Welcome to the third entry in the revived Community Interviews series! You'll notice a slight tinge of formulaic formatting throughout these interviews as you read through them, and that is that there are repeated questions that every person must answer. The reason for this is simple: those questions are what form the foundation of the interview. Once those questions have been answered, other questions are asked that are tailored to respond to the answers given. What you will be reading is the end result, conversationally compiled. Without further ado, let's get started. She's a quarter-century ancient. She's started as a site lurker in 2011, joined the forums in October of that same year and joined the community proper the very next month. She's currently unemployed, and has been for far longer than she rightfully should, but has experience in just about everything. She's apt to tell you a funny story or two. She's easily trusted. People come to her with all sorts of problems of if they need to feel safe getting something off their chest because she's such a caring nurturer, which leaves a bittersweet feeling for her at times. Just like the previous interviews, I sent her a questionnaire, she answered stuff, I asked her questions about answers, there was much rejoicing. Raise your glass and toast the Loveliest Girl In The UK, our very own GlowBear!
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What drew you to videogames as a hobby, and more importantly, what has kept you there?
I don't know what drew me to them. I just remember as a child always playing demos from magazines with CD's a relative had. Perhaps because I didn't have many friends to play with as a child I went to games a lot, but to be fair I was outside playing more than I was inside. Video games just looked interesting to me. I suppose as I got older more meaning has come from it. Like looking at industry and controversy and community related aspects.
What interests you, specifically? Is it the nature of play? Is it the first-person directing stance in an unfolding plot? Just curious to see exactly what drives your choice of entertainment.
It could show you anything and it was always under the medium of 'gaming'. Others can do that too, but there's some sort of internal variety or speciality that only gamers can see. I am not explaining that well.
I remember playing a demo of Dungeon Keeper
and the intro movie shows a knight or someone getting their head chopped off and I was mesmerised by this. I would watch the movie just for that scene (no, I'm not a sadist). I used to play a demo of Diablo
and then I stopped playing when I realised it might be a bit "not great for a Catholic to play," though yes I've played plenty of games since with demons. I played Indiana Jones Desktop Adventures
umpteen times when it's the same damn game, just the treasure or weapon location is planted differently. Duke Nukem 3D
was played so much by a young me, that I could traverse a level without even looking, or at least the first one. I just enjoyed gaming, pressing buttons on the keyboard and playing out actions. It was full of variety and it was all new and for some reasons in my mind, giving the examples above explains to me what caught me and originally brought me in to this form of entertainment.
What do you consider to be the most important aspect of a videogame?
For me what makes me love a game and champion it non-stop, is when a game has a wonderful story that is shaped somewhat by your actions and dialogue. I think that is more important for inclusion and integration than graphics.
Games like Deus Ex, Mass Effect, KotOR, and other examples of their particular breed are incredibly engaging due to this form of player inclusion into the events of the plot progression, the "driver's seat," as it were. Do you feel that there are ways that this could be better achieved, or at least done in ways that we haven't seen before? If so, what would you suggest?
I'm not sure what to suggest, only that first, don't make a promise with regards to this gaming mechanic and then not follow through (a.k.a. "don't pull a Molyneux"). Nothing is worse than expecting options and being denied it in the finished product (not just with
gaming). I think games like Mass Effect
and Dragon Age
already execute it quite well, but obviously more can be done. In fact, that's one manner in my opinion, adding more - dialogue, facial animations, results within your group and if applicable to the world's story. Don't just make it obvious, include twists and shocks. Don't make your playable character a rock either, have their emotions be real and make an effort to have the players feel that the decision they just made has caused conflict in their mind.
Do you think that controversy (sexism, violence, etc.) helps or hurts the medium?
It helps in the most hurtful manner, as in "any news is good news" for attention. But regardless how much it smothers the medium in terms of negativity, we still don't seem to care and games are only becoming more dominant as a form of entertainment.
Is there potential for positive controversy, or do you feel that we're sort of "landlocked" to negative, reactionary outbursts due to misunderstood (or poorly implemented) design choices and the real-life events that shape the current world we all live in?
I suppose when something comes from controversy that isn't just people barking on social media sites and a physical change or at least an attempt at a change occurs, then we're on a positive track. I think landlocked is a good way of putting it. Take the sexism grief for example...it's the same damn thing and we argue or watch arguments, then there's a lull...then it happens again. It's such a sensitive, widely discussed topic and yet action is lacking. The more it appears as an issue the more it gets diluted, ironically. People just get fed up and let it stew and that's a problem in itself. It needs to not get to that stage where it's so expected, that it's easy to ignore and leave on a conveyor belt.
Let's go outside of videogames for a moment - what's the most important thing in the world to you as a person?
Suppose this won't be a rare answer, but for me my family, which consists of 3/4 people. Also my faith is of the utmost importance to me (proudly so), it keeps me going and it's part of me and vice versa.
