If you frequent the Xbox 360 South African Community Forums, you may very well recognise or be acquainted with today’s gamer. Some of you may even have watched him “grow up” right before your eyes, as he was a regular contributor there.
Whether you know him or not, you sure will after today…
Go ahead. Introduce yourself. Don’t be shy.
Hi, I’m Marko Swanepoel. I’m a 20 year old university student that’s roughly 2 meters tall. Most of the people on the internet know me as MG THABO. Some people might be scratching their heads at the nature of my rather bizarre name so I’m going to provide a brief explanation. We had a guy that rented a room in our house a very long time ago and he insistently called me Thabo because I apparently reminded him of someone with the same name.
The MG portion is just a rehashed version of the phrase “OG” because I was (emphasis on the “was”) a huge fan of gangster rap. I exchanged the O for an M because, surprise, surprise, my name starts with M. I decided one day, as a joke, to put my gamertag as MG THABO on my Xbox 360. When I signed on for LIVE, I couldn’t change it to something else because I had to pay 800 MSP to do that which I couldn’t at the time. And that’s why I have that name now. Everyone just got used to it and the same can be said of me.
A rather long explanation of where my online persona came from, but I feel people need to know this information.
What’s you platform of choice? Why?
Xbox 360. There’s no elaborate explanation for it other than “it was cheaper and I could get it now”. This was back in the old days when the PS3 still had to come out and I saw somewhere that it was R6000, so I made the choice to just get an Xbox. Been with the thing for 6 years now with quite the impressive GamerScore to boot. Thanks to Microsoft’s policy changes, I’m glad to say I will still stay with Xbox.
Can you remember the first time you ‘gamed’?
My memory is as reliable as an EA employee, but I do believe it was around the time when I was 5 maybe 6 years old. My dad bought me one of those rip off Golden China machines with those 1 billion in 1 cartridges and I just got hooked ever since. He also somehow procured a Sega Megadrive from lord knows where and my early childhood was spent playing Sonic The Hedgehog, Comix Zone and whatever I could find at Cash Crusaders.
How long have you been gaming?
Around 15 years I believe. Obsessively for around 8, where obsessively means it’s the only thing that I’m doing.
When do you think you’ll stop gaming?
It’s a rather cliché answer, but I believe I will never stop gaming. I’m passionate about my hobby and I’ve invested so much of my life into it that it would be amiss to just give up on it completely.
Are you a serious gamer? Or do you enjoy a laugh?
Both. I do enjoy elaborate storylines and intense gameplay action, but I also like to just unwind and have a good time. I’m very passionate about games that make me feel a specific way so in a manner you can say I’m serious.
Singleplayer or multiplayer?
Singleplayer mostly. I have a form of gaming ADD where I’m always looking for the next big experience and multiplayer does not provide that in the same way singleplayer games do. Multiplayer is based off of repetition and sticking to set parameters and I’m too much of a sucker for stories to just do one thing over and over.
Is playing online important to you?
With certain friends, definitely. I have a close group of online friends that I regularly hang out with and have a good time with. Being the extrovert that I am, I need to have some form of social interaction to keep me happy. I am the clown of the party though and will make hilarious remarks and swear profusely at a wall that’s in my way. We have a lot of fun.
Are you a member of a clan? Who are they and why?
I’m not currently in a clan, but I was the founder of the Target Practice clan that made some headlines a few years back. We even got sponsors and I went to rAge to show off my Guitar Hero skills in front of hundreds of people. I’m sad that we have disbanded, but while it lasted it was fantastic.
Favourite game currently?
This might sound insane, but Pokemon White 2. I recently got a 3DS and I’ve been playing it non-stop these past couple of weeks. I just enjoy Pokemon. But favourite major game right now would be BioShock Infinite. The feels that I experienced in that game were amazing.
Do you have any hobbies outside of gaming? What?
Yes, music. I’m an avid metal fan and I love any form of instrumental music be it classic rock, orchestral, jazz or anything with a guitar that doesn’t have Pitbull featured in it. I’ve also been a drummer for quite some time, but I don’t own a drumset thanks to the overwhelming amount of money I already spend on games. I would love to be able to own an elaborate drumset one day. I do have GarageBand on my iPad to satisfy the need though.
You’re stranded on a desert island and a genie grants you five items. Name them:
A game: Skyrim. All those caves need to be spelunked.
A CD: Metallica’s Master of Puppets.
A movie or TV series: House.
An organic life form: Hot babe. What did you expect?
Something edible or drinkable: Quadruple cheeseburger because I want to die by 27.
What’s the most embarrassing or worst game you’ve ever bought or received as a gift?
Pimp My Ride. I got it for R50 and only wanted to play it for achievements. I couldn’t even manage that. The game was so appalling that I nearly burned it. Everything about that game is bad and a stain on humanity.
If you were a game designer, describe your ultimate game design.
Once again with the cliches, but a massive medieval open world adventure game where I can become whatever I want, have love interests that are actually believable, open a tavern and slay dragons. I would be the happiest gamer ever if that happened.
The zombie apocalypse has happened. You’re facing down a ravenous zombie horde (which may or may not include members of ZG in bikinis). What weapon do you grab?
A massive rocket launcher that can shoot napalm infused rainbows and unicorn grenades. The weapon also dispenses an infinite number of medicinal supplies, food of my choosing and scantily clad women. What? The question didn’t have any restrictions.
In the aforementioned zombie apocalypse you humans are all toast. Become a turncoat and assist the superior zombies or stay with the soon to be wiped out human resistance?
I have a rocket launcher that can shoot exploding rainbows and dispense McDonald’s cheeseburgers. Come at me bro.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our silly questions. What game are you off to play now that you’re done?
Probably Fire Emblem Awakening. I added some games to my 3DS collection because there was nothing.
We welcome all gamers, regardless of age, sex, creed, platform or whether you’re human or zombie. There’s no discrimination around here, so feel free to contact us if you are keen to feature in this column in the future at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll think about – after you’ve sent us a sample of your braaaaaaiiiiinnnnsss.