Monday, October 22, 2012

Beyond The Controller - Retro Gamer Girls

Welcome back cats and kittens! I thought about trying this a long time ago and am now going through with it. Beyond the Controller is going to be a series of interviews with various writers/programmers/fans/youtubers/podcaster/collectors/etc to give everyone a little behind the scenes look at various personalities within the retro gaming community. I have a few of these lined up and it's a project I find exciting, so if you don't like it, eat dookie! And we're off....

Welcome to the first installment of "Beyond The Controller" and thanks for agreeing to be on here! I think a few refusals to my interviewing are due in part to the wonderfully colorful language I like to partake in through my writings but perhaps if those who refused see how subdued I am with these, they may loosen their buttholes and lighten up to where they'll come on. That being said, today we have Zoe and Wanda, collectively known as Retro Gamer Girls. They have a neat little Youtube show and I swear by the fingertips with which Miyamoto drew his first Mario with, if you try their show out, you'll be shocked by how awesome it is only 6 months in. So first question, what led to the creation of the show?

Z- It was Wanda actually. For me it was anyways. I have been carrying my NES games around with me for years but I had lost my old system. She got me one for my birthday. After playing them and then realizing how much fun it could be finding games I’ve never even played I loved the idea. 

W- It was really a combined effort. One day we were talking about it and thought: “hey, would could play games and have fun on camera!” I was crazy nervous because I had never been on camera before (at least not as an adult). Once we made it through the first episode I was like, yeah, I can do this!

So would I be correct in assuming you both have been good friends for a while now? You sure couldn't hate each other and pull this off.

Z- We have been together for 2 years now. We got along from the very beginning and it didn’t take much to see how good we were together with many things. 

W- Yeah, she’s alright ::giggles:: Are you kidding? I love doing the show with Zoe!

The music that kicks off the show is freakin' righteous! Where did you ladies get the track and is it available for download?

Z- I actually wrote that track specifically for the show. I used to be in a rock band and I still have my equipment. It comes in handy when you start other projects. I haven’t actually thought about putting the song up for sale or download. It’s an interesting idea. 

W- Zoe is an amazing musician! When she created the track and I listened to it for the first time I was immediately impressed! It randomly comes on my iTunes and I rock out every time.

I also saw the shout-out to your YouTube Channel ( by none other than Jay of The Game Chasers. Was this a chance meeting and he was cool enough to plug your work on the spot or had you had any correspondence?

Z- We actually have talked more with Billy than Jay. Though I have talked to him a few times when they did their live streams. They are really good guys. When everyone came to Vegas for the Classic Gaming Expo it was pretty much just meeting friends in person for the first time. 8 Bit Eric, NesComplex,  Gamester81 and many others. They have been really nice. I feel kind of bad because I was so in game finding mode I didn’t realize when some of the other youtubers came up. 

W- Jay is an awesome dude; very down to earth and friendly. But like Zoe said, everyone that we met at CGE was very cool.

Back along the lines of The Game Chasers, who else out there are you big fans of and don't miss any of their videos?

Z- I think there were three major influences that I refused to miss a show. One obviously was the Game Chasers. I discovered them after watching the Retro Hunters. I wish they hadn’t retired but I totally understand why they did. The third was Little Miss Gamer. I loved how not like the boys she was and how her reviews seriously reflected her personality as opposed to a character. 

W- I second what Zoe said! 

This one is for Zoe, with your game donations vid, I could feel your pain, as you seemed to initially be squeamish of the thought of doing "pick-up" videos. My site has reviews and nothing in-between whatsoever as I feel the same way and use Facebook for the "filler". My question is how long did you think about filming that one before you did it? Reason I ask is I recently moved and had to publish an "I'm moving" post but must've stared at my screen forever trying to decide on doing it or not. You?

Z-The donations vid was a really hard choice to do. I think the only reason I actually said ok to doing it was the sheer volume of stuff my friend had given me. I am really big on giving respect and credit where it is due. And when he gave it to me I was in awe. It may be the only one I ever do. Who knows. 

Did you both make goals for The Summer Challenge and will there be a follow-up video to it? I'm personally intrigued as to how far you got in Ghosts N' Goblins as that game has the power to make me go from feeling like a great, confident gamer to a monosyllabic, weak mess within an hour.

Z-sadly the summer challenge failed before it started for me. As you saw I had those three games lined up and two-mystery games (aka I hadn’t picked them yet) lol. With almost losing my home then my mom’s heart attack over the summer things got really busy. So sadly I never got to do the challenge. Though I can say I have beaten Bugs Bunny’s Birthday blowout. I really don’t think it’s as bad as people make it out to be. 

