Video Gaming has come a long way over the decades. Once perceived as a truly niche hobby, held dear and kept obscure by basement geeks, the video game industry has now become a truly massive and mainstream enterprise.
Take Activision's Call of Duty property, for instance. Last year, when Modern Warfare 3 launched, it broke worldwide records for the biggest entertainment launch in history, ever. In the first 24 hours it grossed over $400 million. Life-to-date sales for the COD franchise has exceeded the box office gross of both Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.
But this isn't about Call of Duty. Or even Angry Birds.
This is about gaming in general, and what has become the now-recognizable (read: pretty) faces we associate with our favorite pastime. In particular, we're talking about the important women in gaming. And no, we're not referring to Roberta Williams, and the like.
We're talking about self-confessed gamer girls, hosts of TV and Internet shows. For better or worse, they have become the mascots of modern gaming. They've made geek chic, turned nerdy into trendy. And, I think we can all agree that nobody is complaining.
First on our list is American comedic actor, television personality, model and author, Olivia Munn (born Lisa Olivia Munn). As beautiful as she is talented, Oliva Munn was born on July 3rd, 1980. She owes her striking good looks to her Chinese, German and Irish heritage. Though she was born in Oklahoma, when she was two years-old, her mother re-married a man in the United States Air Force, who was stationed in Tokyo, Japan, and she lived there for most of her young life. When her parents later divorced, she moved back to America. She attended the University of Oklahoma, majoring in journalism and Japanese and drmatic arts.
In 2004, Munn was landed a small role in Scarecrow Gone Wild. The credits list her as Girl #1. The movie was straight-to-DVD.
In 2005, Munn played teen surfer Mily Acuna on The N's (now known as TeenNick) Hawaii-set drama, Beyond the Break. She also appeared in the comedy, The Road to Canyon Lake in the role of "Asian Mob Girl" (credited as Lisa Munn, at the time).
On April 10, 2006, Olivia Munn began co-hosting G4's Attack of the Show, and achieved huge success in the gaming community -- almost overnight. Though the show was never dedicated to gaming alone, Munn's coolness rubbed off in all the right places, and made the unthinkable possible -- Gaming suddenly became...well, sexy.
In December of 2010, Olivia left the G4 Network, and went her own way, appearing in films such as Big Stan, Insanitarium, Date Night, Iron Man 2, I Don't Know How She Does It, and next year she'll be in Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike. She's also appeared in TV shows such as Greek, Perfect Couples, Chuck, and Comedy Central's The Daily Show. An active model and spokesperson for PETA, Nike, Pepsi and Neutrogena, Olivia Munn is also a skilled beatboxer. Seriously. She's actually pretty good.
(Keep checking back all this week as we continue our celebration of Important Women in Gaming)