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15 Minutes of Fame: Turwinkle the gnome charms with adventure videos and community interviews

Sometimes a letter from an appreciative fan is the best way to introduce a player to WoW Insider readers:

I'm writing in to nominate a wonderful man that I recently had the pleasure of working with. Known as Turwinkle on Twitter or Palmerbomber1 on YouTube, he comes from Moon Guard and has recently begun making rounds on Wyrmrest Accord, where he gets in touch with various guilds and interviews them about what they are, what their stories are, and advertises their members. He also has a series with his gnome Turwinkle where he records himself leveling through the game, narrating the adventures of his mage.

The exposure he's done for the Wyrmrest community is second to none, and I'd love to see him get the recognition he deserves. The two hours he spent with our guild was a blast for everyone involved, and I'm sure many of the others he's spoken with felt the same.


Introducing the gentle good humor of Turwinkle the gnome, star of the "let's play" Adventures of Turwinkle and host of Turwinkle Talks interviewing roleplay guilds across Azeroth.

Main character Turwinkle, gnome frost mage
Realm Wyrmrest Accord (US-Alliance)

WoW Insider: I'm interviewing the interviewer! How did you get started interviewing your realmmates?

Turwinkle: The Adventures of Turwinkle the gnome mage started out as just a "let's play" of Turwinkle going from level 1 to level 90. As the series went along, I noticed some of the fantastic community RP events being run on the server.

So I decided to do an episode of an event that had caught my eye on the Wrymrest Accord Forums. It was an event run by the Servitors of Lothar. This was an event where the gnomes within the guild would RP the Hummingbird Coffee Company. They would do a community RP setting up and running a coffee stand. It was a great event and lots of people showed up to enjoy the community RP. I really enjoyed it -- so much so that I decided to interview the Servitors of Lothar about the event. That began my idea for doing guild interviews.
Tell us a little about the Turwinkle interview series. What inspired you to create the series?

As mentioned earlier, what inspired me was seeing all the wonderful roleplay that was going on around me as I was questing. I know when I first started in the game, I had no idea that there was even such a thing! I just happened to have started my first character on the Silver Hand server because it matched my time zone I was in! Silver Hand is an RP server, and so when I saw the Caelestis Templares come marching into Goldshire doing heavy RP, I was amazed!

I am hoping to show not only the World of Warcraft community what is going on in regards to roleplay in the game but also to allow other people in the roleplay community who may not play the game the opportunity to see some of the terrific RP concepts and storylines there are here in the game.

When did you launch?

I started the first Turwinkle episode on Feb. 5, 2013. Again, these were just my questing episodes at the start of Turwinkle's adventure. My first guild interview was on May 29, 2013, which was with the Servitors of Lothar. I have interviewed 23 guilds so far.

Would you say that you have a particular mission for the series?

The mission that I started with for the series was originally to take Turwinkle from level 1 to level 90, one quest at a time. There seems to be that rush to get to level 90 these days. People will quest in a zone for two to three quests before they move on to the next zone. I wanted to get that feeling of what it was like when I first started to play the game -- the wonder and excitement of a beautiful zone, the great quest and storylines and the joy of getting that upgrade of new equipment!

This has, as you know, evolved over time to include Turwinkle's interviews. My goal with those is to highlight the fantastic stories that the roleplay community has come up with in the World of Warcraft universe. I want to help dispel the stereotype of the roleplayer being some unemployed 40-year-old living in his parent's basement. I think I have done that so far. I have shown through the series of one on one interviews that roleplayers come in all shapes and sizes, from all types of backgrounds and professions. A majority of the roleplayers that I have interviewed have been women.

As far as my guild interviews, I want to be able to highlight the fun different type of guilds in the game! Guilds that are holy or evil, guilds that study artifacts and magic, to the military-style guilds. There is such a vast array of fun and wonderful RP concepts for whatever style of roleplay you want your character to join and be a part of! So with that in mind, I want to be able to have a place where a person can go and watch some interviews to find a match for their roleplay style -- in essence, be able to shop before they buy!
Do you focus more on promoting individual guilds or deserving individuals, or do you seek to raise awareness of the opportunities on Wyrmrest Accord as a whole?

I believe I focus more on promoting individual guilds or deserving individuals, as I not only interview folks on Wyrmrest Accord, but have the ability now with the cross-realm system Blizzard has put into place to go to other servers such as Moon Guard and Emerald Dream, which I have! Soon, I will be looking to expand to other realms as well to see what interesting roleplay.

The response to the interviews from the player community appears to be warm indeed. What sort of feedback have you received so far?

The support from the community has been overwhelmingly positive! I have been surprised by just how wonderful and awesome folks have been!

I do my best to see if there is something I can do to improve upon episode and ask everyone who watches to send any advice they have on how I may make the next episode better. Turwinkle's adventures have come a long ways since episode one in subject matter and in quality.

