Our next Trading Card Spotlight Features HollyAnne Setola who is displayed on card number 293, from the Superstars Collection of 2012. HollyAnne is one of the most competitive female gamers out there. She has been playing games since she was 12 years old. She has placed first in numerous LAN games across the east coast. She has worked as a correspondent with GameChurch, conducting interviews at places like E3 2016 and Gamestop Expo 2015. Other places HollyAnne has worked at are Aztec Gaming and Geek Fuel. She can be featured in the upcoming documentary, “No Princess in the Castle”, coming soon in 2017.
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
I am SO passionate about online gaming and about playing at LAN centers. It is not only something I am passionate about, but it is one of my favorite things to do. Gaming alone is fun and all but for me what really makes the game is the community. I have had many positive (and negative) experiences with the counter strike community but I think it really is the thing that has kept me playing for all these years. I love all of the friendships that I have made, and really so many of my fans are now my friends, and many of them are like family to me. Regardless of the negativity and difficulties I endure community wide, I would go through it all time and time again for the amazing relationships I have today.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
Today I am still playing counter strike (of course), World of Warcraft a bit, and then I am always diving into new games as well. My favorite genre of games is first person shooters.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
Besides Windows 95 games (which were epic by the way), my first memory of gaming was playing Super Nintendo with my Dad. We played many games but my fondest memories are on Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario Bros. Straight classics with amazing game play, great characters, and awesome music.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
For those that know me, I am classified as a “modern gamer” with my experience being in a first-person shooter of today. I personally don’t care for these labels as I see us all as gamers. Yes, we play different games and many of us from different eras but we all share the same love of gaming. Besides playing SNES, my Mom and Dad raised me with their stories of spending hours at arcades or playing pinball at the local pizza place. I have always known if it wasn’t for the classics and all the people that have gone before me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?
I will never forget when I first met Walter Day. I was working E3 with a company, working the booth and doing video interviews with various devas. I see him walking by and I had a MAJOR fan girl moment. I remember telling myself over and over in my mind, “calm down, don’t come off crazy, calm down”. I knew I had to say something though, this was my moment to meet Walter Day! I introduced myself and told him how amazing he is. I also thanked him for all his years of hard work and all he has done in the gaming community. He asked me to tell him about myself so I gave him a brief run down. He responded with “we need to get you on a trading card”. It was an incredible moment and one I will never forget!
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Legendary – Because he truly is. He has paved the way for all of us and it is inspiring.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video Game Trading card?
I certainly never would have expected such an honor but my gaming journey did start at the age of just 12 years old. Back then it was not as popular to be a female and a gamer, let alone traveling and competing. I knew that something had to come from it all and it most definitely has been a wild ride!
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
If I had to pick one it would still be my Gameboy color. It is classic and honestly, I just think it is perfect in every way. Any event I am working I always have my Gameboy color!
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
I am a PC gamer through and through. That is my wheelhouse and where everything really began for me industry wise. The only consoles I ever paid any attention to was the SNES as I previously mentioned, and then I also dabbled with the PS2 playing some awesome games on there with my Dad. Although I still play those all from time to time, my default is PC.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
If I could own one pinball game or arcade game it would be Donkey Kong Classic Arcade Game hands down. It is legendary and perfect in all the ways!
Which console company is your favorite and why? Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?
Because of my history I need to go with Nintendo. Too many amazing childhood memories that I keep going back to time and time again. If it wasn’t for my love of Nintendo games back in the day, I don’t know where I would be today.
What does it take to be a Video Game Journalist?
Guts, bravery, and being fearless.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
It is really neat to see the 8bit tones coming back in many games we see today. In my mind there is nothing like video game music…it is the best and one of my favorite parts of playing through a game – both classic and modern.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents, or adults?
I think the market does a pretty good job at knowing their audience for their particular game/system and aiming it at such.
Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
I do not believe video games are too violent and I do not believe they lead to violence in America today. I certainty do not want to take over your interview but we could do a three-hour podcast on this answer for me…so for now I will keep it simple.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
I think it can be a good stress reliever. I think we all have that game that does that for us. Although counterstrike is “my game” often times it is not the best stress reliever and sometimes can be a stress inducer. To relieve stress, I will typically hop on some WOW.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
My favorite video game character (besides Mario, DK, and a CT from Counterstrike) would be Elizabeth from Bioshock. I don’t want to say too much if people have not played through Bioshock Infinite yet but if you haven’t, go do it. Amazing game and such an amazing character. I could say so much but no spoilers here.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
What comes to my mind is the countless memories I have playing video games. Whether it is with my Dad when I was a kid, LANNING for countless hours with friends or with my Counterstrike teams, traveling playing tournaments, speaking at events, and more. Memories – so many great memories.
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style
Definitely gameplay. I am pretty picky about how playable a game is and if it feels smooth or clunky. I also am left-handed (play with my mouse in my left hand) so I have lots of weird settings and controls and not every game accommodates this and it kills me because then it is not playable. A lot of times there are some awesome games on console but their PC versions of the games are literally unplayable.
Which company makes the best games and why?
Nintendo! Innovative and industry leaders.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
Socially I have learned a lot and honestly, I have learned a lot about not only people, but about myself.
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
For me it is just an exciting moment but is not really the best part. The games I am most familiar with do not have boss battles so I may just not be as familiar. I do remember the hype I would feel at the boss stages of the worlds on Donkey Kong though, and unlike games today it did not automatically save every 30 seconds.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
Favorite multiplayer game is hands down counterstrike (of course), and my favorite single player game would be Bioshock.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
I honestly have enjoyed lots of them, even ones that people really did not like. I am always willing to give anything a chance and it has been cool seeing the games come to life in a new way on the big screen.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
If I could design my own game it would be a bunch of animal characters set in really cute worlds but it would be a first-person shooter. I am sure there is something out there like this but I think it would be really awesome.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
I am currently a multi-media personality, writer, reviewer, industry professional and advocate in the gaming industry. I not only still game of course, but I have the privilege of working with various companies doing lots of different things including interviews, reviews, and I have the honor of speaking as a woman in the industry and as an advocate for gamers in many incredible forums.
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
I think this is such a hard question because honestly 10 years ago I would have never guessed it would be where it is today. I think we have a lot of amazing games ahead of us, but we also have a lot of difficulties ahead industry side. There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of e-sports, competitive gaming, it is picking up in America, the constant segregation, or gamers in many areas and more. I pray we are seeing a healthier community where everyone is supporting one another and playing lots of amazing games.
This is one of an ongoing series of articles based on the Walter Day Collection of e-sports/video gaming trading cards – check out more information at thewalterdaycollection.com.