This is the online personal profile for Patrick O’Callahan, or ‘Ciderhelm.’
I was born in August, 1984. During my toddler years I bit a live electric cord.
My father, an editorialist for The News Tribune, invested in a 80286 desktop computer for my sister and I to learn computer skills. Like any successful geek, my interests in computer and video games and the internet began at a very early age.
I also developed a fascination for J.R.R. Tolkien’s maps of Middle Earth and started developing cartography skills by mimicking maps from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
I grew up on the Ultima role-playing series, which has shaped my perceptions on game art and storytelling. Beyond this, the games I invested the most time in were X-COM: UFO Defense, Starcraft, Red Alert II, and the first major MMO, Ultima Online.
Following the Marine Corps I enrolled in the local community college. This was a wholly uninteresting experience (except for the anthropology and history… I loved those).
During this time, I also worked for Sears as an electronics salesman.
In 2005, I became involved in World of Warcraft. I created and led Eventide Guild to become one of the top world guilds in the pre-Burning Crusade game. I also wrote guides and articles for Blizzard’s official forums, generating millions of views and a fan following. In 2007, I created TankSpot based on the community following I had generated on Blizzard’s forums. More information on this can be found on my Professional page.
In the course of playing online games I dealt with many of the physical struggles seen in gaming communities and the broader society, including obesity. When my father said he was concerned, I took it to heart. I knew I had professional discipline, developed through a good family, the Marine Corps, guild leading, and web development. I applied that discipline to my personal life with good results — daily, hour-long gym workouts at the YMCA and a Subway diet brought my weight down 70 pounds.