Tribe of Judah 20th anniversary celebration AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
So I was reading up on the process for the IAmA (Ask Me Anything) sub-reddit and it sounded like a lot of work and I'm skeptical that redditors would have much interest in the leader of a Christian gaming group, even if said group has been around for 20 years.

Instead of taking the AMA to reddit, I figured we might as well do it right here.

Without further ado:

I'm Tek7, Founder & President of Tribe of Judah and I've led ToJ for 20 years as of today. Ask me anything!
 

pliskin

New Member
Sup Tek!
Let me start off with a non-question and state that I think you are awesome and your dedication to ToJ is admirable!

As for a question, I'll give a nice fun positive one to start off with.
Out of all this years in ToJ, do you have a favorite moment? Something that stands out as exceptionally great or the like?
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Sup Tek!
Let me start off with a non-question and state that I think you are awesome and your dedication to ToJ is admirable!
Thank you! I like the term "dedication" more than "stubbornness." :D

As for a question, I'll give a nice fun positive one to start off with.
Out of all this years in ToJ, do you have a favorite moment? Something that stands out as exceptionally great or the like?
It's hard to pick just one moment, so I'll list a few that immediately come to mind:

Years ago, several ToJ members met up in meatspace and, as one would expect, played video games together. One of my fondest memories in my 20 years as ToJ President is being present when LionOfJudah caught a shark in Sega Marine Fishing on the Dreamcast at Elihu's apartment. I think I still have that video on an external drive somewhere...

One of my favorite in-game achievements was collecting my Celestial Dragon (the reward for collecting 150 unique battle pets in World of Warcraft). Of course, almost all the credit went to the Redeemed guild members who supported my pet-collecting habit and made significant contributions to the campaign.

Another favorite memory was when Keero, Gator Missile, and Gray generously spent a portion of their "Alaska money" (see: Alaska Permanent Fund) to buy me a PlayStation 3. I still smile when I think of the day I unwrapped that box, set up my PS3, and immediately purchased Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.

I plan to share more memories during the month-long celebration, but those are among the first that popped in to my head!

How have you not crawled into a deep dark hole yet?
You're assuming I'm not posting this thread from a deep, dark hole. :p

But if I were to read and answer your question seriously, I'd have to say that (1) God has been gracious and sent me wonderful staff members who handle most of the day-to-day work and (2) I'm extremely stubborn. :)
 

PeekABoo

Official Internet Mom
Staff member
Dear Tek,
How many times have you watched the Disney/Pixar Movie UP? :p And why did you choose this character as your Avatar?


 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Dear Tek,
How many times have you watched the Disney/Pixar Movie UP? :p And why did you choose this character as your Avatar?
Twice, I believe, but now I want to watch it again. It's one of Pixar's best films, but I'll resist the urge to ramble on about why it's great.

I chose Dug because he and I are both easily distracted. That's also the reasoning behind the caption ("SQUIRREL"). Anyone who's ever played an RPG like WoW or GW2 with me (or watched me play Breath of the Wild for 5 minutes) knows exactly what I'm talking about.
 

Kendrik

Moderator
Staff member
hi Tek, have you ever made anything out of anything?

Also, if you knew you were going to be spending two hours on ToJ administration work, what would your playlist be for that session?
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
hi Tek, have you ever made anything out of anything?
Yes, and I have video proof:


I'm also a wizard with Play-doh.

Also, if you knew you were going to be spending two hours on ToJ administration work, what would your playlist be for that session?
Amazon Music's Jazz Now station.

Or one of the Chillhop Essentials playlists, like this one:


Or a custom Pandora station (most likely the station where I started with a Gregory Porter track).

In days long past, I would fire up Winamp (and alt+tab and hit the B key to skip tracks if I wasn't feeling that particular song in that particular moment), but we're living in a new era.
 

PeekABoo

Official Internet Mom
Staff member

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Create your own Voice Chat Server with Mumble! Come for the Chat, Stay for the Potatoes!
 

Sojourner

New Member
Would you share any examples of faith experiences/challenges that you've seen specific to driving the ToJ train for 20 years?
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Would you share any examples of faith experiences/challenges that you've seen specific to driving the ToJ train for 20 years?
Yes!

I'm planning on taking some time to write a thread/article on this topic before I go back to work on Tuesday.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
I'm planning on taking some time to write a thread/article on this topic before I go back to work on Tuesday.
I haven't forgotten about this! Work was just extra busy this week. X|
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
How many ToJ folk have you met in person over the year?
Not enough! :)

I considered posting a list of handles of folks that I met, but I promptly realized that my memory was most likely not up to the task and the list would inevitably be incomplete.

I mentioned before that one of my favorite events in the 20 years of leading ToJ was meeting several members (some still active, some since retired) face to face. That was before children and even before @Ember and I were married (though, if memory serves, the gathering took place the same weekend that I proposed to Ember), so it feels like a different lifetime sometimes.

I'd love to meet more ToJ folks in person. I think a gathering now would look much different than it did all those years ago. I'm guessing there would be more small humans darting to and fro since many of us are parents now...
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Would you share any examples of faith experiences/challenges that you've seen specific to driving the ToJ train for 20 years?
I have not forgotten! But right now, I have about 10 minutes to get ready for a belated Mother's Day lunch with my wife and her family, so I'm just going to give 2 topics that I plan to address:

First, I want to talk about the tension between inward-focused (family-friendly, focused on ministering to other Christians) and outward-focused (engaging with the often not-family-friendly larger gaming community, focused on evangelism).

Second, I want to talk about the emphasis on ToJ being a ministry that supplements local church attendance and involvement rather than one that replaces those activities.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
I'm back at the keys, but not for long because I need to get kids to bed soon. I want to post two more subjects to expound on when I find a longer period of time to think through and type more.

Third, I wanted to talk about the challenges represented by the ephemeral (to use a fancy word) nature of online interactions. Put simply, we often use online handles or aliases (myself included), which leaves the option of dropping out of relationships--a practice dubbed "ghosting" in recent years--available at any time. Those who are committed to and involved in online communities live with the ever-present possibility of members "ghosting" and that can affect how heavily we invest in our work.

Fourth, the lack of visual contact with others and lack of physical markers can make the history of an organization seem hazy in one's memory, especially when one has been in charge of an online organization for 20 years. This point is harder to explain, but warrants exploring.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
One more thought! This makes #5: I didn't (and still don't) have a mentor in the context of starting or leading ToJ, so I'm figuring this all out as I go. That's been a challenge as well.
 
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