Gamer Profile: Carrie Swidecki

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There was something cute about those twin dragons Bub and Bob that hooked me into the game. Plus I loved the simplicity of the graphics and the background music. This was the 1st game that I became obsess with getting both a high score and trying to complete the game. I would blow bubbles against the wall in between moving up levels and killing enemies to get max points. I would restart the game if I missed any bonus food items on a level to max my score. Bubble Bobble is also the 1st game that I stayed up all night long, so I could make it to the 100th level to complete the game. It is the only game that I have fully completed on Nintendo and I was 10 years old!! I like to say it’s the game that made me a hardcore gamer!! ~Carrie Swidecki

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Favorite Classic Game: Bubble Bobble

Current working on: In training for The Summer of 2014 World Record attempt:

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My Gaming History:

It’s no wonder I had an instant connection with exergaming, because I’ve been a gamer my whole life. I started gaming when I was 5 years old with Atari 2600, Nintendo, and Tetris on the original Gameboy! My mom put a couch in my brother’s room, because every day the neighborhood kids would come over to challenge me. Every weekend my mom took us to Toys R Us to walk the Nintendo aisle. There was something magical walking down the large aisles, seeing all the graphics on the cover of the Nintendo boxes, and pulling the ticket to get the game at the counter.

As a result I’m currently trying to collect all the Nintendo games in mint condition boxes as well as Atari games. I still have all my Atari and Nintendo games from my childhood! On the weekends I grew up playing Canasta, Dominos, and board games with my family. Every Sunday morning I played pinball at the bowling alley when it was league time. My favorite pinball machine is Swamp Thing! On Sunday’s my family always went to pizza. When I was a kid all the pizza places had huge arcades. I couldn’t eat my slice of pizza fast enough to play my favorite classic arcade games!

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I quit gaming for 6 years to focus on college. At 23 years old and obese, I came home to gaming. The arcade holds a special place in my heart.  It is where I rediscovered myself. Little did I know the 1st 10 steps I took on Dance Dance Revolution would change my life. This is where my exergaming story begins!

My story:

Everyday I’m waiting for someone to wake me up from this dream. 13 years ago I was 210 pounds, plus size 18-20, and living my life in the past until I discovered exergaming! Within 6 years from graduating from high school I gained 90 pounds. I went from being a 125 pound athlete to being obese.

carrie Swidecki at 210 pounds

While chasing a dream I lost 75 pounds, went down 10 sizes, became an advocate to fight childhood obesity, and set 5 World Records! Every gamer dreams of being in the Guinness Book of World Records Gamer’s Edition and on January 3, 2014 my dream came true. Guinness featured me as 1 out 4 gamers in their 2014 Gamer’s Edition after Just Dancing over 49 hours to fight childhood obesity. It’s an honor and the greatest moment in my life to represent the healthy side of gaming after surviving obesity.

On June 15-17, 2013 at Otto’s Video Games and More in Bakersfield, CA I set two Guinness World Records at the same time by Just Dancing 49 hours 3 minutes 22 seconds for both the Longest Marathon on a Motion-Sensing Dance Game and the Longest Marathon on a Dance/Rhythm Game.  I made history by becoming the only person in the world to hold a world record for marathon play on all three major dance games: Just Dance, Dance Central, and Dance Dance Revolution as well as the 1st female to set them. All to bring awareness to using exergaming in the schools to right childhood obesity. 

Carrie’s Gamer Profile

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 CarrieSwidecki.com

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Gamer Profile: Jay Mohr

I loved Donkey Kong Jr. and spent so many rolls of quarters on it. There was also Dig Dug at my local Ihop and I wore that out too. I wasn’t particularly good at Dig Dug but I loved digging and digging and planning on how the rocks would fall and blowing dudes up with my air pump. Donkey Kong Jr. I loved because it had it all for the time. great graphics. Jumping, swinging, timing and a mission to save someone. ~Jay Mohr

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Favorite Classic Games: Donkey Kong Jr. and Dig Dug

Leisure Suit Larry Box Office Bust Jay Mohr Trailer

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Jay Mohr at Blizzcon 2010

 

Make sure to check out Mr. Mohr’s website at: http://www.jaymohr.com/

And follow him on Twitter @jaymohr37

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Gamer Profile: Cambria Edwards

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I didn’t have gaming consoles growing up, but my cousins did and I was over there all the time. Donkey Kong was one of the first games I ever played and I fell in love. Whenever a new console came out, of course my cousins had it and monopolized it. So I would go in the other room and play my Donkey Kong on the Nintendo. Even in the early 2000’s I would always ask to play until they finally got rid of their system. I was a bit heartbroken and it still remains one of my favorite games to this day. ~Cambria Edwards

Cambria Edwards

Favorite Classic Video Game: So I don’t know if this counts, but my favorite is Nintendo’s, Donkey Kong.

