Meet the Team: Joe Blancato
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Meet the Team: Joe Blancato
07-17-2009, 04:08 PM
What do you do on Star Trek Online?
Iím the primary online community representative for the STO. This means I spend a lot of time interacting with our customers over a variety of media, do a lot of behind-the-scenes coordinating and scheduling, and write a lot of the stuff you see on the site. I also occasionally meddle in the affairs of dragons and challenge Craig to duels during our internal play tests.
What Iím doing right now (other than answering the questions Iím asking myself): Putting together some real information to share with the world about the game. This is a pretty cool project, since I get to spend a lot of time with folks on the dev team that I donít usually get to bug during my normal routine.
How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before Star Trek Online?
This is my first industry job where Iím actually in a factory helping crank out a game. Before here, I was a game journalist for about five years. Most of my work was as at The Escapist, but I spread things around a little bit.
Who is your favorite Star Trek character and why?
Tough question. As I get older, my answer changes. I used to like Picard and Riker a lot when I was a kid, but now I'm more of a Spock guy. Heís a pretty interesting character. I like that he has to wrestle with his heritage to create a new identity for himself. For example, in the TOS episode ďAmok Time,Ē he had to go through with Pon farr to respect his Vulcan obligations, but at the end when he found out Kirk was OK he got super emotional. Wow, Iím a nerd.
What is an interesting fact about you that players would be surprised to know?
Iím actually a huge sports fan. Iím more into them than I am into games. In order of preference: baseball, college basketball, Premiership football, pro basketball, American football. (If youíre interested: Yankees/UNC/Manchester United/Knicks/Giants.)
If you could choose to be an alien on Star Trek, which species would you want to be?
I would be a lovechild between Quark and Worf. The physics of that aside, I like both characters and think a profit-oriented Klingon would be rad.
Which is cooler: monkeys, robots, pirates or ninjas?
Pirates. No discussion.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to break into the gaming industry?
I got in via the community/journalism thing. I had my own website that got pretty popular and parlayed that into a paying writing job, which got me into the game industry. So Iíd suggest writing as much as you can about what interests you in the field, going to conventions and making good contacts, and try not to burn any bridges, since the industry is very much like a global Hollywood: Everyone knows everyone, which is good if you do your best to be fair and treat folks right.
What was your first favorite video game?
Gotta go with Ultima Online circa 1999. I had favorites before that, but UO was special in that it really made me understand what games could be. To this day Iím still a Richard Garriott and Raph Koster fanboy.