iBrony Feature: Meet your Guardian: LightningBlaze
Meet LightningBlaze. A stallion after my own heart. Even joined iBrony the same day I did, February 14th, also known to us as Hearts and Hooves day. And as if that wasn't even enough, one of his favourite ponies is the same as mine: Cheerilee.
As we opened our skype chat, I just asked him to give me a little bit about himself to open up the conversation. He describes himself as impulsive, sometimes coming off as random to others, and he is very artistic, enjoying drawing and making music. He plays the viola and the piano, and is also learning programming to design games. Additionally he enjoys playing PS3 in his spare time.
In asking of some of the games he plays, he said he enjoys role-playing games, and massive-multiplayer online games. He's looking forward to Pokemon Black/White 2 and he just bought a PS3 as well for gaming, and is looking forward to finding out what new games may be coming out.
After the formalities, we switched the topic to ponies. From the Mane 6 he's fond of Pinkie Pie and Applejack - he can't pick just one - and from the rest of the cast he - indirectly - reminded me I need to update the Cheerilee page I admin, and mentioned Cheerilee and Lyra as his favorites.
"From the mane six, I'd have to say it's a tie between Applejack and Pinkie Pie. From the background pony aspect, Cheerilee and Lyra."
His favourite song of the series is the Cutie Mark Crusaders Theme Song, "Hooves Down" he eagerly declared, as if to ensure there was no doubt in his mind. Also, his favourite pony-inspired song from a Brony artist is Love me Cheerilee by The Living Tombstone and Woodentoaster, two very accomplished Brony musicians.
As enthusiastic as he is about the series, his story of how he became a Brony in the first place is quite interesting. He tells me some friends of his took drastic action and actually tied him to a chair and made him watch the first two episodes.He had been familiar with previous generations of the franchise, and was fairly convinced that this series would would be "horrible" - remember generations 3 and 3.5?
"Being some of the few who got to see generations 1-3.5, I thought this new generation would be horrible. So, my friends ended up locking me in a room and tying me down until I watched the first two episodes. Even after that I wasn't hooked. What made me into a brony wasn't how good the show was, it was the animation. I'm a huge Courage the Cowardly Dog fan, and being able to compare how far flash animation has gone from then to now was astonishing. Another nice factor was how Twilight's letters were applicable to various life situations."
In talking about why he likes the show, LightningBlaze reminded me of one of the major reasons I liked the show too. The fact that the show is easy to relate to, and uses realistic ways of dealing with life issues, usually summarized in Twilight's letters to her mentor. Plus, yes, the animation is amazing.
After becoming a Brony and becoming a such a fan of the show, he began to role-play online at Canterlot.com, a forumboard site. He tells me he had trouble getting the hang of role-play and one day while online, saw an ad for iBrony.
He does compare iBrony to Ponysquare at first, when telling me his first impressions of the site. The site functions were familiar, but the similarities end there. "I preferred iBrony because it had a nicer layout and various methods to meet new members. i.e. The shoutbox; being able to see photo uploads, links, status updates, from all the users on the site; and the recent addition of the introduction box seemed to up that aspect even more. Another good impression I got was the community itself. While on Ponysquare, I'd only recieve friend requests, but rarely any comments from those requests. On iBrony, I first met with Princess Trollestia. What he did was not only introduce me to the website, he also helped me in a few predicaments I had early on. So, overall my impression of this site is very high."
As for being a guardian, LightningBlaze says upfront what being a guardian means to him: moderating, including trying to control flame wars, that pictures are appropriate, that people use appropriate language. He says what he likes about guardians is that even though it challenges him to work with very limited powers, it's still safe, and prevents an abuse of power.
"What I tend to like about iBrony is that since the Guardians only have the report option, it kind of opened my eyes to how working on a site without ban powers or anything as such, could be challenging, yet safe. From most forum boards, I have met a few moderators and gotten on a bad start which would lead to abuse of their powers. I do think Guardians could get a little more power, but within decent limitations."
He suggests allowing guardians power closer to that of staff... a very limited amount of ban power... perhaps not more than once a week, and it would not stack, so you couldn't "save up" on bans... he cites the Skype group as well as helping with this, because the guardians do network, and they can get differing viewpoints and checks and balances.
As far as issues on the site go, he brings up a recent incident involving a certain pony and word came out that this pony was suicidal. There was a lot of tension as some ponies wanted to help him, and some ponies were convinced it was just attention seeking, and this became pretty divisive.
"I love how Violyre posted that blog on the situation about suicides," he says, "especially the topic of contacting professionals. While I do believe it's a good idea to get out how you're feeling, I don't think posting it on a website filled with people you don't 100% know is a good idea." He then also goes on to acknowledge the controversial subject of rule 34. "That's always been a touchy subject in almost every public website. I don't really think it's correct, but I do think that all we can do is prolong the inevitable."
He does bring up one small pet peeve he has as well. "When other users start fighting back, especially after I or some other person have given a fair warning."
Now for the fun stuff. If he could get an achievement in his honour, like those the admins have, he suggests two: "'Ownt' and the way to obtain it would be 'Make LightningBlaze rage quit from a thread/status post'" and "'Blazing Forum' and to obtain it is to have me comment on any forum section since I rarely ever comment on any. The creator of that thread would obtain it.'"
He appreciates any gift sent, so spam him with a ton of gifts, and in conclusion, LightningBlaze would like to remind readers "I'd like to say thanks to everypony out there, not only for being a nice entertwined community, but also helping me overcome my timidness and talking to new users. It even helped me in real life. Once again, thank you all!"
LightningBlaze will be at Brony Fan Fair, picking up merch for his dorm room when he enters university. If you happen to see him, give him a brohoof. Give him one extra one for me, since I won't be there to attend.
Join the fastest growing My Little Pony site around! Make friends with other fans, make a profile and throw out some brohoofs!
Support Me, Buy Stuff!
An amazing Cheerilee toy. One of LightningBlaze's favorites! Buy it and give it to him as a gift at Brony Fan fair!