, not really. Moreso a statement, actually. Uhhh... to everyone reading this interview, I'm not intimidating and usually respond to anyone who wants to talk. For some reason, people find me as like this big ol' ball of intimidation. I don't understand why? Stop by and chat awhile, you may be surprised.
Could you recommend us three users from which we can choose to interview in the future? And why?
@OfDeathandLove - She has been dying to get a interview for some time now and may be a good interviewee.
@Crimson - Feels like the fella needs a chance to express himself to the wider community of MAL. Plus, I like him as a friendo, so there's that.
@dfsafsaf - Needs their chance in the spotlight, and I know that they would have really interesting answers.
This marks the end of the interview. Thank you for your participation!
Joined: Jul 2016
Ah, I appreciate the nomination @PraetorPat
You're just really curious about me, aren't you?
But I must say, that was a good read. Not bad at all.
Although I don't think I'm ready for an interview yet, as I'm a little busy nowadays, so I'd like to give the opportunity to others who may need it.
Later though? Sure, I wouldn't be opposed to the idea of taking an interview.
But was it a coincidence that this was posted on your birthday? That's my question for you :>