GGVogue is proud to welcome Stephanie Williamson as the newest addition to the GGVogue’s staff! We sit down with Stephanie in an interview to get to know about her, her past gaming experience, and future aspirations.
GGVogue: Welcome Stephanie to GGV! We’re happy to have you on board. Just to give our audiences an insight on who you are and your gaming history, tell us a little about yourself and how you got into video games.
Stephanie: I guess the basics are I’m a 23 year old college graduate with a degree in Psychology & Studio Art, looking to get into Behavioral Psychology. For how I got into video games, I have to say it was because of my big brother. He’s almost four years older than me, so he was the one that put that first gaming controller in my hand when I was about five. I started off with the Nintendo and Tiny Tunes Adventures and I was hooked ever since. (Laughs)From there, we would always pool our money for the next system or game that was coming out; Super Nintendo, N64, PS1, and any games that we could find. We split everything, so that meant a lot of fighting over the systems, to the point where we would just be switching off every hour. But he was definitely the first one to kick my ass in video games and taught me how to kick other people’s asses as well. (Laughs) He was the first also to get me into StarCraft and Diablo, although I honed my own skills in them. Between the two of us, we have almost every version of the Gameboy that came out. I started getting my own systems like the GameCube and Wii, he went the other direction in the Sony PlayStations.
GGVogue: Now I’m curious because you say you got into video games because of your bother, but what makes your like video games so much?
Stephanie: Well, I mean I think video games were just my thing from the beginning, from the first time I played one I was hooked. It could be the fact that you get to play your favorite characters, or the amazing worlds that these artists create. I was always decent at them, so it’s easy to like something you’re good at. And it’s another way to play and interact with your friends, you get to kill your friends over and over and it’s all good in the end. It could also be that when I was younger, I lived upstate in a town where there was literally nothing to do, except watch TV and eat, so I played video games to pass the time. But I invested a lot of time in them because most importantly they were just fun– exploring new things, gaining new skills and killing monsters.
GGVogue: I agree. It’s like a world away from this world. However, games from your childhood are different from games today. What are some differences that has heighten your passion to video games and things that differ negatively?
Stephanie: Well nothing beats the classics to me. I can still sit there and play Donkey Kong for SNES all the way through and love it just as much as I love Super Mario galaxy 2 for Wii. But, you know with technology increasing today we get better graphics and more interactive game play which is definitely a positive. For instance, Diablo 2 is so different than Diablo 3 to me. Yeah the concept is the same, it’s still Diablo but you get damage points just for f**king shit up in the game, which is awesome. To be completely honest, I’m not a big fan of the motion-controlled games. I still hook up my GameCube controllers to my Wii, and I really try to stay away from the games that use the motion detection, but I know that it’s inevitable that it’s going to take over one day. I mean, I don’t even download those games on my phone. Like for playing LBPKarting,(Little Big Planet Karting) it was of course difficult to get the hang of the motion control, but I feel like you have more control in a game with a joystick than with the motions of your arms and hands, and for spazzes like me it kind of sucks. (Laughs)
GGVogue: Yea motion games are cool but not with our generation. We’re so accustomed to the classics it’s hard to change. Speaking of classics, is there a classic game that created a personal experience that moved you or made you fonder of video games?
Stephanie: Hmm…. Pokémon. Pokémon was huge when I was growing up, and with the TV show and the movies I felt like they gave me an emotional investment in the game and made me want to catch ’em all(Laughs). I think it was the recognition I got from other kids that played video games. There’s always this sense of camaraderie between gamers, you know? Growing up I was really the only girl that played video games, which made me seem cool to the boys, and I guess it worked out because I didn’t get along well with girls when I was younger anyway (Laughs). There’s just a common understanding. And being able to sit there and beat Turtles In Time with your best friend, there’s nothing better than that. Video games gave me a lot of happy childhood memories.
GGVogue: That’s so cute! Those are definitely fond memories. Do you still play with the same friends?
Stephanie: I have different friends that I play with now; they’ve remained the same for the past decade with the exception of like one. And it’s cool because we all have different preferences for games, so when we sit down to play with one another. It’s like we’re all trying to get each other to play the games that we love, so in a way it expands my gaming horizon, they force me to try new games and vice versa.
GGVogue: What games have you tried playing?
Stephanie: They’ve been trying to get me to play Borderlands, the only issue is that they never say enough for me to actually sit down and play it(Laughs). They swear it’s exactly like Diablo, but I don’t see it (Laughs). They also try to get me to play NHL & Madden, but I’m not too big on the sports games either. But my best friend Jeff introduced me to CS (Counter Strike).
GGVogue: Yea, I never got into CS. Just not my thing.
Stephanie: Haha, it’s not for everyone. Although they just came out for a new version for PS3 which is like classic CS, but with new maps as well. You can plug in your keyboard & mouse right into your PS3 as well as play with the controller, so that kind of opens it up to even more players. It’s a fun game to get some quick rounds in.
GGVogue: Maybe I’ll check it out now! So as a new addition to GGVogue, what are issues/topics you want to bring to the table and make the public aware about?
Stephanie: Hmm, well all my experience in psychology has leaned towards clinical and behavior, so I think that I can put a twist and different viewpoints on certain topics that people usually wouldn’t think about. I hope to bring to light even further that video games do NOT rot people’s brains, but give gamers better social and communication skills that non-gamers don’t always have. In playing multiplayer games mostly, you have to learn how to work with others to achieve a common goal, and that always means you need good communication between teammates. By communication I don’t mean like yelling “RUN B!7CH!” into a mic, I mean like OKAY, you take the front end, I got the back end, we can get through this! For instance, last night I played Gears of War for the first time with this really cool dude, and since I wasn’t really getting the hang of it at first we teamed up on one gun and took players down. He helped me out by saying “they’re right behind you!” or, “avoid the black smoke.” Multiplayer games I feel allow you to play well with others (Laughs). A lot of video games involve actual thinking, like how am I going to get through this level? Am I going to need a team mate to help me out here? Even playing Super Mario Bros II for the Wii, you get to run around with not only Luigi but Toad as well, and you all work together to gather as many coins and kill as many turtles as possible, and when you’re sitting there you talk to your team mates so you can all get through the level successfully
GGVogue: Do you think there is a difference between online co-op and couch co-op?
Stephanie: There is a difference, but the basic concept is the same for both of them. You still need to learn to work and communicate with others to achieve that goal at the end. Just to take a step back and look at the situation, from what I’ve observed it’s that gamers excel more at communication skills and working with others.
GGVogue: There is a notion that the nostalgic couch co-op where you play with a friend right beside you is a dying phase. What are your thoughts?
Stephanie: Hmm well for me I guess it’s still very alive. That’s where I play most of my games, with my friends on a couch. In fact, even when I’m playing online with my friends, we have our laptops set up right next to each other, and we’re sitting on a couch (Laughs). To me I’d rather sit next to my friends on a couch, even if it’s online, and play the same game rather than each of us sitting at home playing online.
GGVogue: Keep the authenticity of gaming alive! I just want to thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to tell gamers out there?
Stephanie: Haha I’ll try. Absolutely, I guess just keep calm and game on = ]
GGVogue: LOL! Thanks again for this interview!