We’re proud to have an amazing staff of writers, graphic designers, artists, and bloggers. It gives us great pleasure to welcome our newest writer, Asia Hoe, to the GGVogut staff! We sit down with Asian and talk about her past, present, and future on video games and her aspirations with GGVogue.
GGVogue: This was a long time coming and after 3 articles and raving reviews, we’d thought it was time to have our readers get to know our newest writer for GGVogue, Asia! It’s never too late, so let’s begin; how did you get into video games?
Asia: It was a family thing. I grew up watching my parents play together, and eventually, someone handed me the joypad. I played other games before that, but they weren’t console games.
GGVogue: What games did you play that weren’t consoles?
Asia: I played handheld games, probably by Tiger or some other cheap-o brand, board games, and those handheld water puzzle games.
GGVogue: What did your parents play?
Asia: The first game I remember seeing my parents play was Super Mario World; the colors, the sounds, the music are just unforgettable. We didn’t have the SNES for long, though and eventually got the Sega Genesis.
GGVogue: So… both your parents played SNES Super Mario World?
Asia: Yes, they played together. The game had that alternate Mario/Luigi gameplay if I remember correctly. It might be time to take it for a whirl and refresh my memory!
GGVogue: Lol, yea you never know what you’ll see differently! So, what type of game did you first get started on… RPG, perhaps?
Asia: The first game I played solo was probably Sonic the Hedgehog. I don’t recall why, but we didn’t keep the SNES for very long.
GGVogue: What were your favorite aspects of Sonic as opposed to Mario?
Asia: Sonic was fast paced, colorful, and had multiple routes through all of the levels. No two players would play alike. Mario had hidden routes as well, but they were pretty linear levels by comparison. I liked that Sonic had the additional gameplay element of collectibles. To this day I have not been able to collect all of the chaos emeralds!
GGVogue: Lol! I know! First solo was Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and never completed it! I’ve been a SEGA fan up until the Dreamcast. Can you tell me a bit about your history with video games passed your first console, Sega Genesis and game, Sonic?
Asia: After the 8/16 bit era, we quickly jumped into mobile consoles, namely the GameBoy. The GameBoy Color was my first. We had every version of the GameBoy thereafter. My parents were gracious enough not to make me share mine with my sister. I got the hot pink one. I still have it, and it still works, despite surviving a fire! Soon after, we were playing N64, PlayStation, PS2, although by that time, my gaming was severely limited when I went away for high school.
GGVogue: What were your most proud games during your adolescence on N64, PS1, and PS2?
Asia: My favorite game on the PS1, hands down, was probably Tomb Raider. I just couldn’t get enough of those polygonal boobs! LOL. The second Tomb Raider had this awesome cheat code where you could blow Lara up. I would use that cheat whenever I got frustrated and get back into the game.
Asia: Exploring her mansion and finding the hidden relics were awesome. I loved fighting the T-Rex and learning about all these mythological creatures and worlds.
GGVogue: I vaguely played Tomb Raider for the PS1 since I didn’t have it. I was on the Dreamcast and N64. What is it about video games you love so much?
Asia: I love that video games are so immersive. It’s not like TV where you’re just sitting there and not really engaging with the images on the screen. With video games, you control almost everything. You can’t just sit there and not think. Plus video games give you ways to connect with people in unexpected ways.
GGVogue: Have you experienced this yourself?
Asia: Yes. I was always shy until it came to playing video games. I made a lot of good friends in high school through gaming. It also helped me bond with my sister when we weren’t fighting over me kicking her butt,[laughs]. It brought the family together.
GGVogue: I totally agree! My dad played Mortal Kombat with me after a dispute about itsviolence and it changed his mind… Ha! What are some things that differ from the past games you grew up with and the present?
Asia: Well the past games were less serious I feel like. You were just trying to save a princess, or rescue your banana hoard, or protect helpless little animals, things you were definitely interested in as a child. But nowadays video games have grown up a lot. In that way, I grew up with them. You get to think about serious world issues, like warfare and the apocalypse. Gaming is so real now.
GGVogue: Do you think that’s better or worse?
Asia: I don’t think it’s either courtesy of Nintendo; the carefree, comical games of my youth are here to stay. I think there’s a place for both. Sometimes I just want a break from the blood and gore and violence. It’s nice to occasionally go around in a highly imaginative world.
GGVogue: I totally agree, after Mass Effect 3 I found myself playing Tales of Graces F to balance myself out. Are there things in the video game industry you wish could change?
Asia: Oh, definitely! The biggest issue I have with the gaming industry today is virtually the same problem I have with most entertainment industries. Things seem to be trending in a negative direction as far as the relationship between gamers and the gaming companies. Sometimes it feels like it’s all about the money. Take for example the fact that EA and CAPCOM have toyed with the idea of locking people into licenses and single playthroughs. It’s just not gonna fly. I’m all for enforcing anti-piracy laws, but not when it punishes avid gamers who go out and support the industry.
Another thing I would love to see is more diversity as far as the stories and characters in the gaming world. We’ve seen a lot of sequels, and I would like to see them cover more ground. I’m really excited to look at the work of indie gamers today. But what I mean by diversity is seeing more ethnic and female characters.
GGVogue: I think the most important aspect of having that come to pass is to talk about it. As a new writer for GGVogue, how do you hope to get that across to game developers?
Asia: Well the diversity thing is pretty well taken care of. We’re gals, still underrepresented in the industry, and we all come from different backgrounds. So that’s a head start in itself. As far as the licensing issue… I suppose the best I can do is to keep my voice heard.
GGVogue: We know you’ll do a great job at that, because you’re already a great addition to the team! You’re very stern and proud about girl gamers being represented, but what other issues you also want to bring to the table?
Asia: I am proud to be a part of the group. As far as other issues, there’s the occasional backlash against female gamers. I have been fortunate not to have run too much into it myself, but it’s something that needs to be dealt with. We need to be more diligent about reporting users… blowing up their spot as it were. Other than that… I can’t really say I have many complaints about the industry. I’m excited to see where it’s headed for the next generation of consoles.
GGVogue: I know we’re in for a huge change from what we’re in now and looking back to our childhood it’ll be completely different! Going back to our previous question, what would you consider a personal experience that moved you from your past made you fonder of video games?
Asia: I think the artwork and stories had everything to do with increasing my fondness for video games. Gaming inspired me to draw and write more. I once submitted an artwork of Kirby to Nintendo Magazine. I never did it again, but it kept me inspired. Ocarina of Time was the big “wow” moment for me as far as game story. There’s nothing else quite like The Legend of Zelda.
GGVogue: Nope! I played that game for YEARS after I got it! It was just one of the most amazing and profound games I will ever play. Thank you so much for your time! Are there any last words you’d like to tell gamers out there?
Asia: Remember, you’re never too old or too feminine to play. Always keep your inner child well entertained. Gaming is for everyone!
GGVogue: Thank you so much for this interview Asia! Check out Asia’s article on GGVogue and Knickledger.com.