Posts Tagged ‘Rika Hollinshead Stead’

Girl on Girl : Rika on Miranda Smith

Friday, June 25th, 2010

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.

Girl on Girl: Rika on Kimmie Britt

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Girl on Girl : Kimmie Britt

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!)

Kimmie came to meet me at her door in jeans and a nerdy tee shirt. With her long wavy dark hair she reminded me a little of Olivia Munn. Through the doorway behind her, I could see musical instruments, all manner of nerd memorabilia, and movie and game posters on the wall of every room- Star Wars, Final Fantasy, Dragon Ball Z, 300, The Big Lebowski, Army of Darkness. Two dogs, Luke and Leia escorted us in. There were swords on the living room wall.

Kimmie Britt costumes it up!

Kimmie grew up with Star Wars and Nintendo, but she felt she had to hide her nerdiness from the outside world. “It was “uncool” to be ‘nerdy;’ the guys I was crushing on usually didn’t go for my type, and the girls would make fun of that fact,” she says. “So I would keep quiet about it. I never let any boyfriend or girl friend I had know about my real interests. It got tiring after awhile to have to be fake and constantly worry whether they were going to find me out or make fun.”

Eventually, she had to let it out. “I just decided to make it known, come out of the nerd closet. I wear my it all on my sleeve now, and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t feel this need to hide who I am because someone might not like it. If they don’t like my interests or try to change me, they’re not the kind of person who is worth being with anyway. And I finally found someone who appreciated not only my nerdiness, but all of those qualities I learned from being the ugly duckling.” After giving herself a little dose of honesty and a few nerd tee shirts, Kimmie began to enjoy being comfortable in her skin.

Kimmie can spin a deadly web we bet...

Perhaps because of the liberating experience of “coming out of the nerd closet” and going against the grain, Kimmie seems to be a bit of a rebel with her gaming. She likes what she likes, and not necessarily what is popular. Her all time favorite is Final Fantasy VIII, a game which many gamers (myself included) failed to finish, but she has only recently relented to the pressure to play VII. “I am very much someone who doesn’t like to play/watch/read something that has too much hype, and FF7 is always being talked about as one of the greats. It really put me off of playing it for some reason,” she says, explaining her current conquest of VII. All hype aside, I think she’ll enjoy it.

Living with two other gamers- her boyfriend and his brother- means not only a house gloriously decorated with cool posters and almost every game console worth owning, but also means some controller-sharing is in order. “We do share the major consoles, and that can create friction. We’ve definitely had some arguments over turns. I try to limit my gaming on the PS3 or Xbox to when no one else is home, but all of our work schedules are so similar that I’ll only get an hour or two of good gameplay in, then have to give up the PS3 because someone wants to go play COD… Aside from the arguments, it’s quite fun.” And all that gaming under one roof also causes expanded gaming horizons- “We’re all very different types of gamers. I’m the RPG/strategy nerd, my boyfriend Sam is more of the Action/Fighting type, and his brother Ryan mainly goes for the Sports/FPS, but ever since we started living together, we’ve started slowly branching out to the others genres.” Kimmie notes that she’s not always easy to influence though. “I’m probably the most resistant because I’m stubborn and hate change, but it is growing on me, lol.”

What else should you know about Kimmie? She doesn’t care too much for Valentine’s Day, but she can get on board if it involves action figures, Power Ranger Lego sets, and gaming. She’d rather put her money on games and Star Wars paraphernalia than shoes. Oh, and don’t back-seat game while she’s playing: “Stop telling me what’s in what room or to look over here or what is coming up next in the story! It’s severely annoying and makes me want to hurl my controller at your head as a distraction so you wont see me back kick you in the throat.”

Kimmie and Luke!

And if you happen to be a game developer, listen up. She knows exactly what her dream game would be like. “Something turnbased with a short, black haired heroine. A good story, very dark, no damsel in distress. Some sci-fi elements. Lots of amazing weapons and a huge twist at the end. Really awesome costumes, for the cosplayers out there. And a good voice cast with lots of swear words.” Swear words- that’s something we all can enjoy. Kimmie also believes that girls enjoy many of the same aspects of gaming that everyone else does- “Just make an interesting game, don’t stereotype by gender. If a girl wants to play, she’ll play. Just leave it at that, stop trying to cater to a man’s idea of what women want, because you’ll usually get it wrong.”

When asked what she wants to be known for, Kimmie says, “I would want people to remember me as a blunt, quirky tomboy who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, even when it was on the brink of being asshole-ish sometimes with a temper like a whip lash. A very independent, very different, individual girl. A fiercely loyal friend, a good listener, and a hell of a sense of humor. A person with a tough exterior, but with a sweet demeanor underneath, and once you get around that, you have a friend for life. I think I’ll always be a combination of best friend, little sister, and one of the guys, and I wouldn’t wish for anything else. :]” And the thing I want you to know about Kimmie is that she talks good. She’s got plenty of opinions and can put them neatly into words- watch the video to see her in action.

