The Liebster Award

So, there is something going on in the blogosphere called the Liebster Awards. Basically it is something where you tell 11 facts about yourself, answer 11 questions posed by someone else and then proceed to create another 11 questions and nominate 5 other bloggers to answers your questions. Or something like that. The intention seems to be to get to know a bit more from the bloggers behind all the game opinions, war stories sharing and other game-related topics that don’t tell much about the person behind the pseudonym. At the same time it is a way to encourage readers to go check other blogs that might get missed for a reason or another.

I have no idea who started it but I got nominated by Ravanel of the blog Ravalation. So you can blame her for the horrors I am about to inflict on the world. :p

Some random facts about me

  •     As of this year, I am 34 years old.
  •     I am half-japanese. The other part is half-brazilian if you are curious. :p
  •     I was born and still live in São Paulo, Brazil.
  •     I never traveled to a foreign country or even much farther than my own state. But some day I’d like to correct that.
  •     I am unemployed.
  •     I suffer from a disorder called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Which is a fancy way to say that I get anxious and worried very easily, often without even me having any idea of the reason!
  •     Ok. This is starting to get depressing so let me think of something lighter… Uh… I love books! The love for them might be the best gift my mother ever gave me. 🙂
  •     I am one of the few people who know what elves are good for: nothing! Although I make exceptions to a few cases. :p
  •     Crap, that was negative again, wasn’t it? Uh… So, here is a picture of a puppy! And I am a dog person too. 🙂
  •     My current Linux distribution is Linux Mint. Cinnamon edition in case anyone is curious.
  •     My favorite color is green. (And yes I ran out of ideas of random facts about me!)

My answers

What made you decide to start blogging?

This is a bit of a convoluted story. So the short and simple answer is this. I tried a couple of specific-game blogs before as a way to keep me interested in said games. But it didn’t work out. Then some years later, I found by accident that a guild mate of mine had a gaming blog. Reading her blog made me itchy to start writing a blog again. This time though I decided to the very beginning I wouldn’t tie myself to writing about any specific game, or better yet, just write whatever feels right to me. Because, really if I am not having any fun with this then there is no point into having a blog to begin with. Anyway, that is the short and uncomplicated story of how Shards of Imagination was born. I still think the name is a little presumptuous and wonder if I shouldn’t just restart the whole  thing with a better name and better organization. But coming up with names is hard and I am attached to the content I have here. So, I am sticking with it for the foreseeable future. :p

How did your blogging pseudonym come into being?

Rakuno is the name of my first character in Everquest 2, a ratonga monk. Now as how I made-up his name, here is the story:

When I started playing Everquest 2 I tested several classes and races to see which one tickled my fancy better. In the end I narrowed it down to ratonga as a race and monk as a class. Keep in mind this was all when ratongas were evil-only and monks were good-only. So he had to start a bruiser then later on betray to become a monk. Anyway, once that decision was settled I was trying to come up with a name had a good sound to it and was racially appropriate. Unfortunately I didn’t find anywhere what is the criteria used to make up names for ratongas in Everquest 2. So I looked into their lore to see if it could give me any ideas. The ratonga lore at the time had some heavy implication of them having a tendency towards thievery. I started to think about words that had any semblance to it and one of those end up being “gatuno”, a portuguese word that in english means “burglar”. I played a bit with the letters and eventually came up with Rakuno.

To this day it is probably the only made-up name I created that I am satisfied with so when it came time to blogging I decided to use it as my pseudonym.

Rakuno pondering

What makes you feel happy about a blog post you’ve written?

The comments. Because that means someone thought my post wasn’t a waste of time, as I am,oh so often, sure after I hit the publish button. That and because comments are a good way to have interesting discussions with smart people. And to me, those kind of discussions, are the fastest way to become smarter myself.

Of course, even if I never got any comments I would still be writing. So maybe there is something else that makes me feel happy about my blog posts and I am just missing it. Or maybe I am just a masochist. Or both. Who knows?

What skills do you admire in other bloggers that you wish you had yourself?

