If you have been following my blogs with any level of frequency, you should know how random I am. Generally I pull from something in my childhood that loosely ties in to what I am about to blog about today. Well, as I had this song rolling around in my head, I stumbled across a post on Google +, sent to me by a new friend about notable gamers that she suggested I should follow. Naturally I already had most of the list on my friends list, as I have been talking to them whenever I get the opportunity to... Thank you social networking sites. It suddenly dawned on me that with all these gaming conventions going on, and every article, blog, comment, or random musing either panning or praising the various games and their creators, NO ONE really ever talks about US, the people who actually PLAY these games, or devote our time to talk or write about these games! That, dear reader, is where I come in. If nothing else, I would like to present to you some of the people in MY "neighborhood", whom I have grown to admire, not only as real persons, but competent gamers, and people who should be looked up to in the gaming community (especially the MMORPG gaming community). Some of these I may even go so far as to say, I have a schoolboy crush on. Without further ado, I present to you the people in my neighborhood... In no particular order:
Jasmine "IRLJasmine" Hruschak-
I put Jas first because when I first thought of this blog idea, I bounced the idea off her, and she agreed that it would be a cool thing to do. Jasmine is the definitive "ginger" gamer. I have told her she reminds me of Lucille Ball reincarnated, in her facial expressions, her mannerisms, and her decidedly pointed humor... which at times borders on slapstick. Jasmine spends a lot of time gaming in such titles as Rift, LOL, WoW, and many others; and when not gaming she can usually be seen on gamebreaker.tv, on the show "The Sanctum". What makes Jasmine so special, aside from her amazing eyes, is her extremely personable character. She thoroughly enjoys talking to fellow gamers on and off camera, and every Sunday on justin.tv has dedicated an hour of her time (often an hour and a half plus) to simply answering questions from her adoring fans, who have now dubbed ourselves "Jasminions". (My idea by the way) From my understanding she is also a keen shot with the bow and arrow in real life. You can follow her on twitter at @irljasmine (I know that did sound a bit redundant), or you can go to her website and "watch her make words at you" here. It's no secret, I am totally enamored with Miss Hruschak. Watch her once, and you may very well be too.
Gary "V-Neck" Gannon-
Gary is rapidly becoming a superstar, simply for being the mastermind behind gamebreaker.tv. With a solid background in broadcasting, and his very own entry on iMDB, Gary has made it his singular mission to keep the gaming community up to date on all the happenings in the game worlds. Having been a veteran of many games including WoW, Rift, SWG, et al, his unique perspective on the varied games we play- whether console or PC, puts him in the envious position of being a "go to guy" on matters of gaming. In the shows he hosts, he tries to maintain a neutral perspective, though he will generally call things as he sees them- a trait which often endears him to fans and the casual viewer alike. You can be sure if there is something on the internet about XYZ game, Gary is going to talk about it at some point, and will invite many guests and cohosts (such as Jasmine above) to be a counterpoint on his shows. The shows themselves have become a weekly ritual, as the selection grows, and the fandom spreads. You can find them all here, on http://www.gamebreaker.tv/ . If he says the acronym SWG on any show, you have to drink, and always ask him to wear a v neck shirt. He's also on twitter at @garygannon.
Hillary "Pokket" Nicole-
Hillary Nicole, or "Pokket" as she prefers, has quickly made a name for herself as being the most congenial video game guide maker for the MMORPG- Rift. A relatively recent addition to the gamebreaker.tv crew, her definitive turquoise hair has graced the internet screen many times, and her lilting voice has managed to entrance her fans, dubbed "Pokketeers" (Not my idea). Hillary has been playing games almost as long as she can remember, and from the old school games such as Ultima Online, to her favorites, Rift and LOL (League Of Legends), she has become a force to be reckoned with in pixels. It is no doubt that Pokket stands out anywhere, but she often does not have to even do anything to be noticed, let alone be respected in the gaming community. She is well loved by many, and oft desired by even more. Pokket is on twitter @Pokketsays, or of course on gamebreaker.tv, and on Youtube here.
