Thursday, November 1, 2012
Raychul Moore is a games journalist, avid cosplayer, and true geek at heart. She has done work for sites like GamePro, EGM, GameZone, and Machinima and has cosplayed a ton of cool video game characters including a sexy female version of Kratos from God of War. I recently sat down with Raychul to talk about her work in the industry and what she thinks of the current state of games journalism.
How did you first get into the industry as a games journalist?
I was really lucky and got into it almost by accident. I have always been a gamer since I was old enough to hold a controller without drooling on it too much. But working in the game industry was never something I thought I could do. Back then, there really wasn’t “games press," you were either a developer or an animator. That’s it.
I was in college when EGM ran a little feature on me in their magazine being a chick gamer and all. Purely out of luck, GamePro saw the article and I started writing a few things here and there for them. After a bit, I was brought on to a new site GamePro was starting called GameGirl and after only a few months of writing for the site, GamePro made me Editor-in-Cheif of GameGirl and I started contributing to GamePro Magazine and website. I haven’t stopped writing about and talking about games as my career since.
Describe what a "normal" day of work is like for you.
I usually wake up around noon (I get my best work done after midnight, so I stay up way late!) and then I check all my social sites. After that, I usually get a video uploading to YouTube, pop in whatever game I am playing at the time and then after a few hours of that I usually take a break and edit another video.
Do you think being a girl made it easier or harder for you to become successful in the industry?
Easier at first, but definitely harder in the long run. It was easy to get noticed, but very hard (and still is) to be taken seriously. People are so quick to assume that I am either a promotional model or a paid on-camera host. What they don’t know is, I have never been paid to promote a game, I play all the games I talk about and I write all my own material.
Recently you've mentioned that the games industry is sort of like a little family. Can you comment on Rab Florence's article on Eurogamer where he criticizes the cozy relationship between journalists and PR? Do you think things are too comfortable?
I agree and I disagree. It helps being sort of like a family. We all know each other and each other’s work. We get together for events and we all work well together, for the most part. There isn’t a lot of drama or rivalry. But it’s the people who don’t know how to separate business and pleasure who take things for granted and start expecting people to treat them differently.
I hate when I see press people pressure their PR friends into special treatment, or PR people who pressure press into a favorable review. That kinda behavior is damaging to the industry. But if you can separate the two and know when is fun time and when is professional time, then I think having the industry working as one big, harmonious family is what makes this industry so awesome!
You recently did a 24 hour livestream for Extra-Life. What was it like playing video games for an entire day? At what point did it become no longer fun?
It never became no longer fun... the 24 hour live stream was 24 hours of insane fun! Even those few parts where I thought I was going to die of exhaustion, I still had a great time and plan on doing it again next year! I have stayed up 24 hours for a game before, we all have, but staying up with a live chat room makes it even more exciting.
Do you ever get a chance to just play games for fun rather than for work?
Oh yes, definitely! But the great thing is, all of the games I get to cover are games I am excited about naturally! A few slip through the cracks, like right now I am working on a game that had been in my backlog for quite a while which is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Such a great game, only wish it hadn’t taken me so long to get to it!
What is your current favorite game that you're playing right now?
Right not I am working on Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Assassin’s Creed 3, both are great games, but neither can top Dishonored which I just finished. Dishonored is simply amazing and is right up there with Borderlands 2 for my Game of the Year.
So you're also into cosplaying. What are some characters that you would like to cosplay in the future?
I got into cosplaying to kinda shut my friend up. :) HA! It was my first San Diego Comic-Con and one of my friends really wanted to do a cosplay group. Back then, cosplaying wasn’t cool. But she really wanted me in her group so I rolled my eyes and said fine. Who would've known, but I looooved it! I always loved dressing up in costumes before and would make up excuses for costume parties and costume photoshoots... so yeah, my love for cosplay was natural. Getting to dress up as some of my favorite characters from some of my favorite games, comics or movies is just so much fun! I love the creation, I love the concept, and I love the first time I see one of my costumes completed!
Some characters I am working on is Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2 and I would also really like to upgrade my Kratos costume.
What did you dress up as for Halloween?
