If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this piece I did for Gapers Block! The lovely and artistic Erin Robinson was a great interviewee. An excerpt to get you salivating:
How did you make the switch from wanting to become a psychology professor to being a video game developer?
I was working in a lab and at one point the professor who I was working under called me into his office and said, “It’s clear to me that there’s something else you’re rather be doing.” And I said, “Oh, I guess you’re right,” and I went home and worked on my game. That’s all I could talk about.
Originally when I started making games, I didn’t tell any one that I was designing games — I thought it was super geeky and a lot of my friends didn’t even know. Even the people I was drawing cartoons with — cartoons are fine, but video games?
Video games have been around for more than 50 years, and reality television for 30 years, so it is only natural that one day there would be a reality show about gamers. (Why it took so long for video games to become mainstream when cellphones became mainstream almost overnight, I don’t know.)
The only reality television show out there about gamers is WCG Ultimate Gamer, so being the gamer that I am, of course I would watch it. How could I not, when there is nothing else to watch on the internet?
My boyfriend refuses to watch it, calling it “WCG the biggest loser”. Harr di harr harr. His sentiments are tame compared to chat rooms and message boards. There is much hate for this show on the internet, and I am baffled by its existence. You’d think the nerds, freaks, and geeks would enjoy mainstream culture catering to them with a reality show.
I get a kick out of the show though, because I enjoy watching real people (or in this case competitive gamers) face challenges, come to self-realizations in front of cameras, deal with confrontation and stress, be drunk most of the time … and “be put to the ultimate test”. Here is a show about a group of people who think they are the best at my favorite form of entertainment (aww snap!). Watching this reality show is a no-brainer for me (WCG, and The Colony, baby).
WCG Ultimate Gamer is now in its second season, and as I write this, the 3rd episode aired days ago. I didn’t want to write about the show at first, because I tried out for it (you can read about that here), and became disillusioned when I was asked to perform only on an Xbox. I think some producers heard my complaints as this year, Tekken 6 (arcade style) and Mario Kart & Sports Resort for the Wii, were played this season. While the inclusion of other consoles perked me up, it also soured me since I absolutely own at those two games.
But enough exposition -