Girl on Girl : Rika on Miranda Smith

Miranda Smith

Girl on Girl is a series of interviews with girls involved in gaming culture. Rika finds the girls, lures them in (with the promise of video games), gets them talking (about video games) and documents the action. Forget what you read on the Internet. It’s time for a window into the minds of the fairer nerds. (Disclaimer: Rika is only responsible for the opinions that come out of her own mouth. Check out Rika’s You Tube for more!)

Miranda Smith already knew what she wanted to show me in her interview. She wanted to show me a good time, and she invited over some friends and their 360′s for a Modern Warfare 2 party. Xboxs, controllers, and TV sets were carried in, furniture was moved, and Miranda picked up an M16 and became her alter ego- VivaciousSaggi.

As I found out more about Miranda’s life and activities outside of gaming, I became even more appreciative of the time and effort it takes to get a house full of gamers together on a weeknight. Miranda maintains a 3.9 GPA at the Art Institute of Ft. Worth, as well as making a living. “I currently work building software installation wizards, doing web work, designing product packages (graphically), doing administrative work, all for the same company, and on the side I am a musician photographer,” she says. Since the interview, she’s also been hired as a blogger by indie game maker 24KT studios. She’s also a mommy to three-year-old Layla. “I’m a busy person but wouldn’t change it. I hope my daughter can learn from me to find a healthy balance between work, education, family, and fun.”

Miranda and boyfriend

Being a mom means that sometimes new games and consoles have to take a backseat to all the things that kids need, but Miranda makes time to devote to gaming, and getting other people excited about gaming. She has also, of course, shared her love of gaming with her daughter. When asked if she worries about what Layla sees watching her play, her answer was clear- “I don’t really worry about what she sees when we play, although I do worry about what TV shows/movies she is exposed to. She loves playing video games too and she is as competitive as I am. She may be a little young for me to be letting her play FPS games but I am a definite NON-believer in the theory of FPS games causing high school shoot outs, violent temperaments, etc. A person’s behavior is a reflection of their need for guidance, and some people that have no guidance will withdraw and internalize themselves— and what better way is there to get away from the world than playing video games? Gamers are misunderstood by society, and many mistakes some people make are blamed on the fact that they play video games when the issue clearly lies deeper.” But she does believe in using a bit of caution. When Layla is old enough to start asking for her own games, Miranda says she will definitely play them herself first. “I would play any game she would ask for before she does, just to make sure it would be suitable for her. I’m not so much worried about the violence as I am sexual content.”

“Layla picked up the colors Red, Yellow, Blue, and Green very quickly, lol. And on the Sonic racing game she played when she was two, she learned the directional difference between left and right.” Miranda sees benefits beyond the easily measurable as well. “Gamers see the world in a different way… from a vantage point. They are trained in problem solving, and they always find a better way to do something as well as a way to get what they want or need. This will be advantageous to her as she gets older.”

Miranda loves getting everyone in on the video game action- whether it’s instigating her friends who game to put together MW2 or Halo nights, or converting her non-gamer girlfriends into new gaming buddies. If you’re a girl, and you think you don’t like to play games, be forewarned- stay away from Miranda, or she will have you addicted to FPS before you can resist. According to her, all you need to really enjoy a game is a little practice. “I think it’s growing rapidly,” she says of gaming among females, “but just like men, being a beast takes skill. There are some guys I can’t beat, and there are some girls that I can’t beat, sex doesn’t have anything to do with it.”

IRL, she’s the friendly, cool instigator who will have everyone in the house join in the fun. But in game, she will shoot you in the head. She frowns upon cheating and exploits, believing instead in the accomplishment of succeeding through skill. But she does ask that you don’t judge her by her kill/death ratio- it seems she’d rather go out in a blaze of glory than be safe in the shadows. “I shoot straight M16, but I also have a fault among gamers-” she confesses, “I enjoy playing more than I care about my scoreboards. I will run out there even if I know there are four people of the opposite team waiting for me and think “NINJA!!!!” and try to take them all on myself, sometimes it works and sometimes I am defeated… badly. I genuinely enjoy the rush of running out there  knowing I may kill or be killed in an instant, so if you are ever looking at my scoreboard.. just don’t pay any attention to my K/D ratio.”

Watch the video to see her enthusiasm in action.

Posted By Rika Hollinshead Stead

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