If the term “multi-tasker” could ever be used to describe a person, it would be California’s Rachel Lara. Her official Facebook fan page states her occupation as “Actress/Model, On-Screen Personality, Video Game Journalist, and Social Media/PR/Marketing Consultant, Professional Pro.” She is also an avid gamer and has been from an early age.
“I've quite genuinely been gaming since I could handle a controller of any sort, so the time line is a longer one,” she said. “My brother is three-and-a-half years my elder and we would spend a ridiculous amount of time playing console games whereas my dad had some of the first computers. I remember waddling next to my brother and having to stand up on boxes to play Space Invaders and other arcade games, but the first game I remember playing most was Tetris with my dad to see which space shuttles he'd get.”
Through the changes and evolution of the gaming industry, Lara has remained with it, even when it became challenging to do so.
“Watching the technical progression of video games and their platforms as well as the progression of craft in itself are really some things to be admired,” Rachel said. “You can actually mark time periods in your life by gaming memories. It's harder to let go then it is to be drawn to gaming; I've been put into the uncomfortable position before of having to ‘decide between gaming or so and so’ but I really didn't see the need to and fought to keep gaming a part of my life in both hobby and occupation.”
Rachel Lara has also noted the evolution of the perception of women gamers within the industry, due in part to her own challenges within it.
“Along with the years, I've watched the attitude move forward in regards to women gamers. The same goes with the women in Internet culture,” she said. “By forward I'm not thinking back to sibling rivalries over a controller, but the most disturbing and afflicting forms of oppression and judgment. I personally have been verbally and psychologically attacked on many occasion and decided to continue on to study the differences in male to female gaming from medical studies and more scientific, biological and psychosocial standpoints highlighting ideas ranging from brain chemicals released in the reward centers to psychological archetypes.”
“Each year the stigmas are lessening and female gamers enjoying a fonder reception into gaming and gaming communities. Personally, I'd like to see less segregation and self-exploitation from female gamers. As it is, we are all just gamers doing what we love to do. No matter how you cut that cake, it's still a cake, no lie.”
While gaming itself has brought years of enjoyment to Rachel, she also recalls some happy memories from within the industry itself.
“I love any chance to witness a different culture of gaming, like I did when I was sent to China Joy or Tokyo Game Show or E3; blows my mind. I remember being asked by the really awesome guy who did the voice acting for one of the bosses of the notorious MMO, World of Warcraft, my ex-drug of choice, what he could do to make sure his daughter ends up like me. That one goes into the front of my book of best memories.”
Rachel Lara’s work now has her co-starring with Michael Copon in the film Killer Holiday, which is expected to hit theatres in the late winter/early spring season. She will also be in the upcoming XBox 360 and PlayStation 3 title Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, slated for a late 2011 release.
This article is one in a series of articles for PatrickScottPatterson.com’s Women Gamers Week. Be sure to subscribe to see them all.
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