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Battlefield Blog: Community Profile #2: Reddit BF3 Community Moderator Eric "Erode" Rodewald

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Welcome back to another edition of Community Profiles! This week our guest of honor is none other than Reddit Battlefield Community Moderator Eric "Erode" Rodewald! He's responsible for the BFBC2 and BF3 sections on Reddit.com. Big thanks to Erik "Stadler" Zuuring from Battlefiedo for putting this series together. Let's see what Eric has to say!


http://blogs.battlefield.ea.com/resized-image.ashx/__size/550x0/__key/CommunityServer.Blogs.Components.WeblogFiles/battlefield_5F00_bad_5F00_company/erode.jpg1. Tell us a bit about yourself!


My name is Eric Rodewald. I'm a Minnesota, USA native with a Scandinavian background. I'm now 26 years old and I've been playing Battlefield since my PC could run it! 1942, BF2, 2142, BC2.  I tend to go by the nickname GEN3RIC, or erode depending on what is available. Professionally, I've been a programmer and UI designer since out of college in 2007.  I became heavily invested in the Battlefield community once I was out of college and since early 2010 I have been developing server tools for variations of Frostbite-based games (BC2 Command Center, MOH Command Center) for Interactive 3D.  Also, in the past 2 years I've taken up a community role moderating, and designing the very prominent Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 sections of Reddit.com.  It's an incredibly tight-knit community of Battlefield veterans. Collectively we have about 12,500 subscribers, but our traffic stats indicate over 500,000 impressions a month coming from non-subscribers but frequent visitors and contributors. And the communities show no signs slowing down! 


2. What brought you into the Battlefield Community? Was there one significant moment that made you step from being a casual gamer to what you do now? 


The thought of having an unrestricted "sandbox" war FPS that allowed for some of the most absurdly rewarding moments drew me to Battlefield 1942.  Seeing someone jump from a plane, sending it into a loop, only to jump back in on it's way back to the player is just crazy entertaining.  The community itself has such a passion for the games that you feel right at home gushing your Battlefield moments to them.  You can instantly connect to these people just over a game, and that really floored me, frankly.  I've been PC gaming since I was 7 years old (1992!), so it's been a major part of my life ever since.  When I began hosting regular LAN parties in middle school, I knew I had crossed the divide from casual to hardcore gamer.


3. In your opinion, what is your biggest obstacle in the Battlefield community?


I'd say right now there is a small rift growing between hardcore Battlefield 2 players, and the newer generations on consoles and PC Bad Company 2 who haven't really experienced what a "real Battlefield game" plays like. I see discussions pertaining to it quite often on reddit where some people simply want BF2 with the new glitz of Frostbite and some prefer the less serious (but ironically, just as hardcore) players emanating from the Bad Company era.  I can understand where they come from being a lover of all DICE games, but I recognize that DICE and their fanbase has grown and evolved much more sophisticated people.  It's important to continue innovating without sacrificing the "is it fun?" aspect of the game.  Without innovation and change, it would literally be an FPS factory, churning out yearly sequels that offer nothing new and stifle creativity.  I think the challenge to keep these two sides of the issue civil gets easier every time new information on Battlefield 3 releases.  It tends to put their minds at ease having seen proof that their passion for the last [nearly] 10 years isn't being destroyed by compromises.


4. If there was one thing you’d like to see in the Battlefield Community what would it be? 


A central hub to share video clips or screenshots, or spectate matches or even regular matches.  Perhaps it's not technologically feasible at this time, but it would be absolutely wonderful to invite a person to spectate a game from the web, a thin-client, or even the game client itself. Allow the community to experience these Battlefield moments that are almost so incredulous that nobody will believe it happened.  People would flock to Battlefield in droves if only they could easily see what it is like.


5. What are your expectations for Battlefield 3? Are you excited to watch the community grow even stronger?


I expect it to deliver a hybrid experience between traditional Battlefield realism and the excitement of Bad Company 1 and 2.  With co-op, single player, and 64 player multiplayer, I don't see it disappointing fans. I also would like to see some level of support for Machinima. Some are worried that the meteoric rise of Battlefield will bring unwanted players from rival games, but from the moment these new players become invested in Battlefield, they are changed. They are now soldiers on the Battlefield.


6. For a gaming community to be a community, what is the most important factor in your opinion?


Friendship.  The Battlefield communities I've seen are usually great friends that play and talk about the game every day.  It's a wonderful feeling to visit other communities and see that you are welcomed into their voice chats and game servers and they immediately treat you with a certain respect, something I've only seen within the Battlefield community.  Gaming communities that breed contempt or ill-will for other players never end up succeeding. They simply end up dissolving as the members have migrated to friendlier communities.


Thanks Eric for that wonderful interview! We've seen a ton of great Battlefield communities out there and cannot be more excited to see new ones pop up every single day. I, personally, visit Reddit on a daily basis and can't wait to see what the Reddit Gaming community has to say in the coming months when Battlefield 3 finally launches! Keep up the great work!



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