I was Princess Buttercup from The Princess Bride, but with a twist. The twist being boobs. :) The dress from the movie is very very modest and I thought she needed a little extra something. ;)
Let's say you didn't work in the video game industry, what job do you think you would have?
I would probably be doing what I went to school for which was forensics and psychology. I wanted to be a profiler... but quit school to work in the game industry. I’ve never even come close to regretting that decision. :)
Where can fans follow you?
My Youtube: www.youtube.com/raychulmoore
Thursday, July 5, 2012
I recently spoke with video game and anime cosplayer Kasea Vp. She discusses what got her into cosplaying, what happens to her costumes afterwards, and what it takes to be a good cosplayer.
What got you interested in cosplaying to begin with?
Well, I was always a nerdy person, even as a child. I had a huge admiration for video games, comics, and drawing. I remember my sister and I would always love to dress up and make our own costumes and our parents completely supported us and our creativity.
As I grew older, I found a new passion for manga and anime, I wanted to recreate everything I ever loved in cosplay form. I started back in 2005 and I haven't looked back since. I pride myself on creating my own high quality cosplays; each time I make a new cosplay I learn something new and I love that. It's really become a passion of mine!
So do you make all your own costumes?
I do indeed! A lot of my stuff is hand sewn, believe it or not. I do have a sewing machine, but I'm just so used to sewing by hand. It's the way my dad taught me growing up, so it's like second nature to me.
Is Halloween your favorite holiday?
I do love Halloween but what's funny is that I don't dress up on that day though. It's like my day off. The rest of the world get to costume for the day and I'll take over for the other 364days. Hahaha.
What happens to an outfit after you are done wearing it?
All my cosplays go into HUGE wardrobe of other cosplays. I would never want to sell or give them away because each outfit is tailored to fit me and they mean so much to me. I put so much blood, sweat and tears into each one. They're like my kids or something!
What are a few of your favorite animes?
My top three favorite animes have to be Initial D, Sengoku Basara, and BECK-Mongolia Chop Squad. No doubt about it though, Initial D is my favorite hands down! I've watched the complete series over three times just this year and I never get tired of it. I think I love it because it's very much like my own life.
Are you much of a gamer?
I am a gamer! I wish I could play more often, but cosplaying and my real job do take up a lot of my time. My favorite Xbox 360 game wuold have to be Gears of War. I love my turrets!
What are some non-nerdy things that you like to do in your spare time?
Hahaha, in my spare time I love to be around my car. A six speed Mazda RX-8....that's my baby. I call her Hachi. I've developed a huge passion for cars and drifting so I like going to car meets and seeing other peoples' cars and what they've done to them. I can't wait until my hubby gets his RX-7 up and running so we can race! I also love to cook (I'm a grill master!), I love being outdoors (hiking, kayaking, rock climbing), traveling, and doing gymnastics(was a competitive gymnast for 12 years).
Is there a character you haven’t cosplayed yet but want to in the future?
Oh yeah, I wish I could cosplay Yuna's Floral Fallal Dress sphere from Final Fantasy X-2. Of course the outfit seems doable, but I gotta figure out a way to levitate! I would also love to make her Berserker dress sphere one day.
What was your most embarrassing moment ever cosplaying at a con?
It wasn't really MY embarrassing moment, but it was embarrassing for the other person. My photographer friend, husband, and I were all doing a photo shoot in a pool. This guy walks up out of nowhere, a complete stranger and he's like,"Hey can I take you out to dinner?! You're hot!" I responded, "Oh, well maybe you should ask my husband!" He looks at my husband and walks away in shame. It was so funny and random though.
Speaking of which, you recently cosplayed as Skarlet from Mortal Kombat at Anime Expo 2012. Weren’t you worried about a sudden breeze rolling in?
Yes, I love Skarlet! I love being true to the character, however, I'm not wearing just a thong under my loin cloth! I assure you the bottom I made is just like a string bikini bottom. So even if there was a breeze, it wouldn't be that bad.
Last question. Do you have any advice for someone who might be interested in cosplaying but doesn’t know how to start?
