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Interview with Bio Gamer Girl Amanda Dyar



 
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Dr Van Helsing

 

Ok let me start by saying thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with us.  While researching you for this I was amazed at how many different things you are involved in right now.  So let’s start there, of all the different areas of work you are involved in, does any one thing in particular hold the top spot in your life?

Amanda:  Writing would hold the top spot if I had to pick only one. I have always been very creative, even at a young age, and I use to sit for hours and write elaborate stories while my brother drew the artwork for it. My childhood was basically something out of a horror film and writing was my way of escaping that. I have published a few books & short stories while also holding many jobs in journalism such as a lifestyle columnist, staff writer & editor. Those have always brought me the most enjoyment out of all the things I have done.

Years ago I was a Psychology major in college who happened to get talked into auditioning for a play.  I switched my major to Theatre Arts and have been doing community theatre ever since.  How did you get into acting?

Amanda: I did not really pursue acting and kind of just fell into it. After starting up BioGamer Girl Magazine in 2010 then I started to network with more people in the film industry.  I made a short film entitled Growing Up Zombie! with my two children which was the account of how a family would deal with a zombie apocalypse in the modern age of technology. Not long after that I come across actor/director Daniel Emery Taylor who was auditioning people for his film Fat Chance. I auditioned for the character Maddie, in which I got, and from there I just got more and more offers.

Are there any dream roles you have?

Amanda: My dream role would be any character in a zombie film by George A. Romero or John A. Russo. Their film Night of the Living Dead was a great inspiration to me and can be traced back to many things I have accomplished out of my love for that one movie.

What other actors/actresses do you admire?

Amanda: Some of the actresses I admire most are Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon & Anna Farris. If you watch their work and how they have progressed in their film careers then you notice that they always stuck to characters that represented who they are.

Which ones would you most like to work with?

Amanda: I would love to work with some females who are iconic in the horror industry such as Betsy Palmer (Friday the 13th), Tippi Hedren (The Birds), and Judith O’Dea (Night of the Living Dead).  These women brought so much to the characters they played and forever changed the roles of women in horror films.

Do you have a complicated approach to acting or do you “just do it”?

Amanda: I try to put myself in the situation and try to bring out the emotions I would express if I was personally in that moment.

What films or other acting projects do you have coming up?

Amanda: Night of the Living Dead 2012 and Fat Chance are to start production in 2012. Night of the Living Dead 2012 actually brings back some original cast members from the 1968 film such as actress Judith O’Dea who played Barbra. I just finished up a small role in the film Contagion which is out now and stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon & Laurence Fishburne. I have many more in the works that I can’t talk about yet but I will definitely keep you updated!

Ok on to gaming. We are a web gaming company so the idea of interviewing someone with the moniker Bio Gaming Girl makes us smile.

 

How long have you been gaming?

Amanda: I have been gaming since I was 6 years old actually! I had an Atari and then I later received a Nintendo game system for Christmas. The first time I played Super Mario Brothers, my brother and I stayed up all night and ended up missing school the next day. I don’t think there has ever been anything that can compare to those original Super Mario Brothers games. Some other old time favorite games were Paperboy, Maniac Mansion and Zombies Ate My Neighbors.

What games do you currently play?

Amanda: Games I currently play are Left 4 Dead 2, Dead Island, Mortal Kombat 9, Resident Evil 5 and BioShock 2. I play a game until I get tired of it and then I pick it back up a few weeks or months later.

Do you FPS, RPG, or does it not really matter any game will do?

Amanda: I use to be really big into role playing games such as the Final Fantasy Series and Zelda games. I loved Fable 2 but the last one in the series was a big disappointment. I have gotten more into First-Person Shooters as I have gotten older. It seems I have a shorter attention span and I like to just go and kill things instead of wandering around solving quests & puzzles. I am a huge zombie fan so usually any time a zombie game comes out then it will draw me in until I figure out if I am going to like it. I plan on getting Dead Rising 2: Off the Record since I love that game series to death!  So it will take up most of my gaming time for the month of October.

