In What Are You Playing This Weekend? we discuss gaming and such with prominent figures in the pop-culture arena. We always start with the same question.
Chris Kluwe is a punter for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Off the field, he made a name for himself for his colorful commentary concerning the most recent NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, and is also a well-known champion of MMOs (his Twitter handle is @chriswarcraft). More recently, Kluwe is known for his spate with Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. See, Burns wrote to Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, requesting he clamp down on Ravens’ linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo’s public defense of same-sex marriage. Kluwe took exception publicly, and in the process introduced the phrase “lustful cockmonster” into popular consciousness. The Gameological Society emailed with Kluwe (football season is upon us, after all, so finding time for a phone call is tough) about his games and newfound fame.
The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?
Chris Kluwe: Playing Guild Wars 2. I’m currently a level 51 charr warrior. I run around and hit things with a giant sword and it makes me tingly in the happyparts.
Gameological: Level 51 charr warrior, eh? Really letting the humans have it?
Kluwe: Nom-nomming on delicious spectral Ascalonians is part of every charr’s daily diet.
Gameological: Aren’t Ascalonians fattening?
Kluwe: Not if you lightly sauté them in a poached basilisk egg sauce.
Gameological: What level is [running back] Adrian Peterson?
Gameological: Are the days of subscription based MMOs behind us? What do you see, in terms of the future of games like Guild Wars 2 and World Of Warcraft?
Kluwe: It really depends on what you’re offering for the subscription. I can see a subscription based game with lots of real-time player/GM interaction being popular, as well as free to play with microtransactions like Guild Wars 2. Mainly it’s about what kind of long term draw you can provide.
Gameological: What do you think is the most important factor in keeping those games fresh and accessible?
Kluwe: Constantly evolving content that hides the grind in a satisfactory way. Also, engaging social dynamics that encourage player interaction; people will log in to talk to their friends and just wander around for an hour if they like the game and community.
Gameological: Generally speaking, what’s your primary weapon of choice? I’m partial to warhammers.
Kluwe: I like daggers. Versatile, quick, sneaky, and you can use them to gut a chicken in a pinch. Try doing that with a warhammer.
Gameological: Are you kidding me? Warhammering chickens make instant chicken patties.
Kluwe: Also makes them crunchy. Just like McNuggets, I guess.
Gameological: Is there a lot of gaming in the NFL? If so, what kind? I assume most of you guys get enough football and stay away from Madden?
Kluwe: There’s a lot more than there used to be; as more and more guys come through that have grown up with video games you see a lot more gamers. Quite a few guys actually play Madden, lots also play Call Of Duty and Battlefield.
Gameological: Does game playing ever interfere with your job?
Kluwe: Nope. Otherwise I wouldn’t have a job.
Gameological: What has been the most surprising thing about the huge response to your recent Deadspin piece?
Kluwe: Just the sheer overwhelming positivity to it. Five or 10 years ago, there would have been a lot more hateful responses on Twitter, now there’s barely any. I think people are starting to realize that civil rights are worth standing for; that it’s not a bad thing to let others live their life free of oppression.
Gameological: Do you ever have self-reflective moments where you think there might be more to life than kicking bombs and pinning opponents on their own four-yard line? Maybe a political career?
Kluwe: I would like everyone to just treat others the way they want to be treated. That’s all.
Gameological: How far away are we from openly gay professional football players?
Kluwe: Hopefully not far at all. I know personally I would have their back, and I’m sure there’s tons of guys in the NFL that would be fine with it too. All that matters is if you can help the team win on Sunday.
Gameological: Is a person named Mr. Burns evil by default?
Kluwe: I can only imagine so at this point. Guilt by Simpsons association.
Gameological: We’re running a tournament on the site right now: Greatest Video Game Treasure.” It’s pretty subjective, taking into account scarcity, power, humor and other intangibles. What treasure would you vote for inclusion, and why?
Kluwe: The hidden whistle in Super Mario Bros. 3 in the movie The Wizard. That thing made a knight dude start sprinting across the screen, and as far as I know, is the only time that ever happened in Super Mario 3. Legendary.
And now, we put the question to you. Tell us what you’ve been playing lately, and which games—video or otherwise—are on your playlist for the weekend.