Meet Alexander Hinkley, Author of Nerd Psychology and Creating an Online Roleplaying Game
AH: I’m currently 29 years old. Even though I went to college for Criminology, it didn’t really interest me as much as writing did. Since I love video games and know a lot about them, I became a video game journalist. I’ve worked as a journalist for over seven years now, doing some additional sports writing on the side. I am also an indie game developer and producer and have administrated my own online game for a frog’s hair over 15 years. I first got into writing after playing online play-by-post roleplaying games. Combining my love for writing and passion for the video game industry seemed like a logical career choice. In addition to reading and writing, I also love sports. I’ve had Rochester Knighthawks (lacrosse) season tickets since their opening season. I like the New York Rangers and Denver Broncos, too.
AH: A friend and I played online video games together for years and over time we started to notice behavioral patterns among our opponents. Many of them acted the same, literally making the same exact statements that others did in previous matches. We found this interesting and decided to experiment and document the results. We interviewed thousands of subjects and I turned this into the book Nerd Psychology, which attempts to explain why online trolls, which I call nerds, act the way they do online and also suggest solutions to the reader on how to most effectively deal with them so as to improve your online experience. Now I have to point out there is a big difference between a geek and a nerd, so if you like geeky things and call yourself nerdy or a nerd, you’re actually using the wrong terminology.
BBB: What do you think readers will find most appealing about your book?
AH: I think most readers will like Nerd Psychology because it will be personally useful for them. Most people nowadays use the internet for hours a day so the advice it gives in how to deal with nerds, aka trolls, will be immediately applicable to most reader’s daily lives. Most people will probably find the symptoms list the most interesting.
BBB: How did you come up with the idea for your book cover?
AH: Being that it is a psychology reference book, it was actually pretty hard to come up with a cover because there really was no way to make it flashy or attention-grabbing. I settled on the idea of a neuron on the cover because I thought it looked scientific and espoused the idea of professionalism and serious tone I attempted to convey within the book.
AH: My other book is called Creating an Online Roleplaying Game. That book is based on my experience running my own online RPG for 15 years. It is the longest running and most successful RPG in its genre. During that time, I have seen countless other RPGs come and go. It made me sad to see people putting in all this hard work only for it to prove fruitless and their game died. Since mine is so successful, I tried to share what I thought were the keys to its success in this book so that other people can make an RPG as good as mine.
You can find out more about Alexander Hinkley and his work by visiting http://alexhinkley.com/.