Our keystone game, Bloodletting centers on strong story telling. Because of that, we tend to attract a lot of writers to the game.  Being an accomplished writer yourself, what advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Amanda: My advice for any author is to write what you know. You will only be successful if you stay in the areas that you are truly passionate about. When you really love something then that will show in your work and that is what will lead to your success.

One of the early peculiarities we discovered with Bloodletting was the abnormally large female player base we had. We attribute it to two things, first is the Vampire theme which always attracts a large female audience. The second is the writing aspect of the game.  While we do have our share of button clicking, it is the story tellers in the game that excel and this is where I think women have an advantage over men in gaming is that they enjoy the development of their characters as opposed to instant gratification of pressing a button to see someone die.  Given your experience in the gaming community, what types of games have you found attracted women more?

Amanda: I found that FPS style games seem to attract a large female base such as the Halo or Call of Duty series. Survival horror games also have a massive female following and this has been true for most of the years I have been gaming. Many of my female gaming friends I met in games such as Resident Evil Outbreak and Left 4 Dead. Research studies show that females in the age range of 17-35 are starting to make up a larger percentage of the gamer population than males do!

Hopefully that last questions transitions well to a discussion on BioGamer Girl.  Why did you start BioGamer Girl?

Amanda: I started BioGamer Girl in 2010 because there were no magazines that primarily focused on women in the gaming & horror industries. I actually started a forum first to get with other females to discuss gaming & horror. I received such a large response after starting the forum that I decided that maybe there needed to be a whole magazine dedicated to just girls, horror culture and gaming.  

Where do you see BioGamer Girls in five or ten years?

Amanda: The first issue of BioGamer Girl was released February 2011 and now only 9 months later we have over 18,000 subscribers.  In 5 to 10 years, I believe that BioGamer Girl could be just a big a name as Fangoria or Game Informer. Obviously at BioGamer Girl our plan is for world domination and I think we are well on our way.

How many degrees do you currently hold and in what specialties?

Amanda: I literally have so much education that I could probably apply to be a rocket scientist at NASA. (laughter) I currently hold 5 degrees which are in Education, Law, Business, Human Resource Management and Psychology. I basically loved all of these areas so instead of picking just one specialty, like most people, I decided to pursue them all.

What degree will you be pursuing next?

Amanda: I think I am finally done! (laughter) I may take some classes here and there in areas that I become interested in over the years. I am actually thinking of taking some photography classes to improve in that area. Photography is a huge hobby of mine and stems back to my childhood where I used to be given disposable cameras on my birthdays to take my own celebration photos.

You have the opportunity to push young gamers towards seeking out higher education, what one life lesson do you leave them with to influence them to pursue their own educational goals?

Amanda: Furthering youreducation is probably one of the most important things you can do for yourself. There are people who decide that they do not know what areas to further their education in so they just decide not to do it at all. My advice on that is to start out with a few classes in areas that you love and build on that. Start out with a creative writing or cake decorating class and build from that. The more you learn about the world and yourself then the closer you come to the answer of, “What should I do with my life?” You cannot figure this out if you do not attempt the journey. If you are a gamer and that is something you love then look into learning how games are made & the process that goes into bringing one to life. Every gamer’s dream is to be a Pro-Gamer and get paid to do what they love. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t happen for everyone so it is realistic to have a back-up plan. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop pursuing that dream of becoming a Pro-Gamer but make sure to get your education while you do it!

Sort of a social question here.  Brb and lol don’t exactly endear us in the real world when conversing with others.  Has gaming hindered our ability to communicate intelligently with each other in non-gaming situations?

Amanda:  Gaming has not hindered our ability to be social in real life situations or to hold intellectual conversations at all. The thing that does happen though is if you spend most of your time on games instead of in the company of people then your social skills start to diminish since they are not being used. This also means that if you devote all your time to gaming then you do not have as much to talk about with other individuals outside the gaming scene. You want to find a happy medium between gaming while still getting out and socializing with people in other real life situations. This makes me think of the Sims game series, where in order for your character to be happy then you have to maintain full green bars in all the areas listed. If you compare this to real life then it works much in the same way that you can only be happy if you have what you need/desire in all areas. Social interaction is crucial to a healthy lifestyle and has been proven in research that it adds years to your life. 

