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C-Blog Interviews: Stephanie K - Destructoid

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This Blog is now in the hands of ze OpiumHerz and Everyday Legend.

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I didn't post yesterday because I felt the blogs were too clogged. Also, by the time I got around to it, it was late so I decided to cover my losses and post on a Wednesday. Without further adieu....

Why did you start blogging? And why here specifically?

I actually have a bit of an unofficial, unknown history regarding web sites and blogging. Back in the middle of high school, I did some articles for a few "wanna be" gaming sites. They were mainly sites that young college students were creating in hopes of becoming a big, popular web site or wanting to define their web design/journalism skills before putting together portfolios. All of those sites dropped off the map mainly since their original creator gave up on trying to balance a personal project with school work.

This is something I got a taste of when I got bored one afternoon and created a Resident Evil fan site: Wondering Zombie. I apologize for it being on a shitty free hosting site. I started it during the summer between my junior and senior year in high school. However, my desires and dreams for the site were too much for one person. I wanted it to eventually be a hub full of information on every Resident Evil game, including plot timelines, character profiles, game files, etc... However, I was the only one among my friends who understood HTML. So I was the only one capable of doing the coding which became too much for me to handle. Despite wanting to keep it up (and also do to lack of constant news), I let the zombie die for good mid-2009.

However, there is more to my e-history. For awhile I did unofficial game reviews that I had submitted to a couple horror sites (survival horror is my favorite genre if having the whole fan site didn't give that away). I also posted a lot on the X-Play forums since I use to like the show until after G4 completely took it over. I was quite known and well respected on the forums which I gained from my informative reviews and just overall attitude towards gaming. I was even a mod on there for like three weeks before some personal matters came into play but that's a whole other story...

But that is why I began blogging. I had done a lot of fairly unnoticed side work as just a poster on a forum. Apparently people liked what I had to say but I wanted to be more than just "a poster". I had read Destructoid fairly frequently and noticed that they'd promote blogger's blogs if they were good. I figured I'd give it a try to see if I couldn't make more of a name for myself and to also see where my form of writing and attitude fit in a wider variety of readers. Needless to say, it felt absolutely amazing having the first thing I wrote (which I believe was a Monthly Musing about what game was "your game") get promoted to the front page. Also getting comments from Hamza - both on the Destructoid and on personal levels - really fueled my desire to improve my work.

If you can't tell, I eventually wanted to get into video game journalism. I figured this would be a good place to start acting more professional. So far it's worked out well.

One word to describe yourself.

Dreamer

I know where you got your name (I assume), but your avatar is adorable. Explain?

Well, my name is naturally my first name - Stephanie. Though I prefer and go by Steph. The last letter (K) is my initial for my last name. I wanted to give a professional look about myself while still holding some privacy, hence why I haven't publicly given out my last name.

As for the avatar, it's the female protagonist from Persona 3 Portable. I've had a few friends tell me I have a striking resemblance to her which is why I like using her as my avatar. Not only is she from one of my favorite games, but having a character that looks like me made it much easier for me to role play in the game. So in a way, I kinda view her as a video game version of me.

Favorite Food?

Oh god... So many good foods... If I had to pick one, I would say french fries. I always seem to get them when I go out to eat, even if it costs more to substitute something for them. They're so delicious covered in salt and ketchup.

Favorite game? I ask "Favorite Game" as a formality and to not make assumptions, but it seems you have a deep love for the Persona games. Which is your favorite and what is it about them that has such a connection with you.

Yes, I do like the Persona games quite a bit. I'm sure that after answering the avatar question, it makes some sense as to which has a better connection to me. Between them, Persona 3 would be my favorite. I find it stunningly admirable that the protagonist willing sacrifices himself/herself to protect those closest to him/her. (I'm sorry, Akihiko... ;_;)

Buuuut... That's not my favorite game ever. If I had to pick one, I would go with the remake of Resident Evil. I feel a bit like jackass for favoring a newer, revamped version of a game over the original, but the remake was perfect to me. It's a prime example of what a remake should be: updated graphics, new content, expands the story, so on and so forth. I also am very fascinated by science which is one of the main reasons as to why I like the series so much. I liked how Capcom explains the viruses' creations through bioengineering and explained how the mutations in each monster worked. It made everything feel like it could one day be a possibility.

If you could punch anyone here on dtoid, who would it be and why.

I haven't really found anyone on Destructoid who bugs me enough for me to feel like punching them. Though I've gotten into a few forum discussions where I probably would slap a poster or two around a bit. It's why I stopped going to our forums.

If you could hug anyone here on dtoid (aside from Chad, you've already done that), who would it be and why.

Hamza of course!

