Continuing our coverage of women in gaming, fandom and the industry, I had a chance to talk with LaLuneVide from Real Women of Gaming. She shared with us her experiences, love of games, and a lot of positive thoughts about our shared fandom.
F&B: What is your Gamertag and does it bear any special meaning?
I have a few gamertags, actually. Mostly I use Stephalonius, since it was a name given to me by a professor, but I also use LaLuneVide, which in French translates to “the empty moon,” and sort of represents my loves for nighttime, and I think subconsciously harks back to the moon in The Mighty Boosh, because he’s one of my favorite things ever.
F&B: We are getting a lot of readers outside the U.S. If you don’t mind everyone knowing, what country do you hail from?
I hail from the US, currently Maryland, though I was born in Florida and have also lived in Ohio and, in smaller stints here and there, Oregon. I also lived abroad in France for a summer (that was the summer Diablo III came out, and I spent quite a bit of my Skype dates playing it, if I recall).
F&B: Gamer guild/clan affiliation?
I don’t really have any significant affiliations, since I never seem to stick to one group.
F&B: Console or PC? Reason for preference?
I’m a little bit of both, though leaning more towards PC. I love the feel of a controller, and I would never want to play a game like Monster Hunter on a PC, but PC offers so much more variety. However, I also really love hotkeys, so there’s that.
F&B: When did you start gaming?
My first system was a Sega Genesis when it first came out, and I played that like mad. Sonic and Clay Fighter were my jam. I also played quite a few computer games when I was a kid, like Timon and Pumbaa’s Jungle Games. Man, I loved that game.
F&B: What got you started in the world of gaming?
My parents would get my sister and I computer games when we were kids, a bunch of DOS ones, like King’s Quest and Dinosaur Safari. I had to have been about 4 or 5 when I first played one. I took to them so much that my parents eventually got the Sega, and then the rest is history.
F&B: What is your favorite game?
I really couldn’t give only one, and still it’s a hard choice to make. As a handful, I’d say Final Fantasy X, Ni no Kuni, Monster Hunter (MH 4 Freedom Unite, if I have to specify), Skyrim, and Read Dead Redemption. I realllly need another Red Dead in my life, ASAP.
F&B: Currently playing?
Umm, let’s see here: Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, Tales of Xillia 2, Monster Hunter 4 Freedom Unite (I have well over 100 hours into and still have so much G Rank to conquer), Xenoblade Chronicles, Skyrim Legendary Edition (I probably will never finish this game, I swear), and working my way through Dragon Age II so I can finally play Inquisition. Also, League of Legends for dayyyss. I have this problem where I play a million games at once; well, it’s probably not that big of a problem when I think about it, but it makes it difficult to finish a game, for sure.
F&B: Most anticipated future release?
Even if it’s barely a possibility at this point, The Last Guardian needs to come out NOW. I don’t care if they’ve only given vague hints on its production and probably won’t even give more details for a year…I just want it. Also, as I said, I need another Red Dead. I’m also excited for FFXV, and whenever a new Kingdom Hearts arrives, though I’ve become disillusioned after expecting the third one for like a decade.
F&B: Build your own or off-the-shelf PC? Any reason for preference?
I’d much prefer to build my own PC since I have quite a few things I’d like to tweak, but for now, I have an Asus laptop that has pretty good RAM and a good graphics card, so I’m content enough. All my games run well enough, but I hope to build a new comp soon.
F&B: Favorite game type?
RPGs for sure, and probably largely JRPGs, though really I don’t discriminate much 🙂
F&B: Favorite game character and what drew you to them?
I honestly couldn’t pick just one based on all the games I’ve played, but I really love Handsome Jack because he’s a hilarious, cheeky bastard with a stallion made out of diamonds, sooo, you know, he has a piece of my heart for sure. I also grew up having a crush on Auron from FFX, because who wouldn’t want a slice of that mancake? He was such a cool, collected badass.
F&B: Have you experienced any issues related to being a female gamer and can you share a memorable good or bad experience?
There’s always that stigma that you don’t know what you’re talking about when you’re a lady who likes gaming, and I have dealt with that quite a bit. I can’t recall a particular story, but several times playing an online game, guys have pretty much stalked and contacted me waaay too much after finding out I was a lady. However, it’s really funny when I’m playing League of Legends and a couple of the guys get to bickering with each other in all chat, and then I say “BOYS. Calm yourselves,” and then they get the hint a girl just called them out and they stop entirely. Works like a charm.
F&B: What advice would you give your ladies who are worried about sharing their love of gaming, or experiencing negativity because they have?
Quite honestly, fuck those people. Those people have zero control of your life, and the best thing you can do to stick it to them is ignore the critics and truly enjoy your geekdom. It always helps to surround yourself with positive friends who share the same interests. I wouldn’t be able to play League at all if it weren’t for my friends who play with me – it’s a game way too deeply affected by the scum of the community – but thanks to them, I really enjoy the game.
F&B: Finally, your profile over at RWoG mentions you are also an artist, cosplayer, and editor and we do cover cosplay and conventions. Has experiencing the geek culture through cosplay given you a different perspective on the community than the ‘anonymity’ of gaming?
Most definitely. The first time I cosplayed a League of Legends character (Vayne), I discovered how fun it can really be to talk to a wide variety of people from the community who enjoy the same games as I do. At the same time, when you cosplay a well-known character from a popular series or game, people will always call out you and others on rude assumptions like, “I bet she doesn’t even play that game,” or “you can’t do that character justice.” Luckily, I haven’t really dealt with that too much directed at me, but I have witnessed the rude comments firsthand, and it’s such a shame. I feel like cosplay suffers from the same dark side the gaming community does – people feeling entitled because they really enjoy a form of media, and so they tear others down to bring themselves up. It’s sad, and taking the anonymity away makes you really stop and think, “wow, these are real people sitting here passing judgment on everyone else,” which highlights how deep-rooted this unfounded hatred can be. However, there are always really supportive, great people you’ll meet at conventions, and that makes it all worth it.