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Interview: TriForce Gamemaster

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Tenacious. Visionary. Misunderstood. Everyone has a different perspective on Isaiah Triforce Johnson, founder and CEO of Empire Arcadia. He founded a small gaming community which was created in 1984 called Video Land. In 1996 he turned his community into a team of players that consist of some the legends we know today i.e. Sanford Kelly, Dieminion, Jeron Grayson and more. Empire Arcadia officially didn't take flight until six years later where he established the brand after changing the team name from Video Land to Empire Arcadia. It exists as a means to promote and inspire a digital culture, community and industry of video games. Its members have showcased natural talents in a broad range of games including classic gaming, first-person shooters and real-time strategy games, most gamers are typically familiar with the organization making its mark within the Fighting Game Community. Their dynasty consisted of some of the strongest members in the scene, ultimately leading to that eventful day when TriForce and his warriors' efforts would pay off with an official record.

A record that will be forever immortalized by the Guinness Book of World Records. Shortly after the news was announced, we had an opportunity to briefly conduct an interview with TriForce to share his thoughts on the history of the organization, the criticisms, and of course, the newest prestigious award that has joined the collection of achievements prominently stored at the God's Arc.

Congratulations on your latest award. While we know that receiving such prestigious symbol of recognition is nothing new for Empire Arcadia, this particular award speaks volumes for everything the gaming organization has achieved over the past nine years.

Let's start from the top. While there are many longtime gamers familiar with your background, new players come into the scene every day. How would you introduce yourself?

My name is TriForce GameMaster, Founder of the home for the World's Greatest Gamers; Empire Arcadia.

For those unfamiliar with Empire Arcadia, what is the mission statement that you ensure players adhere to?

The mission statement for the organization is to utilize the professional talents and experience of its World Class Championship proven gamers for the benefit of developing new markets in the growing videogame industry, community and culture. As for the players, their mission is to protect the integrity this brand and preserve the culture and heritage of gaming.

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The award acknowledges the gaming organization as winning the "most documented wins" for offline and online tournaments. Some may only be aware of events hosted by SRK, CEO, MLG, UFGT, ECC and Big E Gaming. Can you tell us about some of the other events Empire Arcadia participated in?

It is understandable that most people who are into competitive gaming only are knowledgeable about the surrounding environment. As a development organization, Empire Arcadiaís job is to enhance all the elements associated in gaming: Art, Fashion, Music, Media, and Education etc. When it comes to competition, like the other elements there is more than one. Fighting Games, First Person Shooters and Real Time Strategy Games are not the only games that are out there to compete in. You have Classic Arcade games that consist of platform style of gaming. You have racing games, puzzle games, sports games, action/adventure games and the list goes on.

These games and their competitions are found all over the world and online. Competitions like Global Gaming League, Aurcade, New Egg, Funspot, Game Battles, Twin Galaxies International and Video X Games etc. hold different gaming competitions outside of the standard fighters and shooters. Some of those tournaments weíve competed in were for World Records and Regional championships. In the end we like to support as many genre of competitive games as we can.

Naturally the victories officially documented by the Guinness Book of World Records wasn't centered on just fighting games. What other games and genres does this recognition include?

Just to give you an example of the other genres and games associated with that genre the record recognizes Racing games like Mario Kart, Puzzle games like Tetris, Sports games like Madden, Classic games like Super Mario Bros. Third Person Shooters like Gears of War 1, 2 & 3 etc.

Recently you disbanded the fighting game division for a short period of time and then opted to relaunch with a renewed focus. Can you elaborate on Empire Arcadia's new direction?

The direction of Empire Arcadia has not changed and I donít see it changing anytime soon. What has changed however is the execution of our focus goal.

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You've achieved a strong fanbase of supporters, but there are still many who continue to discredit your efforts, often with ridicule and scrutiny. How do you respond to these criticisms?

There is a difference between boasting and stating facts. This is fact; in 2012, Empire Arcadia has won an International Championship, a Evo World Championship and 2 Guinness World Record and it's only August. There's room for improvement. There shouldn't be any criticism. They've said EMP died and has been dead since we've lost our marquee players a couple years back. Our success without those players legitimizes the brands ability to overcome any challenge that may arise.

I have a better question for you, can another competitive gaming team do the same without their marque player or without buying out another establish player from another team? I know EMP gets its players from the rough and develop them from scratch adding more credibility to our brand. We don't buy established talent we breed them.

Despite the critics, what we've done is now in the history books, Guinness Book of World Record to be exact; thus what we have done is a fact. Their criticism no longer has any foundation to stand on, needless to say any credibility to concern myself with their mundane opinions.

Why do you honestly feel that the Fighting Game Community continues to misunderstand your visions for Empire Arcadia?

From my experienced point of view, it is not the Fighting Game Community that continues to misunderstand Empire Arcadia. Throughout the FGC you have influential players that express their opinions of Empire Arcadia to a lot of the new members of the growing community. Most of these people are immature and are not even old enough to drink so they lash out in a trolling manner for entertainment purposes. Even now theyíre still people out there asking; just what is it that Empire Arcadia does? Despite our actions answering their question, they still donít know. That simply means to me that they donít want to understand what we are and what we do and that is fine. They can live in their world, while we continue to make an impact in the real world.

How has Empire Arcadia progressed despite the loss of marquee players like Justin, Ricky, Dieminion and Yipes? Are the troops still as hungry as the league once was many years ago?

