A few months back GR.net had a poll where community members were asked which staff member the community would like to have interviewed.
Rocky was the clear selection as was evidenced by the poll and ZJJ had been the second choice. ZJJ was first to answer all the questions thrown in her direction by the forum regulars, so here's her interview!
- What is Your Real name and what is the Origin of "zjj"
My real name is Denise. ZJJ is the first initial of my three golden retrievers: Zeus, Jake, JD.
No secrets here... Try looking in my profile.
- Describe yourself and please only tell us what you would consider as not violating your right to privacy
I am a Caucasian female born many years ago and raised in a small town in Central Wisconsin. After graduating from high school, I moved to Arizona with my family. A year later, I joined the military and have been to Texas, Japan, and North Carolina because of it. During all that I got married, had two kids, and eventually divorced. Needless to say, I still haven’t ever been to college.
My favorite food is steak and crab legs. I like to drink whiskey sours. I like all kinds of music to include jazz, rock, country, classical, etc., just not too keen on rap or techno. I like to watch different sports (not regularly), but only play Ultimate Frisbee. When I have time, I like to go hunting, hiking, biking, walking, going on picnics, reading, doing crafts, etc. I am a reality show junkie and rarely miss episodes of The Amazing Race or Survivor, but I also like dramas such as CSI and Alias. I like to travel, but rarely get to.
I am 5’5”, with shoulder length brown hair, double ear piercing and no tattoos. I also wear contacts. I’m of Polish and Swedish descent and, as my ancestors, I am very stubborn.
Last but not least are the two shining stars in my life, my 16 year old son (Dark Sniper) and my 18 year old daughter (Shadow Recon). They mean everything to me and nothing comes before them.
- Favourite animal and why?
Wolves, dolphins and eagles.... No clue why, maybe for their majestic beauty, just like me.
- If you had no limit on finances what dog would you buy and why?
It wouldn't be just one dog. I would want to set up a place where I can rescue neglected, abused, not wanted golden retrievers.
- Please tell us about your military career and how, if at all, that attracted you to ghost recon?
In August 1985, I decided to join the USAF. After taking the ASVAB tests I was given my choice of career field. I had scored high enough in all four areas to qualify for any field. In the admin portion I scored a 98%, the recruiter told me he would have me as his secretary, but there weren’t any openings in that career field for six months. I wanted to join in days. Electrical didn’t really interest me, but I always had an interest in mechanics. I didn’t want to work on trucks and stuff so I concentrated on aircraft. I first wanted to work with armaments, but couldn’t pass the lifting requirement (missed it by 5 pounds). I then wanted to work on helicopters, but there weren’t any openings. I then went to turboprops.
Being naive (and not having the great thread here that you all do) I went in with a general mechanic contract. I shipped out three days after signing the paperwork! I did basic training at Lackland AFB, TX. Then did my technical training at Chanute AFB, IL, where I studied the ins and outs of being a C-130 Turboprop Engine Mechanic. I was the only honor grad in my class (needed an average overall score of 98%). My first (and only) assignment was working the inspection docks at Dyess AFB, TX. I was part of the 463rd Field Maintenance Squadron, MOS – 42633 – Apprentice Turboprop Propulsion Mechanic.
I did a brief (2 months) tour of duty at Lakenheath, AB, UK. After returning from this rotation, I found out my request for transfer to Japan was denied. I opted to get out with a medical discharge (honorable) due to pregnancy. This was in 1987. I was part of the inactive reserves during the first Gulf War and had to make plans for the kids in case I was called back to active duty. I was never called in, officially ended my military career in 1992.
My military past had no connection as to why I started playing GR.
- What is your take on women in the tactical shooter gaming community?
Well, when you look at stats it isn’t surprising to me why women should be considered when creating games. After all, 43% of all game players in 2004 are women. If you look at those that play online, 44% of them are women. Then you take into consideration that shooter games make up 16.3% of all
PC games sold and 9.6% of all console games sold.
These figures are increase from the previous year. In 2003, 39% of all gamers were women. For those that played online, 40% were women. Shooter games sold that year were 13.5% for PC and 8.6% for consoles.
There has been a steady increase in women gamers over the past 5 years, as well as a steady increase in shooter game sales for both PC and consoles. What is interesting is that the rise in women PC gamers has gorwn faster than those who play consoles, but developers continue to target consoles for sales.
- What is your take on the role of women portrayed in tactical shooter games?
As with most options that guys ask for (i.e. FPWV), it would be nice to have the option to choose a female player. True, if you are looking at realism, women are not really on the front lines, but they do provide support in many areas and are trained on the use of weapons. The look of the player has nothing to do with how the game plays, so having a female looking operative in your squad won't affect the tactism that would still make the game "real."
- When and how did you initially get involved with the ghost recon community?
This can be blamed (or credit given) to Ruin. In the spring of 2002, he and my daughter, Shadow Recon, became friends and started dating. As any sound mother would do, I also got to know Ruin better. Can't have him corrupting my daughter. lol Anyway, he was doing a lot of modding at that time and would occasionally link to the forums to show me some of his work. I started reading different forums and hanging out here more and more. In August of 2002, he stated that he would know right away if I ever joined the forums. So what did I do? I joined the forums and started posting here and there. Did he ever find out? I finally told him in December.