What gaming projects do you currently have in the works?

Amanda: In regards to gaming then I am taking on several new projects where I will be lending my game expertise to other magazines such as Girls and Corpses (US) and Scream the Horror Magazine (UK). There is also talk of a BioGamer Girl flash game which will be released in 2014. You can keep up to date on all the news at www.biogamergirl.com

Any upcoming appearances you would like people to know about?

Amanda: My next appearance will be at Lexington Comic & Toy Convention in March 2012 (http://lexingtoncomiccon.com/) located in Lexington, KY. I will have tons of BioGamer Girl goodies and will be signing autographs for fans. I will also have on hand many of the comics I am a model for such as Squirrel by Legends of Heroes & Villians/Comic Book Divas and Gingerstein: Rise of the Undead by Iron Dead Studios.

 

Our keystone game Bloodletting has five races a person may choose and because this is being posted on that site we have to ask. Vampire, Slayer, Witch, Werewolf, or Angel?

Amanda: The race I would choose would be Vampire, hands down! Actually, that is part of my night-life that no one knows about. Being a Vampire in today’s society isn’t socially accepted so it is something you have to keep to yourself, if you know what I mean. (laughter)

To learn more you can visit:

BioGamer Girl  at http://www.biogamergirl.com
Amanda Dyar on IMBD at www.imdb.com/name/nm4524863/

You can also find BioGamer Girl or Amanda Dyar on Facebook or Twitter

October 08, 2011 02:40 pm

Rayvn

Now see I like her a lot, that was a great interview.. I'm gonna have to go see her on facebook and the website now. Thank you so much for posting it. Oh and DVH its wonderful to see you back.

October 08, 2011 02:49 pm

Archer

0_0' All Hail Gamers, one day we shall rule the world. Seriously though, very entertaining interview to read. Two thumbsticks up!

October 08, 2011 02:50 pm

Dr Van Helsing

I wish I hadn't been so laid up in pain and recovering, there are more questions I would love to ask her now that I am starting to think clearer.

October 08, 2011 02:51 pm

Kara Shields

WOW I loved this interview and going to check out the sites now!

October 08, 2011 02:51 pm

A J Stephens


Very nice interview, DVH! I had heard a little about BioGameGirl.


October 08, 2011 02:54 pm

Morana Illvatte

I think this is probably my favorite interview. First of all, Zombie games such as the ones she mentioned are amazingly fun to play. You were right about her being inspiring and she's honest which is refreshing. Also the pictures chosen for this interview are amazingly done. Wonderful job.

~Mora

October 08, 2011 02:55 pm

Zayne Carrick

We really need a like button! But for now, i guess ^like will have to do. So...

^Like!

October 08, 2011 02:55 pm

Dr Van Helsing

I really need to code some sort of like button for this site.

October 08, 2011 02:56 pm

Severian

Wow, that was an absolutely fantastic interview, and I'm impressed that she has 5 degrees. Also, thumbs up to her for picking vampire. Looking forward to seeing Night of the Living Dead 2012 now as well.

October 08, 2011 03:00 pm

Jasper Thompson

Wow, truly impressive. She's a fascinating woman. Thanks, that was really interesting. October 08, 2011 03:01 pm

Amaranthe

I really adore this.  Thanks for sharing!

October 08, 2011 03:02 pm

Angel Salvatore

*looks for like button and pouts* Yeah gamer girl love this October 08, 2011 03:03 pm

Arianna Shadesfyre

An inspiration to female gamers the world round! We shall rule it all one day, so males...word to the wise, beware! xD Loved this interview!

October 08, 2011 03:04 pm

Dessa Chambers

awesome!
October 08, 2011 03:04 pm
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