Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Larísa

Posted by Randolph Carter on June 29, 2009

larisaMMO community connection:

The Pink Pigtail Inn

Chapter 1: Introduction

What is your name (your online persona/alter-ego, what have you)?

Larísa

What is your connection to the gaming/blogging/podcasting community (your chance to plug yourself here)?

I run a WoW blog since february 2008: The Pink Pigtail Inn.

Please take a minute and describe what your blog is about.

It’s about World of Warcraft the way I see it. Quite a lot of personal rantings, sharing thoughts and opinions. Not so much of guides, news and useful information, actually non of it.

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I’m from Sweden, where I also live.

Your level (age) is somewhere in the range of (pick one): 10-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90

Turning 42 this year.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a trained journalist, but been working in PR/Information quite a few years now.

If you could reroll your career, what would you be?

Nah… I’m not the kind of person who walks around in life regretting things.

List five random things most people don’t know about you.

  • That I run a blog of my own.
  • How I WoW, what the gaming is like.
  • That I was a punk rocker when I was young.

Feel free to discuss any family you have here.

I’m married since 23 years and got two teenage daughters. Noone else in my family is a gamer, which is a problem, especially since this passion of mine turned up so late in life.

Chapter 2 : Origins

What kind of games (if any) did you play as a child before you got into video gaming? Did you play with family, friends or was it more of a solo activity?

Not much of gaming at all. What is a bit related though is that I’ve been reading science fiction and fantasy since I was a child and that I’ve been active in the so called science fiction fandom, giving out stencilized fanzines, which could be seen as a sort of equivalence to blogging.

What other hobbies and/or activities did you have as a child (sports, music, etc)?

Rock music and reading. I’ve never been much of a social or sporty person. More or less a typical geek I guess.

Were you ever exposed to pen and paper role playing games? What was that experience like?

Not very much to be honest. But know quite a few role players. I could very well have ended up as one, I think I would have enjoyed it.

Did you read much as a child? If so, what did you like to read (books, comic books, etc?) Please list some favorite authors, titles, etc.

Yeah… I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read Tolkien for instance. I still re-read it every three years or so. Asimov, Simak, Bradbury and Clarke were heroes of my childhood.

Would you say that any of these games or books had an effect on your later appreciation of computer gaming and ultimately MMOs? Please explain.

Definitely. I come from the literature fantasy and sf movement and I feel very much at home in gaming now because of this. I find the same mentality among many players.

How were you fist introduced to video games? How old were you? What was the platform?

I had very little experience of video gaming before I started to play WoW in 2007.

I was introduced to it by my younger sister, who told me I should try it since she thought I’d love it. “I don’t have time for such a thing”, I told her. “There’s ALWAYS time for WoW”, she replied. So I bought the game in the Christmas 2006 and installed it a month later. That was a pain – it was basically my first computer game ever if you don’t count a few sessions of Lemmings and a little bit of Civilization. I was very proud when I finally entered the world.

I the beginning the idea was to have it as a project together with my teenage daughter. But she soon lost interest in it, while I got more and more caught. My sister who made me start in the first place stopped playing long ago.

Did you ever play coin-op games at the arcade? What was that experience like?

nope

What was the first video game you can remember playing that really made an impression on you? Please explain.

Civilization. Pretty early I had a gaming session when I completely lost track of time and that scared me a bit tbh. I didn’t touch it after that.

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

none

Feel free to share a story related to your gaming experience as a child.

In the beginning of the 1970s my father worked at a laboratory where they had a huge computer, big as a room, with a brain smaller than a counting machine today. I was just 5 or 6 years old, but he made a small program to keep me occupied when he was at work during a weekend. It contained some kind of lottery and a few other things. Everything was printed out on a paper. And I remember how thrilled I was. It was a magic gaming experience, in all its simplicity.

Chapter 3 : Online

Were you ever exposed to MUDs? If so, when was this and what was the experience like?

nope

What was your first MMO experience? Again, when was this (a year please) and what was this like?

World of warcraft in the beginning of 2007. But to tell me about the experience… that’s a bit overwhelming. I’ve been doing that on my blog for about 350 post by now… I was the noobiest of the noobish when I started, didn’t know how to move my character at all, felt slightly sea sick, didn’t know about things as repairs, questing, what the game was about. The learning curve ever since has been huge and is still going on.

If possible, list all the MMOs you’ve played extensively.

Easy question for me! I play World of Warcraft, where my main is a lvl 80 mage. I’ve also got a lvl 80 rogue and an upcoming little druid.

What is your current MMO of choice, or perhaps, what are your current MMOs of choice?

WoW

Which MMO have you spent the most time playing? How long would you say that has been?

WoW

Have you reached level cap in any MMO? If so, which ones?

WoW

Loki taps you on the shoulder one day to inform you that you have fallen victim to one of his elaborate pranks. The world you’ve been inhabiting of countless MMOs to choose from and play has merely been a dream. In reality only one MMO exists. After laughing at you for a bit he decides to take pity on you and allows you to choose which MMO will remain. Which one would you choose and why?

Oh, I guess I’d been happy if WoW could remain for some while longer… J That’s where I have my character and my guild and everything I’ve invested in the game. I actually doubt that I’d bother to start another one.

Are there any MMOs currently in development that you are particularly interested in? Please explain.

Being an old Star Trek fan, I can’t help being a bit curious about what it will be like..

