Hall of Fame: Chris Lemler
This article was written in February 2016, when Chris was originally inducted to the Hall of Fame, at a time when there was only one inductee per year. In February 2020, his year of induction was retroactively changed to 2013, his first year of eligibility.
When Chris Lemler joined Funeratic on a freezing day in January 2008, he didn't seem initially to be all that different from other acquaintances who drifted in and soon drifted out again. The friend of a friend of a stepdaughter of a coworker of a friend of a classmate of a roommate of Scott Hardie, Chris began playing Celebrity Goo Game and other games on the site tentatively at first, but soon became devoted and turned into one of the game's long-time fans, playing consistently in season after season no matter how the game changed or whether he won or lost. Not only did he bring the rest of his family into the game, most notably his mother LaVonne Lemler who went on to have an accomplished playing career of her own, but he began making suggestions and other contributions that shaped the game more than most other participants. Chris gradually became one of Celebrity Goo Game's most influential players, especially in the mid-2010s, and now he becomes the 2016 Hall of Fame inductee. The Hall of Fame would be incomplete without him, just as Celebrity Goo Game would now be incomplete without him.
Chris's contributions have taken numerous forms: Private messages to Scott suggesting rule tweaks and functionality changes, countless many of which have been carried out. Comments in hundreds of Tragic Comedy discussions about the game, unfailingly sportsmanlike and encouraging of other players. And there's the goos themselves: Chris has created over a hundred goos (nearly twice as many as any other player) that have seen publication as of his induction to the Hall of Fame, with more already submitted and pending publication. In the mid-2010s, when rules no longer required a tournament of difficult goos every three months, Scott shifted away from making hard goos himself out of his own personal preference for easier goos, and Chris's contributions — not all, but most — took over the difficult end of the spectrum, challenging players to identify local celebrities from the St. Louis metro area and other little-known figures that piqued Chris's interest, many of them with obscure hints that required lateral thinking. More than one player was moved to submit similar goos of their own by Chris's success at it. Debate over the fairness of some of these goos, especially some so thoroughly distorted that the photographs were no longer recognizeable, prompted rule changes and clarifications to balance difficulty with solvability in the interest of fairness. Chris took this minor controversy in stride, but then, he had demonstrated patience before: After he was once falsely accused of cheating, he was beyond graceful in accepting apologies about it. Chris's good-natured enthusiasm has been a pillar supporting the game in its leaner later years.
That passion has paid off in Chris's achievements in the game. He's won twice, four years apart, in two different rule systems. He enters the Hall of Fame on the brink of solving his two thousandth goo, and a stunning 197 of those solves were consecutive. Chris especially likes to pull off perfect seasons: Four times, including once as a winner, he has solved every goo in the season without failing a single time. He's pulled off a solo solution, and he even racked up points in the live game at GooCon: Villa Ridge, joining a small club of players who can say they've done the same. Chris is certainly one of the game's most accomplished players, but it's his boundless excitement for the game that most characterizes his well-earned entry to the Hall of Fame. Everyone playing knows that the game wouldn't be the same without him.
Chris's comments: It is a big honor to be part of the Hall of fame with so many great competitors. I will be looking forward to what the game has to bring down the line in the future. It is amazing to be a part of a great accomplishment with all these other great players.