As Machinima's Director of Audience Development, one could say Rachel Romero has her finger on the pulse of online video game content. While keeping her eye on the future, this Los Angeles gamer also continues to remember her past.
"My Uncle Wayne was the first true gamer that I ever met," Romero recalled. "As an only child, my parents were always looking for something to keep me occupied and out of trouble. Because of this, I ended up with my uncle's Atari 2600. I loved it."
Of the Atari titles Romero says she recalls fondly, the memory of one still stands out to her.
"The one I remember the most is Adventure," she added. "The premise is very simple. You, as a pixelated square, navigate amongst a maze that represents the interior of a castle and attempt to find castle keys while avoiding dragons, all in hopes of finding a chalice."
Rachel's own video game adventure continued as the video game generations advance, moving on to the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis.
"I think I spent an entire summer break one year trying to master all of the games the Sega Channel delivered," she said. "Mortal Kombat changed my life. My father and I would giggle at the fatalities and I knew I was on to something when I was finally able to beat him. Sonja was my jam."
Romero moved through a variety of fields, including architecture, radio hosting and promotional work before landing her current job at Machinima.
"I've found a career that I absolutely love within the video gaming landscape," she said. "I'd rather either play games or watch someone play games than watch a movie or TV show. When I started dabbling in video games, the internet was not a thing. Now, gamers of all types can find each other and, most importantly, game together. Who needs a Game Genie when you have millions of people making video game-related content on YouTube?"
As more digital options for video content continue to become available across electronic devices, Romero states she sees such services as the future of entertainment content.
"I am completely obsessed with the way that video entertainment has evolved and will continue to evolve," she stated. "Online video is more popular than ever and in a lot of ways taking the place of traditional video distributions methods like cable. I think that the cross-pollination of internet-based brands like Netflix and Youtube and modern television hardware like Xbox and SmartTVs will continue to thrive."
While the sales numbers of video game launches like Grand Theft Auto V are making headlines, Romero states she sees the industry in a place that will make those kinds of sales more often.
"GTA V broke all entertainment sales goals, including box office, in it's debut," she added. "Those numbers are kind of astonishing but I expect them to become the norm."
Romero also adds that she considers her current job as her true passion, and says she has advice for others who may wish to pursue down the same path as well as for others who wish to pursue their own passions.
"If you're interested in a career in online marketing and media, make sure you understand the business behind your actions," she said. "It's not enough to have a bunch of followers on Twitter and subscribers on YouTube. If you're not doing what you love now, take up a hobby that allows you to learn more about what you'd rather be doing. Teach yourself. Anything is possible with a lot of hard work and dedication."
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