Feel free to share an interesting or amusing anecdote related to your MMO gaming experience.

Read my blog!

Chapter 4: Preferences

At your peak, how much time per week would you say you spent gaming? How about now?

Don’t want to think too much about that question… Too much time I would say. Maybe something like 20 hours a week or a little bit more?

When during the week are your regular play times?

Two out of three nights of tue-thur-sund 7.30 pm-00. Two or three extra nights from 10 pm and a few hours onwards. Sometimes a couple of hours daytime during the weekends, very irregular, depending on what’s up in rl.

Generally speaking, are you more of a social creature in MMOs (grouping to quest, joining guilds, etc.) or something of a lone wolf?

I’m social. If it wasn’t for guild life, raiding etc, I would probably not be playing WoW anymore. The game in itself isn’t that interesting.

Have you made any lasting friendships through your MMO experience? Please explain.

Don’t know yet! I have some friends in game, but if that will last when we’ve all moved on? I don’t know.

Before logging into a game, do you already have a course of action planned out in your head, or do you just sort of do whatever you feel like once in game?

I think I mostly have a pretty clear idea about what to do. Much of my playing, the raiding, is planned. And apart from that I’ve always got some projects I’m working on, such as achievements, levelling an alt etc.

When playing MMOs do you tend to just play one at a time or do you take more of the smorgasbord approach?

Never played anything but WoW.

Do you tend to supplement your MMO gaming with other PC, console or tabletop games?

Nope.

Are you something of an altoholic?

Nope.

Do you find yourself multitasking while gaming (perhaps watching TV, talking on the phone, out of game instant messaging, playing another game, or even listening to a podcast)?

If I’m questing or grinding on my own I sometimes listen to a WoW related podcast. But apart from that I need to keep my focus on the game, I’m not skilled enough to do a lot of other things at the same time.

Do you find yourself having much MMO discussion off-line, perhaps with friends or family?

No, since they don’t like my WoW playing I avoid to bring it up much.

Have you ever felt that you game too much? If so, how did you cope with that?

Well, if you ask my family I play too much. I try to negociate, compromize and make real life work as well as possible side by side with my gaming. But it is a challenge.

Since you started playing MMOs, have you ever taken a break from the genre? If so, please explain.

No.

Chapter 5: Blogging

When did you first start blogging? Please take us up to present with all of your projects.

February 2008.

Why do you blog?

I answered that when I once did an interview with myself.  I’ll cut in a reply from there:

Blogging has given me back the fun of writing. I’ve been writing professionally so long that it had lost some of its lustre. But this is done out of pleasure, without any pressure. It’s free and it’s fun and I can combine writing with my favourite hobby – WoW. But I also appreciate the social side of blogging, as well as I like the social side of the game. I didn’t have any knowledge about the Blogosphere when I started. Now I’ve grown into it and it feels like an extra guild to me. I love how we comment on each others blogs. It’s a wonderful network.

And of course I love my guests. The comments you give me, the support, the link love… It gives me daily inspiration to keep going. Lately I’ve got a few letters from people who say that I’ve inspired them to start blogs of their own. I can’t understand in what way, perhaps it’s that I’m an example of that you can blog even if you’re quite an ordinary player and not an expert in any sense. Anyway, it’s amazing to hear and makes me very happy.

Another great bonus of blogging is that it improves my English. I’m aware of that my readers have to put up with a lot of errors, but I feel that I’m developing. When I began I sort of translated my thoughts from Swedish. Now I switch over to thinking in English while writing right from the beginning. That’s a huge step forward.

Do you have a schedule or some sort of routine you try and follow when blogging?

Not really. But I try to have at least 3-4 posts a week.

Is there some grind involved in blogging? If so, what is it and how do you cope with it?

No grinding. I’ve always said to myself and the readers that this is a day-to-day project. I’m not trying to make a living from it. I write for my pleasure and if I find one day that I’ve got nothing more to say I’ll stop.

By contrast, what do you find pleasurable about blogging?

I enjoy the freedom and I enjoy expressing myself. Doing it in English is a challenge, but it’s still fun. And I love the networking dimension of it.

How many people offline know you blog?

Hardly any at all. My sister knows about it, but that’s about it I think. My family doesn’t know.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to try their hand at blogging?

Be patient. Don’t’ expect that you’ll get any feedback or many readers for long. It will probably take months before someone will find you. Write from your own pleasure and don’t worry about subscribers and such. Comment a lot on other blogs and be sure to take good care about the ones that come to your blog, writing replies to their comments. In this way you’ll slowly build an audience.

What is something you know now that you wish you had known when you first started?

I wish I had started blogging in English, using one of the platforms right from the beginning. As it was now I started in Swedish using a bad, non-standard tool, and it took me a ton of work, actually grind, to translate the posts from the first months to English and move it to Blogger. I could have been without that.

Can you picture a future where you will hang up your keyboard and no longer blog?

Oh yes. When I stop playing I definitely will. Maybe before, it depends on for how long it remains fun.

At your funeral, what song(s) would you have played as your corpse is set alight and cast out to sea on a funeral barge?

Hm… not entirely sure about that, pass.

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3 Responses to “Larísa”

  1. Solidstate said

    > That I was a punk rocker when I was young.

    Finally I understand the source of the pink hair :)

  2. [...] Larísa [...]

  3. [...] likes of Larisa, Euripedes, Matticus, Tobold, even Mike Schramm and many [...]

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