Hello everyone and welcome to another 22 Questions interview here on the TTL Blog. This week I interview Becky “Aktrez” Young. She is a woman of many sites, and contributes at a number of different gaming related media sites. Those include but are not limited to Girl Gaming Network [Blog Here], Video Games Live, Game Music Radio and the ECA. Man that must be a lot of fun to run around with Mr. Nintendo himself as well as everyone’s favorite COG. Well I don’t want to spoil the whole interview so let’s get right to it. Below are Becky’s responses. Enjoy!
- What is Your Gaming Alias:
My gamer tag is Aktrez (which stands for actress)
- What Age Did You Start Playing Video Games:
I was playing on my Atari 2600 when I was 4 years old. That ages me doesn’t it?! :p
- Who Would You Say is Responsible for Getting You Into Gaming:
My brother was responsible for getting me hooked. I would watch him getting so entrenched in his gaming experience that I wanted to be a part of it! I ended up with many a bruise on my arm from him shoving me away from his controller.
- First Game That Had You Hooked:
Over the years I have had a series of favorite games. The first passion of mine was actually for the Commodore 64. I would sneak into my brothers room, load up the 5” floppy, type in the load code (“Load ”*”,8.1” and then type “run.” ) and there it was!
- If You Were to Make a Documentary, What Would it Be About:
I would make a documentary about the social aspects of gaming. How different genders and races are treated differently in the community. How companies choose their marketing campaigns based on demographical information. How the community views Casual, Hardcore and Professional gamers.
- How Did You Get Involved With the Video Game Industry [and Writing About it]:
In 2003 I was playing a game called Dark Age of Camelot. I met a guy in game and we became friends. Flash forward 2 years later. I had left DAOC and was playing Star Wars Galaxies. An opportunity came up for a community manager asst. position. I asked my friend for a personal reference and he let me know that the company he worked for (the company that MADE DAOC) was looking for a Marketing Coordinator. I flew to VA, Interviewed for the job and a month later found myself working at Mythic Entertainment.
- What Sites Are You Currently Working With:
I am the Event Director for Video Games Live – currently touring the world. If you haven’t checked out the trailers for this event … make sure to stop by VideoGamesLive.com. If it is coming to your town be SURE to check it out! The main site I work on is my baby – The Girl Gaming Network. I also do some freelance work for The Entertainment Consumers Association.
- What is Your Favorite Part of Your Jobs:
Meeting people. I LOVE talking to others who share my passion. Whether we share it as a hobby or a career, it’s always amazing to see the level of love and energy that people put into their gaming.
- What is the Girl Gaming Network:
The Girl Gaming Network is a social community that allows it’s users to voice their thoughts via blogs, articles and forums. On top of it, the GGN will be a resource for women who want to get into the industry, for women looking to find others with like hobbies and for companies to discover a new demographic to work with when marketing their titles.
- What Are You Better at Than Anyone You Know:
I feel that I am very strong at marketing myself and my projects. I am also a great networker. I see so many in the industry who shrug off people that they feel aren’t “worthy” of their attention. I welcome everyone as a friend. That might come back and bite me in the ass later on but I will keep with it until it does! :)
- Closest You Have Come to Death:
On Sept. 11th, 2001 I had just exited the C train from under the World Trade Center. I was about a block away when the first plane hit. Because of the confusion and trying to assist others, I actually stayed in the area (between a 1 – 5 block radius) through the first collapse. By the end of the day, I had seen enough death to last a lifetime.
- Favorite Childhood Moment:
When I was 4 I won my first pageant. I know it sounds kind of vein and silly but it was a momentous occasion for me. It was my first time on stage and was the catalyst for me to start my acting/singing/dancing lessons. It really began the forming of who I am today.
- Last Gadget Purchased:
The last gadget that I received was my Samsung QB UMPC (ultra micro personal computer). This thing is really great!! It’s a tablet PC so I’m able to take it with me to events to take notes on and also to share web pages, files and movies on. It’s only about 7” wide and is probably the smallest and most efficient PC I have ever owned. I’m still getting adjusted to it but I will DEFINITELY be sporting it at all the upcoming events I attend. If you see me walking around an event stop me and let me show you this thing!
- Song You Are Currently Listening to:
I’m actually a HUGE musical theater buff. Recently, I’ve been shuffling between my Wicked cast recording and Avenue Q. Every now and again throwing in a little Fallout Boy (their newest album)
- Favorite Ending For a Game, Movie or Book:
Favorite Ending for a Game: Kingdom Hearts 1 (just because I got the hidden ending by completing it at 100%)
Movie: The Departed (I’m not going to give it away but …. it’s a must see!!)
Book: The Dragonlance Series (Made me want to go out and buy EVERY book in the series)
- Favorite Movie Quote:
“Life’s like a movie write your own ending. Keep believing keep pretending. We’ve done just what we’ve set out to do. Thanks to the lovers, the dreamers and YOU!” (The Muppet Movie)
- Favorite Arcade Addiction:
You know, I was still a little young during the arcade days. I missed out on a lot of that hype. I will say that I REALLY enjoyed the Adams Family pinball machine. I was actually really good at it as well!
- Game You Are Looking Forward to the Most:
Sorry, more than one this year!! I’m totally stoked for Spore, Assasins Creed, Lair and Heavenly Sword! There are a few more but these are the ones that get me the most tingly
- Game That Was the Biggest Let Down:
I really felt that Oblivion was ridiculously over-hyped. I began playing this game with the idea that it was going to be the most amazing, orgasmic experience ever. I was severely let down. While the graphics were pretty, I didn’t feel they were anything that I hadn’t already seen in the past. Playing years of MMO’s, I felt that Oblivion was just an offline “mmo” to some degree.
- Most Exciting Gaming Experience:
I think my most RECENT exciting gaming experience has occurred in Gears of War. I’ve never been good at shooters therefore, I never really have played them. I recently got into Gears of War and am finding I’m pretty damn handy with the chainsaw! There was an instance where I snuck up on one enemy and chainsawed him, turned around, and got the one behind me and then rolled for another one. It was so intense and exhilarating!
- Ideal Game That Has Not Yet Been Created:
Something with the unique gameplay of Prince of Persia/God of War/Tomb Raider. Beautiful story-lines and characters like Final Fantasy. The online appeal of the Xbox Live/MMO realm but also with a great single player. Also, something that appeals to multiple demographics.
- What Message Would You Send to Gamers Everywhere:
I have a few. First: Never believe everything you read on the internets. Get to know someone before judging them based on hearsay or based on something typed. Emotions are severely hard to convey in typed word. Be positive! Do unto others …. what goes around comes around …. positive attracts positive …. whatever it is you believe in – just remember that good energy will spread. Lastly, don’t let ANYONE or ANYTHING hold you back from living your dreams. It doesn’t matter how hard it feel to accomplish – NOTHING is impossible!
Great words of wisdom Becky. Also, that Gears of War experience does sound quite exciting. I seem to remember being at the receiving end of that chainsaw a few times when we played. Thanks so much for the interview and keep up all the great work you are doing. Readers, be sure to drop by the Girl Gaming Network and check it out. They update their blog with some awesome articles about current games and events. Also I would like to take note of the site she does freelance work for, The Entertainment Consumers Association. Here is an excerpt from their site:
Today, more than ever before, gamers need to stand together to defend against political activity that is threatening the creation and publishing of video games. On behalf of the gaming community, the ECA lobbies legislators directly as well as launching grassroots digital initiatives to preserve our rights as gamers.
I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s interview. Stay tuned next week for another great person. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you have at firstname.lastname@example.org.