Why are you studying games?
Trying to explain to people why I want to create video games is a little difficult, as so many thoughts come to mind. As a child, I grew up playing NES and Super Nintendo titles with my family. Playing Legend of Zelda, Spawn, Donkey Kong Country and more were how we often spent our free time together. Aside from their entertainment value however, I never really thought much of the games I played as a child. But that changed drastically when I turned 8 years old, and as a birthday gift received Final Fantasy VIII by Squaresoft. Final Fantasy VIII changed my outlook on games entirely, or rather, is what made me start to really pay attention to games for the first time. Yes, I was late to join the Final Fantasy hype (don’t worry, I of course went back and played the others), but FFVIII drew me in like no other could have. As I played the game, I grew with the characters. I watched them develop and when they were sad, I was sad; when they were happy, I was happy. I became attached to them and began to feel for them throughout the game. I realized that I had been taking for granted what video games really were… they were, and are, so much more than just a game. They are a story, a lesson, an adventure, a challenge, an escape from reality when we need it most, a way to meet new people and form bonds of friendship, a way to make a difference in someone’s life, or anything we want them to be, really. This is what inspires me to make video games. I want to be the person that can tell a story and make people fall in love with it. I want to be the person behind the creation that a young child can look up to and learn from – something that a person will remember for the rest of their lives, share with their friends and family, and keep playing until they are too old to even do so properly.
What's your secret weapon?
My secret weapon is my background in business administration & management. Before transferring to NYU for Game Design, I majored in Business Admin and now continue to minor in Business of Entertainment, Media & Technology. At 15 years old, I started and managed my own charitable organization (www.wooshortstack.org) to help improve the self-esteem of teenage girls. I enjoy keeping myself and my teams organized, writing documents, creating task boards, and much more.
How has the Game Center changed your thinking about games?
Before coming to the NYU Game Center, I've never REALLY made a complete game. And anything I had attempted, I worked on alone. Working in teams to create fully developed (or mostly developed) games has taught me a lot - both the struggles and values of working in a team, as well as the importance of delegating responsibilities and splitting the work load. Oh, and also GitHub. Damn you, GitHub.
What's your favorite New York City spot?
Every few months I'll take a long day trip to my favorite places in the city: Midtown Comics, Newyorkvideogames, The Museum of Natural History, and Ippudo!