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Mary Channell brings her lifetime passion of video gaming to mainstream media

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The stereotypes often put onto video game culture paints gamers as introverted male children with no job or passion in life. In reality, entire generations of gamers have grown up into men and women who not only continue to play video games but enter the professional workforce as hard-working people positively shaped by the growing up gamers.

Among them is Richardson, Texas resident Mary Channell. This young woman has taken her passion for video gaming to a series of college journalism awards and an internship at Dallas / Fort Worth television station CW33 while she continues to work on her Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism.

Well before she ever appeared before cameras to talk about video gaming, she played them extensively, starting at a very young age.

"I started playing video games when I was three years old," Channell said. "I didn't know what I was doing at the time. I was just mashing buttons and watching Mario move all over the place. I was playing with my older brother who is also a pretty big gamer. I was always playing video games growing up, starting with the first Nintendo console all the way up to the current consoles."

While Channell's childhood was filled with a variety of now-classic video game titles, she was quick to note how one game in particular stood out among the rest.

"The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the N64 had the most impact on me," she recalled. "It was Christmas morning and it was time to open presents and when I opened it up I was so excited, it was gold and full of adventure. I couldn't wait to play it! I played that game during my whole Christmas vacation and then some. It was one of the best Christmases I've had."

As Mary grew older, she realized that she wanted to take her passion for video games into a career. Upon watch programs such as G4tv's X-Play, Channell began her work in video game journalism with a series of YouTube videos and work on the newspaper of her local community college, eventually starting an internship with North Texas television station CW33.

"A little over a year ago, my former teacher and Fox 4 News Reporter Steve Noviello told me that I should apply," she said. "He told me that CW33 is a different kind of news and that I would be able to do what I want to do as a reporter there. And he was right. I was accepted for the fall internship and I've learned so much. I was able to do the kind of news reporting I wanted and I was able to learn the professionalism of how to story-tell and put together a story even with gaming news."

Among the stories Channell worked on was collaborating with CW33 Nightcap reporter Selena Hernandez on a piece about retro gamers. She notes the segment as one of her favorites.

"We got to know other gamers out there and share their story," she said.

Channell will be returning to CW33 in the spring as she continues her rise in both the video game and broadcast journalism worlds. She is quick to give her stance that her style of gaming content should appear in traditional media more often.

"I feel that gaming should be in the mainstream media," she added. "The gaming industry right now is booming with big named developers and indie developers. Technology is getting more advanced as the years go on. Why shouldn't it be in the interest of mainstream media? Hard news is evolving to entertainment news, why not have news about video games where it would already bring in a huge audience? Too many people are afraid to take the risk of doing this kind of news. That is my other goal; to bring gaming into mainstream media because it's evolving and we should be there for the ride."

Mary can be found on Twitter @MCChannell.

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