The discipline to write everyday. Coming up with topics to write a post every day is pretty hard. But at the same time I love writing and the thought of writing a bit every day seems very fun to me. Plus more posts means more chances of generating discussions which makes me even happier. So it is a win-win!

And yes, I know this may seem all weird considering how the posting frequency hear has dropped to near zero. I’d like to change that but but I can’t make any promises about it either.

What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you in an MMO? And what moment will you never forget?

I think the strangest thing was when I was testing some class in Everquest 2 and then some stranger just send me a tell saying “I love you”. I replied saying that was a bit sudden considering we don’t even know each other but the other person never replied back. Now that I think about it maybe the person meant to send the tell to another person? Dunno, I don’t think the name of the character was that generic for that to happen. In fact, it might have been one made up by Everquest 2’s random name generator.

As for the moment I will never  forget… Probably this one. It is one of those moments where you realize someone cares about you and that some day you might find yourself in the same position and trying to do what is right by someone else too.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how do you rate Mountain Dew?

This is one where I will have to disappoint Ravanel as I never tasted Mountain Dew. We just don’t have it here. Well, they might have it at some import section but that just seems to expensive just for a soft drink. :p

If I ever get the opportunity to give it a try thought I will if for no other reason than curiosity. :p

Have you ever felt being treated differently in-game because of your gender?

Not really. There were moments when I was dealing with strangers that I was being treated differently by playing a female characters. But it never went further than suspicions. On the other hand I rarely interact with people outside the guilds I am part of/friends. So it is not like I have a huge pool of data to talk about it.

Did you ever delete a character? And if so: is it tough for you to do so?

Tons of characters. Usually it is not hard since I haven’t played them long enough to feel attached to them or feel like it would be too much of a pain to recover all the work I put into them. They are just characters that weren’t working for me for a reason or another so they get axed. It probably also helps that I have a philosophy that  for each game, a new character. Although nowadays I am lazy and just reusing names so that can it kinda complicated as I try to match the class/race to whoever had the name originally. Which might lead to more characters getting the axe, I guess :p

Do you identify as a gamer? And if you do: when did you start doing so? Did any game or games have a particularly big influence on that?

Not quite. You see, I grew playing games. And I grew up other kids also played games. So it always felt something natural to me. I never felt like there was something about playing games and being passionate about it that made me different, that I was part of a subculture with certain identifying traits and history. To me it always felt like a hobby like being a sports fan or being a collector. So to this day the whole term gamer still feels a bit alien to me. I am not sure if that will ever change.

What’s the greatest TV series of all time and why is it Firefly?

I was worried about disappointing Ravanel again by saying I never watched Firefly but seems like I already did it in the link above. Which is a good thing because that means I can save my plans to avoid the assassins sent by Ravanel for a future date.

Anyway, I guess the greatest TV series of all time for me would be Kamen Rider Black. Yes, it is a japanese show. Yes, it is for kids. And yes, this probably a question of nostalgia since that show was my favorite as a child. :p

For those who don’t feel like clicking on that Wikipedia link let me try to summarize it. The story is about two stepbrothers, Kotaro Minami and Nobuhiko Akizuki, who on their 19th birthday get kidnapped by an alien empire called Gorgom. The reason? Gorgom have a prophecy that a child born on a solar eclipse is destined to kill their old ruler and become their new one. Since both brothers were born under certain circumstances it is determined they will end up fighting each other for the “privilege” of fulfilling the prophecy. So they both undergo a surgery to become cyborgs. Then at just right before the brainwashing, Kotaro’s stepfather who has been working with the evil empire all this time has a change of heart and tries to save them. He is only able to save Kotaro though and later reveals to him the whole story (including that Kotaro’s parents were killed by Gorgom as they refused to work for them!). He then decides to adopt the name Kamen Rider Black,  use the power he was given to destroy Gorgom and save his brother. That goes until about halfway the series, when Nobuhiko’s transformation is finally complete (he had suffered injuries during Kotaro’s escape). Adopting the name Shadow Moon he leads the empire directly against Kamen Rider Black. Kotaro still hopes to break the brainwashing his brother suffered though and somehow saving him. And that is what he tries to do about the last part of the series (while fighting the monsters too, of course). Now if he suceeds or not I will not say as it might spoil anyone who might want to watch it. :p

