“You can meet Kayla and read other interviews at AVID Gamers!”
Today, our admin The Well-Red Mage interviews our local storyteller-expert and special effects magician, The Green Screen Mage!
AVID Gamer Spotlight
Kayla Miller: Story Gamer
The Green Screen Mage
“The gaming world is diverse and Kayla is a testament to that,
with experiences in gaming that are dramatically different, say, from yours and certainly from my own. Yet, clearly, she understands gaming. The insight of a woman on video games provides our blog with a unique perspective. Originally a hobby of her father’s, she came to embrace gaming as her own, beginning with one of the best games ever made, as you shall see. Maybe you’ll learn something. I for one had never heard of Puppy Island 2…”
“So, let’s begin with some chit-chat: how long have you been a gamer?”
“Hm. I’ve been gaming since I was like six or seven, my dad had most of the systems. He had a lot of game systems. We started with the old NES and Duck Hunt, but I remember mostly the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64, because that’s when I really started playing.”
“What’s your earliest gaming memory?”
“My earliest gaming memory isn’t me gaming, but watching my dad game. He would play Final Fantasy VII and my brother, sister, and I would sit around and watch him for hours. Then we’d go outside and fly our ‘Highwind’ (treehouse) around and fight Shinra and Sephiroth.”
“Couldn’t ask for a better early memory than that.
While we’re on the subject of Final Fantasy, have you played FFVII again as an adult and what did you think makes it so popular?”
“I did play it myself a few years back. I’ll be honest, I’m not particularly skilled at turn based games and didn’t beat it. I did enjoy the memories that it brought back. I played Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus and really enjoyed both of those games. One of the original reasons FFVII became so popular was because of the 3D graphics, but people stay for the story and the characters and Chocobo racing.”
“And what drew you to gaming as a hobby rather than,
say, knitting doilies?”
“Because I tried knitting and it’s terribly hard. I prefer my crochet hook. I always loved stories growing up and with video games you can actually be a part of the story. Playing through and finding out how characters grow and how their story changes has always been my favorite part of gaming. That and sometimes you just need a good puzzle game to get your mind going or a good fighting game to get some stress out.”
Stories are some of the best things about games in my opinion.
While we’re at it, what are some of the best story games you’d recommend?
And puzzle and fighter games you’d recommend, too! Since you mentioned ’em.”
“Awesome, now everyone will know how terrible my taste in games are. Story wise I love games where the endings vary, such as Until Dawn, Undertale, and KOTOR 2. I love Halo’s story, just don’t ask me about 5. You’ll have to wait for my review. Elder Scrolls Oblivion and Skyrim are both great for main and side stories and a little bit puzzly. Legend of Zelda games fit in both as well. I am also really into Super Mario 3D World right now for my puzzle fix. Fighting wise, Soul Caliber or Smash Bros. are my jam.”
“Truth is out… so next question:
what really makes a game suck in your opinion?
Like what elements ruin a game for you?”
“The worst games for me tend to be ones whose stories just fall flat or where the controls are either difficult or just annoying. I can’t stand when a game gets built up or has a decent first have to just crash and burn. Also, I’m a decent gamer, but there are just some games where the urge to chuck the control happens too frequently.”
“Is there something about your gaming people would be surprised to know?”
“Most people tend to be surprised that I don’t like online multiplayer games. I enjoy the story of a game. So spending hours online just to earn points, trophies, levels or whatever is just not my thing. I’ll play multiplayer on Mario Kart or Halo, if my friends are with me, but I don’t care for online play.”
“As a female gamer,
do you ever feel sort of pandered to or ostracized under the consideration that video games are marketed to young males almost primarily?”
“It does get a little irritating be a female gamer. I love gaming and I love the stories, but so rarely do they focus on characters other than the males. If females are in games, they are often over-sexualized or are just a plot device for the male character. This has been improved in the recent years, but it’s still disappointing to see female characters get passed on in so many games. When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to play with the guys or I would get made fun of if I tired, but that hasn’t been much of a problem recently. Those problems still exist, but gamers are gamers and most know gender doesn’t play into it. Now if only the game developers would start paying attention.”
“And (two part question) do you have any favorite developers?
And what are some games that treat women a little more like human beings and not objects, which you appreciate?”
“I don’t really have specific developers that I favor. I do love Bethesda, Valve, 343 Industries, and Sega. But I don’t go out of my way to look for their games.”
“The Portal series does a good job of treating their lead as a human being. Sure, Chell doesn’t talk much, but she’s a badass puzzle solving master. Then you have the ‘female’ antagonist GLaDOS, who we can all agree is amazing, albeit a bit annoying if you’re not doing well. The Xenosaga games do it pretty well, but that third one just got really weird. The recent Tomb Raider series, Metroid, Final Fantasy, and Halo, though the last one could use a little more work, are great. There’s a lot more recent ones, but I’m broke and can’t afford those games yet. And of course, you can’t forget the Barbie series. Duh. Seriously though. Have you seen how many jobs Barbie has had? I wish I had her qualifications.”
“I know nothing of Barbie!”
“Last question: if you could give any final advice to the gaming world and gamers everywhere? You have the internet’s ear. And… go.”
“Yo, nerd. If there’s a game you like, play it. Is it Gears of War? Is it Puppy Island 2? Don’t care. Play it. Can’t afford it? Then maybe don’t play it. Save up your money or borrow it or something. Just enjoy what you play and play what you enjoy.”
“You just couldn’t resist. Thanks for your words of wisdom and insight, Kayla!
The world looks forward to more of your work.”
“Couldn’t resist being awesome? Yeah, cause I am.”
*looks for exit*
“Don’t be jelly, Moz.”
“This has nothing to do with jelly!”