VinnyVideo

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VinnyVideo

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Former & Other Groups
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Profile
Aliases: VinnyVoodoo, Bibby
Real name: Vinny Hamilton (supposedly)
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VinnyVideo is a former MFGG Administrator and a relatively prolific creator of games, especially Mario fangames. He first discovered MFGG in late 2006, downloaded a bunch of games from the site in 2007, and finally registered an account in 2008.

On October 25, 2011, he was promoted to the position of Global Moderator, and in November 2011 he joined the mainsite Quality Control team. On January 16, 2012, he became a Wiki Sysop as well. In April 2012 he was promoted to Administrator for both the forums and mainsite, a position he held until he resigned on February 8, 2019. As of April 2019, he's still a Tech Admin and Wiki Sysop, but he no longer involves himself in matters such as community moderation or promoting new staff.

Fangames

Originally, VinnyVideo made traditional side-scrolling platform games that are based on Super Mario All-Stars but include elements of other Mario games. VinnyVideo's first games employed a modified version of Hello's Super Mario Bros. Engine, before moving on to the Ultramario Engine, Hello Engine 3, and Fangamer DeeY Engine Uve. In recent times, however, Vinny's games have typically used original engines, some of which he's shared on MFGG. Although VinnyVideo has experimented with both The Games Factory 2 and Game Maker, he prefers Game Maker for his purposes. Vinny has made most of his games in GM 8.0.

After releasing Revenge of the Walrus, Vinny retired from making full-length Mario fangames, although he kept making minigames/joke fangames and helps MFGG members with their own fangame projects. There's also a chance Vinny will finally finish an indie RPG or an original platformer.

Revenge of the Walrus is probably Vinny's most well-known game.

Vinny games tend to have an unusual brand of humor - very few of his games, even his full-length platformers, are intended to be taken particularly seriously. However, many of his games allude to real-life issues, especially problems in the city where he lives.

Contributions

Reviews

VinnyVideo is one of the most prolific reviewers on the main site. He earned a Super Reviewer badge and became one of the most prolific submitters on the main site thanks to his reviews.

Awards

Vinny was nominated for Best Reviewer at MFGG Awards 2009 for writing a small number of high-quality reviews. Vinny won his first MFGG Award in 2010 for Best Reviewer and was also nominated for Most Positive Contributor. In 2011 he defended his Best Reviewer title and also won awards for Jack of All Trades and Most Helpful, along with several nominations, primarily for ROTW. VinnyVideo won Best Reviewer yet again in 2012, along with the Most Positive Contributor award. In 2013, he was Best Reviewer and Most Helpful; in 2014, Best Reviewer (tie) and Most Positive Contributor; in 2015, Most Positive Contributor and Most Helpful; and in 2017, Best Reviewer, Most Helpful, and Friendliest Member.

Game of the Month topics

Vinny wrote most of the Game of the Month posts between 2010 and 2018. Vinny volunteered to help with GOTM topics back in 2010, and he selected and wrote the GOTM awards for most of 2010, up until The Split, which apparently caused the end of the Monthly News topics. Beginning in January 2011, he resumed writing Game of the Month awards as stand-alone topics, except for the month he replaced his standard GOTM feature with 30 Games on MFGG Worth Playing as part of the MFGG 10th Anniversary, which also included interviews with many prominent people from MFGG's past.

Life with a Red Name

Vinny's tenure as admin was one of the longest in MFGG's history, serving as admin for nearly seven years. Vinny was the most prominent admin during much of this time period.

Vinny felt that the primary focus of MFGG should be on making and sharing games, especially Mario fangames, and on creating resources to aid the development process. He felt that game development is where MFGG had its competitive advantage - there are innumerable places to chat about things online, but only a few vibrant fangaming communities. On the other hand, Vinny also recognized the importance of the "community" aspect of MFGG - interesting off-topic conversations and fun events that help bring members together. Vinny helped spearhead the General Chat revival in 2012 and the return of the Gaming board in 2014. He felt that those additions were successes that helped make MFGG a better place. He also agreed to the original test run of the MFGG Discord Group, a decision he later grew to regret.

Vinny saw himself as more of a caretaker for MFGG rather than someone who brought revolutionary ideas to the table. Vinny saw himself as the custodian of a massive library of resources that thousands of people enjoyed using, and tried to make decisions in the best interest of the community while maintaining MFGG's identity as a Mario fangaming site. Much of his time was spent ensuring that basic processes ran smoothly - making sure other staff stayed active, trying to maintain a reasonable turnaround time for QC, and squashing technical gremlins. He also felt that MFGG staff should be more polite and even-tempered than previous administrations. Vinny felt that his strategy was successful for a while - the 2012-2015 era was a "second golden age" where activity levels increased, warnings and year-bans (the highest penalty Vinny would agree to, except for spambots and obvious troll accounts) were rare, and MFGG enjoyed some of its highest-quality games. However, things began to decline in the later part of Vinny's time as admin. MFGG activity began to decrease, and the community also faced an uptick in drama and bickering. Furthermore, a handful of takedowns of high-profile fangames in other communities had some negative effects on MFGG, discouraging some people from making fangames.