What I love about it is the conflict of brother against brother due to some terrible circunstances. Plus the monsters were really creepy and realistic (for the FX of the time and a TV show budget). All that mixed with a great sound track made a great show for a very young, very impressionable Rakuno. To this day it is a show that has a special place in his heart.

Kamen Rider Black on a fight stance facing Shadow Moon

And last but not least: Aragorn or Legolas?

Arargorn, of course. The guy had a rough life but despite everything he still kept trudging along, fighting the good fight, with the certainty that he would eventually get to claim back what was his by birthright. Legolas on the other hand never lost anything meaningful. He probably only joined the Fellowship because he was bored doing whatever he was doing before and they elves needed a sucker to go with them just so they could say they helped in case it all worked out. If not they could always claim it  was someone’s fault and that Legolas sucked. :p

My questions

  • Why did you decide to blog about your chosen topic (for instance, why MMOs or why your chosen game)?
  • What do you feel is the hardest part about blogging?
  • What is your favorite part about blogging?
  • How did you get into MMOs?
  • Sandbox or Themepark? Why?
  • When you are starting on a new game what makes you choose a certain race/class?
  • If you had unlimited resources and time what game would you make? This can be an original idea of yours or based on an existing IP.
  • What is your favorite book?
  • What, in your opinion, is the best game of all time?
  • Someone challenged you to a duel at dawn. Since you are the one being challenged you are given the choice of weapons. What would be your choice? Keep in mind the challenger will be able to use the same weapons.
  • The robot uprising happened at the same time of the zombie apocalypse. The robots see the zombies as a threat and the zombies react to the robots hostile actions instinctively. Who would win, the robots or the zombies and which one would be worse for the last surviving humans?

My victims nominees

This is the part where I suck and sort of cheat by choosing 4 nominees instead of 5 because…. reasons. Anyway, here are my choices:

a.girl.IRL – For getting me back in the blogging path. Yes, I know you haven’t posted anything in forever and that you have been musing about doing some reorganization of all your blogs but this might be a last hurrah for your current gaming blog as it exists! Plus it is fun!

Nerdy Bookahs – For being one of the friendliest blogs I had the pleasure to read. 🙂

JVT Workshop – For the eclectic content.

StarShadow – one of my favorite blogs. 🙂

The rules, if you accept this mission, is that you have to post 11 random facts about you, answer my 11 questions, make up 11 questions of your own and then nominate 5 other blogs to answer your questions.

Just a friendly reminder that there is no obligations, whatsoever, to participate on this. It is just for fun. 🙂

Oh, and you can get your badge here. I don’t know who made it but whoever did it my thanks!

12 thoughts on “The Liebster Award”

  1. I enjoyed reading this blog post so much! I had to chuckle every now and then.

    São Paulo
    Following the link you posted, I found out there’s almost 12 million people living in your city… that feels almost unreal to me. (In my whole country, there’s only 4 million people more!) So if I’d ever visit São Paulo, the chance I would bump into you would be virtually zero. And I’m so sorry to hear about your anxiety disorder. We all have our challenges in our lives; I hope you’re able to cope well. You’re an amazing person!

    It’s so cool to finally find out how you made up the name! It sounds great, so no wonder you’ve stuck to it. Also, I don’t know if this is weird, but you know these skritt in Guild Wars 2? They always remind me of (your first) Rakuno. Sometimes they’re nice, but there’s some evil skritt as well, and each time I get attacked by them I feel like “but but… I don’t *want* to kill Rakuno!” Playing GW really can make me feel conflicted at times.

    Happy about written blog posts
    I’m so the same for this one! I can feel like my post might be a waste of time as well when I publish it. Seeing that people comment on them always makes me feel happy. So much more rewarding than, say, page views.