 The Tomb Raider Project:

Tell us about working on the Tomb Raider Project: It was brilliant! Being able to play the most iconic female video game character, having all of her gear and rolling around in the mud (there was a LOT of dirt involved, half of which doesn’t even register on camera). I got to wield my pickax, hang from trees, and I even build a fire for one of the shots. I do archery, so luckily that came in handy as well. In July I went to Comic Con as Lara and it was fantastic.  A lot of people recognized me from the videos and even more were astounded with the costume. It meant a lot to see so many people as passionate about the character and game as I am.

See more of her Tomb Raider work here.

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Gamer Profile: Ashly Burch

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I really like games that are deceptively complex and that don’t hold your hand at all. One of my favorite modern games is Spelunky, as a point of reference. Harvest Moon is actually incredibly nuanced and difficult (I failed miserably the first time I played it), but — potentially unlike Spelunky — it’s an absolute joy to play no matter how well or poorly you’re doing. It does an awesome job of creating a simplistic but deep world that feels real and is filled with secrets and possibilities that aren’t apparent on the surface. Also, I think competing in festivals and courting a potential wife is empirically fun no matter who you are. ~Ashly Burch

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My favorite classic game: Harvest Moon 64

Boarderlands 2: Tiny Tina

On playing Tiny Tina in Boarderlands 2: As you might imagine, Tiny Tina is an incredibly fun character to play. I got the role because my brother — Anthony Burch — was brought on as the lead writer at Gearbox software and had me participate in a blind audition process. The team ended up picking me (hooray!) and the rest is history. Tina’s a really interesting character to play because, throughout the course of the main game and the DLCs, we’ve uncovered some pretty dark and sad aspects to her personality. Her insanity and energy is born out of trauma. She uses really elaborate coping mechanisms to deal with grief. But none of this detracts from how fun and absurd she is. I’ve got to explore a much broader emotional range than I anticipated with Tina. It’s been a really fun experience.

Ashly Burch Film Reel

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Gamer Profile: Johnathan “Fatal1ty”Wendel

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The game was the most brutal head to head skilled game. ~Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel

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Favorite Classic Game: Mortal Kombat

The Interview

Tell us about your early days of gaming. What was your first video game experience?

First video game experience was playing games like Microsoft Flight Simulator on PC and some Ikari Warriors on the Nintendo.  I did mess around with Atari, but I never owned one.  Mostly played it when I went to friends’ houses, etc.

At what point did you realize you had the talent and want to become a professional gamer?

I guess when I was 18. One of my good friends, Eric Paik, who was a pro gamer and traveled a lot, told me I was very talented and should definitely go to a tournament.  You will win money for sure!  So I saved up about $500 and went off to Dallas, TX and won a qualifier and took 3rd at my very first pro tournament winning $4,550.

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So your first professional match was playing Quake 3, what was it like your first time playing competitively? 

Exhilarating!  I was amp’ed every second and wanted to play to my full potential.  It was a do or die experience for my gaming career as I was putting all my money on the line.

Tell us about how you train and prepare for tournaments?

Play about 8 hours a day in the virtual world working on my movement, timing, strategies, fighting skills and hearing the sounds of the game.  I want to be so knowledgeable about the game that if I hear a pin drop or an item picked up from anywhere on the map, I know exactly where my opponent is at all times and where he could be in the next 5 seconds.  Predicting your opponent’s moves is very important.

Personally, what differences do you notice between playing in a tournament solo versus with your team?

I’ve done both extremely heavily but I feel, in a solo environment, you can only blame yourself if you lose.  When you win, you know you won and when you lose, you know you lost.  I enjoy it the best, when the game is in my hands to win or lose.

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Tell us about a day in the life when you were actively entering tournaments?

My routine was to play 4 hours, go run 2-3 miles, have lunch, play another 2 hours, relax and play another 2 hours before 4 AM so I could wake up and repeat it the next day.

Many people still don’t understand professional gamers, are there any myths or stereotypes you would want to address?

Most professional gamers are actually in shape and have a pretty good social life in their virtual and real life.  We mostly come from some other competitive sports that we played forever as kids and we’re able to use our skills of hand eye coordination and out thinking our opponents just like we do in our traditional sports.