Nothing last forever and as players come and go, new players will rise and want to leave their mark. As long as that mark is in line with Empire Arcadiaís mission we will do what we can to help develop those players to accomplish their personal goal while maintain the brandís goal as well. As for hunger, some players play for them self and their self-interest but then you have players who play for the pride of the organization. They play for more than just them self and those players stand out in the organization for when you play for something more than yourself you will transcend to a higher level.

If someone walked up to you and expressed interest in creating an organization of their own, what would you tell them?

Nothing. What we do here in Empire Arcadia, 90% of the time is not what they want to do. I stop wasting my time giving long winded lectures on the culture and community of gaming. Theyíre not here for that. Outside of Twin Galaxies International and NintendoÖ.I donít know any other gaming entities noteworthy that even care about that.

When most players in the scene think of Empire Arcadia, fighting games is typically the first image that comes to mind. What else does the organization specialize in?

Classic Gaming.

Empire Arcadia has definitely set a new precedent for other gaming leagues in existence. Out of the organization (both sponsored and non-sponsored) would you consider to be most likely to follow in your footsteps?

Thatís a good question. If you examine Empire Arcadia carefully, weíre just a modern super upgraded version of Twin Galaxies International, except instead of adjudicating World Records and hosting tournaments; we go out and win them. Both entities have the same principles in terms of the protection and preservation of the gaming community, culture and expansion of the gaming industry.

Walter Day, the founder of Twin Galaxies is a great friend of mine and Iíve learned a lot from him in terms of the gaming scene. He has opened my eyes to a lot of things and Iím glad to have him as my gaming Grandfather. Many of the OGís (Original Gods) of the gaming culture such as Todd Rogers, Billy Mitchell, Steve Sanders, Walter Day, Ben Gold and even Fatality, all have taught me something about the gaming scene as a whole and how I can do more in my age because of the opportunity and technology that I have that they didnít.

Iíve learned so much about the business, politics and culture of gaming that I think would have taken me a very long time to amass such experience and technology. I am truly grateful to have met them and done charities and other cultural activities with them. I am the complete gamer that I am because of their influence on me.

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Sanford recently went on record to talk about the staggering lack of hunger impacting the players on the East Coast. What are your thoughts on this topic?

I understand where Sanford is coming from but I have a slightly different take on it. Itís not really a lack of hunger, although it is a contributing factor. To me it is their pride an ego that gets in the way. They try to pick a team that individualizes them from other players. Their goal is not to win but to establish an individual presence among other players for social stability with in their community.

Such egotistical nonsense hinders them from winning. Chris G, who should change his name to Chris Genius, knows this and takes advantage of their pride and stupidity thus making a name for himself. He is not concerned about acceptance because he ďacceptsĒ himself. When he was in the Empire, there were veteran players that tried to put him under their wing and told him what he was doing right from wrong. He didnít want to be controlled by anyone. It was one of the leading factors that lead up to his departure from the Empire.

Now free he has been on a tear and it takes the Empireís top brass, or players on the West Coast to slow him down. Here on the East CoastÖ.there are less than a handful that can hold him down, how embarrassing. Either way, when the East Coast stop feeding their own egos and playing around with their pride weíll see a different East Coast.

Throughout the years, Empire has showcased exceptional talent during live, tournament events? Do you have a personal favorite moment exhibited by one of your players?

I have a top 10 favorite moments in Empire Arcadia.

#10. Myself defeating the Screw Attack Iron man of Gaming Championship 2011 in Aurcadeís Iron Man of Gaming Championship 2012 at MagFest.
#9. Sanford defeating Duc in the grudge match at EVO 2006
#8. Sanford defeats Wolfkrone at Power Up 2012 to win Super Street Fighter 4: AE 2012
#7. PC Chris defeats Ken to win the Championship in Smash Melee at MLG Meadowlands 2006
#6. Mew2King 3 Peats MLG in 2010 in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
#5. Empire Arcadiaís dominance at Devastation winning 8 Major Tournaments
#4. Myself setting 8 World Records at Funspot X.
#3. Sanford, Justin and Yipes taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at EVO World MvC2 Championships in 2009
#2. Team Legacy Winning the WCG 2009 National Championship in Gears of War 2
#1. Perfect Legend Repeating Back to Back the EVO World MK Championships in 2012

So now that you've obtained this award, what's next for the Empire?

Nothing has changed in our mission. This accolade will join the others on the Gods Arc wall which is a symbol of the Empireís dominance. We will continue our mission, turn everyone in the world into gamers.

I would like to thank all of our supporters, sponsors and partners who are helping Empire Arcadia make a difference in the gaming scene.

Please visit our sponsor Duxter at http://duxter.com/r/2203. Duxter empowers, inspires and rewards gamers for exploring and expressing their passion for games - across all game platforms. It's the social media network for gamers world wide.

Please attend the best tournament experience to date! VXG at http://www.thevideoxgames.com/

Empire Arcadia and I would like to also give thanks to the mega support and encouragement by everyone at Twin Galaxies International and Guinness World Records, the true pillars of the competitive gaming scene.


We'd like to thank TriForce for taking the opportunity to speak with us and look forward to speaking with him again, as well as other members of Empire Arcadia. Chris Bahn is the founder of Put That Back. Media coverage can be found on the official PTB Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/bahnism

You can also follow him on Twitter @bahnism or the official PTB Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/putthatback

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Updated 05 Aug 2012 at 02:52 AM by bahn

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