Gaming Nexus Interview: LIGHTS

Gaming Nexus Interview: LIGHTS

Written by Tina Amini on 9/21/2009 for
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Another girl that plays World of Warcraft?! I might be deprived, because I have yet to meet a female gamer companion. It’s a sad story, I know, because they are definitely out there. LIGHTS, the electropop musician from Canada, is just one such public figure of a(nother) awesome female gamer. If you don’t already know her by her music and intriguing sci-fi-esque music videos, you will now most certainly remember her by her other title: gamer extraordinaire. I just made that up, but I think it will stick.

While music has ultimately become her life, gaming is also a huge part of it. I got a chance to interview LIGHTS and talk to her about her favorite game, World of Warcraft. Incidentally, WoW is also my favorite – or rather my biggest addiction – as well (once you go Warcraft, you never go back). Even though we’re technically supposed to vie for the other’s death (she’s Alliance, I’m Horde), I’m happy to see her be associated with the “tribe” (as she termed it) of gamer chicks. She clearly really loves to game, which is the only priority in my book as to what makes you a gamer at heart, and has some thoughtful outlooks on the gaming world to boot. LIGHTS – you just became my new best friend. Rendezvous at Dalaran tomorrow?

How did you get into gaming?
You know it’s funny. It kind of was the next step that was supposed to happen you know that started with this fascination for Sci-Fi that my mom introduced me to. My mom’s a big geek too; we used to have Sci-Fi nights together growing up. And I realized there was this other world that you could drift into and come up with the craziest ideas and be as imaginative as you could and it was all justified by the fact that it was Sci-Fi and fantasy. And then, as I continued I started drawing comics and then getting into comics and then I discovered World of Warcraft and I dove head first into that. And it led to many other games. Warcraft is my main one, but I also play a lot on Xbox. A lot of combat games like Mortal Kombat VS. DC Universe and UFC and I’m really liking Dead Space. I realized that I delved into it, wondering why I got so into it, when... I don’t have that much spare time as it is but on my spare time I do spend in it and it’s because I mean as a musician when your job and your hobby and your life and everything that you do for fun becomes your job then your job becomes who you are and you can’t really take a weekend off of that so your only chance to sort of to be someone else is to be into gaming and that’s a whole other world. Be the person who you want to be, somebody else for a bit and it’s the coolest thing ever and it’s very inspiring for me as well.

Is World of Warcraft your favorite game?

At the moment yeah, I actually 5 minutes ago just finished running the new instance Trial of the Champion and it was really fun. I just got a new cape, it was a big deal.

So are you in a guild?
I have two level 80s and I’m in different guilds in both of them.

Do your guild mates know who you are?
My main character which I actually don’t go on as much anymore just because I ended up posting it on my MySpace and there’s a lot of tells coming in and the servers been filled up, so I actually I got to level 80 and then my character didn’t get a chance to get geared. I only have half epics so I started a new character on another server which is more of my private one and I’m getting geared on that one so that’s my second baby.

With your main now, do they know who you are?
No one knows about my other one. I mean, I have a few friends on my guild and those are the few people on there and I go on there with my boyfriend and we raid together. But it’s more of my private one. My other one – my main – her name is Lights; she’s a human warrior. She’s on ___ server.

Is it true that you met your boyfriend on WoW?

Yeah, well it’s funny I mean we really started... The first time we ever hung out, for the first few months. And it was just, it’s so funny it’s like all in game hang outs and you know, going to the bar in game, and like /flirting and it all turned into something real haha.

How do you feel about people developing relationships and friendships on games like World of Warcraft
I think it’s actually pretty cool I mean, what I’ve noticed I meet a lot of people and even fans who I talk to online and in the game and we get along really well and I have no idea who they are or what they look like and I make my judgments according to what they say to me and how they act and their humor and everything which I think is a more, I think it’s a more human way to judge somebody and then you finally meet them and it’s like you already know them and everything beyond that is bonus so it doesn’t matter what they look like and it kind of takes away that whole aesthetic judgment on first meeting and it’s different than the real life but I think its not necessarily worse. I think its actually kinda better.

Is that your favorite part of playing WoW?

Well definitely a big part of it is the ability to interact with people including fans and everything like that but my favorite part of WoW is just being able to be someone else with different skills and different professions and a different job and different abilities and a different outfit and a different look and a different race. I don’t know it’s just an entirely different world and you don’t have to be you for a little while and it’s nice to take a break from yourself. I mean common you gotta live with yourself

Are you going to buy Cataclysm when it comes out?
Oh of course, yeah, definitely. I’m really interested to see what happens and I’m definitely gonna make a Worgen, it’s gonna be the new alliance race which I’m excited.

So you’re an ally?
Yeah haha. It sounds like you play too, are you Horde?

