Evil Avatar is a video game news internet forum. Founded in 1997 as "The Weekly Web News" by Philip Hansen, Evil Avatar was one of the earliest blog-style game-centric news aggregation sites. Since then, the site has been through many changes and evolved into a forum with collected video-gaming related news on the front page. With the promise of delivering "daily gaming news.... with attitude," the site continues to be updated and read daily by numerous fans, developers, and critics.
A notable (and oft-discussed) "feature" of Evil Avatar is the absence of user avatars. The site strives to maintain a quick-loading, minimalist feel, and to achieve this, no user avatars are allowed, and signatures must abide strict guidelines. However, during the site's 2006 Halloween celebration, user avatars were allowed, and these images still display in the user profiles of those who participated.
On September 29th 2008, a large number of senior Moderators/Editors ("Reds," as they're known on Evil Avatar) left the site for undisclosed personal reasons. Their new efforts were revealed on October 1st, with the launch of Colony of Gamers, a new gaming site incorporating many disenfranchised Evil Avatar members. A large portion of the community migrated at that time as well.
*Evil Avatar - Site owner Philip Hansen is the author of two Bradygames Official Video Game Strategy Guides including the Official Guides for Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix and XIII (Thirteen) and was a contributor to the Official Strategy Guides for Far Cry, Call of Duty: United Offensive, Dungeons and Dragons: Dragonshard and Ace Combat 5. Philip Hansen is also listed in the credits of eleven video game titles including titles from publishers Activision and Microsoft. Philip Hansen had his first short story, Agent Red, published in 2007 by independent publisher Permuted Press as part of the zombie anthology, The Undead: Skin & Bones.
*modeps - Editor: Joined the staff in September 2008.
*Emabulator - Editor
*Everlost_MI - Sr. Editor
*Dirty Harry - Editor: Joined the staff in October 2008.
*lost - Editor: Joined the staff in October 2008.
*Evil Avnovice - Handheld Editor: Joined the staff in October 2008.
*Jetherik - Editor: Joined the staff in May 1999. Wrote for three years the Wednesday Night in Norrath (WNiN) after Alustyalien. Also wrote game reviews and currently does the "Weekend Gamers."
Game Related News
Front page news content on Evil Avatar is user-submitted. News posts can be written by any registered user. From there, forum moderators/news editors sift through the submissions and post them to the "front page." While the site is predominantly concerned with news from the computer and video game industries, coverage has expanded into other fields, from general technology to comic books.
The Evil Avatar community comprises readers from all sectors of the games industry, from simple every-day fans to game developers. Upon joining the "EvAv" community, a user creates a username and profile, and is able to post within the various Evil Avatar forums. Usernames appear in yellow (yellow) and offer nearly unfettered access to the site.
Evil Avatar is also sponsored by user donations. When a user donates to the site, their username appears in orange (orange), and they are allowed a customized user title, as well as access to the "Subscriber's Only" forum.
Additional user colors have also been assigned:
* Pink (Pink) - Reserved for high level subscribers (a minimum $100 cumulative donation) and contributors.
* Green (Green) - May be obtained at the request of users who are already of pink status. The first user to obtain green was Zeal in June of 2007.
* Purple (Purple) - Currently there is only one in existence: Gigafuzz. Rumors and speculation circle about this status, much to the community's enjoyment. The purple status may only be gained if passed on by the current holder of it.
* Blue (Blue) - Reserved for 'honored guests' of Evil Avatar. Since their departures, both bapenguin and fitbabits have been granted this status, as well as Silicon Knights developer Denis Dyack and Epic Games' Mark Rein.
* Red (Red) - A small handful of Evil Avatar users are promoted to moderator and administrator status. Their names appear in red, and they are tasked with various responsibilities and privileges. These members of Evil Avatar are known to take a very active role in the EvAv community and forums, maintaining the front page and generally moderating forum behavior. The key difference between administrators and moderators is that administrators hold complete power over all site functions, while moderators only control a small subset of these functions.
Wall of Fame
*Certis - A previous site editor who went on to found GamersWithJobs.
*fitbabits - Appeared as an unlockable character in Infected on the PSP. Founded Colony of Gamers with previous staff members of the site.
*bapenguin - Featured on XBox.com's Gamer Spotlight segment in August 2006. (Link). Founded Co-Optimus a website dedicated to co-op gaming.
