The history of [I'm 12]

"First they ignore you"
"Then they laugh at you"
"Then they fight you"
"Then you win"
- Ghandhi

A Short History of [I'm 12]

Renard Dubois "Fru!+F35+"
Nye Liu "Mofo Mujimbo"
Daniel Bondurant "Jessica/Galois"
Andy Hahn "PhilodoX"
Jim Hahn "Bruce Leeroy"
Mark Liu "Yoink"

December 7, 1997, Woodland Hills, California. Nye's phat, hilltop, south- of-the-boulevard-pad (which was foreclosed on a few months later).

The game was quake. The addiction had not yet started, but Duke Nukem had started to lose its sheen, and we were all getting used to using +mlook and the WASD layout that Renard's brother, Paul, creamed us with 50 to -4 on our local DM quake lan party ("They were so lame that they could not even kill themselves"). If none of that makes sense, don't fret, its irrelevant to the story. Suffice it to say that we had all discovered online gaming (and more importantly, community) at around this time.

Myself, Andy, and Jim had just suffered a humiliting loss at the hands of OSKI, and our clan, Remorse '81, was in severe danger of blowing up. _WE_ were SERIOUS players, and our future as gamers was looking gloomy.

Renard and Daniel, on the other, hand were clearly having more fun. Why? It's all in a name. Its true. They had chosen jokey, facetious names that nobody took seriously. Renard played as "FruitFest", one of many names given to him by Mark during one of the many all-night Duke Nukem sessions. Daniel played as "jessica" or, alternately, as "Galois" (the latter name is left for the reader to derive an etymology). People were consistently growing tired of being beaten by a poofta and a little girl. A trend was clear.

Players with names like |]34+h5+41|<3r (DeathStalker), the DarkKnight, GangstaKilla were getting outclassed, despite the fact that they had the scariest, most threatening nom-de-plumes imaginable. Sure it helped that FruitFest had his brother's reflexes and the raw intellect of a 50's rocket scientist. Sure it helped that Galois simply had a god-given knack for getting on people's nerves.

The lesson was clear. It was all about the NAME. If only you could come up with the least threatening name possible, come from nowhere, and show everybody that your SKILLS, attitude, and behaviour meant something, it would prove the name was irrelevant. The "illiterati", of course, would redefine this "name" in their tiny minds to mean "baddass" as a short cut to critical thought, but that was nothing but a happy side effect. The potential for irony was too much to ignore. Clearly, we wanted to form a NEW group from the ashes of '81 and the added skills of FruitFest and G, but it had to be a group that nobody in their right mind would take seriously.

Names were proposed. It was common in TF (and DM) Quake land to have a really cool (colored) tag as an acronym behind your name. GothicTerror had this neat [GT] tag. OSKI, lacking creativity, was [OSKI]. Megadeath, the most skilled TF clan of all time, had a simple [M] tag. Most of the rest of the community stuck with all the old l33t sp33k cliches. None are worth even having examples of.. all you l33t hax0rs know exactly of what I speak. I proposed Pink Fluffy Bunnies (PFB), Andy wanted Clan in Black Bean Sauce (BBS). Both GREAT names, one a bad pun, but they still had the l33t TLA (Three Letter Acronym) syndrom going for (urm, against) them.

It was Jessica, of course, that came up with the name that we all could agree on.
[I'm 12]

Watching the amount of flames she (urm he) got whilst completely CREAMING people as Jessica[I'm 12] was too damn funny. Some complained that she was up past her bed time. Others whined that her daddy bought her that 13ms ping connect, and that it was no wonder she was dominating. Her sweet temper, innocent behaviour, and overall niceness really seemed to put people off. It simply did not fit the "frag leader" braggart profile.

This was our opportunity to change the face of TF, or at worst, have fun taking cheapshots at the TF "establishment". To put our plan into action, however, we did need more competent (and like minded) players.

Edison was a shoo in. As '81's mpb sniper, he was not only an amazingly skilled player, but a overall swoll dude, with an attitude so laid back, it made Clem look like a raving lunatic (more on him later). He was an obvious choice, since he was the original master of deflecting flamage with a combination of humility ("hey man, i suck") and semi-profane language ("damn i lost my penispump"). We stole him easily from DH, with the offer of unlimited pr0n and large breasted strippers. Most of you know him now as teatew or Pimp3d or p3nith or ehud, or just plain ed.

Next was Guido. What can i say about Clem that you dont already know. There was absolutely NO good reason for him even considering [I'm 12]. He had friends in Sandman [ZZZ], and there was no way in hell he was going to NOT be in a "real" clan just to join a bunch of upstarts. Somehow, however, he saw the beauty in our plan of world humiliation (urm, domination) and decided to give in. Clearly, this established him in everybody minds as the really-nice-guy-with-no-ego-you-really- cant-help-but-like-him. To this day, Gnugen and Yumchops consistently amazes people with his ability to simply LET THINGS SLIDE. Everyday I strive to use just a little bit of that swollness in life. Usually, I fail, but sometimes it helps my day just go a bit smoother.

Hatred and Lil were next to join but their tempers were not so refined. They did, however, understand the concept (well, Lil did, anyway; Hatred needed serious help, and found it in the form of Galois, who later provided mentorship to both Clone, and Silitek, the latter of which proved completely beyond help). Hatred did the scouting (my tiny brain could only comprehend soldier at this point), and Lil was the amazing defensive RR man who could kill 4 scouts at a time while conced.

