Interview: Sean Reiley, aka Seanbaby

Sean Reiley joined us for an interview and talked about his writing, internet trolls and his upcoming game Calculords.

By Admin, Posted 02 Nov 2013

This week here at NoobFeed we had the chance to catch up with internet comedian and pop/geek culture writer Sean Reiley aka Sean Baby. Some of you may know him from EGM, but others may know him from his hilarious articles on a self named website seanbaby.com. Here’s what he had to say about writing, internet trolls and his upcoming game Calculords.

Sean Reiley, Sean Baby, Interview, Writer, EGM, Comedian, Geek, Calculords

Sarah: Tell us a little about what you do.

Sean: I've been a freelance hilarity technician and treasured delight for almost 20 years. I've written for ludicrous numbers of shows, games, and magazines, but most people know me from Cracked.com and Electronic Gaming Monthly.

Sarah: Your work has some of the most memorable and hilarious quotes in gaming culture, but how exactly did you get into the comedy genre of writing/ journalism?

Sean: I had a job in college where I helped people in computer labs. Most of them only needed to know how to Internet a website or make computer box power go on, so it left a lot of time for side projects. One project was a bunch of jokes about Super Friends and Nintendo. A few years and 70 million jokes later, that became my living.

But if you want to go back to the true beginning of my origin story, my mom's second husband was so unfunny that I studied comedy like a science to see how nature was able to create him.

Sarah: Seanbaby.com is a collection of articles and miscellaneous pop culture topics. Is there any piece that you wrote that you sat back and were really proud of?

Sean: Like most writers probably do, I think my early stuff is manic and clumsy. But I always look back fondly on articles that led to bizarre circumstances. Like the one that got me interviewed by the Secret Service. Or the one that Alyssa Milano threatened to sue me over. Or here's a good example: an article called Dear Nintendo: My Life is a Goddamn Mess.

In it, I collected ludicrous fan mail from old Nintendo Power magazines. Within 6 months, every person I made fun of wrote to me. Most of them took it pretty well, but a couple of them threatened to destroy me. Nintendo Power's readers are as unpredictable as they are unbeatable in Faxanadu.

The standout was a plumber and Super Mario Brothers 2 expert who saw the article and wrote me a series of increasingly insane hate mails. I did an article documenting our correspondence, and spoiler alert: he tried to win a lot of arguments by making up sex stories about himself and his enormous penis. Readers of my site wrote him, and he responded to each of them, also with increasing insanity. Given his self-confessed virility, he must have certainly gotten most of them pregnant as well.

The story didn't stop there. A few weeks later, some idiot copied the article, changed all the occurrences of my name with his, then pasted it onto his own website. His plan was to make it appear as if HE was the one arguing about penises with lunatic Nintendo plumbers. He even went in to my photo album and took two pictures of me next to hot girls and, no bullshit, Photoshopped his face onto my body. I thought he'd be a valuable resource if I ever had to frame someone for killing my girlfriend, but his site was down hours later. The Internet devours you like carpet beetles when it finds out you're an article thief.

So even though none of the jokes in that article are in my top thousand, it had a pretty eventful aftermath.

Sean Reiley, Sean Baby, Interview, Writer, EGM, Comedian, Geek, Calculords

Sarah: Due to your work being published on the internet, (the place of trolls and open negative comments) how do you deal with trolls or negativity about your work?

Sean: I've never actually had a hate mail I could take seriously. Most haters are just rudely announcing that something you did triggered their insecurities. Maybe someday I'll get a hate mail from a respectable, intelligent person who simply wants to hurt my feelings because my jokes didn't land for him or her. When that happens, I guess I'll film myself crying and hope that makes them happy?

Honestly, though; I don't get that much hate. Haters tend to target the lazy and entitled, and even the crankiest reader can see all the hard work I put into creating graphics and then typing all word in right place for sound funny.

Sarah: People on the internet called some of your work a “confrontational”.  How do you go about writing a piece that could potentially annoy or offend people?

Sean: Thinking about offended people before they're offended is a pretty good way to never be funny again. I hopefully approach my job with as much cultural responsibility as it demands, but sensitive jokes are just humiliating to both comedy and sensitive people.

Sarah: As a fan I couldn't contain my excitement about Calculords, tell us a little about the game.

Sean: It's five or six genres of video game, a couple of which don't exist yet. It's a collectible card game in outer space, but you use number puzzles to cast your cards and the battlefield is kind of tower defensey. You're the Last Star Nerd and the Earth has been exploded by an evil computer named HATE BIT. This next part is probably obvious, but you have to travel the galaxy defeating enemy commanders to collect their cards and build a deck powerful enough to defeat him.

Sean Reiley, Sean Baby, Interview, Writer, EGM, Comedian, Geek, Calculords

Sarah: You said "Calculords is a weird idea that I'd never get to see unless I made it” how exactly did you come up with the idea?

Sean: Two decades of writing absurd jokes has trained my neurons to follow strange trails through my brain and sometimes they come back with bizarre ideas. I guess the main impetus of the game comes from how much I love of strategy games and how much I hate the first five plodding, predictable turns of every strategy game. Calculords sort of solves that problem with its mathy whatsits and deck building.

Sarah: Did you find the leap from writing to creating your own game difficult?

Sean: Totally. I write about and play games a lot, but designing one is an entirely different skill set. It was like discovering I was a complete idiot several times a day.

Sarah: Are you nervous about releasing it?

Sean: I'm a little nervous someone smarter than me will find a game-breaking card combo on the first day, but I'm pretty confident the game is rad to the max.

Sarah: We hear that you are a final fantasy fan. From looking back at the snes era of the franchise how do you feel the new generations of final fantasy games compare? (e.g. XII, lightening returns and the mmorpgs.)

Sean: I stopped enjoying the straight RPGs a long time ago. I found out I'm never in the mood to play games and read meandering, fanciful stories at the same time. I usually read a better book or catch up on texts when I'm playing a Final Fantasy game. That being said, if you gave me 30 seconds to list my Top 10 Games Ever, Final Fantasy Tactics, III, V, and XII all have a good chance of creeping into it.

Sean Reiley, Sean Baby, Interview, Writer, EGM, Comedian, Geek, Calculords

Sarah: Are there any upcoming games that you are really excited to play?

Sean: I'm pretty excited for Dead Rising 3 and have a copy of Lego Marvel next to me that taunts me while I work. I'm also looking forward to getting into Disgaea D2, but right now it freezes every time I haven't saved my game in an hour. I think I'll wait for a patch in order to save the destructible objects in my home.

Sarah: Will you be purchasing any of the next gen consoles? 

Sean: Of course. How else am I supposed to Skype, play video games, get help with my golf swing, and record my favorite shows while a robot camera checks to see if I'm eating Doritos?


A big thanks to Sean for taking the time to talk with us. We look forward to hearing about your upcoming projects and wish you continued success! Keep up with Sean Reiley on seanbaby.com, and follow him on Twitter!

Sarah Doherty, NoobFeed (@SarahDohertyy)

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Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, WII, 3DS, Vita, Mobile
Publisher(s): NoobFeed
Developer(s): NoobFeed Editors
Genres: Artcile
Themes: Feature, Editorial, Interviews, Opinion Pieces
Release Date: 2009-02-14

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