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This week I had a rare opportunity to interview Gork, a level 1 meat shield in Player_1's dread army, dedicated to the destruction of the noble forces of Player_2. Join us, won't you, in this peek into the minds of the lowest class of soldier, and learn how they live, how they die, and why they do what they do.

'Allo. I's is Gork, and I's is a meat shield. 'Bout ten minutes ago, I's was hired by Player_1 for his army and I's is grateful for der opportunities dat he provides. I's has gainful employment now in der dread army.

Tell us a little about what kind of training goes into your profession, Gork.

I's not get much training. I's gets big club and is told whats to hit wit it. Dey tells me dat I be much bigger den de enemies, so I's not have to worry too much about dat stuff. Dey says I just has ta be a good team player and do what I's told.

Tell me what it means to be a team player in the dread army.

Does udder guys on da team, dey do much harder stuff den me, but it's 'cause they be smaller and not so strong. Dey goes to school for longer, learn how to do tings like trow around fireballs an' be all spooky-like. Dey gets paid more but I seen what dey do wit da gold, dey just buy bat wings and newt eyes an' stuff like dat. Don't have money left over for beer. Dey not have priorities straight. But deys is da guys I hasta protect, dat's how come I'm a team player.

Do you have a benefits package in addition to your salary?

Dey tell me I not have enough school to get benefits. Some of de udder guys, dey gets health care, dental plan, life insurance... not me. Like take de dark knights over dere. Dey not talk to me, just kinda stand dere lookin' all spooky-like and mumble secrets to each udder. I's is kinda afraid of dem guys. Take der wizards, dey not so tough. I's can whallop them over der head wit my club if dey gets out o' line, and dey falls over. But der dark knights, dey is what Player_1 calls a tank. Dey get benefits. Like health care, if dey get hurt in battle, dose wizards, dey cast heal spells on dem, tryin' to keep 'em alive. Player_1 says dey too valuable to let'em die. Mebbe if I get more school, I get a better job, but I's never have der grades to get into college.

So what exactly is your job in the dread army?

I's does two things. First, I's takes this club and I whollop de enemies over da head. Dat's the main part of my job, and I's is pretty good at dat part. Der udder part is more tricky, and sometimes I's need help from Player_1 to do it right. See we's gots dem wizards back dere, and dey trows around de fireballs and whatnots like dat, and deys is real valuable guys to have around 'cause dey uses da magics, right? Well deys is also real weak an' if dey gets whalloped too hard dey falls over real easy. I's is supposeda stand in front of dem so when da enemies tries to whallop'em, dey hits me instead.

And that's why your job description is "meat sheld"?

Yeah, it's kinda funny, like I'm a shield made outta meat. Dey says dem wizards, dey can't hold real shields 'cause dey needs both hands to wave around to trow around dem fireballs and tings, so I gotta do it. It hurts, but it's what I gets paid for. A bunch of de udder guys, dey got whalloped real bad and dey didn't make it back from da last battle we was in. But dey did da job dey was supposed to do, 'cause all da wizards made it back okay. And dem dark knights, most o' dem made it back okay too 'cause the wizards kept'em alive with heal spells. I got one heal spell and dat's how come I survived da last battle but I found out later it was an accident. Dat wizard, he was aiming for da dark knight but he hits me by mistake. Player_1, he got pretty mad about dat 'cause da dark knight, he gots all de expensive armor and stuff. He says you gots ta look at da bottom line. Anyway, I gots new friends how 'cause Player_1, he says he can hire all der meat shields he needs for cheap.

What are your co-workers like?

Most o' dem, dey is meat shields like me. Deys is big, strong guys but mebbe not so bright, you know? An' we goes to da front lines and we fights against da enemies and tries not to let'em get past us to whallop on der wizards back dere. Most o' dem guys dey just in it for da carnage. But sometimes we needs extra help, and we gets extra help from der udder kinds o' meat shields. Der wizards back dere, some o' dem guys can summon golems or raise the dead, dems is da real spooky guys. Da golems and zombies, dey not talk to us, dey just fight or stand around, but after like 2 minutes dey falls over again 'cause da magics run out. Sometimes I tink dat us meat shields be out of a job some day 'cause of da zombies an' golems 'cause deyz even cheaper 'cause deyz free, but dey not work too good yet so no problem.

What would you say is the hardest part of your job?

Dere's two tings. First is de really, really fast little guys dat we can't catch. Dose guys, dey run around da side or some of dems can fly, and we can't get to'em, so dey run around da back and starts whallopin' on der wizards an' we can't do nuthin' about it. Player_1, he gets real mad when dat happens but I tink dat's his fault for not havin' enough giant spiders. I keep tellin' de udder guys I tink we should have more giant spiders, 'cause if you make friend wit'em dey'll eat goats out of your hand and dat's real cute when dey does dat stuff. De udder ting is when we gets hit wit der big magics, you know da kind, when instead of like da fireballs where it just hits one of us, but a big storm shows up and everything around us starts gettin' hit. When dat stuff happens, we haveta run away until it's over and den come back later or da wizards, dey gets killed.

What are your plans for the future? Do you have opportunites for advancement?

Dey tells me meat shields not have too much future, really. I's is probably gunna die in da next battle I's is in, I's is just lucky I survive da first one. What I really do dis for, is I does it for da kids.

You have children? What are they like?

Yeah, I gots two kids, I gots Gork, Jr. and Gork, Jr. Too. Deys is my pride and joy. I sees what I's can do about sendin'em to a better school what I got. If dey gets more smarter, dey has opportunities for promotions, can get more pay, and mebbe learn how to trow around some of dem fireballs or sometin'. I don't really know what dey do at dose fancy schools. But if dey does good, mebbe dey can grow up to be tanks and get benefits package. De important ting is that I makes a better future for de kiddies den I had for myself.

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