What is faith to you? It doesn't necessarily have to come from a religious standpoint, so you can avoid labels and names if it makes you uncomfortable, but I'm a big fan of the power of faith. Whether it's a god, a God, a natural order or simply yourself, faith in someone or something is a constant and everpresent driving force in humanity's very existence - so how do you personally define it?
To me it's God, the Trinity, the power and belief in prayer. It's not always easy to be a believer, especially if you know more sorrow than joy, but for me it's a real thing. A physical, an emotional, a conscious, subconscious thing that I couldn't be without.
I've gone through some especially harrowing times in the last couple of years. I've spent hours in the dark in pain, fighting to not lose my faith, because without it I'd have nothing and no reason to be me anymore. It was horrible to lose it, and not because of "some moral or comfortable notion." I suppose it's hard to describe something like that to someone, there's many things in life that can't be comprehended unless it happens to you.
I believe in God, Jesus, Mary and heaven and hell. I believe that every prayer is heard and we're not alone and that when good things happened God is behind them, because he created us and that we are behind them too because we were born with free will.
I find that music is a fairly accurate barometer of an individual's personality. What music makes your day?
Oh, dear, that's hard to tell. It depends what mood I'm in. Sometimes I'm in a 'battle-wish my life were more exciting mode,' and that's when instrumentals and Battlestar Galactica
scores will come on. On the other hand I'm in the "music I would be dancing to if it weren't 3pm and I am paying bills at home" - so disco, dance and obscure beats will be on full play. I'm just...eclectic.
Do you feel that the videogame medium is evolving, and if so, is it going in a positive direction?
It's evolving and I would have left it at that a while ago, now, I'm not sure if it's evolving into some sort of monster with split personalities. But overall, it's going in a direction that is littered with complaints but no one does the one thing that could sway it and that's boycott. But it's hard to stop yourself from doing something you enjoy. Like fapping on a bypass bridge.
There's a lot of issues that just keep repeating and if they were dealt with it would make gaming a healthier, less tainted medium.
If you said that someone just had to play a particular game before they died, what game would that be?
No shock, I'd say Knights of the Old Republic, but if they haven't got long to live that's a tricky one. The first game I had on the first console (albeit hand) was Super Mario Land
on Gameboy. So if they just fancy some fun platforming, give it go and if they're not yet on their deathbed take KOTOR
with them into the afterlife!
Why KotOR, exactly? What made it especially resonant with you? What indelible moment(s) made this title stick out? For that matter, what made Super Mario Land stick out? In a franchise with so many entries on so many platforms, why that particular one? What made it special enough for you to recommend it that way? I wrote recently in a c-blog about why and only barely touched on it.
The video accompanied makes me feel kindred feelings and a perfect score can give you goosebumps. I suppose I feel a bit like Revan or Exile, but that wasn't a feeling I got when i first played the game. It was the first game of it's type I played with decision changing dialogue options, the option to be 'good' or 'bad' and a chance to do it all over again.
As for Super Mario Land, as I said I use to only have access to demo cds and never had a console until the original Xbox came out. When I got a Gameboy I was elated, my mother had saved up to buy me that and I played it nonstop (think it's why I need glasses, hah). My first game was Dr. Mario
(it came with it), but the first game I played and felt like a game others were playing was Super Mario Land
. Oddly, I never owned it, I borrowed it off a friend for a very long time. Actually, now that I think about it, that friend (well, back then anyway) has passed away. Wow, I just realised that now. I also remember never being able to finish the final level ever, no matter how many times I played it, it was just too tricky. But everything up until that point was enough for me to replay it so often.
With so many sites in existence, and the internet having no shortage of places to hang one's virtual hat, why Destructoid?
I've wrote about what prompted me to come back to forums in general a few times, but why Destructoid? I'm not too sure. Perhaps the layout drew me in (fickle as I am). I tested the forums and I stuck, and immersed myself in a way I haven't before. Helped as well that there were people I could actually meet from there (another new thing I never did). Dtoid is a mix of people, most cool, most a bit iffy and some that seem one thing when they're actually another - but overall they put up with me for some reason and they're all good-hearted folk there and a laugh can be had as well as a helping hand or ear.
It's got less bullshit than I've encountered on other forums too, which is nice.
Is there anything you would change about Destructoid? Anything you'd preserve at all costs?
Be nice if they accepted front page reviews, but that's just a selfish request to further my own chances of EVER GETTING PAID for anything I write or do. The premium thing I'm not keen on, but if it's optional go ahead, but if it gives payers some unfair perks I'd say shove it. As for forums, there's nothing I can say I'd change about the running or the members, you like who you like for who they are. I think I'd change the veil of individual perception and I'll leave it at that.
One last question: Who do you think you are?
I'd like to think I'm the girl I was growing up but now better and stronger. But some days you don't know. I'm just a funny, whiskey loving, (hopefully) kind bear face moustache lass.
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