W- Wait, there was a summer challenge? ::grin::

So you are both Monster drinkers. What are your favorite flavors and your least favorites? My heart always steers towards the o.g. green can as my fav and the apple/vomit Heavy Metal as the shits.

Z- Actually that was the first time I have had one in ages. I try to avoid heavily caffeinated drinks. I have recently gone on a no dark soda cleansing. The monsters seem to be a necessary evil for the show. We film so late at night they help us keep going. I started drinking it back in the band days. They were a backer for the band and gave us the stuff free so I couldn’t argue. I prefer the light blue low carb ones. I did like the classic green ones but they give me the shakes. Not good. lol

W- As a Red Bull drinker, it wasn’t until I met Zoe that she recommended Monster. I had tried a few different varieties but love the blue one. Wait; does it even have a flavor name? I seriously have to pace myself because I can go from docile to Cornholio in just a few sips!

Have you had talks with some of the other prominent "gamer girls" out there such as Alana (Retrogamergirl) and Heidi (stopxwhispering) and if you have, how are your relations with them?

Z- I have spoken with Alana a few times on youtube. She is really nice. I like her videos on how to repair old games. I have never even thought about doing that kind of stuff so it was interesting to see. Heidi on the other hand I have not met yet. I am sure our paths will cross in time. 

W- I actually haven’t spoken to them yet. I should! Hey girls, if you are reading this, hit me up! 

How long on average from the time you hit record to the time editing is totally wrapped does it take to produce a Retro Gamer Girls video?

Z-It really depends. A basic episode will take maybe 2 or 3 days. The ones where we go to expos and cons clearly take much longer because there is a lot more footage to sift through and place in the show. Not to mention we have a lot more to actually discuss when we film.

W- Zoe is the film and editing brains. I am just there, taking up space! Haha. 

I'd like to applaud you ladies for not falling into what I call the "Let's Play Trap" where the wad is shot in the first video or two so to speak and the rest is two people causally playing games and barely saying anything useful for a hundred 10 minute long videos. It seems like you're staying creative and fun with it so that rules. Now then, what goes into the decision process on what game the focus of a video is? 

Z- It really depends on what is going on at the time. Obviously the first episode was in the heat of the Michael bay/TMNT fiasco. And the Dr. Mario was something fun while we discussed the events of the expo. I think my main intention is to keep it as entertaining as possible both from us and the games. Even if the games aren’t so popular. I think a lot of them get bad reps that they don’t deserve. And I would like to fix that if I could. Otherwise we just plan them out. We have a few upcoming we planned but most of the time it seems to just be what is happening at the time. 

W- I love that we are flexible with the game selection. As for keeping it creative and fun, it helps to throw in some humor and related topics. And sometimes we are totally random and that is definitely part of the fun. We are big on themes and enjoy interesting topics. Gotta keep it fresh!

Do you script anything or just hit record and roll with it? I'd be shocked if it were scripted because judging by the YouTube comments and my own opinion, the conversation flows so organically and smoothly that you're either the greatest actresses the world doesn't know yet or you're unscripted and having a genuinely good time playing. Which is it?

Z- nothing has been scripted as of yet. I would love to do some videos where there is some acting and such. But the reviews are just us sitting real time in front of the TV playing the game. We may have ideas of what we want to talk about but that’s it. 

W- Dude, nothing is scripted! I just get on camera and go for it. Sometimes I am funny (or so they tell me!). Zoe and I feed off of each other and we have a beautiful thing going! 

Any sage advice on those who see your vids and would like to give what you do a shot?

Z-I think the main thing is if you want to do shows like ours you need to stay away from characterizing yourself. Shows like the angry video game nerd and such are great. But if you aren’t careful you will accidentally fall into the realm of acting and being a character. Just be yourself and have fun with it. 

W- I agree! As someone with NO experience in making videos or ‘acting,’ I just jumped in and have given it my best shot. So I would say confidence. If you are confident and positive, your videos will follow suite! Plus it helps to team up with someone who knows all the technical stuff (like Zoe!). She really is the heart of the operation.

And there ya have it, a fun interview with two awesome people within our kooky little world. HUGE thank you to Retro Gamer Girls for taking part in the first, but far from last installment of Beyond The Controller! Make certain to check out their Youtube channel here Retrogamergirl's Youtube Channel and LIKE their Facebook page at RetroGamerGirls on Facebook.

Stay tuned as this week bring the beginning of the Capcom reviews and another entry by A.C. Sativa in the NPC series!

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