GGVogue is proud to welcome Deborah “Dash” Perez as the newest addition to the GGVogue’s staff! We sit down with Dash in an interview to get to know about her, her past gaming experience, and future aspirations.
(GGVogue) Welcome Dash to GGV! Most of our audience are going to be wondering who you are and your gaming history so tell us a little about yourself and how you got into video games.
(Dash) I’m a college graduate and chemist. I have been gaming since I could remember. I grew up around boys and they all played Final Fantasy, Zelda, and Nintendo, so I’ve been playing for a long time. I’m a mom to a 3 year old boy and he’s going to be a gamer too. When I think about how I got into gaming, I didn’t have a choice because I was with all my guy cousins and all they did was play Street fighter, Zelda, Mario, and I was pretty much the only girl. I don’t think I was ever interested in dolls because video games were all I saw. Being around boys who gamed made me want to play, so one day I got the courage to ask “can I play?” and they would say “you get stuck with second controller.” After playing a while I would beat them and they wouldn’t want to play with me anymore (Laughs). I really liked it. I loved the focus. I was always bored as a kid and would usually eat a lot, but with video games, I would be on it for hours. My mom finally bought me my own Nintendo and I didn’t bother her for food or go to my cousin’s anymore. I remember spending hours playing over summer vacation. I didn’t have summer camp so I was playing all night and day. When I got the PSOne, Iplayed FF 7, 8, 9, and Mario RPG. I would beat them and replay them over and over again because you would either find something new. It was better than a book and my mom would be like “are you going to sleep? Are you going to do your summer homework?” I was like “yeah…” (Giggles).
(GGVogue) What is it about video games you like so much?
(Dash) I love magic (Laughs). I’ve always been that kid that wished they had magic powers or… such a thing. Everything about special abilities I always loved since I don’t have that. I feel I can live in video games, especially RPGs, because most of them don’t end. You play for so long and… It fills a void when it comes to the magic for me like the things I can’t do. I’ve always been interested in physics and this sparked all the magic and stuff. I feel magic in games inspired me to get into physics. A part of me wants to make that happen in real life even though it probably won’t happen in my lifetime. We can do something where we can emulate this magic. When you think about it back then maybe 2000 years ago, the things we do now would be considered magic to them. So it can happen.
(GGVogue) What are some things that are different from past and present video games?
(Dash) The stories are crap, honestly. I’m disappointed when it comes to some RPGs; the graphics have gotten much better but at a slower rate. I’m a huge RPG fan, so older games with crazy storyline where everyone is connected like in Legend of Zelda series, Tekken, even previous Street Fighter games are rarely seen. Games are not like that anymore. People care more about blood, kills, gore and there isn’t anything wrong with this but that’s not what I’m into. I’m into the storyline, friendship, bonds, love story, and the dynamics of a game. The only thing I like right now, which is not considered a video game is the Naruto video games, because it’s very engaging. That’s why I play older games over and over again. I heard Skyrim is good. I want to start playing it.
(GGVogue) What are some things you would like the gaming industry to change in games of today?
(Dash) Great question! In Final Fantasy X-2, I see what they were trying to do. They were trying to bring more girl gamer communities. It was successful with me but a lot of people didn’t like the game. I liked it, when it comes to FF I love the fashion and clothes, hairstyles, girls, even the body shapes they all have different body shapes. And then I think FF 13 had a female protagonist. She was the main character and had pink hair, but it still wasn’t the best game. So I think there is progress. I don’t want to say I’m a feminist, but I’m always pro girl. When I play fighting games, I pick only girls and I kick ass with girl characters. Female characters like Shiva, Melina, Hinata, Karen; whomever they think is a girl and sucks, I play them and prove them wrong. I want to see more girls and more storyline for girls. I see FF doing that and it makes me happy but the latest games haven’t been good. But I’m hanging in there and I think so is everyone else whose waiting for a good one. So it’s more of a female thing I want; like more female preferences and female protagonists.
(GGVogue) What are some experience as girl gamer that were negative or positive?
(Dash) I’m sure there are both. I think I can only think of the positive things. Like when it comes to me having my own time. I never have been the kind of person to go to club or go to bars much; it’s just not as fulfilling. I’m not going to say it’s not fun, but when I play the games, I feel like I’m learning or experiencing something new. My mind is occupied. I feel I need that activity in my mind and sometimes if I can’t sleep I would play games. It’s almost relaxing or exhilarating. I lived in a community where friends would always drink, smoke, sit on the stoop and I was always like “why?” I would just stay indoors and play games. I didn’t have a big friendship circle. I honestly think it made me sane or kept me sane (Laughs). It occupied my time and kept me off the streets. When it came to having girlfriends it was hard because they wouldn’t want to do those things. I was not really into going to parties and drinking as a teen. I would ask if they would come over and play Soul Caliber. They would go party and drink and then feel like crap. I would do it sometimes yeah, but not all the time. I mean I’m a girly girl, I love fashion but when it comes to going out so much, I just can’t do it. And with guys and their motives for approaching you, they want one thing and I am very mean and usually nip it in the butt. I don’t want to be bothered because I’m not looking for that. So it has hindered my relationship with girls, but with guys, boyfriends, I don’t think it hindered my relationship with them. If the girls didn’t want to hang out, I’d just chill with my guy friends. If not, I would be fine alone and play games; press start and do my thing.
(GGVogue) What personal experience moved you or made you fonder of video games?
(Dash) I lived in a community that said if you gamer you’re a nobody, bum or stupid. Gamers are so intelligent and people don’t understand it. There are so many bad reps about gamers. I felt ashamed about it at a younger age because my girlfriends growing up would be like “I don’t want to hang out because I don’t want to do that.” I tried to be someone I wasn’t before, but now I just don’t care. I’m open about it and I’m happier now because I can be myself. I thought gaming was something for kids. I thought it was something I had to grow out of, so when I got pregnant I told myself I got to find new things to do, but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t get into other things with the other mommies. Others can be so mean; I just don’t want to deal with them. It’s so funny but I can’t do the normal “girl life” with whatever they do; things I don’t know because I didn’t have the normal girl life. Growing up, what was I going to do? I didn’t want to eat nor could I shop all day. I needed to do something; I needed an outlet so I play games to occupy my time while having fun. I was having the time of my life playing games over and over again. You only get better if you play it over and over and it’ll always be fun. I just couldn’t get out of that mentality. Heck no, would I give it up! I started to like it more as I became more open about it. Even now, I have my son I give him time and I do what I have to do and then I have my time: game time after he sleeps. Video games made me a stronger person which is why I continue to play them.
(GGVogue) Are there any last words you’d like to tell gamers out there?
(Dash) Don’t give it up because other people think video games are lame. They think its lame because they haven’t tried it or they haven’t tried the right game because every gamer is different. A lot of people like COD, but I can’t deal with gunshots. I can’t get into it. I don’t hate on anybody who likes it. I think it’s a great game; it’s just not for me. Every gamer is different. I don’t knock people who aren’t as good. You always start out a certain way and get better. I just think if you like video games don’t be ashamed to like it like I was. Embrace it. Meet more people that love it too and talk about it. Game together. It’s awesome. I’m very happy at this point in my life.
Be sure to check out Dash’s first article coming soon.