    Just wanted to say I was moved by the “It’s personal to me”-story. It’s such a cute tale of heroism. Certainly worthy to be categorized as memorable moment.

    Mountain Dew
    You’re not missing anything, unless you’re fond of overly sweet unhealthy drinks. 😛 I always joke with Conrad about how they try to be this really cool badass gamer drink, but I have yet to find a person that actually likes it.

    Aragorn vs Legolas
    What’s with the hate against elves? Is it the singing, is it the ears? Is it our pretty face? *sobs* 😉

    Thank you for taking to the time to answer all my silly questions. And sorry about this lengthy blog po- I mean, comment; gentle, short, comment. Totally comment.


    • Thanks! Then I guess I achieved my goal. 🙂

      São Paulo

      Well, the advantage of living in a city this big is that you have pretty much all the conveniences of a metropolis. The bad side is that you get all the problems of living in a metropolis!

      Anyway, one of my current dreams is to move to a small town for a better quality of life. Plus I think it would suit a lot more my homebody and introverted personality.

      As for my anxiety disorder it is mostly under control nowadays. When I was a teenager it was so bad I didn’t even know I was suffering with it! My shoulder would be always tense and I didn’t even notice it. I only found out about my disorder after I became an adult because I was going to a psychologist to treat a depression. She had a hunch that there could be a physical component adding to it so she sent me to a psychiatrist that found out about it and I started to do a treatment to get it under control.

      The Skritt

      They remind me of the ratongas in Everquest 2. And I love the Skritt too. They always make me laugh even when they are being evil. I still wish they would make them a playable race. If they did I would change my Guild Wars 2 Rakuno to a skritt in a heart-beat and then make an asura something else.

      Happy about written blogs

      I guess the feeling is more common than both of us thought then. Perhaps it is the same for every blogger?


      Yeah. I think the person who was my clan leader of the time already forgot that. Specially because that kind of thing was pretty common in Lineage 2, sadly, and she always very protective of her clannies. The fact that she loved PVP also helped, I guess. :p

      Mountain Dew

      I might be found of overly sweet unhealthy drinks considering how I drink soft drinks like it was water… 😡

      But if nobody likes it then chances are I probably won’t like it either and my pickness with food/drinks would just kick in. 😡

      Aragorn vs Legolas

      It is just because in every setting the elves are pretty much perfect. Yet they usually fall into one of these categories: 1) They don’t do anything interesting, they are just another race. Just perfect in every way. 2) They are somehow the reason of a lot of troubles in the world but they never own up to it or do anything practical about it. Individual adventurers (read: players) may do something about it but as whole they will just sit on their behinds pretending everything is just a-ok in the world. 3) They get screwed by pretty much everybody else despite being pretty much perfect. 4) They actually did something interesting but it was in ancient times. In modern days they just sit on their backsides, doing nothing and reminiscing about the good old days like some old geezers that look like twenty-something. :p

      But like I said, I do make exceptions… All that needs to be done is do something interesting with the elves instead of just making them yet-another-race to fill the fantasy world. Tolkien did it superbly (he is  the father of fantasy as we know it, after all) and Bethesda did it too with the dark elves in Morrowind. So it is just a question of thinking of why you are putting elves in your setting. Actually, might as well make the question about every race. It will make for a much more interesting world and story.

      Thank *you* for nominating me and for taking the time to comment as always. 🙂

  2. I forgot to say that I *love* the name Shards of Imagination. It’s super poetic and not all that presumptuous. I mean, look at Ravalation, what’s that supposed to be, a blog in which Rav Reveals the Truth or something? That’s way worse! I’m counting on my readers being intelligent enough to understand my blog name is in jest and I don’t take myself *that* seriously. See it as a way to filter out the stupid or something. 😛

    I’m just joking now. But I for one am happy that you feel attached too much to start over with a new blog with a less-poetic name. ^^

    The End
    (for now)

    • Thanks. I still think it is presumptuous and makes it helluva hard to come up with ideas for a theme. I mean, what kind of imagery can one make out of that? Then again I am terrible with anything visual so it is probably a problem with me. Anyway, enough of my whining.