Girl on Girl with Rika Episode 1: Kimmie Britt

Girl on Girl Teaser Video with Rika Stead!

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Rika Stead, XFX Girl 2.0? With your help she can be!

Monday, February 8th, 2010
VOTE 4 BusyGamer's RIKA! CLICK IT!

VOTE 4 BusyGamer's RIKA! CLICK IT!

For those of you who might not be familiar with one of our newest writers, Rika Hollinshead Stead (and if you’re not, where the hell have you been?), you may not know that Rika is currently competing in an XFX contest to be chosen as their XFX Girl 2.0. This is an opportunity for Rika to represent the XFX product line (which includes some very high end motherboards, one of which is currently in my personal gaming rig, and video cards) as their spokesmodel/gamer girl and we’re very excited to be letting you, our readers, know about this. You can see more about the contest, including videos and photos of the different phases of the contest here.

Rika and five other girls were selected from all the entries XFX received as finalists and were flown to Los Angeles for the final phase of the competition. The challenge was a photoshoot, a meet and greet with the folks from XFX, and to take a camcorder, a friend, and some cash and see “What Can a Gamer Girl do in L.A. with One Day and $500″. There was a limo and some pretty cool clubs involved that night and you can catch the part one of Rika’s video here and part two here.

Currently the competition is focused on the individual contestants’ involvement in the competition and we’re asking our readers to give Rika some Busy Gamer props by visiting the contest’s Facebook page here and leaving some comment love about how we all think she should be the next XFX girl. Even if you don’t comment, at least click on that little thumbs up on one of her posts to show your support.

Rika’s involvement in the gaming community alone would warrant her selection as the XFX Girl 2.0. She currently writes for, her own blog Pixelain Skin, and writes and does reviews for some little site called… Oh, that’s us. Awesome. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s also smokin’ hot.  You’ve got eyes though, you can figure that out for yourselves.

So get started already. Help us help Rika win this thang. Yes, I just said “thang”, it’s not a typo. The contest goes on till 2am so I expect everyone to get over there and make Rika Stead become XFX Girl 2.0. I mean it. Otherwise the Reckon Crew goes to your mom’s birthday party and drinks all the cooking sherry. We’re more than capable.

Not convinced?  Here’s some of Rika’s info to help sway your vote:

Playing right now:
Dragon Age Origins, Borderlands,Zeno Clash, Quake Live, COD MW2. I’m a bit ADD when it comes to gaming, can’t stick to just one at a time.

Does she play WoW?
Yes, she does. I’m not currently in a raiding phase though. I was hardcore in BC, but it kept me from playing any other games. Now I play my main casually and am playing on a reroll too. I’m planning on hitting the Cataclysm xpack hard though.

Nerd heroes:
Kevin Smith as the Warlock in Live Free or Die Hard. Jay and Silent Bob. Trillian in The Hitchhiker’s Guide (the book not the movie). The narrator on
Space Quest IV.

RIKA by Tim Bennett

RIKA by Tim Bennett Photography

All time favorite game:
Probably Legend of Dragoon or Chrono Cross.

To write about games! Wait, I already do that. To be more famous for writing about games. To expose more girls to gaming. To be the next Olivia Munn. To kick ass across all genres of gaming.

About being a hot chick:
“I’m not a hot chick in real life, but I do play one in a video game.” I use my looks to draw attention to my talents and skills, not to replace them.

The coolest part of the contest:
I love that a lot of my supporters are people I don’t know personally. And I also dig that a lot of them are female! I’m all for girls being included in and involved in gaming. I am now addicted to vlogging.

The coolest part of the trip to L.A.:
Meeting the other girls! And meeting all the industry people. Driving all over LA in a mad search for nerd hangouts was cool, too.

Has been gaming since:
Nintendo controllers had only A and B buttons. But I came by my nerdiness honestly- no one ever really pointed me in that direction or encouraged it in me. My parents never even bought me a console, although my dad did unintentionally open the door to Space Quest when he bought our first PC. I’ve always loved games… I just didn’t realize that I loved them more than other people did until I was about 17 or 18.

Is excited about:
Gaming becoming part of the larger culture! Games are starting to be respected as an art form. And gamer culture is becoming prevalent- I <3 gamer t-shirts and other clothing, crazy products marketed towards gamers and even crazy nerd crafts that people are selling on Etsy these days.

Gritskrieg – End of Line