21st October, 2012 - Posted by Mashupman -
Gamerweblog.com is putting together a series of interviews with gaming ladies of all walks of life. In an effort to put the spotlight on what many still believe is a rarity, the girl who is an avid gamer. Today we highlight: April Ness, better known online as Viking_Lass.
Hi April, can you briefly explain what you do?
“I work for a lab as an animal care technician. I take care of the animals that are used for research, to help cure things such as cancer and to do medical research.”
Does that leave you a great deal of time to play games?
“I tend to be pretty tired when I get home from work, but honestly sometimes on the days I’m tired, one thing I look forward to is getting to go home; like a week ago I was obsessed with amnesia so I would get excited to head home and play it and be scared out of my pants.”
What are some of the games that you enjoy playing?
“I’m more of an old school gamer who just recently got back into things, so I’ve been exploring a lot with computer games because I’m a part of indielove.com, where I do the live casting and I do game reviews. And I need to play games to review them.”
“And people have been getting me involved in lots of fun things. I’ve been playing amnesia lately, and started playing Limbo today. That’s an excellent game. The art is incredible.”
“Honestly going from the gap of not playing to playing now is blowing my mind. It is incredible the imagination you get to see and the artwork and the audio, OMG a good set of headphones can just suck you into a game it’s awesome.”
And when you say you were a gamer before, what generation were you playing games in?
“I was playing in the generation when PlayStation came out, so back in about 1994. I was playing Rayman and I Loved playing WipeOut. Before that Super NES, you know I love me some Super Mario, got to play that Mario. Also played a lot of Toejam and Earl on Sega.”
I can see that being a big step. Coming from pretty much the first generation of modern video games into now four generation later.
“Yeah. I did have a PlayStation 2, so I dabbled in that a little bit. I had Kingdom Hearts, which I liked a lot and Dynasty Warriors. But back then things were just a little bit jaunty almost. Movements were pretty smooth but the difference in graphics in cut-scenes was miles away from the boxy and pixilated in-game graphics. And to see what it has become now is just incredible. I love that.”
Is there a genre that you’re attracted to?
“I’m a big fan of point & clicks, like Machinarium or Samaros. Those I can get lost in for a while. Otherwise, it’s hard to pinpoint now because the genres have blended and there are so many. I like first person adventures like Amnesia where you walk around and you have to click on things. I’m not going to lie, though; I like the shooter games. I want to find something to get into, but I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I do like a mix, though.”
“I think one of the games that sums up my favorite things perfectly would be Jak & Daxter 3. It’s got a decent story line, Daxter’s there with his silly snide remarks. It’s got guns, vehicles and puzzles and really cool artwork. And that’s one of the things that speaks to me on a personal level because I’m an artist myself and I get very inspired by the games that I play.”
Wait a minute, though. So you say you’re an artist, but earlier you said you worked in a lab and did game reviews. Where’s this artistry coming from?
[Laughs] “Well you asked me what I did for a living and that is working in a lab. That’s where my paychecks come from. But I’m an artist at heart and I’ve always been one. And soon I’m going to start selling my work through my personal store at Etsy. It’s a little empty right now, but I will be putting more on there as soon as I can. I mostly do black & white drawings. I’m getting into using oil pastels and cray-pas and I tend to draw things that are quite abstract and a little otherworldly sometimes. It’s like an escape for me.”
But you mean actual painting and drawing and not digitally on the computer?
“No, No digital. It’s all with my hands and paper. I like physical art better than digital art at the moment. I’m a little hesitant about digital art. But I’ve been learning little bits and pieces and I’ve been seeing what you could do with a tablet and it’s pretty amazing. But unfortunately the tablet I would like is like two grand and I simply cannot afford that right now.”
“But I will be taking photos of some of my color shots. And I’ll be making posters of them and selling those soon. Oh and I use lasers to take some of my designs and etch them into wood. And those I’ve already been selling.”
Very cool and where is this Etsy store of yours?
“The Etsy store is http://www.etsy.com/shop/SpireArt It has some of my stuff on there, but very soon I’m going to have more things on there.”
Anything you’re looking forward to playing?
