Monday, April 23, 2012

Q & A with Jasmine Hruschak

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll see that I retweet a lot of posts from Gamebreaker TV, an awesome network of shows related to video gaming. Check out their site for news updates related to your MMOs and other games, including World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2. It was through GBTV that I was introduced to the wonderful Jasmine Hruschak, who at the time was a regular on a show about the game Rift. Though I never played the game in depth, I admired her commentary greatly.

Jasmine, known to many as IRLJasmine, streams games on her channel, and hosts Q & A sessions with fans, including TMI Tuesday in the magical land of Tumblr. She was born and raised in Humboldt County, California and now travels back and forth between there and Southern California. She attends events like Blizzcon and PAX East, where she reports on gaming news. Jasbro was awesome enough to sit down and answer a few questions for me about what it's like to be a professional gamer.

KGG: When did you become interested in gaming?
Jasmine with SWTOR
Jasmine: When I was little my best friend at the time had a big brother who played a lot of Doom 95 on their blazingly fast Windows 95 laptop. I was absolutely fascinated. My friend and I would take turns playing racing games and One Must Fall (a robot fighting game) on their desktop. My mom got me a computer as quickly as she could and has encouraged me to game, use the internet, and create content from a fairly young age.

KGG: What would you be doing if you weren’t an internet host/professional gamer? Did you always want to produce web content? What would you say is the best part of your job?
Jasmine: I’m really not sure what I would be doing if it wasn’t this but it would still have to do with the internet.

Truthfully I’ve wanted to produce web content since I knew there was such a thing as the internet. When I was a little girl I was way into Pokemon. As soon as I had a computer in my house with an internet connection I made a Team Rocket comedy fansite.

Yes, I’ll pause for everyone to finish laughing.

Have it out of your system? Okay.

I ran that for several months, ran a blog after that, a general comedy website, put art online, another blog, etc, etc. I just didn’t consider online content creation as something I could do seriously until about a year ago. 

KGG: What do you think about the current state of online gaming? What are your expectations for 2012 and beyond?
Jasmine: I’m going to answer this in relation to MMORPGs specifically which are my specialty. I think one of the great things about the current state of the MMORPG industry is that we’re finally seeing the community split off between several different games in a serious way.

World of Warcraft used to have such a corner on the MMORPG market that many people considered it The Only MMO. In 2011 we saw a large number of MMO players move over to RIFT and now even more have moved over to SWTOR. Soon we’re going to see a couple more big players make their way into the MMO market - namely GW2 and Diablo III.

KGG: What is your favorite class/race combination to play in any game?
F2P in honor of Friday the 13th
Jasmine: I really don’t have a particular favorite - I pick whatever seems like the most fun at the moment. I try never to tank though - my sense of direction is far too poor to lead a group.

KGG: What do you like to do when you’re not hanging out with the chatroom/playing SWTOR/or Tumblring?
Jasmine: Haha I like that you included Tumblr since that’s actually the main way I relax when I’m not working. That’s definitely my own personal online space.

Truthfully most of my downtime is just spent playing video games, watching Netflix, scrolling through Tumblr, and browsing Reddit.

KGG: In your opinion, has social media changed the face of gaming such as the ability to stream content live, produce tutorial videos, et cetera?
Jasmine: Yes - you’re able to (and sometimes expected to) know a lot more now when you go into a game. I remember blundering through Diablo II, FFXI, SWG, and then the first year of WoW on dial-up. The idea of streaming a video tutorial was ridiculous to me - that would take hours! I picked my classes based on the actual descriptions in the game instead of based on a blog post, YouTube gameplay, and a live streamer answering my questions.

Now I’m able to look up a long list of abilities my character will have access to, plan out where I’ll spend attribute/talent/skill/etc points, watch beta gameplay, watch developer interviews, and then talk my choices over with other players. All before a game even releases.

KGG: Though we’ve seen a lot more females become involved in producing gaming related web content, what would you say to women who are unsure of how they could get involved?
Buff mages
Jasmine: I don’t feel like the path for a woman becoming involved in online content production is inherently different from a man’s. I can only really speak from my own personal experience but my goals are the same as my male peers.

So my advice is the same for both men and women - pick something and go for

it. If you like video content, make a video. If you like blogging, then start a blog. If you like live streaming, then start a live stream.

The number 1 tip I have for anyone who wants to get into online content creation is to look at people that they enjoy watching/reading/interacting with and analyze why they enjoy this content. Pick several people, figure out what makes them awesome to you, and try to give your viewers and or readers something you think will stand out - similar to how the people you enjoy stood out to you. Don’t copy someone exactly but don’t go into this blind either.

When I decided to finally put out my first video it was after spending about a year consuming YouTube content and then deciding “hey, I think I might be able to do this, too.” My role models going into this were people like iJustine, Shay Carl, HuskyStarcraft, AndreasChoice, DeStorm, etc. The things I liked most about their content was their engaging personality, their willingness to go all out to entertain their audience, their honesty, and their genuine friendliness.

Always try to look at the content you’re producing from the perspective of your viewer. Would you watch this video or read this blog post if you found it randomly online and didn't know the creator? Produce content you would enjoy consuming yourself!

Huge thanks to Jasmine allowing me to interview her!

Ways to contact Jasmine Hruschak:

Check out Jasmine's channel on Twitch for her game streaming, including Free to Play Friday, and Q & As. She also posts the streams and vlogs on her Youtube channel. You can also see her from time to time on! She's often hanging out in the chatroom during shows and is super fun to talk to.

No comments:

Post a Comment