      I personally find the name Ravalation pretty cool. It is clever, witty, playful and has good sound to it.

      • What do you mean by themes? Because if you mean a blog layout that would do something with the “shards of imagination” concept, I might have some ideas. 2, very different, ideas actually (it’s hard to stop brainstorming once started).

        And I’m happy you do like my blog’s name. It’s something I’m doubtful about at times, too. Maybe that’s natural for bloggers, as we both get troubled by it. If I’d ever start over, I’d probably call my blog the Griffon’s Nest and get Conrad involved in it. He’s such a good theorycrafter and ‘walking encyclopedia’, it’s a shame he doesn’t do more with the knowledge but help friends in-game.

        • What I mean, is color scheme, logo, layout, etc. In other words the whole appearance part of the blog. I’ve been wanting to do that since the beginning but since I pretty much don’t have any graphical skills and get distracted easily by other stuff I’ve been procrastinating. Instead my blog has been using stock themes that can be freely downloaded from the internet since the beginning. Yes, I know that is pretty sad and pathetic. /sigh

          Anyway, would you mind e-mailing me those ideas? If you don’t have my e-mail anymore you can just use the contact form in top bar up there. I can’t promise I will use your ideas or if I do use it that they will live up to your talents but I’d be very grateful for it nonetheless.

          Yeah. Maybe it is more natural than we think. The Griffon’s Nest would be a pretty good name too. As for Conrad, do try to stimulate him to read. The reason I am suggesting it is because it just reminded me of a story a professor at university once told my class. If I recall correctly he had an engineering professor back when he was a university student. That professor knew a ton of engineering and had some pretty good ideas about his subject too. Unfortunately he died but he never wrote a book in his lifetime. So all his knowledge died with him. Well, I suppose some of it went to his students so not all was lost.

          Anyway, the point is, if Conrad puts his knowledge and ideas to some written form there is less chance it will be lost and it can benefit a broader amount of people. Maybe he might even find some other fellow like-minded people and they can share their theories about stuff. So everybody wins!

  3. Oh dear. I’d seen the subject in my RSS reader and clicked on it, kind of hoping my name would not appear here. But not because I don’t want to. I just remembered that somebody else had nominated me previously and I had totally forgotten about it. I guess I’ll just have to answer 22 questions now. :p

    Thank you for the kind words, though! <3 And I liked your random facts. I'm a dog person, too, I love green and I don't care about elves either. I have also most often heard "this is caused by stress" when seeing a doctor for anything, because I worry and fear about so many things in my life... *sigh* (Newest addition is apparently neurodermatitis. Hurrah...)

    • Ack! Sorry about that then. I didn’t know you were picked by somebody else before (I really need to go out and check out more blogs it seems!). So just answer their 11 questions since they picked you first and ignore mine. 🙂

      Thanks! And that is a lot of coincidence. Worrying and fear also can cause me trouble as it can lead to depression which tends to lower my immunity system which then makes it easier to get sick.>_<

      • Oh no! I want to answer both of your questions. 🙂

        I was born this way, I think. It also leads to me always thinking of all the possible outcomes something could have. On the other hand, if anybody around me ever needs a tissue, a painkiller, a bandaid – I will very likely have it. 😉

        • Ok then! I just don’t want to cause you any problems. 🙂

          I was definitely born this way, given it is a genetic thing. And thinking of all possible outcomes isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Like you just put you are always ready for anything. 🙂


  4. for the compliment and the nomination (I think, thanks for the nomination anyway – robots v zombies ?!?! :D)

    enjoyed reading your answers 🙂

  5. You are welcome. And yes, robots vs. zombies. I was thinking of what would be a completely out of the blue and weird question I could ask. So that was the result. 🙂

    And thank you. Looking forward to yours, if you decide to participate.  🙂

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