Mike B "aka Fony"-
A gifted musician in his own right, as well as a photographer, Mike B has also gained internet fame as being not only member of the gamebreaker.tv crew, but also hosting his own internet tv show called The BFF Report, where he gives insightful, if not swiftly delivered information on the game chosen as the show's topic. Affectionately known as "Chinhawk" by fans and friends alike, Mike B is as real as the day. He generally tells it like it is, and is not afraid to disagree if he thinks something is sub par. A regular wearer of the tinfoil hat, Mike's presence on any show is to bring it down to earth somewhat, and deal in the facts of what a game is and represents to the community. If you want a straight answer on any game he has played (and he has played a LOT), you have only to follow him on twitter here- @akamikeb. Mike also moonlights as the WoW character Darnell, who is a hillarious character that often gets himself into strange situations.
Fjola "Mintchiplol" Chem-
Who cannot help but love the quirky, random, and apparently ditsy Mintchip! (Don't worry, the ditsy is just an act) Is she good, or is she SO good, as she likes to say, Mintchip has gained notoriety for being a vocal part of the vast world of Eve Online. Often times gaining as many detractors as followers, her charm is still undeniable. They say even bad press is good press, and Fjola takes it in stride, shrugging off her naysayers with the grace and charm of a Southern Belle who "just doesn't give a damn". Don't let her fool you though, this highly intelligent woman, and avid gamer is well informed on the subject of gaming, and is not afraid to cap your virtual ass if need be. Recently also featured on gamebreaker.tv (notice a trend here?), Mintchip is fast becoming one of those faces you love to watch, just to see what the hell she is going to do next. Her Youtube is here, and you can find her on twitter at @mintchiplol. Be sure to give this video game nymph a looksee.
Josh "Lore" Allen-
Another of the vaunted gamebreaker.tv crew, Lore, or Devolore is well known, not only for his vast knowledge on games- in particular WoW, but for his trademark "fro" hairdo. Ok so it's not really an afro, since he is not black, but I can tell you with all certainty that the brothers respect him for keeping it real. Lore is often picked on for his lovely "herpderp faces" whenever his screen freezes, and has been a victim of the "jeopardy tune"; a gift bestowed by Gary Gannon on those cohosts who ramble on and on. If you are going raiding however, you do not want anyone else by your side, as he has become one of the kings of raid group organization and implementation. He can be found on gamebreaker.tv as cohost for both Legendary (about WoW), and The Sanctum (about Rift), or you can follow him on twitter here: @devolore.
If the game Guild Wars could have an official spokesperson, it would be Rubi. Her knowledge of the game is extensive, and you had better believe she has followed the progress of Guild Wars 2 since it was first announced. A working mother, who splits her time between her family, her games, and her job writing and editing for the popular internet mag- Massively, Rubi has one of the most down to earth attitudes, and a personality that is so relaxing that it almost lulls you. Her bubbly enthusiasm has made her a household name in the Guild Wars community, and lately the gaming community at large, and make no bones that there is already a huge following who would like to see her on gamebreaker.tv as a regular cohost of a Guild Wars 2 show. Pretty much, all we are waiting for is Gary Gannon's decision on when to do it. Followers of Rubi will love her insight on life and gaming on twitter at @Rubi_ . You can also hear her on Guildcast, as well as see her on occasional episodes of TWIMMO (This Week in MMO) on gamebreaker.tv.
Larry "Shaddoe" Everett-
Larry is a regular cohost on the gamebreaker.tv show- The Republic, which is all about the upcoming Star Wars- The Old Republic. Often known as "Mr. Star Wars", Larry is easily recognized as one of the biggest Star Wars fans out there (well, aside from myself anyway). When not appearing on gamebreaker.tv, you can also read his articles on Massively. Another down to earth person, Larry has had many years in SWG (Star Wars Galaxies, by the way), and is definitely looking forward to playing SWTOR. Unlike Gary Gannon, who plans on tormenting his companion NPC characters, Larry is there for the story, and will likely be smuggling his way from one end of the outer rim worlds to the galactic core. The big question is... can he make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs? Larry can be followed on twitter at @Shaddoe.