Which game did you like competing in the most?

PainkilleR was a great game to play because we had a full season where we traveled for almost 18 months, continuously playing all over the world and winning loads of money.  It was also the biggest payday of my career in competitive gaming, taking home $150,000 for the World Tour Finals in NYC.

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Do you still have people trying to challenge you to this day?

Yes, I actually go on tour promoting my products to distributors and buyers in different regions of the world, and I do exhibition/show matches for the crowd/press at these events.

What made you want to start Fatal1ty Inc?

I wanted to create a brand that a gamer who lived in the battlefield understood what competitive gamers wanted and needed in order to experience their game at the highest level.  When people shop at the store or online, I want them to know that when they buy a Fatal1ty product, they’re buying a Gaming product.

Thanks for the interview and game on,

-Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel

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Gamer Profile: Jace Hall

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Kaboom is my favorite because it is literally the personification of the adage, “Easy to learn, difficult to master.” Plus, no one can beat me at it. 🙂 ~Jace Hall

 Jace Hall

Favorite Classic Game: KABOOM

 The Jace Hall Show: Season 5: Felicia Day Returns & I Play WoW Redux

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The Interview

Obsolete Gamer: The concept for the Jace Hall show came from the intertwining of Hollywood and the video game culture, but could you tell us a bit more about the reason you decided to do this show?

Jace Hall: I spent 15 years creating and developing video games. I grew up playing video games. I still play video games to this day. Since I truly am from the “video game culture” it has always bothered me that the “mainstream” media culture tends to depict the video game industry in somewhat superficial and negative ways.

The truth is that people who either play or make games are just like everyone else! There is a wide range of people who are gamers, and most of them don’t look like the way Hollywood depicts them.

So I thought, here I am leaving the active game development industry to attempt to make movies and television shows in traditional Hollywood, while at the same time continuing to play games and hang out with my game industry friends… I was experiencing a unique culture clash between two industries and I thought it might be interesting to capture some of the moments with a video camera. And so The Jace Hall Show was born!

To me, the culture of video games is all about lifestyle and attitude. Its not about any one particular game. It’s more about the shared experience of gaming and people bonding and communicating through that common experience.

For instance, the desire to throw a video game controller is a common experience for any game player. We all know this, and this tiny little fact becomes part of the greater tapestry of gamer culture. It is literally thousands of these kinds of unique understandings that combine to support the lifestyle and attitude that I call “GamerLife.”

Traditional Hollywood does not have the same reference points. Hollywood culture is fundamentally different, and a lot of it can sometime be rooted in fear and image control. This results in a cult of personality type of lifestyle and attitude.

It’s been fascinating and a great learning experience to be able to watch these two different cultures interact, and The Jace Hall Show attempts to show a tiny window into this new frontier.

The Jace Hall Show

Obsolete Gamer: What is the process for finding people to interview both celebrities and people in the industry?

Jace Hall: It just a natural process of what is happening around me and my company. The Jace Hall Show follows the interests of Jace Hall! So if somebody somewhere is doing something that me or my team thinks is cool, we will see if we can go check it out and possibly interview whomever that is.

Our show is not journalism. It is not unbiased. It’s whatever we happen to want it to be at the time, and is fairly free form. The consistency that you see in the show is nothing more than a reflection of the fact that every episode is made by the same people. We are just glad that the audience seems to like what we do.

Obsolete Gamer: What was your favorite interview?

Jace Hall: The Dolph lundgren / Carl Weathers interview was awesome because here are two guys sitting next to me who directly influenced my childhood, but generally speaking I don’t have a favorite. I like them all and I’m really appreciative of anyone who is nice enough to take the time to come be on the show in the first place.!

Obsolete Gamer: Name someone you haven’t interviewed yet, but would really want to for your show?

Jace Hall: Arnold Schwarzenegger, because, I mean come on, his last name is built into the Microsoft Word Spell Checker for goodness sakes! I’d also include Sylvester Stallone, because he is very underrated considering his accomplishments and I’d want to highlight just how amazing his work is (and then whip his ass in MORTAL KOMBAT.)

Obsolete Gamer: If you could do a Jace Hall show with anyone whom would it be with?

Jace Hall: It would be me, Vin Diesel, Dwanye Johnson (The Rock), and Ludacris – and we would all be driving fast cars and be tough and stuff… Oh wait, I was thinking of the upcoming movie FAST FIVE. My Bad.

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The Jace Hall Show

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