By 2017, Vinny felt that MFGG had begun to stagnate. The mainsite, forums, and Wiki were all running on outdated software that didn't support modern functionality or mobile-friendliness. While Vinny didn't have the PHP skills required to turn lumaSMS into reality, he felt that it was important to update the forum software and Wiki. In September 2017, he installed the MyBB boards in a test environment, which went into production on November 27, 2017. He also made some updates to the Wiki software in early 2018.

Vinny supported a more data-driven approach to running the community, as Vinny felt that staff could make better decisions if they had accurate data showing trends in community activity and engagement. Vinny launched the Who's MFGG? survey in 2014 in an effort to learn more about the MFGG community, and he launched [a similar survey https://forums.mfgg.net/showthread.php?tid=1327] in fall 2018 as part of his Better MFGG Plan. He also wrote several SQL scripts to gather data and analyze activity trends and correlations in different parts of MFGG.

On February 6, 2019, Vinny announced that he was resigning as admin effective February 8 (https://forums.mfgg.net/showthread.php?tid=1631). Vinny's full-time job made it harder for him to be as active in the community as he felt an admin should be, and Vinny had grown increasingly disillusioned with the "online world" in general. Vinny still looks back fondly at most of his time as admin, but he's also felt a major sense of relief after passing the torch to a new generation of staff.

Activity

Forums

For the past decade, VinnyVideo has been a fairly frequent contributor in the MFGG forums. He always tries to maintain a level-headed, positive-oriented tone, refusing to condescend to the non-constructive negativity, dubious grammar, impolite words, and petty bickering that occurs occasionally on MFGG (and the online world in general). VinnyVideo will argue vigorously for causes he believes in, although his interest in participating in online debates has diminished over the years.

Vinny likes competitions and frequently enters them, although his early efforts were of varying quality. Generally he's a better music and minigame author than a spriter or artist. In recent times, a more perfectionist tendency and a lack of free time has resulted in him rarely entering competitions.

VinnyVideo created the MFGG Football event in fall 2009, originally in the Casual Conversation Castle. He was the team's "head coach," as well as the starting right cornerback. This event was run one more season in 2010.

His "MFGG Census" topics in spring 2010 eventually turned into a small fad, and the poor quality of many of the replies to those topics were used as an example in the MFGG Improvement Initiative.

VinnyVideo started posting more actively on the forums after the first phpBB boards opened.

In late 2010, Vinny was one of the more vocal critics of The Split, becoming increasingly skeptical of the way the place is run. In the long run, Vinny had mixed feelings about splitting the community in two. Vinny was one of the more active Minus World members before leaving MW in 2012.

Mainsite

Vinny has been one of the more active submitters and commenters on the MFGG mainsite. He might not be an admin anymore, but he still checks the mainsite several times per week and tries to check out the more interesting games and graphics. Vinny likes keeping overly detailed records and has maintained an offline log of every mainsite game he's ever played.

Wiki

A big fan of the MFGG Wiki section, Vinny often creates new articles and extends existing ones. He despises poor usage of the English language and sometimes modifies articles just to correct a misspelled word. For what it's worth, he contributed the 1,000th MFGG Wiki page, for Mario in Kirby Land. Vinny was familiar with the Wiki's original mission statement about providing a compendium of information for all MFGGers, fangames, and fads, but wasn't fully aware that it wasn't necessary to create a page for every single member who ever submitted a sprite or made a lot of forum posts - especially if little information is available for such members. It's also true that contributing stub pages was, in previous years, encouraged, in contrast to later times. Since then, Vinny has created many non-stubbed, extensive new pages for the Wiki and wants to make the Wiki more accurate and useful for all. Vinny was promoted to Wiki Sysop in January 2012, at the same time as Alex, Guinea, and Puddin.

Skype/Discord

Vinny was in many of the Unofficial MFGG Instant Message Groups but tended to leave the groups after a short time. He also participated in the MFGG Discord Group for a while but is rarely seen in the MFGG Discord today. Vinny prefers the asynchronous nature of forums and feels out of place in chat groups unless they're small groups of people he knows well.

Other Stuff

Vinny has been designing fangames since he was about 5 years old; the original ones were simply hand-drawn maps of remixed levels of the original games. Some of these old maps helped inspire level layouts in his "real" fangames.

Vinny is an administrator on a forum of his own. Many - though not all - of the members on the BT Forums come from MFGG. Vinny started the forum mostly as a hangout for New MFGG members wanting a place to hang out and for people dissatisfied with MW, but as time went on the forum developed its own culture, which is positive and friendly, albeit quite inactive.

Vinny is one of the most prolific walkthrough contributors at GameFAQs.com, where he has completed over 75 full guides for Mario, Zelda, Madden, F-1, and other games.

Vinny dislikes clutter and disorder and generally keeps a neat desk, and he never earned a grade worse than an "A" in college and grad school. He also likes to discuss team projects and occasionally alludes to his not-quite-riveting love life!

List of VinnyVideo's Games

From oldest to newest: