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Interview I just had with Mike Pooler
Posted: Posted May 21st, 2012
Edited May 21st, 2012 by Xhin
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I caught him on Facebook late at night.

Xhin: mike!
Xhin: long time no chat

Mike: Xhin! How are you?

Xhin: pretty good
Xhin: we left you a "thank you" post
Xhin: uh
Xhin: here
Xhin: http://gtx0.com/view.php?post=65432
Xhin: which sort of turned into a "fuck you" post, but that's how it goes sometimes

Mike: Nice- at least what I read so far. Yea there's always gonna be some of that I suppose
Xhin: But there are enough cool people to make up for it
Mike: very true
Xhin: you brought the cool people together
Xhin: so we owe you for that at least :)

Xhin: also, I don't know if you're going to become active or not, but I wanted to offer you an admin position on GTX0 if you are
Mike: The thanks are not necessary but appreciated.
Mike: Also thanks for that too, but I am better off without that for now
Mike: Thanks for offering though

Xhin: yeah, I understand
Xhin: life throws you curveballs sometimes
Xhin: well, I extend the offer to anyone who's ever had a successful GT clone. I guess having GT itself would count : P
Mike: :)
Xhin: But, if you want, think of it as a different site entirely because it really has evolved past its GT roots anyway

Mike: I don't blame life for the curveballs

Xhin: don't be afraid of what others will think, people still will respect you more because you made it regardless of anything else you did or didn't do
Xhin: that's something I had to learn when I made some massive mistakes running it

Mike: I don't. Trust me, I'm at peace with things. That's what this long timeout has been for, if anything.
Mike: Glad to hear gtx0 is doing it's thing and evolving

Xhin: yeah
Xhin: the one thing I am curious about though
Xhin: if you feel you can talk about it
Xhin: is why it went down in the first place
Xhin: I heard from someone that you had some kind of medical condition
Xhin: but I didn't really get any details

Mike: Well
Mike: I can fill in some details
Mike: But it's a long story. The whole truth is a combination of technical and personal challenges which combined to be too difficult
Mike: No single thing did it alone

Xhin: Well
Xhin: I understand the technical challenges first hand
Xhin: and ragu told me something about you having multiple copies of different versions of the site

Mike: Not so much, actually that was one of the problems
Mike: Or maybe he was talking about the various logins- which each had different interfaes
Mike: *faces
Mike: Mod, TGT, vip, admin, and normal


"We conducted an interview with Ragu O Ragula, who stated that "Mike has over 80gigs of gametalk files that he had to look through and get organized". The thing is, when Mike made updates to gametalk's code in the 5+ years it's been around, he actually made a whole new version of gametalk! As Ragu said, "You could probably check in 5 different folders that have random names and in each one find a different version of the quicklinks ". And you know those images that appear to the left of each forum title? They are not properly organized either, and there's ~5GB of them! What this means, in plain terms, is that the progress Mike is making is at an organizational level, and the longer it takes, the more smoothly gametalk and its updates will run when he gets it complete. "

Mike: GT had to keep up with the game industry
Mike: Plus get Moderators in all the forums
Mike: Expand the Mod tools and TGT features
Mike: Keep the server from getting swamped with spam and/or normal traffic
Mike: Make money to feed Mike and pay its expenses
Mike: Deal with various drama and Moderator styles among the Mods
Mike: Make sure that everyone got as much respect as possible
Xhin: yeah, that is a lot

Mike: It was a snowballing to do list, for years. The amazing thing is that things lasted as long as they did

Mike: (and please quote me on all this!)
Xhin: absolutely : )
Mike: ty :)

Mike: meanwhile I cared a lot, and I guess it was just impossible to either give up or carry on, after a point, so it made me more than a little crazy
Xhin: yeah, that's understandable

Mike: the last straw though was actually technical, more like an act of ??? than anyone's fault. The server itself self-distructed, and the ISP
Xhin: wow
Mike: couldn't even come up with a backup or anything
Mike: They gave us space on a new / different server but me and Ragu could never get rolling on it

Xhin: so you didn't have any of the files to resurrect it and had to start from scratch? ouch.

Mike: I had backups of all sorts, but nothing that I could just upload to the new server.
Mike: The other wow is that meanwhile I did have a ridiculous medical thing with my heart, and had to have triple-bypass surgery.
Xhin: that's definitely a wow

Mike: Yea. It was for sure. It's not a secret really, but kind of personal I guess. Anyway I'm happy to have survived it of course. But it seem to slow me down a lot.
Mike: It's a whole mind/body thing that's been out of sorts. My physical health has recovered but my emotional & mental health, which dipped at the same time, are taking longer.

Mike: You can post all this if you think people would want to read it. :)
Mike: Also tell them I'm so sorry that it collapsed so ungracefully and everything. In retrospect if I had to close it I would have handled it much more responsibly.

Xhin: It's all right
Xhin: you did what you could do at the time
Xhin: do you have any plans for video game-type businesses in the future?

Mike: I don't.

Xhin: that's okay
Xhin: you had a great thing for (13?) years, and we'll always remember you for it
Xhin: been good talking to you
Xhin: thank you

Mike: thank you Xhin
Xhin: oh and your legacy lives on : )
Mike: :)

There are 64 Replies
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Thanks for the read mate. It's a little weird thinking back on that morning when GameTalk went down, casually thinking "oh it'll be up again in an hour".

Posted May 21st, 2012 by Orion
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I remember Mike. I never met him but I was there about ten years ago, before Artlangs and then the ZBB, when Gametalk was at its peak. Mike was sort of some mythical figure that we were told was the centre of all that was Gametalk. You could say he was the community's patron deity from which all other mods and long-term regs could claim their inheritance from...(in a matter of speaking). My screen name back then was "Archie The Argonian." Unfortunately, the only other member I recognize from back then who is still active would be Eidolon's Nepenthe. Everyone else is gone... SANS PEUR... Duanerama...Catahoula Grrr... And a few others I can no longer remember.

Anyway, that's my tribute. Nice to read from you again, Mike. Thank you, and good luck

Posted May 21st, 2012 by Omanyte
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Catahoula has dropped by a couple times before.

Posted May 21st, 2012 by Orion
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It was on my birthday when it went down.

Posted May 21st, 2012 by LLight
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Interesting read.

I always wondered when exactly he had the realization that Gametalk wasn't coming back.

Edited May 21st, 2012 by Bubba
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Good read.

Xhin, I stickied this. Will remove sticky after the post has run it's course or sooner if you want.

Edited May 21st, 2012 by chiefsonny
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I say keep it stickied. I think everyone needs to know where gametalk came from and the sacrifices that it takes to make it run. It will offer a reminder that in a blink of an eye, it can be gone. I was there in the dueling card and writing forums.

Posted May 21st, 2012 by Aragni_Darkness
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Posted May 21st, 2012 by Kyon
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Yeah I figured Mike had some bad mojo happin' to him. It all started as the server and ISP decided to derp. Just glad he was able to find piece. I would imagine that being a server admin is quite a bit of work.

Posted May 21st, 2012 by Forte Lambardi
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Thanks for posting this Xhin. He seems like a cool guy. It's good to know what happened.

Could you interview Masse for your next episode?

Posted May 21st, 2012 by Smiling Apple
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