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Hello, my name is Marie.. ? 4 comments

Bonjour, comment allez-vous?

My name is Marie Fabre, I am 28, single, and I live in Paris, France. (learn French here).
I work as an international civil servant in Paris, and amongst other things I look after two main French Quake internet sites (Quake-FR and Challenge-FR of course!), I am a cyber-maniac and live a real real-life(tm).
It was Hoony that chose me to be the next to write a profile, so here I am. Hoony-my-favorite-big-boss sent me a page and a half full of questions; I have grouped those I could answer, and ignored the rest. I hope you'll enjoy this (long) read.

My Quake history

I started playing Quake at the end of the year 1996, at work, with my colleagues, who soon became my clan mates. Understand me, I was the only female within a team of guys, and I could not understand a word of what they were saying. What were those "desk matches" they were talking about? I started playing deathmatch mode, in Nurgland map, created by my clan leader, and on other maps made by the clan, during our lunch breaks.
At the time, I did not even have a computer of my own, my work computer was a P100, no wonder video card nor anything. I bought my first computer in the summer of 1997 and started going on the internet at my father's office, at nights, as I did not have a connection at home and there is a huge firewall at work. During that summer I also went to my first LAN parties, there were very few at the time, and at last, I started my own webpage.
1998 was my Quake year. For months I played and played, I went to LAN parties every second week, I travelled all around France (and even Switzerland) to play. Didn't do much else...
At the end of 1998/early 1999, I started working on Quake-FR within a team of 4 and got more and more involved in the community work and development. The opening of CH-FR is a logical continuation to my commitment towards the scene. My role at CH-FR is not too big, I would say I am just a regular newser.
As you have read from my column and as you never see my name on servers, you wonder, "but who does she play?". Errrr after two years of intensive Quake (QW) playing, my level was approx that of a hard core gamer after two weeks... :) Nowadays, I hardly ever play. I bought a copy of Q3 and it is there, sitting on my shelf, sometimes I dust it. No I don't play any more, I don't go to LANs (or just a couple of hours to say hi, but without my computer) either. So I am as bad as the basic newbie, but I don't really mind. As I knew as a fact that I would never hit the top, I preferred specialising on another Quake related aspect (and one I am good at - this time).
Other games? There is no other game in my life than Quake. I have played Tetris and SimCity like any other gamer, but that's about it really. I enjoyed playing some WarCraft2 and StarCraft when I went to LAN parties too.

Speaking of Real Life

Yes, you may have got that: my real life is more important. I enjoy meeting my friends, I visit my family regularly, I practice sports, I go out all the time...
I am a fanatic movie-goer. In France we have that fabulous new thing : a special cine-card that works more or less like a metro travelcard, you pay a fee once a month (FRF 100 / USD 15, equivalent to two tickets) and then you may go to the movies as much as you like in a certain number of theatres. Cool no? In the 4 weeks I've had my "magical" card, I've seen more movies than in 4 normal months! I have seen nearly every movie actually available on Paris's screens (may I remind you that Paris is the city in the world with the highest number of cinemas). The only movies I don't go see are horror movies (brrrrrr).
I also practice sports twice a week, play Bowling in the International Bowling League of Paris, and take weekly traditional breton danse lessons. The breton culture (from Brittany, west of France) is my favorite, I enjoy its music and danse, legends, language (even if I can't speak it), landscapes, and above all, gastronomy! In Paris, I live in Montparnasse area, which is also called Little Brittany, this explains that.
I graduated a business school six years ago, spent some months in Australia (go Crows!) and started to work in January 1995. I am now back to some studies, at nights, in the areas of accounting and languages. After my exams next September I want to learn something new, I still don't know what though, I hesitate between some computer thing or advanced financial analysis (no there is no connection).


