On July 1st, we had a very unexpected visitor at our wiki's Discord server. The Elder Scrolls Wiki's founder, Kcaz64, came to say hi! We couldn't pass this occassion, so I and Poisoned Apples immediately scheduled an interview! Shoutout to Atvelonis for the help with preparing it.
Stygies VIII: Today, we're going to interview Kcaz64, known as the founder of The Elder Scrolls WikI! He has recently returned and visited our Discord server. Kcaz, according to our logs, you created TESWiki on June 14th, 2006, more than 14 years ago. What led you to do this, if you remember? Was it on a whim, or did you have some sort of plan for it?
- Kcaz64: Surprisingly, I actually remember it pretty clearly. Around that time period on the internet fanwikis were starting to pop up for almost every franchise. I was really into Oblivion at the time, since it had just recently come out, and I thought it was a shame that Elder Scrolls didn't have a wiki of its own. Of course now I know UESP had been around long before that, but at the time I don't think I knew it existed...
- So I found wikia and submitted the application for it. I didn't really have any specific plans beyond thinking "TES should have a wiki too".
Poisoned Apples: You're somewhat famous for creating the wiki and then mysteriously disappearing afterwards. Was there a reason for your doing so?
- Kcaz64: Yeah haha, the whole situation is pretty absurd to me. I wish I had some cool, interesting, or dramatic story about it but honestly I just... forgot. I was around 14 at the time, and I often stayed up late at night. I got the idea and submitted the application one of those late nights and then went to bed shortly after.
- I then totally forgot about it. I'm sure eventually the approved application email popped up in my inbox and I looked at the wiki and thought "I'll work on some stuff later", but I got distracted and never thought about it again.
Stygies VIII: That's understandable at that time! But did you have any previous experience with wikis, either editing or reading them back then? How about now?
- Kcaz64: Editing, no. At the time I had no experience editing wikis. I did read them a lot though: Spent a lot of time reading uncyclopedia and wookiepedia. Wookiepedia was probably my main inspiration for wanting to make a TES wiki.
- Not much has changed since back then. I still read fanwikis, although I don't spend as much time doing it. I have a private wiki I use for worldbuilding as a hobby, but beyond that I still don't edit or contribute to any wikis.
Poisoned Apples: So what is it like for you to see the state of TES Wiki now, and how it's developed since 2006?
- Kcaz64: Surreal. I actually found it earlier before now. Somewhere around 8 years or so ago I suddenly remembered the wiki I had made and went looking to see what had happened to it. I was shocked to see it was not only still around but had had content added to it. I always assumed it was just abandoned somewhere on the internet and/or deleted by wikia. I got a kick out of looking at the "about" and seeing my username there.
- Then with the lockdown going on I started playing Morrowind again and got really into reading all the books and taking in the lore, so I started using wikis extensively. I was reading something on teswiki when I suddenly thought "Wait, is this that wiki?", so I checked and was again shocked. I was amazed that it was still going, and it was a lot bigger than it had been last time I saw it.
- It's definitely fun to have my name tied to something this big. Although I do feel a bit guilty about it since I never did anything!
- I'm super glad to see it still going though. It's basically done exactly what I was hoping it would do. It's a very accessible source for TES lore info.
Poisoned Apples: That's incredible.
Stygies VIII: You know that you're always welcome to contribute, it's never too late!
- Kcaz64: Haha, we'll see. I wasn't really intending on "coming back" or anything, but I do see there's a lot that could be done on the ESO content side, so I was thinking I might help fill out stuff there if I get the time. Definitely no promises there though.
Stygies VIII: You said you saw your name somewhere at the wiki. It seems you appreciate logging the wiki's history. We have some history saved like at this page: History. So, do you think these are a good idea? How connected do you feel to the wiki, historically or otherwise, despite feeling bad for not doing anything?
- Kcaz64: Oh I love stuff like that. I think "Internet archaeology" as it could be called is super interesting. There's something really fun and ridiculous about cataloging events involving people with names like "KickAssJedi" and "Game Lord". Plus in a world where social interactions are increasingly happening in online spaces I feel the preservation of the history of those spaces becomes increasingly important.
- As for how connected I feel to the wiki: I'd have to say not much at all. I didn't do anything so I don't feel any sense of ownership over any of it. It could have been anyone that founded it. It was me though, so I do get to have fun dropping that "fun fact" occasionally. That's about the extent of it for me though.
Poisoned Apples: Well, it's quite the fun fact! Are there any ways you think the wiki could be improved?
- Kcaz64: I don't think I use it enough to really say. It seems really well run to me though, and I haven't had any issues finding things when using it.
Stygies VIII: That's great to hear and actually rewarding to hear this opinion about the wiki. Do you have a favorite article on TESWiki, or any that you keep returning to?
- Kcaz64: I believe this is somewhat a controversial answer, but the page on The Towers. Any discussions about the unsubstantiated / incorrect claims it might make aside, I think the article is very impressive in that it tries to explain some of the extremely esoteric and "kirkbridian" aspects of the lore to people who might be coming in with very little background knowledge. It think it was a great undertaking, even if there is now some disagreement over the execution of it.
Poisoned Apples: I have to agree with you on that one, it's one of my favourite theories.
- Kcaz64: Yeah, it ties back into my original reason for making the wiki. Elder Scrolls has such deep and interesting lore behind it, but it's not something most people can really get into, partially because the games leave it mostly to books and background info you'll miss unless you're explicitly trying to find it. And even then you'll still miss lots of it.