Yeah, I’m horde haha
Haha most people are. You know it’s really fun. I don’t know how I feel about the new faction changes and the ability to transfer your character between factions. It seems a little a-patriotic to me but I’m actually…it’s not I don’t know how I feel about that yet but it’s a little off topic I actually a couple days ago went to the World of Warcraft art exhibit at the Laguna Beach gallery and it was amazing. It was a really cool perspective on the game it was all different artists’ renditions of their character and what Warcraft means to them and there was the replica, probably the original actually, Wrath of the Lich King sword Arthas’ sword like in the block of ice there that I got to see and there was a life size orc and stuff it was really fun.

How do people in real life react when you tell them that you’re a gamer?
A lot of people are shocked actually, I mean the truth is there aren’t as many girl gamers as there should be or that people know of yet so I think it’s possible but once you get past it people are stoked and they just want to play with you and it’s another thing people can relate on. It’s kind of this underground mainstream world. Sounds like an oxymoron there but I feel like it’s underground still but there’s this whole massive culture and as soon as someone realizes you’re a part of it an automatic bond forms with that person and that’s one of the things that I love about gaming. You automatically have something in common with someone else that games.

What do you think about the games that developers are making these days to reach out to a female demographic?
It depends what female demographic they’re reaching for. There are obviously those very girly girly games for younger girls like on DS like My Pony World or Barbie World or whatever and I don’t think I would really enjoy those games. But I feel like instead, in a smarter way, gamers are even more so than before representing women as their formidable opponents in games like Mortal Kombat vs DCU. There’s a lot of female options in there just as dangerous and beautiful as everyone else and I think that that in itself should encourage girls to not only start gaming but feel sweet about it.

Something like Wonder Woman?

Totally, Wonder Woman’s great I mean she’s my favorite character on that game obviously. If you know how to work her right she’s pretty much unbeatable.

Have you ever thought about making music for a game?
I’ve actually thought about that, definitely. It’s something that’s been coming up a lot in conversation lately. I learned that for example the music from Final Fantasy games are actually big hits in Japan so there’s an entire world for that, it’s just not big enough yet and I think it’s so cool that it’s like this sort of cult music that people can find and you can be super creative and get cool angles on writing for sure because it’s more cinematic I guess and I mean it has to be catchy obviously and really recognizable for that specific game. Take the Mario song for example. That’s one of the catchiest, most renowned songs of history. Imagine writing something like that? I would be so stoked to get involved with something like that.

In your music videos I noticed a lot of animation and fantasy based themes. Do you get any of the inspiration from video games?
Oh absolutely. My inspiration comes a lot from World of Warcraft I’m not gonna lie. There’s a song on my new record called “Lions!” And there’s a ton of World of Warcraft references in there. It’s basically written in the mind of my World of Warcraft character, my warrior. And I’ve started multiple characters to get a grip on a lot of the different abilities and the different classes so one of the lines is: “I’m not the hunter, I’m not the mark”, you know hunter’s mark. And it talks about “sorrow’s blade” and then the chorus goes: “lions make you brave. Giants give you faith. Death is a charade, you don’t have to feel safe to feel unafraid.” And the “death is a charade” thing, as you know as a Warcraft player, when you die it’s not the end of the world. You just run around and find your corpse again. So you know it’s funny I wrote it to be applicable to other situations but it’s from a very epic point of view of a warrior from having to fight things on a day-to-day basis. There are a lot of references, so if you’re a WoW player you’ll definitely enjoy that and there are definitely a lot of references.

Did you ever find it difficult to keep a limit on playing World of Warcraft?
I’ve always been pretty in control of my schedule and addiction so as much as I’d love to stay on all night I do prioritize for having enough rest and if I have to wake up early next morning definitely important for me so I do set myself limits and it’s not too hard and it just makes me look that much more forward playing the next night.

Are there any games that you’re looking forward to that are going to be released soon?

There’s a game coming out called Metro 2033. It looks really cool. It’s kind of after nuclear apocalypse and everyone is forced underground, there’s giant rats and everything. It looks really fun; I think it’s a PC game. That’s mainly what’s on the lookout for me. I’m so much into my games right now. And obviously Cataclysm, I’m looking out for that.

We'd like to thank LIGHTS for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to us and for her representative for setting it all up.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I am host to the kind of split-personality that is only possible when a girl is both born and raised in New York City, yet spends a lot of time with two older brothers. So, on one hand, I'm a NYU student majoring in media and communication who has a healthy obsession with fashion, music, media and the latest happenings in NYC. But, on the other hand, I'm rocking a level 70 blood elf warlock (I just got Lich King -- give me a break), spend much of my time playing games of all genres and platforms, and if you pass by my dorm you can possibly even hear my roar of victory as I spring on the unsuspecting as one of the infected in Left 4 Dead. And just when I thought things were as random as they could be, I spent the summer in Texas and, turns out, I like 4-wheeling and shooting (real) guns too.

I whet my appetite early on the classics and later moved on to Counter-Strike, GoldenEye and the like. You'll find me trying just about any game now -- I even tried my hand at Cooking Mama -- but the more blood and gore, the better. All my friends and family are probably pretty annoyed by how much I talk about video games. It's your turn now, Internet.
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