Interview with Mia Rose

One of the clichés or stereotypes that has been commonly pinned on gamers is that, if you're a gamer, you must be a complete social reject or a nerd. This has always bugged me, mostly because that hasn't ever truly been the case. Over the years, the public's perception has changed drastically because of the attention that celebrities (read "influential people") and the media have given gaming. Additionally, the industry as a whole has grown up quite a bit since the "King's Quest" days. Not only has this changed the stereotype, but it's brought social groups together that in the past, wouldn't have been likely to associate with one another. 'Online Gaming' is something I'm passionate about because of what it does for diversity. Race, Religion, Occupation, Political View. None of that holds any relevance in a game. Instead of Black and White, you have Horde and Alliance. I think you get the point that I'm trying to make here.

Mia Rose is one of those closet gamers who at first glance, you'd never in a millions years assume has an 80 Warlock, and in a guild that has Malygos in farm status. However, that's the reality. She's an easy on the eyes gamer who speaks the language and would rather be at home raiding, then out at a party.

We had the opportunity to meet up with her at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) earlier in the month to get an idea as to just how big a gamer she really is. What we uncovered in the interview, might surprise you, excite you, and possibly even make you fall in love. If you thought Mia Rose was hot before, wait until you see her talk about World of Warcraft.

Make sure to watch our video interview with Mia Rose, after the jump.

CES 2009: Do You Play Video Games?

We had an amazing time at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, as hopefully made obvious by our coverage. My single greatest regret was leaving the camera at our hotel when the Allakhazam team placed 2nd in the SanDisk Rock Band 2 tournament. Fortunately for you, you don't have to listen to me sing. That said, we still have a few videos that haven't been released quite yet. Namely the one you're about to see and our exclusive interview with Mia Rose (who's also an avid World of Warcraft player) which will be available for your viewing pleasure on Friday.

In the following video, we took a break from CES to pay a quick visit to the world famous AVN/AEE (Adult Entertainment Expo). While I can't convince you that gorgeous women wearing next to nothing wasn't a factor in our decision to make this video; my honest goal was to find gorgeous women wearing next to nothing that play video games! I'm happy to report that the mission was a success. To my dismay however, we weren't able to find any WoW players, but we did discover that Jesse Jane, Jenny Hendrix and Sinn Sage all play video games. I'll settle for that.

Check out the video where we ask "Do You Play Video Games", right after the jump.

CES 2009: Exclusive Interview with John Smedley

Some of you may remember a recent editorial that was published here at Allakhazam about my concerns with Station Cash. Obviously, there were people at Sony Online Entertainment who disagreed with me. During my time at CES last week I had the opportunity to sit down with John Smedley to let him know why I decided to write the piece and our conversation quickly turned into an interview opportunity. Mr. Smedley was both rational and receptive during our off the record talks and clearly understood my opinions, regardless of his own. He even went out on a limb to let me know that he'd like to take some of the concerns that I had back to the EverQuest II development team. You don't have to have a very big imagination to know that those remarks put a smile on my face.

During the interview, which is nearly ten minutes in length, we talked about Station Cash, Free Realms, EverQuest's ten year anniversary, and the EverQuest movie which has been rumored for years.  I have to admit, some of the Station Cash products that Sony Online Entertainment is going to be rolling out are exciting. I even found myself saying 'I'd buy that' during the interview. As far as my opinions of Station Cash are concerned, as long as the experience potions available for purchase are where they draw the line, I'm willing to co-exist.

'Imagine being able to open up a book with every member of your guild, and have that physically mailed to you as a part of station cash. Our goal is to be able to buy both in game items, and those kinds of items, but be able to do that among all of our games in the future.'

Please check out our interview with John Smedley which we've transcribed for those of you who don't want to see John Smedley and me stare into each other's eyes for ten minutes. Also, please tell us what you think about the interview, Station Cash, the EverQuest movie and anything else that comes to mind, in the comment box below.

CES 2009: Our Look at Free Realms

Recently we had the chance to interview Sebastian Strzalkowski, the Associate Art Director on Free Realms. There was a ludicrous amount of features discussed in a limited amount of time. We barely get any time to take a breath with all the new information flowing in. In fact, there was no way for us to be able to include everything that we were shown, Free Realms looks like it's ready to go!