- So an article bringing that stuff out and helping people see more of the really interesting stuff going on behind the scenes: Exactly the kind of stuff I wanted to see when I first founded the wiki.
Poisoned Apples: So are you interested much in TES lore? Do you have a favourite topic?
- Kcaz64: Oh definitely, lore is my main interest in the series. I'm one of those people who does every quest while carefully exhausting all the dialogue options and reading every book they come across.
- It's pretty broad, but my favorite topic would be all the religions in Tamriel. I think it's really interesting how all the religions have all these aspects that are similar/shared but are also at the same time extremely different. The various ways Akatosh and Lorkhan are seen across Tamriel being a chief example of that.
Stygies VIII: It's one of the most interesting aspects of the lore that shows differences in cultures, yes. That's the reason for the current Morrowind playthrough? Are you looking to explore the lore again?
- Kcaz64: Yeah, when I was younger I never really payed deep attention to the lore. I spent a ridiculous number of hours playing Morrowind as a kid but I realized I really didn't know much about the story or setting beyond the broad strokes. So this time I played through it very carefully and focused on learning as much as I could about the history of the province and the Dunmer. It was the most fun I had ever played playing a TES game, definitely brought a new appreciation to the lore out for me.
- After finishing Morrowind again I wanted to immerse myself more in the setting, so I got into ESO. Playing ESO from that angle has definitely made it more enjoyable than I think it otherwise would have been, because I honestly don't think the gameplay quite holds up.
Stygies VIII: Have you experienced ESO as a way to explore the world further? Do you appreciate any particular zone, quest or text in the game for the way it shares new information about Tamriel?
- Kcaz64: Yeah, that's exactly it. After finishing Morrowind the thought of revisiting Cyrodiil or Skyrim just wasn't that appealing to me. I wanted to see more of the other areas of Tamriel. ESO has been great for that. I've always had a soft spot for Argonians, so it was great to get to go to Black Marsh and see it all first hand.
- And I think that's what's really cool about ESO. I don't have a specific favorite quest or anything I can think of off the top of my head, but I love how the game helps flesh out these peoples and cultures we didn't really get to see much about directly until now.
- In my case, I knew almost nothing about Redguard lore until recently, but I've been going through the Daggerfall Covenant storyline in ESO, and as I've gotten to experience and learn about the Redguards I've found them becoming one of my favorite cultures in Elder Scrolls.
Stygies VIII: As an ESO player, I fully agree with that opinion on how ESO shows cultures.
Poisoned Apples: I take it your first TES game was Morrowind, then? Was that how you were introduced to the series?
- Kcaz64: Yeah, Morrowind on the Xbox. I played it to death and eventually got it on PC where I played it to death a second time. I got Oblivion and Skyrim on launch and played them way too much as well.
- I never tried Arena or Daggerfall, mostly because I'm mainly interested in lore and most of the lore in those games has since been retconned following Redguard, so I haven't had much interest in them.
- I actually had no idea what to expect when I got Morrowind. When my parents got me an Xbox it came with a big stack of random games the previous owner had had and Morrowind was among them. I liked RPGs though, so it was a pleasant surprise. I had never played anything like it.
Stygies VIII: If you're comfortable with it, could you tell us more about other games you liked playing and your everyday life? What does TESWiki's founder do?
- Kcaz64: Other than RPGs (JRPG and Western) I'm also really into rhythm games. Played a ton of DDR as a kid, and these days I play most of the Japanese rhythm games out on smart phones. I studied abroad in Japan for a year, and while I was there I went to arcades almost every day to play the various rhythm games they have.
- These days my everyday life is pretty boring. I'm a software engineer, so I work from home now with COVID going on. My life is mostly just work and then play ESO. My wife and I love traveling, so we're really looking forward to when we can go out again. Oh, I'm in the US. That's pretty important to that last bit!
Stygies VIII: Studying in Japan sounds awesome! Most wiki editors are stuck at home too and hope the world will return to a better state soon... Especially in the US. As an European I watch the situation overseas with quite some anxiety. Good luck with everything real-life related! We would like to ask last few questions. How the heck did you manage to hold onto your Fandom account credentials for 14 years, given that you never used the account otherwise? Or did you use it sometimes?
- Kcaz64: I still use the same email today that I did then! I just used the password recovery feature. I don't believe I ever logged onto my fandom account until recently.
Poisoned Apples: July 1, yeah? What was the process that led you to join our Discord server then? (Atvelonis had quite the reaction when you did!)
- Kcaz64: After I checked the wiki's about page to see I was listed as the creator, I saw the little discord thing on the side of the page and thought it'd be fun to pop in and say hi. Figured it'd give a kick to whoever knew about me and wondered who I was!
Poisoned Apples: And it did!
Stygies VIII: It gave us all a kick, honestly. Wikis rarely see founders returning after so long.
- Kcaz64: Was definitely not expecting an interview though! I just thought I'd say "hi" and chuckle at the response and that'd be it.
Poisoned Apples: Well, it has been pretty cool to get to know the person who started all this.
Stygies VIII: Yes, you started a great project even if you forgot about it afterwards. Thank you for your time and agreeing to do this!
Poisoned Apples: Yeah, it's been a pleasure!
- Kcaz64: Sure, it was a fun experience. Thanks for having me.