Hall of Fame: Erik Bates
This article was written in February 2019, when Erik 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.
Erik Bates is not a typical champion of Celebrity Goo Game. He didn't win until playing for almost a decade. He has solved about one out of every three goos since joining, often taking breaks from the game and missing weeks at a time. He does not have the same reputation as some other players of being an aggressive competitor, dedicated to winning.
And yet, Erik might be the perfect player. He's exactly the sort of person that Scott Hardie wants to attract to Funeratic. Erik is loyal and patient, continuing to come back to the web site year-in and year-out for decades. Erik is friendly and good-natured, cheering on other players, not letting the competition affect his relationships, and forging lasting friendships that live on beyond the web site. Erik is a happy contributor, creating dozens of goos for everyone's pleasure, solving goos when he feels like it, and enjoying victory without stressing about it. Scott wishes that he had a hundred people like Erik participating in the web site. If writers have an "ideal reader" to whom they imagine telling the story, then Erik is the "ideal member" for whom Scott runs Funeratic. Celebrity Goo Game is still going after 21 years in large part due to the reliable positivity and friendship of Erik Bates.
Unlike most members, Erik didn't hear about Funeratic through word of mouth. He truly found the site by chance, discovering a Douglas Adams goo after searching for the author online. Erik solved the goo and forgot about the game until wandering back to the site half a year later to make his second solve, and he has continued participating on and off ever since. (Even when he takes a break from the goo game, Erik says he checks the site almost daily, just to see what other members are doing.) Erik went on playing for nearly a decade before his first victory in 2012, in a bracketed tournament in which he racked up one quick solve after another, fast enough to eliminate every opponent until none remained. He won again a very different way a year later, taking longer to solve some very difficult tournament goos that other players just couldn't figure out. And both of his wins online came after his very first victory in the game in an in-person round, played live at GooCon: Villa Ridge in 2011. With nine players in the room, Erik pulled off nearly double the final score of the second-place player, earning a trophy and bragging rights that few others have won. Not counting the live game, Erik has solved over 1,300 goos online, and contributed nearly a hundred of his own goos to the game—many of which are not yet published as of his induction to the Hall of Fame, so his contributions are ensured to continue for a long time to come.
Without the support of members like Erik, the site would not continue. His achievements and contributions have earned him a place among Celebrity Goo Game's greatest players, but he also happens to be one of the game's most exemplary players, embodying exactly the sort of spirit that Scott hopes to foster in the member community. Funeratic is lucky to have Erik as a member, and Scott is grateful to have him as a friend.
Erik's comments: These are truly kind words, and I am honored to be counted among the many who have (very rightly) received this honor before me. I have met some great people through this community over the years, many of whom I've never actually met outside the confines of my web browser. I hope I can keep coming back here (in various levels of frequency!) for another 16 years... and then some.
Thank you, Scott, for creating this community. Let's be honest - there are several members of this hall of fame, but you, sir, created the hall - a labor of love that you simply don't get enough credit for.