They say sex sells. If this is indeed true, no one exudes it more so than Nixie. A self professed gamer geek, and lover of all things Linux, San Francisco based Nixie is more widely known for her photos of herself, than her great prowess in gaming. I am pretty sure it is safe to say that she represents a lot of gamer nerds' "fantasy girl". From her red hair, to her decidedly "come to bed" eyes, everyone loves Nixie. She cannot post anything anywhere without at least a hundred men mobbing her posts... and some women. Far from being the unapproachable super model however, Nixie is a real person, with real emotions, and a sharp mind. If you are going to speak to her, always do so with respect, even though we both know you are looking at her chest... Don't worry, she knows it too. You can see the fabulous Nixie Pixel here on YouTube, or on her own website, here, and if you are brave enough... follow her on twitter at @NixiePixel. Talk nerdy to her, and she may actually talk back!
Izari "Izziebot" Aljen-
Quite possibly the most personable New Yorker you will ever meet, Izzie is the creative genius behind the online blog I write and edit for- TalkTyria. This beautiful lady lives and breathes journalism, working "her day job" for a notable magazine company in the Big Apple, and spending a good chunk of her time editing and contributing to her baby- talktyria.net. She is, like everyone else on this list, a die hard gamer, who is also waiting (not so) patiently for Guild Wars 2, while racking up a ton of time in the original Guild Wars. One of the chosen few who has gotten to see the inner workings of ArenaNet's Bellevue, WA studios, (along with Rubi and Elisabeth), Izzie has even been featured on ArenaNet's very own fanday video. Andy Warhol always said everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame, and it is my hope Izzie gets more than that. Follow her on twitter at @izziebot.
Elisabeth "Elixabeth" Claire-
Elisabeth is the counterpoint to Izari. Both are the powerhouse behind TalkTyria.net, and both are well educated writers and editors. Where Izzie is often the face of TalkTyria, Elisabeth is often the HEART. Her articles are always well informed, not to mention well punctuated, and her personality is very easygoing and engaging. Another long time Guild Wars afficionado, Elisabeth is also one of the few and the proud who got to go to ArenaNet's studios, and she came back with a wealth of information that us fans of the Guild Wars franchise have gobbled up and happily asked for seconds. This unassuming lady has more heart than most folks I know, gamers or otherwise, and you would be wise to follow her on twitter at @elixabethclaire. Tell her Belenos sent you!
Last but most certainly not least...
Jewel "Laughter" Daab-
Jewel is an old hand at gaming, having been all over Azeroth, and Telara (which, by the way... it ain't Azeroth). Laughter was a staple when Rift was in beta, and now that it has been released she has made a name for herself as being one of the friendliest people you will ever find on any shard... The only problem is, figuring out which shard she is on THIS week. I often call Jewel the Rift gypsy, as she carries on her quest to find the server with the best community, but rest assured she is an asset to ANY guild she ends up in, and you will not regret talking to her. She is also cute as a button, but don't tell her I told you that. As a mother, she understands how to interact with folks in a manner that leaves them feeling good about themselves, and her... and you cannot help but go awwww at some of the pictures she posts. She has her own website and blog here, and is going to be very active when SWTOR comes out, already endearing herself to the Cantina podcast folks.You can always find her on twitter at @_Laughter.
So there you have it folks, some of the key gamers that I have come to know, admire, love, and respect. Be sure to follow them all, and while you're at it... You can find ME on twitter too at @belgeode! While I do not plan on doing any tv shows anytime soon, I DO plan on being more involved in the gaming community at large as time goes on... As long as I can fit it in between work and band practice / gigs. You can hear my band here, by the way.