My last interview was with the hardcore Jamal, Zophar321, who is a video game reality show veteran being that he was on "Life to the Power of X" before he was on WCG Ultimate Gamer. This interview is with Amy aka Athena who was also a part of the WCG Ultimate Gamer. However, Amy's has done a very significant contribution to gaming by forming the largest female clan, the PMS Clan. So not only is she damn good, but she's helped changed the view of female gamers.
O.G.: So when did you start gaming and what was your first game?
Amy: I was pretty young when I played my first game and I think it had to be Ms. Pac-Man around 4 or so. There was an arcade right by my house and I used to tag along with my older sisters. I been hooked ever since and as soon as I started working bought all my own games and gaming equipment. I have to say that Halo 1 is what really pushed me into hardcore gaming, as I had an Xbox the day it was released and shortly after was introduced to online gaming using tunnel software to my PC(XbConnect). That was the most pivotal moment in my life in terms of my gaming career as online play changed everything.
O.G.: When and with what game did the PMS clan start up in?
Amy: PMS officially started shortly after the launch of Xbox Live on Unreal Championship when we met the first of many other ladies to come. It was sort of an accident in terms of a random clan we were playing against challenging us to an official match (we didn't even know what a clan was). They talked so much crap that we were incited to go register our team and play an official match. We whooped them and the rest was history.
O.G.: What are some of your proudest achievements as a gamer?
Amy: PMS is one of my proudest achievements simply because of whom, and what, we are. I love that we can offer a home to other female gamers and hopefully change their lives as much as gaming changed ours in the beginning. Being a female gamer can be really tough for some due to harassment and stereotypes, and sometimes it "wows" me that I had a hand in creating it. The other thing I am most proud about is when my Frag Doll team took first place in Rainbow Six Vegas at CPL 2006 as we took out top ranked team online team for that win and it was the first time an all-female team took first in a co-ed professional tournament.
O.G.: How big is the PMS clan currently?
Amy: For the female part of the clan (we have a male counter-part called H2O) we have close to one thousand members in almost every major game on every major platform.
O.G.: How did the Frag Dolls come to be?
Amy: Ubisoft saw the potential marketing power of females, being a minority and different from the norm, when they first put us together. They were looking for a way to tap into the community and saw a promotional team being key to that. Luckily for us, they also saw they needed the legitimacy of hardcore and competitive females when they put the team together who could smoke out the competition, and so the Frag Dolls were born.
O.G.: Xbox Live is notorious for being a cesspool for abusive and perverted guys for many females that play on it. What do you do when this starts up in a game you're playing?
Amy: I would like to say that I usually mute the people, but I have to admit I probably put in a few key words and issue a challenge to them before I do this. Then I stomp their faces in the dirt!
O.G.: Aside from being paid to play games, what's the biggest perk when working for Ubisoft?
Amy: That would have to be getting to go to all the events and seeing my hundreds of gaming pals at all of them throughout the year. It is still a crazy feeling to meet the people you game with, even after all these years and all the people I have already met!
O.G.: What games are you currently competing in and how much training do you do for a game?
Amy: Since Rainbow Six is now removed from current circuits, we are not competing this year. We are waiting till we recrut new Frag Dolls to see what their strong suits are,due to afew of our old school Frag Dolls are working full-time industry jobs now and do not have the time to compete. We are evaluating what games might be picked up next year in one of the leagues and will choose what it will be based on the strengths of our team and what games are offered.
O.G.: Can you go over what the casting process of the Ultimate Gamer was like?
Amy: It was actually a pretty intense process but went very quick! For the first call we were interviewed and tested on five genres of games, then if we passed that we were brought back to a group of exec's and had a more intense interview we were camera tested. The next phase was an entire week long sequester (we were pretty much locked in a hotel room!) in LA where we were bombarded with more interviews, physiological evaluations, health assessment, and more game testing. A week later we were notified if we were chosen and the entire process took only a few short weeks! We started filming a month later.
O.G.: Is it still a thrill to beat the hell out of some trash talking guys or has that become so common that you don't even think about it?
Amy: Yes, I will admit it is still a thrill to take out the trash talkers. Like any gamer, I hate to lose on anything anyway, but the ones that act like jerks it is a special pleasure to shut them up.
O.G.: There are statistics that show women are playing more games, and even the Ultimate Gamer has a nice male: female ratio, but in the end, when you head to the arcades, conventions, tournaments and so on, it is still a male dominated. What do you think is still keeping women from really accepting video games as much as the guys? The male characters, the violence, the sexual stereotypes?
Amy: It is really about exposure and cultural stereotypes. I think everyone has a gamer inside of them; they just have to find the right one and be in the right environment to really enjoy it. Sure more women are gaming but we are still a vast minority in competitive play. I think the more females they see doing it, the more they will come. It's a slow and necessary process!
O.G.: Do you have a pretournament ritual? Certain music you listen to on an Ipod, special underwear, play some Pokemon or something of that nature?
Amy: Rhoulette of the Frag Dolls gave us a book on sports psychology once and there is one ritual that stuck with me that I took from to use. I close my eyes and meditate a bit and envision myself playing the perfect game. Seeing the headshots, watching the grenades fly, and having intent focus on what is occurring around me. It's the best tip I can give anyone as it calms the nerves and heightens your senses.
For more of Amy's updates visit her on:
Also, for more O.G. Goodness follow me at