Gears of War creator CliffyB is on Attack of the Show tonight at 7PM. While he was here in the studio, I cornered him and forced him to address the truly important issues in gaming...mainly his hair and magic.
On my way to the interview, I ran into Kevin Pereira who made me record a message from him to play for Cliff.
Click below to find out what happens when I was forced by a cable television darling to begin my interview with one of the world's biggest game designers with a threatening message.
[On my way to meet CliffyB, I ran into Kevin Pereira. Because he is a caring cable television personality, he asked where I was rushing off to. I told him and he insisted that I record a message from him and play it for Cliff.]
[That's how the interview started. With a threat. That's how I like to start all my interviews.]
[My questions are in Italics; Cliffy's answers are in BOLD. ]
Kevin Pereira: So Cliffy's going to hear this? So I don't have to say "If you could ask Cliffy?" I can just say, Cliffy, I want to know if you're happy that because your schedule is far more important than mine and much more time pressed, I had to go to the lunch truck and get a burrito instead of enjoying something tasty from like a quiche from Lemon Moon. Does that make you happy, ass hole??
[I play Kevin's bit for Cliffy in the Green Room.]
Oh yeah, like he doesn't have a PA to do it for him! So you want to talk about Kevin and burritos?
Yeah! What's your reaction to Kevin Pereira's scathing indictment?
I think it's important that Kevin can relate to gamers by having an identical diet to a gamer, such as having a burrito like the rest of us instead of his Foie Gras.
Oh whoa. That's harsh.
Yeah, he's gone Hollywood. Have you noticed he's looking really skinny lately? I think he has an eating disorder.
Well, this is coming from a man who I heard arrived in a Stretch Hummer...
I didn't do that! Microsoft did that. They're trying to impose some sort of Hollywood image on me.
How do you feel about that?
I feel a little bit offended by that. I think they're trying to make me out to be their "Next Generation It Boy" and I'm not having any of it.
I'm shy. I'm very very shy. I live in a log cabin in North Carolina.
And, umm, if your hair and Kevin Pereira's hair entered a cage, which one would emerge victorious?
Redken Number 5 would emerge victorious.
Is that your product?
I'm not going to admit it. I think that's what Kevin uses. Mine is all natural.
Hmm. So naturally, you just roll out of bed and it just flows?
Yeah, it just falls into place. I wake up and it's everywhere and then I just *makes rustling sound and waves hands over hair in wild manner* and it all falls.
And how does your hair help you create wonderful videogames?
It inspires me. It's of such high quality, that we can only hope to imitate such high graphical fidelity in the games.
Maintaining your wonderful hair, how do you keep a connection to your nerdy and geeky fan base out there?
The Internet, of course. Honestly, I'm a big forum whore. I read too much of it. I read Gaming Age Forum and Team xBox and all that stuff. It's been so positive with Gears that anytime somebody says something negative, it's incredibly disappointing.
But it is the Internet, so don't they occasionally say negative things?
It's true. The Internet is a million monkeys with a million keyboards. I have yet to see Shakespeare.
Do you ever get emo about it?
Have you seen my latest MySpace picture?
No, no I haven't.
I went to the fair recently and I got like a hat. It's like one of those trucker hats and I went to the airbrush guy and I got Cliffy B on it and Pac Man on it, but with an X on his eye like he had just been killed. And I have this shot where I'm like *holds out one arm at length, in typical 'I'm taking my own picture for MySpace fashion.'* like looking all emo and sad and listening to Fallout Boy and shopping at Hot Topic.
That's really sad...
What do you like to do outside of work? *pause* Besides your hair?
I'm like a monkey really. I masturbate and throw feces in my spare time.
Well that goes without saying.
To be honest, now that the game is done, I'm not sure what to do with myself.
Yeah, I just shop and walk the dog and go see movies and hang out.
What's your favorite movie?
Recently? The Prestige.
You like magic?
I bring magic.
You fill the world with magic?
It's funny having watched the movie and then doing all those demos on stage, you feel like a magician to some extent because you're playing the game in its unfinished form and it could crash at any point. So you kind of feel like you have the damsel in the cage and if you don't unlock it at any minute, she's going to drown. And the press is going to turn against you, so I actually saw parallels between those magicians back in the day and the game designer in 2006.
Wow, that's amazing. You're like Plato and that's your Cave.
Yeah, it's deep stuff.
How do you feel about being this nerd icon? Does it ever get to be too much?
The problem right now is trying to maintain a certain amount of nerd cred. So having to put on a clean shirt and still be geeky, it's kind of contrasting, but I do a good job with it.
What are the things you do to try and balance that?
It's as silly as it sounds, but posting message boards and blogging. Gamers feel like, with the internet and all that, gamers feel like they still have a certain level of accessibility with you. And so, everyone who emails me, I read all of them and respond to a few of them. At a certain point you can't respond to all of them, because you actually have to get back to work and make the games that everybody wants, right?
So keeping a blog open and having a MySpace and all that stuff, it helps with nerd cred.
What's your favorite thing about Gears of War?
The fact that it's finished?
My favorite thing about Gears is Co-Op. We've been playing the game over and over again for two years and now when I play the game with someone who hasn't played it yet, it still feels like a fresh and new experience. It's like buying a DVD of a movie you love and showing it to someone who hasn't seen it yet and watching their experience for the first time. It's sharing that kind of magic that I think the game has with Co-Op.
There's that word 'magic' again.
It seems to the trend. Now I'm going to disappear!
What's next for you?
I can't really...right now it is interviews and promoting the game and going over to Universal to City Walk for a launch event. So that's what's up right now. After that? I can't tell you. I can't tell you the magician's secret. That would spoil everything. It's a mystery.
It is a mystery.
It is a mystery! *pause* Are you a goon?
Are there stairs in your house?
Yes, I am protected.
That's very cool.
Yeah, I was actually going to ask you about The Something Awful Forums, but I didn't know if it was a sensitive subject.
What do you mean?
I don't know. I've interviewed other people and they don't like to discuss their relationship to The Forums.
Why? It's awesome. It's the center of the comedy universe and like six months ahead of everyone else.
Well, you know, SA has a reputation and I wanted to ask you mainly about your hair, so I decided not to bring it up. But anyway, do you have any parting words for Kevin Pereira?
Uhh, one of these days, I will get him back for Cliffyphoria.
And he should wear a cup for the show.