One of my favorite things to hear is how the show has made someone smile, when perhaps they were having a bad day. I received an email awhile back from a mother, whose son had just returned from the war in Afghanistan. She was so happy to hear her son, who had been through so much over there, laughing at a Turwinkle episode that she just had to send a letter to me about how thankful she was. I was just so honored and floored by that!

I laugh quite a bit when I get the whisper "Are you the REAL Turwinkle?" That makes me chuckle each time! Just to know that I can make an impact on folks lives in a positive way is a terrific feeling indeed and keeps me going.
Let's talk about The Adventures of Turwinkle the Gnome. What does Turwinkle enjoy most: leveling, exploring, or just getting into scrapes and adventures for the sake of a great story?

What does Turwinkle enjoy the most? For starters, he would have to say the comradeship he has with his water elemental George and his red mechanostrider Glenn. They have all been through quite a bit in their journey, from collecting bear rumps and trogg's teeth (dwarves are strange that way) to flying on rockets and swimming with sharks (shudder). Through it all, George has been at Turwinkle's side (quite often on top of him).

How did you get into all these Turwinkle videos in the first place?

I love watching "Let's plays"! I have a few favorites such as Jesse Cox, Wowcrendor, Yogscast, etc. As I was looking through YouTube, I came across Nilesy doing his World of Warcraft "let's play" and fell in love with the idea.

I researched how to start a YouTube channel and began to see if there would be something a little bit different I could do to make my series stand out. I think for the most part I have done that. One of the ways I try to make the series unique is that I do not allow any foul language or the like on the show. I want everyone to be able to enjoy the show. I would like parents to feel comfortable in allowing their kids to sit down and watch an episode and not worry about what they may hear.
Do you play other characters in WoW when you're not busy with Turwinkle?

Not as much as I used to! Turwinkle does take up quite a bit of my playing time these days. With interviews and the like, my schedule is pretty full. It is a ton of work to keep the channel running the way I like. When I am not editing or rendering an episode, I am recording content. When I am not recording, I am networking the newest episode of Turwinkle.

When I do get the rare chance to play, I do have some other toons I can go RP with or run a dungeon or two on. I have a character I have played for quite a few years with on the Moon Guard server called Taninus. I have several friends that I roleplay with when I get the chance. I enjoy RPing quite a bit, but running 5-mans has always been a lot of fun for me as well.

Let's take a quick peek at the man behind the curtain.

I am 43 years old and have a lovely family. I live in Spokane, Washington. I have been married for 22 years to a wonderful woman who has helped me achieve all the things I have wanted to do in my life. She is my biggest supporter, and Turwinkle would certainly not be here without her! We have four fantastic kids who take after their father and love gaming as much as he does. Being in the northwest, we have great summers and the family loves to spend time camping!

I have worked for Safeway for 24 years and currently work on the night shift. I love reading (Game of Thrones ATM) and of course playing on the computer! I have always loved gaming, whether it is card games, tabletop games or on the computer.

When I am not working on Turwinkle, I still love to watch all my favorite YouTubers. I also have an addiction to podcasts! I listen to Convert-to-raid, most all of the Frogpants studio stuff (The Instance, TMS, Filmsack, Comic Dorks), Rawrcast, Bind on Equip, Outlandish, etc. I am able to listen to my iPod nano when the store closes and I am restocking shelves.
What are Turwinkle's plans for the immediately foreseeable future? Will we see more of the same from the little guy?

Turwinkle will continue to strive to get to level 90, though I am not sure if we will be able to make it before Warlords of Draenor comes out! If that is the case, we will have to just continue on to level 100!

I just finished episode 91, and we are a little over halfway to level 40. In that episode, we received the achievement for the Hinterlands, which was completing 30 quests in the zone. As we do about three quests per episode, that is about 10 episodes in the Hinterlands alone!

February is filling up quickly with more guild and one-on-one interviews. So it is looking like a busy month of recording. I have 18 episodes already recorded and awaiting their turns to get put up on the channel. I try to put up a new episode every two days or so. I am always on the lookout for community events as well. I have started a new interview segment for in-game RP relationships as well that people seem to enjoy quite a bit, so we have a few more of those coming up, especially for Valentine's!

Any plans for new twists or projects?

I do, as a matter of fact! I have been toying with an idea of gathering a bunch of guild leaders to discuss some of the ups and downs of running an RP guild.

I have a special episode coming up for my 100th Turwinkle adventures episode! I have a long list of questions fans have sent in that Turwinkle and I will be answering. I will also be putting together a series on how to start RPing in WoW -- how to pick a guild, make a RP character, RP addons, how to emote, etc.

Look for Turwinkle on YouTube.
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn) or a 70-year-old grandma who tops her raid's DPS charts as its legendary-wielding GM. Send your nominations to lisa@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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