The best advice I can give anyone who is looking into cosplay is to just dive right on in! There is no guide on how to cosplay, just do what you love and what you are comfortable with. If you do need more advice or tips they have a ton of tutorials and forums online or on Youtube. You can always ask me too at Kasea VP Cosplay Fanpage (on Facebook) I'm always happy to help!:) Also, confidence is key! I find that so attractive in any cosplayer!
Link to my page:
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Meg Turney is a gaming and anime enthusiast who also loves cosplaying. She most recently cosplayed as a female Psycho from Borderlands at Comic-Con which she somehow made both sexy and scary at the same time. Meg recently sat down with me and talked about her tastes in video games and other nerdy stuff.
How did you first become interested in gaming and cosplaying?
Well, I’ve been interested in video games since I can remember. I have two older brothers who are total gamers, so I thought anything they did was cool and any time I got to take a turn getting my ass handed to me in Street Fighter was a glorious moment for little me. My parents worked a lot when we were young, so video games and TV were our babysitters.
With cosplaying, I was obviously a little older. I think I was 14 the first time I attended an anime convention (Ushicon 1!) and saw people in costumes. I was hooked immediately.
What was the first character you ever cosplayed and where was it?
The first character I ever attempted to cosplay was Sailor Heavy Metal Papillion at A-Kon 13, but it was pretty horrendous. My wings weren’t finished in time and I didn’t have a wig. The first cosplay I actually completed was Chun-Li and I wore that at Ushicon 2.
What type of video games are you into mostly?
I’m kind of all over the place when it comes to gaming, but there’s a big soft spot in my heart for SNES games. It’s the system I grew up with – even when newer consoles came out, I always found my way back to my SNES. Even now, I still get excited to break it out and play when I get a chance.
Are you more of an Xbox 360 or PS3 girl?
Xbox 360 all the way. I just find more of my friends are on XBL and it’s always served me well. Of course, I was totally spoiled in college because my mom has a PS3 and a Wii, so I never really had to choose. Now that I’m living on my own, I have to cling to my 360 for warmth and pretend I don’t miss having access to a PS3.
What are your thoughts on motion gaming like Kinect / PS Move. Fun or cheesy?
Both. I think the cheesiness is part of the fun. With games like Dance Central, of course the dancing is fun, but watching your friends and family make fools of themselves is really what gets me. I think the reason I haven’t given up on motion gaming is because I see how quickly young kids pick it up and although some of us older gamers think it has no place in our homes, those little kids are going to keep it alive.
What is your #1, all-time, most favorite game ever?
Hands down, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It’s one of the first games I ever beat by myself and I just love everything about it. I still bust it out every once in awhile and replay it. An honorable mention goes to Resident Evil 4, but I think I’m biased because I played it while I was recovering from a knee surgery and on pain meds, that game is crazy scary.
Considering you’ve cosplayed as Bulma from DBZ and Faye from Cowboy Bebop, I take it you’re also into anime. What are some of your favorites?
Well, Cowboy Bebop and Dragon Ball Z are definitely up there. Sailor Moon is absolutely my #1, but that’s because deep down, I’m still a 13 year-old girl who believes in fate and loves frilly, sappy love stories. They’re actually redoing the anime to bring it closer to the manga and I’m beyond excited.
Your website has a section on it for Nerdy Pillows. What’s that about?
Nerdy Pillows was originally something I just did for fun. I gave the pillows I made as gifts and after a lot of prodding, I finally made an etsy shop for them last year. I mostly do custom orders, but I have a few stock designs, as well.
Tell me something about yourself that nobody knows.
Hmmm… this isn’t something absolutely no one knows, but it’s not something I think I’ve told a lot of people so I think it still counts: My tattoo is upside down. I had wanted a pixelated less than 3 for well over a year by the time I actually went in to do it, and I’d actually been drawing it on my wrist for months to make sure I wouldn’t get sick of seeing it there.
Somehow, though, the design got flipped and in my excitement I didn’t notice until I was walking out of the tattoo parlor and the guy I was dating at the time said, “Didn’t you want it the other way?” I was stunned. It’s not like it doesn’t make a heart the way that it is, it’s just that it faces everyone else the way I wanted it to face me.
To see more of Meg's awesome cosplays, like her Facebook fan page, follow her on Twitter @MegTurney, or check out her official website www.megturney.com.