Who the hell are you and why are you on my lawn? I mean…
Hi, I’m Thomas Ward, also known as “Jouva” online. In summary, I’m a geek. I enjoy Japanese music and rhythm based video games, software and web development, Mystery Science Theater 3000, mascotting / “fursuiting”, being on the Internet, and just weird/bizarre things. I’ve been an active member of the furry fandom and haven’t regretted it one bit.
I still actively play that 10 year old arcade game Dance Dance Revolution and other games from Konami’s bemani series. It’s a different twist to the method of playing and the overall goal of a game. I still enjoy a first person shooter once in a while, but in the end, rhythm games are my favorite.
When I was in elementary school, my first thoughts on computers were “Wow cool! Games!” followed up by “Wait how do they put the games in there?”. This spawned my very early interest in software programming. By 4th grade I had already borrowed a book from the school library on Apple II BASIC programming and successfully made really small programs, so I was able to get a nice early start.
From there, I learned Windows and eventually Linux in about 1996. 2-3 years passed using Linux on and off, including using it as a server, and I had learned about web development with PHP3. I had already experimented with CGI through Perl, but PHP seemed very intriguing and I have been using it for nearly 10 years now.
My first website I built around PHP was dedicated to a show I first saw in middle school: Mystery Science Theater 3000. I started watching it when school was out on Comedy Central back in the summer of 1992. At first I thought it was one of those fake audiences talking to the characters in the movie, akin to what one would sometimes see in a Warner Brother’s cartoon. But after I switched off of it and came back and kept doing so, I had realized they were not going away and that the movie didn’t seem to be aware of their existence.
I watched the show for a while and realized they were simply making fun of the movie. I was hooked. The humor was right up my alley. It was finally a way for me to actually sit down and watch a program for 2 full hours without wanting to go do something else! Slowly however, as the show started being promoted less and less by the unfortunate season 7 (the last and shortest season of the show on Comedy Central), I eventually had forgotten about it. Until around January 2000.
I had gotten my first job as a software programmer. One day while at the office I had noticed a unique mouse pad that a co-worker had. It was from MST3K! I had realized it had been so long since I had watched the show. I decided to go and watch it again. Only to my unfortunate surprise that the show was canceled at that point and had moved to the Sci-Fi channel.
This is about the time when I started the aforementioned website. A now neglected fansite containing various audio clips and still frames from some episodes and pieces of info on the show. When the site was fresh, I had ran an IRC channel dedicated to it. One day a member of another MST3K related site and IRC channel by the name #deep13 came in and told me of their existence. So I decided to check it out. And it became my new home for a while. Then back in late March 2001, a member of the channel inadvertently took me into a totally new direction of my life.
Without going into details of how it came about, I got introduced into the furry fandom. I considered myself a part of it by early April. Everything just seemed so fun about it. Friendly people, open platonic affection, and somehow the whole “fursuiting” aspect of it really caught onto me. I had found out about “AnthroCon”, but at the time was without a job.
AnthroCon was at the time being held in the (no longer existing) Adam’s Mark Hotel in Philadelphia. “Philadelphia? Adam’s Mark? That’s only 5 miles from my house!” I had to make it there. I managed to find some contract work and earned money to goto my first Con. I was nervous, but I had a nice ice breaker. My Tom Servo replica. I figured with these types of folks I was around people would appriciate something related to MST3K and even in a crowd of 1500 people, nobody would have anything like it. I took a gamble and it paid off. My first con was a blast.
Now in 2009 I haven’t regretted being a part of furry or fursuiting or going to cons. I’ve been to several. Over 20 by my last count. I still plan to goto several more. My only slow down being my current financial status. But that goes for a lot of people while I write this.
Now I’ve got several members of the furry fandom that I can consider close friends. I’ve got several projects, websites and servers I help out with. Many people I chat with every day on the Internet. I’m all over. And it still ties into a lot of what I like: music games, MST3K and Furry. Pretty weird stuff. But hey the Internet has desensitzed me and corrupted me.
I enjoy many things out of the ordinary. Weird things. I like alternative life styles/looks. Like a punk/emo/goth/cybergoth look, but don’t consider myself part of any of the subcultures that go along with it. But I enjoy bad puns, word and number play. I’m generally open minded about various things. As they say “whatever floats your boat”. But I’ve always been a weird kid.
tl;dr: I’m a geek, I’m weird, and I’m a furry. Love me! Or not, I don’t care.