As I was telling you earlier, Challenge-FR is the logical continuation of my work with Quake-FR. France is a small country, there are not many players, and very few of high level. Therefore, we started export pretty early, but shyly. In the last year or so, thanks to big LAN parties, to better internet connections, to having good players etc. we started interracting with foreign countries on a bigger scale.
With all this expansion, it became pretty natural to us to have an international website (i.e. not in French), and the Challenge network was the ideal solution. Back in August 1999, Dloob, Zarkof and myself gathered on irc and decided to go ahead and start-up CH-FR. In my Outlook "Challenge" folder there is an e-mail where Stereo tells me "you can contact a guy who is called Hoony, he is the one co-ordinating the network". Haha, of course I knew who Hoony was, and had known him for a loooong time!
/Grandma's tone of voice in: It was a long time ago, when only Challenge-AU existed, Hoony was one of the most read newsers, particularly because of his juicy news that were supposed to be kept secret :) I'll always remember the first time a World Deathmatch Tournament had been mentioned... (Please Richard, don't kill me!) and every-time I wrote him an e-mail, I typed the phrase "NOT FOR PUBLICATION" even before saying "Hi". Otherwise the whole world would be aware of my news in the next 2 minutes./Grandma's tone of voice off
So Challenge-FR was born. You know the rest because you are a regular reader of our fabulous website!
My role at Challenge-FR is pretty small, I am just a regular newser, apart from founder member and admin. My whole life sets in the word communication but I know little of the international scene, because I don't play and can hardly catch-up because there is just too much to know about. The international people I know are the "oldies" of a not-so-long-ago time, like Griff, Hoony, Sujoy, Devore... and of course good old Danold.
Even if it is small, I enjoy my role at CH-FR, I like writing very much. And don't ask me why, but I prefer writing in English rather than my mother tongue. Writing in English is easier, like doing an exercise at school when you know you're going to hit the top because you are the best in the whole class! So here I am, writing pages and pages on anything here or in my column...
Anyway, I am very proud of Challenge-FR and its team, I wish it a long and prosperous life.

The French Quake Scene

Quake was played here as soon as the first QTest was released, in the summer of 1996. A number of clans were born in Sept/October of that year, at that time you could count them on the fingers of two hands. Quake and QW were a revolution, and have been played since that date up till the release of Quake3 Arena.
I won't talk of players and clans levels because I am not too much into competitions results and stuff, but I can talk of the life of the community. The fifty of us or so that played since the end of 1996 new each other pretty well, we started setting up our webpages and meeting at LANs and on irc. I really appreciated the atmosphere around the game, because not only we had fun playing it, but also we used to meet IRL and drink and sing and all (private regards to the Santa Bartelemia and Fragonard clans).
The person that counted, at the start of Quake in France, was Vortex. This guy had a big house and space to welcome LAN parties, he was the one importing the concept here. Thanks to his most famous parties the French Survival Clan became the top clan in France and beat a number of international teams. This is a time when there were less that 100 players that were really active and known. Then of course, thanks to the expansion of computers and of the internet, things changed.
Now, in the Y2K, the French Quakonnection has grown greatly. Big news websites have up to 500 different visitors a day (which is lots) and the handful of Q3 servers available are always full. There is a lot of us hanging around on irc on quakenet servers and there is always something new to read in our forums. The LAN parties are of three kinds, those eternal "at home for 10 ppl", those organised by a clan or two where 30 to 50 can play, and the big big ones, of 300+ people that happen two or three times a year. A number of leagues started, a few survived, it is so hard to manage a league here, because of poor internet connections, and restricted number of servers available.
What I really appreciate in our community is the friendly atmosphere between us. Of course there are horrible fights on irc or on the forums, but in the end we are all cool and nice (I mean it!). Every fortnight or so, Quakers from Paris meet in a pub and enjoy, that's what I like most about Quake.

Being a lady

Well of course, not being the same gender as 98% of the Quake population makes a difference. How many times have I heard the phrase "what? you are a girl, give me a break!"? I have stopped to count long ago. I take it as an advantage really. I mean, it is cool to know in advance that people will pay attention to you :) Now, in the FR community, I am just part of the landscape really, my gender difference only strikes newbies or people from the outside, the rest has known me forever and just don't make the difference any more.
When I used to play, I liked being noticed as different in between matches, and I also appreciated not being differenciated during matches : I was only a player.

So this is me, congratulations for reading the whole lot... The next profile victims I choose are Griff from CHEU and Sun from CHRU, good luck mates!

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