He's actually probably the main reason why I stuck around. I felt very flattered and honored to have the community manger not only notice my work, but also notice me as a person. It was a great boost in motivation to keep writing because I felt like I was actually developing a name for myself.

If I were to tell you that you have one more day to live, what would you do.

I would write a long ass letter to everyone I felt I needed to settle something with. Then I'd spend the day with the person I love the most and try to help them get ready to go on without me.

I prefer a cup of English Breakfast Tea in the morning as opposed to coffee. How about you?

Eating breakfast requires waking up early to eat it. I have the choice of waking up early or sleeping in... Even if it is only ten or twenty extra minutes. I'll pick staying in bed longer. Besides, I'm rarely hungry right when I get up.

How's the cello coming along?

It's at a standstill sadly. I couldn't fit it in the car when I moved. I haven't decided if I want to try to get it shipped to me or if I just want to look about investing in a better one.

When I grow up I want to be…

I want to be a wife and a mother. I also want a job that makes enough money for me to help support my family and be independently wealthy. I've been attempting to go to college for web design. I want to eventually work in a graphics art department as one of the managers. I not only want to have a say in the project but I also want to manage everything and make sure that the web site fits the company's needs or I want to do journalism for gaming. Maybe even do both.

My ultimate goal is to have a well paying job that would allow me sometime out of the office. I'm hoping that if I do a lot of web-based work, I can do it from home so I can still have time for my family.

Now that I’m old I can finally…

Drink. Too bad I don't like the taste of alcohol.

It seems there will always be a problem of sorts for women in videogames. Or will there? What kind of problems do women in games face (still face) and has it lessened in years?

I grew up in an environment where gaming was a general hobby with everyone. It never seemed odd to me to be a girl gaming since, to me, it was normal. It wasn't until I started getting active in online communities that it ever seemed like an issue was there. (Minus girls in school poking fun at me for liking games over boy bands.) Even when looking at characters like Lara Croft, I never once felt offended by her. If anything I thought, "Holy shit! I wish I was a bad ass, rich, hot chick who could do flips off a hundred yard cliff while shooting dinosaurs!" ( I actually got in trouble a couple of times from trying to do jumps from the couch to the love seat. I was like 7, ok?!)

But anyway, this is a topic that we can talk about for hours and there's so many blogs about it so I'll keep it as short as I can. With game themselves, I don't see there being as many problems as there were in the past. Sure, we still see a lot of women in games wearing very skimpy clothing or having very attractive physical features or being weak characters. Though we're also seeing a larger increase in tasteful, clever, and actually all around good female characters. Then while developers are still making girl-specific games, we're also seeing an increase in female interest in non-girly games. Girly games also aren't being as heavily marketed as they were in the past. I think developers are realizing that even though genders have different outlooks on things, they can find other ways to market games to women without covering the case in pink.

As for the gaming community, we have a long way to go. Issues are always going to be around due to stereotypes though these are issues that we're (both men and women) are creating for ourselves. Men are still going to hit on women who game because, hey, that's just what guys do and let's face it, anyone would. If you find someone from the opposite gender partaking in a hobby you highly enjoy, naturally you're going to be a bit interested in them in special ways. Yes, it gets annoying but it's easy to ignore messages.

As for men who are sexist towards women, there's a couple of reasons for it. There are going to be some men who feel threatened by a "weaker" gender overpowering them and there's going to be some hurt egos. However, the female gaming community has a tainted image due to pushy "girl gamer" image they created for themselves. It's aggravating to have a large group of people constantly shouting that they're females who play games. Women aren't oppressed in any way. We still might technically be a minority, but the amount of women who game has increased dramatically. Nowadays, gaming is pretty much a time killer for anyone of any gender. We don't need constant, unnecessary reminders in order to try to prove a point that's been proven for years now. So there is some hostility towards women because most men automatically assuming that any girl who games is just another billboard trying to break a stereotype, thus creating a stereotype in its own.

It also does not help that some women actually do sexualize themselves for attention. They know that men find a woman who plays games to be attractive, thus use to their advantage. I've once been kicked out of a match by another girl for talking to the guys in the lobby. She felt threatened by the idea of someone else getting her attention to the point of not wanting another girl in the party. Yet another stereotype is created: the attention whore.

If you could be the opposite gender, you would...

I would get to know what it's like to piss standing up.

What was your game of 2010?

Alan Wake

Where would you most like to travel or go to (events in time maybe?) and why.

Honestly, anywhere. I love traveling and I want to see the world because, after all, we only live once.

I need something scandalous for my ratings. What would you like to confess?

I've always wanted to know some sort of martial art or know how to use some sort of weapon. Like know how to sword fight or something. I've always wanted to feel like a bad ass.

If you could ask me or the community a question what would it be?

Did you drink your Ovaltine today?



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