The idea for a online gaming clan based more on humor and general good times than on skill and gaming success was not new to stan when, in March 2003 he formed The Rabid Lilliputians. In fact, you could say that the Lilliputians true roots can be traced back to the heart of the Cold War (and, actually many do say that, I just heard a fellow down at the supermarket mention it today for example) when in 1961 stan, as chief White House correspondent for the Albuquerque Star Gazette, submitted a column entitled “Internet Gaming Clans: How The Reds Will Conquer Europe With Computer Games”. Based on information given him by a low-level White House staffer, the story was quite a sensation. However, it was of course met by some skepticism, even in a town like Albuquerque where the people were so Red wary that they ousted then Mayor Jack “Two Eyes” McGovern because “only a Russkie would wear a hat like tha!” Most Albuquerqueians doubted the story because at the time the smallest computers filled a basement and the internet had not been invented. For his part, stan stood by his story, sure that one day someone (even if it wasn’t the Communists) would conquer Europe with an online gaming clan. As the weeks passed, though, and nothing came of his claims, he began to realize that he had been led astray. However, the idea of an all powerful internet gaming clan had stuck firmly in his mind; an idea that would germinate for over 40 years before finally blooming in the early years of the new century.
After 15 years at the Albuquerque Star Gazette, stan was offered a job as a professor of Journalism at Chattanooga Valley Community College (Home of the Fightin’ Chattanoogans). There he met Robert McHooligan, professor of Computer Science. The two became good friends and often shared ideas at late night fondue sessions. In 1977, Professor McHooligan created a revolutionary computer game that he entitled Special Commando Squad: The Battle of Pikes Peak. The game was one of the first side-scrolling action-adventure-military-defeat-the-militia-before-they-divide-the-union games and was an instant hit. Gamers assumed the role of Sgt. Holland Ramsey and led a squad of special forces against a local militia who were attempting to secede from the Union. It wasn’t long before stan and Prof. McHooligan had formed a SCS:TBOPP fan club at CVCC. For the next seven years stan took care of the daily running of the club (which had grown to the largest club on campus with a roster of over 27 members) and thus gained the experience necessary to run a large scale internet gaming clan.
However, in 1987, after 21 years of loyal service at CVCC, stan retired. With his savings he purchased a small ranch in the Northern Idaho and began to write his memoirs. For the next ten years or so he was out of the online gaming scene completely, save for a few forays into the dark underworld of Prodigy RPGs. However, things changed in 1997 with the release of the game Interstate ’76. stan was instantly drawn to the game for it’s retro-funk groove and it’s adrenaline pounding auto-combat; not to mention its intense online community. Within a few months stan had started the Alliance of Aged Auto-Duelers, and within a year had made the clan into the most successful in the whole Interstate community. Though no record remains of the clan, and most Interstaters don’t even remember there being any such clan, those that do recall a club filled with eccentrics who entertained (or annoyed) their fellow players with their crazy antics. Unfortunately, after three years stan was forced to shut the clan down as interest for the game had waned and the community was all but dead after the I’82 debacle. That was not the end of the road as far as stan was concerned, as in late 1999 he stumbled across halo.bungie.org.
Though not initially popular, stan hung around the forum, and after a while most community members learned to either accept or at least ignore him. And though he contributed little (save a few poorly written stories and a whole lot of spam), stan soon became a regular. However, the release of Halo in 2001 found stan without the funds for an xbox, and as such he and the community quickly grew apart as the others members spent all their time playing and discussed the game, something stan could not do. That all changed in 2002 when stan did finally come to own the game, and he soon made his triumphant return to HBO. With the release of Halo PC, stan finally saw the opportunity to create the clan that he had dreamed of ever since that day in 1961 when he submitted his infamous article to the Star Gazette. And so, The Rabid Lilliputians were born.
We now stand on the eve of a new era in the Lilliputians history. The release of Halo 2 on Nov. 9th will mark both the culmination of a life’s work, and the beginning of something really special. Though tRL has sponsored numerous contests and tournaments, they have never really been allowed to shine; until now. With the Golden Days of the clan still ahead, an elderly stan spends his days planning for that glorious day when he can finally say “I did it, I’ve conquered Europe with an internet gaming clan, I was right all along.”