Who are you?
I am agent86, computer geek/engineer, devoted husband & father, and gaming afficionado, extraordinaire. I played my first video game on a Texas Instruments TI-994/A, and fell in love with gaming almost immediately. When I have downtime between my work responsibilities, home life, and my related tasks, I think about, write about, and most of all enjoy playing video games.
I'm a pragmatic perfectionist by nature. I never quite feel like my work is absolutely the way I'd want it to be, but I tend to accept the fact that at some point I have to walk away from it and commit to try harder and be better next time. I don't like to engage in arguments (especially on the internet) without data and expertise on my side. I don't mind admitting I'm wrong, and will generally admit it when I'm speaking from a place of limited knowledge or authority, or when I'm simply voicing my opinion.
I'm a natural problem solver (as a former interviewer once told me) with a knack for thinking in ways that others don't tend to. I'm a super-fast typist. I'm also terribly silly, sarcastic, and occasionally witty, at least from my own (completely unbiased!) perspective. I like to make people smile, or better yet laugh, whenever possible.
Why are you qualified to be a moderator?
A Short History
If elected, this would be another in a long series of moderator/leadership positions I've held over the years. In 1996, I joined my first clan, Fight Company, which I helped found and lead through many years of service. In 2008, I joined Edge Gamers Organization, and quickly rose through the ranks to become part of their leadership as one of the founding members of the Technical Council.
As evidenced by the former examples, I tend to throw myself completely into the tasks and communities I'm a part of, and contribute in all the ways I possibly can.
On the StackExchange network, my account is relatively new, although I've participated anonymously (and recommended it to friends) for several years now. Aside from Gaming, I also dabble over at StackApps, where I've published 4 or 5 small apps and scripts, some of which have been well-received.
My Contributions to Gaming
Here on Gaming.SE, I've (hopefully) established a reputation as someone who is knowledgeable about a wide array of gaming lore, and willing to put in effort in doing substantive research in order to answer questions and solve problems. I've looked at the MAME source code, I've written AutoHotKey scripts, and I've resurrected memories of myriad old games that have long been forgotten by time, among other things. :)
I tend to have a fair amount of downtime during the day, in small, bite sized chunks, as I mentioned before. Already as a "10k mini-moderator," I am a vigilant, assisting where needed at various times of day. I've had access to the 10,000 rep tools for about a month now, and I like to think that I've been helpful with them in that time. I find the review tools to be quite useful, and I'm one of 3 people who (as of the start of the elections) have the "Reviewer" badge for this reason.
I've seen in the past that when you mix gamers and an environment where they can compare and compete, sometimes you can get mixed results. I'm happy with my performance on the site, but I also feel like everyone who is a frequent contributor here adds significant value to the site as a whole, and that all of our contributions are worthy of celebration. Of my personal accomplishments, the ones I'm the most proud of are:
- A question I answered was tweeted by Joel, the co-founder of the network, and my answer is currently the highest upvoted answer on the site.
- I earned the first Xbox 360 and Modern Warfare 3 badges the site has ever handed out, which I believe shows that my skillset dovetails nicely with those of others on the site.
- I am the second person on the site to achieve Epic (50 days over 200 rep), the other being Raven Dreamer. I believe that this shows I'm dedicated to providing quality answers, to the best of my ability, across a wide range of games and gaming-related topics.
What would you do, if elected?
I don't want to change my current behaviors of posting many things on Meta and taking a measured approach, whether I'm elected or not. Mostly, I'd like us to establish simple, straightforward, and fair policies whenever possible. Most of what I want to do is raise awareness and drive to consensus on the issues we're facing. I think a fair number of issues (tagging, for example) get swept under the rug and ignored until they become monster problems that get handled without our input. I'd rather think early, think long, and think often on things to come up with the optimal solution, rather than take action and hope for forgiveness if I'm incorrect.
I think Gaming.SE is at a crossroads, and there are three major challenges we face going forward:
How do we attract and retain new users?
I talked about this to an extent in my meta post on "the next big thing for Gaming." I think there are gaming-wide events that occur every so often that we should be prepared for. These "waves" can yield massive spikes in our traffic, if we play our cards right. I think continuing to stay relevant in the gaming community as a whole is going to require identifying and exploiting these new waves, and the new users they can bring. Also, as a community, we have many standards and regulations that aren't clear to new users, and wherever possible I want to make sure that new people feel welcome.
How do we continue to grow and strengthen our community?
It's clear to me that we have a strong, core community of dedicated contributors here at Gaming.SE. Social aspects are what keep games fun long after the sparkle and shine has worn off, and I think that's just as true here as it is in any MMO. I think we've got a lot of programs running that make use of the variety of skills on offer here, and I want to see those programs grow and coninue to thrive.
I also mentioned above that gamers, especially in an environment like this, can be very competitive. I don't want to let the "game" that is StackExchange put us at odds, when we should be cooperating. I don't want to prioritize being the most right over the feelings of others.
How do we take our rightful place among the titans of the StackExchange network?
Recently, Gaming has become one of the larger sites in the StackExchange network. However, I can't shake the feeling that we've still got to prove ourselves as "worthy." I think this is a delicate problem. I want this to stay a fun place, while still understanding that we're representatives of a larger system that has a well-earned and respected reputation. I'm not sure that much really needs to change here, but I do think that we need to be aware of the situation and the responsibilities it brings.
To my mind, the role of the moderator is not one of absolute authority, but rather a guiding hand for the community at large. The moderator is trusted to provide advice (and where appropriate, action) in times of need. I hope that, upon reviewing my application, you consider me worthy of such a position.