I had the opportunity to do an interview a few weeks ago with one of my favorite streamers, Chris Jones. Here’s what she has to say.
Nerd: Tell Nerd a little about yourself for my readers who don’t know you?
CJ: I am Chris Jones. I am 24 years old and I moved to Seattle about a year ago. I’m originally from the South. I work in tech. I’m a designer. I love otters a lot. I think that people should know that.
Nerd: I’m learning something about you. I didn’t know you liked otters.
CJ: Oh, I love them so much. They’re my favorite animals. All shades of otter.
Nerd: I used to be a sea otter person. Now, I’m kind of a fox person, but now that you said sea otter, I might have to go on Tumblr and look at pictures of sea otters.
CJ: I think that you should and then transition between foxes and sea otters, you could do like weasels or little rodents. I love raccoons, but sea otters are my favorites.
Nerd: What kind of things do you do on the internet?
CJ: Like I told you, I used to be really into Tumblr, but now I am primarily focusing on the streaming stuff on Twitch and then, building that (following) on Twitter.
Nerd: What would you say got you into streaming?
CJ: My best friend’s boyfriend started doing it after he lost his job. He started gaining momentum as seeing how great the community was and how nice it was to sometimes play video game with people watching. I’m the worst about finishing something. I’ll get bored and go on to the next thing. I thought ‘Ok if I do streaming and have people watching me so I feel compelled to complete this games as well get some advice going forward.” The first game I streamed was Kingdom Hearts. I actually got a lot of advice and complete parts of the game that I had never even touched before because of the (Twitch) audience. I was like I’m going to keep going with it.
Nerd: I know that you have talked a little bit about this on your stream, what types of challenges to you there are for female gamers and streamers?
CJ: I think that in my lifetime, I’ve seen a shift. I recently saw a report that said that 50 percent of gamers are women, which is pretty huge for me because for the longest time I felt like I was one of very few. In my own personal experiences, I have never used a mic in online gaming before or talked to people because I have heard from other women who are gamers that you’ll get harassing messages if people find out you’re a girl or that you’re just playing the game to pick up boys. That’s one thing that I’ve seen as a gamer. [Another is] people assuming you don’t like a type of game because they’re more male oriented or more men play them. With streaming, I’ve seen these backhanded compliments where someone will say I’m so glad you’re, and excuse my language, not like those other whores who have their cleavage out and stuff like that. They’re meaning it as a compliment, but for me it’s like I think that these women should do whatever they want with their cleavage out or not. I feel like there is a lot of double standard that people are not watching you to have a conversation with you and play the game but to look at your body. I think that a lot of female gamers know how to combat that. It’s sad to me that I have to see in a lot of profiles ‘no I won’t show you my boobs.
CJ: I think that I’ve been luck with my channel that everyone is nice and friendly and in most other channels, I don’t think that people speak up for that. They’ll just kind a laugh it off and I definitely have nice and supportive people who will call someone out if their being rude.
Nerd: it’s so strange to think that either extreme that it happens because for me it ultimately comes down to personality. You could be a dude with the same personality and it wouldn’t matter to me because I like your personality.
CJ: Thank you. I was having a conversation with a (streamer) friend and they were talking about this streamer who is female that they didn’t like and they were kind of throwing around word. I was like I think if she were a man people would be treating her a little differently because ultimately, I feel like a lot of male streamers can get away with the “asshole” personality of running up to people and screaming. A lot people find that funny, but if a woman does it, it’s kind of seen like she kind of weird and crazy. It’s the same kind of conduct but the only difference is gender.
Nerd: Maybe I just try to be blind to it, but I don’t know. Like I said, ultimately it’s personality. I’m going to watch someone for a couple minutes and based on those couple of minutes, I’m going to know if I’m going to want to watch them long term or not.
CJ: Yeah. I definitely appreciate that because I think that’s why the chat in my channel is great. I think that people have that same sentiment. I do see people who are only there for the hot chick.
Nerd: there are plenty of other places to get hot chicks other than twitch.
CJ: Yeah, exactly.
Nerd: The internet is good for that.
Nerd: Back to gaming, what is your favorite game of all time?
CJ: I was thinking about this when you sent me the questions. I think that I have to say that my favorite game of all time is Golden Sun. It was a Gameboy Advance game. I think it’s because it was probably one of the first games where I realized I could play something else other than Zelda and Pokemon. It’s an rpg and it’s a little bit more complicated. It really got me. I love the art. I love the music and story. I think it helped me branch out into other things that weren’t just the most popular game at the time.
Nerd: I’ve played the original Golden Sun. I don’t think I’ve played any of the ones after that. I’m trying to remember if someone said here borrow this and I never gave it back because I’m horrible about that or how that even happened. I don’t think that unless someone recommended it I would have ever played a jrpg.
CJ: Yeah. You know I had Final Fantasy 7 as a kid, but it was so intimidating the amount of discs you have to change and it wasn’t the best environment to learn.
Nerd: Those are hardcore jrpgs.
CJ: Yeah. It was great though because even at the time I was starting to get into a lot of Japanese culture so it was a great segue way of trying out a lot of new things.
Nerd: Do you have an all-time favorite gaming system?
CJ: I’m very tied between my Playstation 2 (PS2) and my Gameboy Advanced (GBA). PS2 because it was another variety of games where I started trying first person shooters and different things like that. I have so many memories tied to my GBA because it was something I took everywhere. If I had to choose, I would say GBA.
Nerd: What got you into gaming in the first place?
CJ: It was actually my parents. They got me the original Gameboy. I really love Star Wars at the time and they got me a Star Wars game. I don’t remember the name of it because I never completed it because it was so hard for me at the time. After that, I was like I would like to try more games so I got into Pokemon. Then the Nintendo 64 came out, so it was this gradual thing I was doing where I would get really into the story. I would mostly just play by myself. Some games I would play with my little brother. Most of it was trying out new things.
Nerd: Here are the questions that I ask every person I do an interview with and they’re supposed to be relatively quick answers.
Nerd: The first one that seems like the age old question: Coke or Pepsi?
CJ: Coke. I think it’s because it just tastes better.
Nerd: Cats or dogs?
Nerd: Summer or winter?
Nerd: Hugs or kisses?
Nerd: Fame or fortune?
CJ: Fortune I think.
Nerd: You think?
CJ: If you have fame, you also have fortune and if you have fortune, you have some sort of fame.
Nerd: Yeah. Which is worse: speaking in front of people or writing a paper?
CJ: Writing a paper.
Nerd: Time travel to the past or to the future?
CJ: To the future.
Nerd: Celebrity magazine or newspaper?
Nerd: Favorite food.
Nerd: Favorite book.
CJ: I would say Paradise of the Blind. It’s about Vietnam during the communist regime. I can’t remember the author right now. It’s really rich with magical realism. I really love that book.
Nerd: Favorite color.