I hung out here a lot and started getting to know different people and would periodically offer help if needed. In the Spring of 2003, Jester asked me if I wanted to write a piece about GR2. The "piece" ended up being four reports about GR2. I was offered a consultant position, a couple of months later I was offered a staff position, and a few months after that I was offered an admin position. Rocky is probably still regretting this decision.
- Do you feel like a mother here sometimes?
When I first got here I didn't want to be the mother figure. I knew the members were young and didn't want to be different. At that time my profile did not state my real age. Now it is known by many that I am old enough to be a lot of you alls' mom/mum, but I am not treated as such, so the answer would be "no."
- What do people here think they know about you?
Anyone who is interested and contacts me will know many things about me if they ask. Otherwise, they only know the little they read here. Heck, after 3 years, many still don't know that I am of the female gender.
- Do you foresee yourself within these forums for another 5 yrs?
I think I'll be here until Rocky shuts down these forums or fires me... whichever comes last.
- What is your main job at Gr.net?
I don't really have a job description. There are several things that need to be done and I help to see that they are done either by doing it myself or delegating. Obviously, anything that is required of the Admin Control Panel (ACP) will be done by myself or another admin. I assist with moderating the forums and also generate ideas for content to the site. When I have time, I work on writing reports. The most rewarding, though, is working with the rest of the staff and interacting with the members.
- Who would you consider to be a role model and why?
Rocky and Jester. I doubt either will take the praise well, but they both have been role models/mentors for me here. I’ve learned a lot from both of these men. They both have demonstrated to be good team leaders, are good at offering constructive criticism in a way that doesn’t make you feel stupid, will bend over backwards to give you a helping hand, etc. No way I could list all the attributes I see in them that make them good role models and mentors.
- If you were in Rocky's shoes at GR.net, list the first 20 things you would do.
Ban Rocky! Just kidding. I don’t think I would change anything. Rocky has always been receptive to my ideas and if they were any good they would get implemented otherwise they wouldn’t. There really hasn’t been too many times where things weren’t implemented. Rocky runs a pretty fair and decent ship. Besides, in a way I am in Rocky’s shoes in regards to my own site.
- Do you feel that people here are immature, or do You feel that they just pretend to be immature so as to appear cute?
Some are immature, but since we treat all members with respect, they learn maturity.... or they decide this place isn't their cup of tea and leave.
- What do you do in real life that has degrees of separation to GR?
Currently nothing. However, I want to get back into shooting using pistols, rifles or bow and arrows. I used to hunt, but haven't done that for many years.
- Why do you put up with all the male ego in here?
- Whos been your inspiration or the person that entertains you or annoys you in here, thus giving you a reason to keep an eye out within these forums?
Everyone that posts here affects me one way or another. Some make me want to reach through the monitor and shake some sense into them, others make me laugh, others have become very good friends, some make me think, etc. There are several that I like to read whatever they post as most of the time what they have to say is very intelligent, but I'm not listing names for anyone specific for any of these areas.
- Has anyone ever asked you out in these forums?
- What is the biggest regret of your life (related to the ghost recon community)?
Not joining here sooner.
- What is the most embarrassing moment in your life (related to the ghost recon community)?
I avoid these at all costs... and wouldn't admit one IF there was one.
- If someone knocked on you door and wants to play Coop GR with you, who would you want it to be?
Anyone who likes to play and have fun. It's a game, after all.....
- If you're not playing or monitoring these forums what do you do besides the daily chores?
There's more to life outside the forums?!
Seriously, though, I have a full time job as an office manager for a consulting firm, then a part time job as a cashier with a retail organization. Beyond that, I am admin at many forums (6 now?), plus I am working to get my own site populated. I also have my son still at home who I take wherever he needs to go for school and marching band. Then there are my animals to care for (3 dogs and 2 cats)!
- Have you brought any of your single female friends to GR and tried to form a team to kick some ass?
Not too many women that I know have similar interests as myself. They know I play GR and work here, but they have no interest in coming here.
- Have any other females in these forums PM'ed you for some girly talk?
Other than my daughter (Shadow Recon), I talk with Sybarite the most. I've briefly chatted with others, but nothing long term.
- What did you two talk about?
Syb and I talk about a lot of things - jobs, families, GR, other games, travel, guys... normal stuff.
- On any given day, who could you kick ass in a GR one-to-one tournament?
No one! I'm not even sure I would be able to beat a squirrel.
- Ghost Recon for me is...?
A way to relieve stress and a way to build friendships and teamwork. I’ve never played SP. In the beginning I would only play on WhiteKnight’s server as I knew people there weren’t going to pass judgment on a nOOb. I know I’ve come a long way since then, but I still don’t consider myself a very good player.
SPV 4.3 for the 7.62 M4A1 SD rifle – I like having a good scope, a silenced weapon, and still have stopping power. This one has kept me well satisfied.
- Favorite female GR1 character and why?
None, don't play SP, mostly coop.
- Have you ever thought of posing as a hot sexy femme to tease people in here?
I briefly thought about it until I realized you guys aren't interested in hot sexy femmes... you just want GR:AW!
- If you could dispense one bit of advice, what would it be?
My moment to be wise and I’m afraid I probably will fall short on dispensing wisdom. Lol However, I have learned that you should be true to yourself, learn responsibility, stay honest in all you do, and get a good education.
- Who do you want to be next to be interviewed and why?
For the most part, I don’t need an interview to get to know the people I work with better. If I want to know something I ask and either they tell me to mind my own business (politely, of course) or they tell me. These interviews are for the members to have the chance to get to know us better, at their request.