Clone. Well what can I say about Clone. The guy is a remarkable human being, and he put up with more shit than anybody should have to tolerate. We had some rough times, but I have a letter stored away that not many people know about. I will keep it as a lesson to myself in perpituity about what it means to have and keep friends, and how much they mean. 'nuff said about that lest I get all weepy on you. If only Silitek had 0.01% the character Clone has...

The line up was further filled in with FoulEffer, KR, Ons, Grim, and Nev, all of which had talent that [I'm 12] really didn't deserve. Nev eventually got fed up with our lack of serious drive and joined a REAL TF clan in the form of [M]egadeath. Somewhere along the line, we also failed to pick up another serious player... Tarrant[M], who some of you know as Rylur, or simply, John. I won't go into detail about John, it would take another 10 pages. Simply stated, John knows his shit. Don't misstate, or even misspell stuff, around him, because that guy wont ever let YOU catch him in a mistake. He is the backbone and the capability for critical thought everybody should have.

asside from Renard: In a very controversial move, Nye and I decided to give Tarrant perfect information. We knew Duke wanted to recruit him, but out of respect to us, Duke agreed to give us the draft rights to Tarrant, since we were interested first. We told T that while we would love to have him, we thought that there was another clan in which he might be more interested in (despite Tarrant being denied admittance, at the last minute I might add, to the first [I'm 12] / [M] get together. Duke didn't allow outsiders at this function for security reasons :) Once our rights expired, Duke made his pitch, and the rest was history, as they say. No other TF clans had the relationship that [I'm 12] and [M] enjoyed. This was but one example of the selflessness between us.

But I digress. With the line up complete, we put our plan into action. Mark gives us our unbeatable gameplan: "Go forth, and camp, my son"

Flash forward one year later. [I'm 12] is winning matches like nothin doin. Sure, we're no [GT] or [M], but now other people are making fun of newbies who make fun of US, for us! Respectible clans are sticking up for us not just on our server, but on other random pub servers. [I'm 12] has allied with [M]. Things are moving smoothly. Our skills are growing, both technically, and organizationally. Renard is a leaders' leader. He runs the show. Keeps people in line. Smooths over ruffled feathers (and egos, something quake players are reknowned for). Nobody but a leader can possibly fathom what is requred to get 12+ people to be in the same place, at the same time, with the same goals, together every day of the week (except fridays and saturdays).

Most of all, he tries to prevent [I'm 12] from getting that holier-than-thou sheen almost all "elite" clans suffer from. My personal hope is that our name helps this in some small way....

The ridicule [I'm 12]' as put up with for months has given way to respect. As predicted, the WORDS [I'm 12] have taken on a new meaning; the l33t quake d00ds begin to speak of [I'm 12] with reverence, even if only via word of mouth. As predicted, reputation was gained from action, not from naming, even if it took longer than simply focus group marketing and coming up with yet another lame clan title.

In honor of our accomplishments, I add a little blurb to our news page ( poking fun at the great IC and >V< renaming in their pathetic attempts to reinvent themselves with something as trivial as a name change.

[I'm 12] has undergone a massive restructuring, much like the one IC and >V< went though. Yes. That's right. We've changed NAMES! That's how damn different everything is now.

NOW we're [I'm 13], and because we have a new name you should be scared of us because the NEW one is WAY more badass than the old, lame, pussy one. You see, when [I'm 12] started, people were just plain ashamed to get killed by Jessica[I'm 12].

"What!," you had said, "I've been fragged by a clanless newbie 12 year old! I must REALLY SUCK."

No longer must you suffer such humiliation, because the [I'm 13] tag is SO much more badass, you can NOW tell yourself (and your friends) "I'm SO cool I got pwned by a [I'm 13] member. He even said something like 'heh' or 'gay' or 'yawn' or 'owned' or 'boy DMing for 16 hours straight really helps my TF skillz' right after he killed me. Thats how l33t I am."

Just be thankful we didn't use clanomatic to make our new name. Because if we had a clanomatic generated name, we'd never lose at all. EVER. See, i'd be like "MofoM[DB]" (DeathBringers) or "MofoM[RRBD]" (ReallyReallyBigDragons) or "MofoM[KoSwD]" (KnightsOfSlayerswithDOGS) or "MofoM[IPN]"

Nobody, of course, gets the joke but me. Newbies think we are disbanding. My clan mates think I have gone insane. A few days later I am forced to clarify my position, since people have begun to complain I have "diluted" our "name recognition", the very concept I had set out to destroy! The irony if THIS truth, now, it seems, has bitten me in the ass.

My vision is crumbling, and I have nobody to turn to. The new members have no clue why the clan is called [I'm 12], the old ones are having too much fun to bother with my morbid fascination with these deviant subversive actions.

Right about this time, I realize my grand social experiment has failed, and I Become better at Letting Things Slide (99)! I begin to have fun again, and take pride in having been a part of the most amazing events I'd never have though possible through online contact.

Most of all, I had learned the difference between saying "it's just a game" and "these are my friends, I am a part of a community". John understands this more than anybody, and the next time somebody says "it's just a game" will have their home address and phone number forwarded to him by me personally.

Jackrabbit[I'm 12] has now taken over leadership of our TF division, which may blossom again should q3f prove fun or should qwtf manage to catch its second wind. Now if only they could schedule 9pm PST games...

Finally, sorry I didn't give "props" to all the "homies" that deserve them (there are many, if you are in that list, I hope you know who you are, and I hope you too have at least a 80 skill in Letting Things Slide, hi DaBee!).

Here's to seeing you all in EQ, AOE2, Q3F, or wherever.
- Nye Liu (Mofo Mujimbo [I'm 12], Mujimbo Mofosan [Twelve Year], Etimame Tskukemono [Twelve Year])