Explain your gamer tag - what does it mean and how do you pronounce it correctly?
It all stems from a high school buddy destroying my last name with the popular (at the time) Beavis and Butthead character, Cornholio - in which became "Freamholio". I didn't mind it, but added the "w" for the change from "hole" to "whole". Essentially becoming "in his entirety" vs. "a crevise or opening of mine" - I think the distinction is well deserved. The “Fream” part is like “Dream” with an “F” - you'd be surprised how often I need to add that - I get a lot of people thinking I'm a "Freeman". That time also coincided with the rise of AOL and I began using it for most of my online user names since no one in the world would be looking to swipe it. I hate having numbers or random letters in my user names - drives me nuts. Other people's names that have numbers, I don't really care - but personally - not going to happen for me. My alter ego FR34|\/||/\|H073 can stay elsewhere.
Tell us a little about yourself:
Well, I was born on the east coast (New Jersey) and moved in grade school out to Minneapolis. My relatives are all still out there, but my immediate family is all here in the Twin Cities. I'm 35 and have a wife and two kids - a 7 1/2 yr old boy and 5 yr old girl. I've got a house in the suburbs, but I live on the complete opposite side of town from where I work, so my commute sucks pretty badly. I work in Research and Development for a personal care and topical drug products contract manufacturer. I'm a Chemical Engineer - from University of Wisconsin - Madsion.
My biggest hobby is daydreaming about those days gone by when my biggest challenge was "not to die", but you get older and more responsible, so the bulk of my time is spent with my family – which is great. I've had to curb my Disc Golf and Warhammer hobbies, but still play softball and coach my son's baseball team when not gaming. I’m running a few Fantasy Football leagues and I’m a Community Events Organizer over on TA.
Of course I spend a ton of time working on the podcast - digging up news, interviews, working on various areas of the show. Absolutely love it.
When and how did you get into achievements?
I was always interested in "completing" games back to my NES in the late 80’s. My borderline obsessive-compulsive nature compels me to do everything I can in a game. My gaming history includes NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, Dreamcast, Game Cube, and a little PC gaming. After college I didn't game that much - spent most of my time on Diablo 2 and Fallout 2 on the PC. Between work and living the life of a mid-20 year old with a disposable income - there were plenty of things to keep me busy.
I met my wife in 2004 and we got married in 2006. For a wedding gift, my buddies pooled together and got me an Xbox 360 with Dead Rising - I'm a huge zombiphile, if you hadn't already known. It was love at first sight. Not necessarily the achievements part, but they typically provided a good indication of "completeness". Still, I didn't play much during the early years - Fallout 3, Dead Rising, Elder Scroll IV, Assassin's Creed - most of my games revolved around engrossing single player games. I really disliked MP achievements - namely, I could never spend enough time to get as good as other people with more free time, so I avoided them. Then Modern Warfare 2 happened and those damn titles drew me in and consumed most of my gaming for that following year. Grinding out kills with horribly erratic SMGs and trying to stick people with Semtex for 2 hours each night. I continued to play those COD titles with a good group of buds, but sometime in there I stumbled across TrueAchievements in March of 2011. Not sure what I was looking up at the time, but this was a whole new world. At the end of that year was the Great True Achievement Score Challenge and I joined a group of randoms and started down the slippery slope of achievement hunting. Since that time, my gaming time has dwindled, but my disposible income has risen. This means I accumulate games much faster than I can finish them. I’m limited to 10pm-12am every night. Sometimes I can be on at 9 pm, but only if the wife and kids are super tired - or the Bachelor/Bachelorette is on. And I’ll stretch evenings out if something warrants it. I function pretty well on 5-6 hours of sleep, but the long term effects are likely much worse. So many games, so little time.
What's your favorite genre?
I love zombie games. Dead Rising was a hoot (and super frustrating) and Resident Evils are good - State of Decay, How To Survive. I like survival horror, but I don't like being scared - so more like survival uneasiness or survival nervousness – are those genres yet? I've always loved platformers - my son and I had a ton of fun with Rayman Origins and Legends - now that he is getting older - we've graduated to some first person shooters like Plants Vs. Zombies, and more demanding Co-Op games like Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime. RPGs have been a long time love, but I've been sitting on them due to the huge backlog and time constraints. Turn based – tactical games are great. Really I should just list the games I don’t really care for: Dancing, Singing, MMOs, MOBAs, Party, Racing, Real Time Strategy and most Sports games I could do without.
What Type of gamer are you?
I like to consider myself a "completionist" - but with realistic expectations. Given the chance, I'll grab every achievement in a game, but there comes the fine line of "am I still having fun in this grind?" vs. completion. The new wave of games (predominantly from ID@Xbox) has been great as they are typically more approachable 2-10 hours for a completion - which is immensely satisfying. I also tend to hop around quite a bit though - chasing achievements for the various contests and competitions I'm running.
What's your favorite completion and why?
I think Wipeout 2 was the most satisfying - namely because the Kinect controls were so terrible. Overcoming that obstacle was super rewarding. There are some tricky achievements in that lot and I plenty of frustration.
What is your least favorite completion and why?
Neverdead - 100% without equal. The game is mediocore, the multiplayer is dreadful and the grind for the last achievement is horrible. Replaying the same 35 second boss fight 500 times is the most efficient way to achieve it and could send you down a path to suicidal thoughts. Others took the more conventional approach of playing the main campaign 3 times, but that was too much for me.