*The Community - Listed near the top of the credits for the "Our Colony" viral marketing campaign on the XBox 360. (Video)
*kefkataran - Former Evil Avatar Radio host (and current host of EvAv's "The Movie Guys"), recently hired on as 1UP's News Editor.
=== Evil Avatar Radio - "Old School Crew" ===
Evil Avatar Radio (or "EAR") was started early in 2006 by Philip Kollar, known as Kefkataran on the site. The show was broadcast live from the University of Minnesota Morris' radio station, KUMM. The show took place every Friday from 9:00pm until Midnight CST. It ran for almost 2 years before being handed over to a new crew.
A normal episode of EAR consisted of three "sections" - from 9:00 until 10:00 an interview is played (usually someone involved in video games or comics). If there is no interview, music is played during this hour. From 10:00 until around 11:00, Phil and whomever was joining him go over the week in video game news. And then from 11:00 until the end of the show, Phil opened the phone lines to let members of the Evil Avatar community call in. In the podcast version of the show, the first hour was cut out
Recurring segments on EAR included:
*New Releases - A list of the games coming out in the following week.
*Price Watch - A run down of games that have dropped in price in the past week.
*Comic Talk - Whether it's Marvel or DC, usually someone does a rundown.
*The Two-Minute Hate - A listener is given 2 minutes to rant about whatever they want.
*Gaming Confessions - Listeners reveal deep, dark, game-related secrets.
The shows cast consisted of Phil, along with his co-host/fiancee Amanda Ochsner (site name: "FaceItTiger"). Joining them on the news most weeks is the Podcast Producer, Justin Heeren (site name: "pseudopseudo") who does most of the show's editing. Behind the scenes, Online Producer Nat Kealen (site name: "agentgray") does recording and editing of interview segments and gets the podcast on the website and iTunes.
The original members of Evil Avatar Radio were friends with the members of Team Fremont Live, leading to several cross-over episodes.
The show also kept close ties to the bapenguin Chatroom during broadcast, doing the room "Roll Call" and passing feedback/questions into the show as it happens.
=== Evil Avatar Radio - "The New Guys" ===
Evil Avatar Radio had its torch graciously handed off from Philip Kollar over to "The New Guys" including Scott (a "red" at Evil Avatar) in August 2007 as Phil has been spending a growing amount of time on other projects. "The New Guys" used to host the show "In-Game Chat" and happily took up the moniker.
This move led the show from KUMM to being broadcast at WACV, at a new night/time as well as with a whole new crew. See above for details.
The shows cast consisted of Scott (site name: Psykoboy2), Jeremy (site name: Straximus), James (site name: fishbang), as well as Kevin (site name: Hawggy) and Dana (site name: Soulless Toast). Besides their hosting the show, Jeremy handled getting the show online, James did much of the write ups, Kevin did the recording/editing, Dana screened the calls, while Scott lends his soothing voice to the listeners. As of episode 100, Daniel (danielOut) joined the crew. Helping with some of the tech.
On October 1st 2008, Evil Avatar Radio broke their connections with Evil Avatar in conjunction with the founding of Colony of Gamers, renaming themselves In-Game Chat, but featuring the same crew and format as before. This transition was described on the show as being a "growth opportunity" for the direction they wanted to take the format.
Evil Avatar Comics
Evil Avatar Comics (EAC) was started in May 2006, by community member joruussuun (writing and drawing). The style could be described as "screwing around in MS Paint", and earned the name Evil Avatar: The Comic. Member zrikz offered to host the comics and thus EvilAvatarComics.com was born. The style allowed joruussuun to pump out comic after comic in a quick fashion, sometimes 2 or 3 a day in the beginning, before leaving him a broken shell of a man. Knite was a notable addition as competent artist near the end of joruussuun's run as writer. After a brief hiatus, this section was resumed in October 2006 in the much more capable hands of member DoctorSetebos serving as headline artist, and member dorkandproudofit acting as the main comic writer. Recently, however, Doctor Setebos has resigned his post along with Dorkandproudofit. IN their place, two new artists - named Joshkdmw and Tricky Thumb - have stepped into the fore.
The comics strive to discuss current gaming news and other happenings in the Evil Avatar community.