“Well Amnesia 2 is coming out, so I might just play that. I really liked the first one even when it scared the pants off me. It’s really fun to play that on Twitch, because everybody will help you out and they’ll troll you by trying to make you think something’s behind you. I’d like to see another Slender game. Another one that scares the bejeezus out of me a lot while I play.”
“My life is pretty full of games that I want to play and that I should be playing. I’ve been trying to make more time but it’s not always easy to find that time. I don’t understand how people do it while they have families. I barely have time as it is, and I already cut into my sleep to play. Which is fine by me, because I’d rather be playing to be honest with you. That’s why they invented caffeine, to counteract that side effect of life.”
Do you have a favorite platform that you play games on? You mentioned that you have a Mac to play on,, right now. Is that the only thing that you play games on?
“I have a Wii right now. And that’s fun. I just got Rayman Origins, and I’d like to play it some more so that I know what to say about it. But that game is fun, especially when playing together with other people. I’m still a big fan of the old school Super NES and the PlayStation. Love those old games.”
To conclude the article, I’d like to use this set of ten questions that I have prepared to include in every interview. For this I have taken inspiration from Bernard Pigott and James Lipton (Inside The Actor’s Studio).
Here they are, the Trivial Ten!
1. What is your favorite word?
“Ooh that’s a good one. There’s so many that are fun to say. Sacajawea is one. Another one that I just like to say because it’s fun is Kinderkamack. Hullabaloo is also a funny one.”
2. What is your least favorite word?
“I don’t know if I can say this. But I really hate the word titties. Call them boobs. Call them breasts. Call them chesticles or even Funbags. I just hate the word tits. It sounds gross.”
3. What draws you into a game?
“Story and artwork.”
4. What turns you off of a game?
“When you can’t connect to what’s happening on the screen.”
5. What game mechanic do you love?
“The way your character moves. The movement of your character. It seems like such a subtle thing. It can be choppy. It can be smooth and flowing. I love it when you have a smooth movement of the character you’re controlling. I was an athlete when I was younger and being able to feel that agility is something that I relate to from the sports that I used to play. I like that.”
6. What game mechanic do you hate?
“Probably when I cannot connect with the story. And when it’s very text-based and involves lots of reading. Because, honestly, I read books. If you want to have a story that’s based around text, just write a book. To me video games are about the visuals, the audio and the interaction. Too much text and I will just go ADD and stop paying attention to it.”
7. What is your favorite curse word?
“Oh man, I usually come up with my best ones when I’m driving. I’d have to say that the way I say the words and not necessarily the words that I say is my favorite.”
8. What game that you’ve not played would you like to pick up?
“Well there’s several of those. This will be a little old school, but I miss playing Dynasty Warriors. I really do. And I don’t care what people say about it. Some days you just need to come home and slap on your character and murder fifty people in three swipes and dear god you just feel so much better.”
9. What games do you steer clear from?
“Sports! Eew, no football for me.”
10. If you were to design a game, what would be the name of the main character?
“That’s a great question and I’ve contemplated that many times. Mainly because some people have contacted me about using my art in their game. They’ve been the one’s designing the story though. It would have to depend on the storyline and what’s going on in the game. For my own games I’ve been using Aness, because my first name is April and my last name is Ness, so Aness. If it were a funny game I’d probably name my character blanket, because it’s so random. For a serious game I’d pick something that resembles the names in Game of Thrones. So it sounds modern, but it’s not. It’s just a little off, but it’s still very relatable. As a kid I would use Kalota, I have no idea why I used to do that.”
I would like to take this moment that thank you for answers. And would like to leave you some space for any final comments you may have for the readers. Is there anything in particular you want to share?
“No matter what anyone says about your love of games, if it’s anything negative, it’s not worth listening to. I have had people turn me off of gaming and i’m never going to let that happen again. You just keep playing and drinking soda and pressing buttons.”
“If people want to get in touch with me I’m on twitter.com/viking_lass or twitch.tv/viking_lass is where I stream. And on indielove.com I’m a live caster there. I will stream every Monday at 7pm EST, the url is twitch.tv/indielove. And you can help me not die when I’m playing. Because I have a tendency to get myself killed when I’m streaming.”