The levels of customization are intense and elaborate. The interface is quite clean and streamlined, and the combat system is equally usable. The artwork is one-of-a-kind and the concept itself is completely unique to Free Realms. From Racing to the custom clothing, Free Realms looks like they are putting together quite the amazing free game for all, and we’re sure that they will make something truly special. Sebastian even drops hints as to what's next for this development from Sony Online Entertainment. Sounds like we all have something we are going to have to try out when it’s finally available later this year! Make sure to check out the video available after the jump and let us know what you think.

CES 2009: Intoxicating DCUO Anticipation

The following editorial contains views that are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of

Generally speaking, most of the online gamers that I meet have some sort of a comic-book background. Love them or otherwise, there’s just something about watching a Heroes (or Villains) story unfold. That’s why it came as no surprise when I found myself anxious to know more when DC Universe Online was first announced, in early 2006. Seeing the game at Comic-con in 2008 brought a smile to my face but, after our demonstration at CES on Thursday, there are quite a few new reasons to be intoxicated with anticipation.

Sitting down on the couch with the Creative Director, Jens Andersen and Senior Producer, Wes Yanagi was something that I was admittedly nervous about because I felt that they really needed to raise the bar from what we had been shown previously. Fortunately, they did just that; which is to say the game is looking great!

CES 2009: Interview with Fatal1ty

If you've ever played a FPS (First Person Shooter), chances are you've heard the name Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel at least a few times. Widely regarded as the most successful professional gamer around, he's won twelve World Championships over five different games. We caught up with him at CES to talk about something you wouldn't suspect, World of Warcraft.

During the interview he made it clear that he's going to keep his WoW life casual, but pursue it in a business perspective by actively seeking out and possibly sponsoring World of Warcraft professionals. In my mind this is great news for would be professionals that just need a little help breaking into the space.

I think I'm going to keep it more casual but I think I'm going to go about it the professional way by finding the best players and sponsor them to travel around underneath the Fatal1ty brand and support our product line with Creative. I'm really looking forward to sponsoring some guys.

Check out our exclusive interview with Fatal1ty after the jump.

CES 2009: An Allakhazam Look at DC Universe Online

DC Universe Online is a game that we’ve been paying a lot of attention to lately for a number of reasons. The biggest that comes to mind is Jim Lee, whom we did an interview with in December. When the Allakhazam team saw DC Universe last, there were mixed opinions as to whether or not the game would amount to anything. After our meeting with Sony Online Entertainment on Thursday, we’re singing a different tune all together.

The game looks like a lot of fun; which is something that a few of us wouldn’t have said when we saw it in 2008 at the San Diego Comic-con. The most exciting new aspect of the game that was shown was the Cases/Capers system. ‘Cases are essentially missions that you work on that are a lot like quests. Heroes have Cases and Villains have Capers.’

As you’ll see in the demonstration we were given, the game still needs work. I’m still not completely happy with the controls and camera angles, but the good news is -- neither is the development team. SOE is taking a new approach with DC Universe, and I believe that they understand this is a game can’t be anything less than 100% ready when they launch.

Please make sure to check out our look at DC Universe Online after the jump.


CES 2009: Interview with Brett Close

Some of the Allakhazam team are in Las Vegas this week covering CES (Consumer Electronics Show) . We had the opportunity to catch up with Brett Close, the President and CEO of 38 Studios to see if we could get any details about the project simply known as Copernicus. Unfortunately, Brett wasn't able to give any new details about the  other game than the announcement that the studio will be bunking down to continue the already 'ahead of schedule' development process. It's refreshing to see a company with so many opportunities to hype their game (because of the huge names involved: Curt Schilling, Todd MacFarlane, R.A. Salvatore), announce that their going to go mostly silent for an entire year.

We're actually ahead of where we want to be and things are going so well that we're going to turtle ourselves in and just keep focused on development. There's not much to say for '09; we just want to continue making the solid process that we're making and I think it's not only fair to us but I think it's even more fair to the fans out there that want to see something.

We were extremely excited to see more concept art like was given to us during Comic-con but we're just going to have to wait until 2010. Make sure to check out our interview with Brett Close after the jump.


10th Anniversary Artwork Unveiled at CES

It is a great time to be an EverQuest fan. The game will celebrate its 10th anniversary in a couple months, and I know some of our readers have been playing since day one. Just think back to what you were doing on March 16, 1999. Whether you were taking your first step into Norrath or not, EverQuest has remained a staple in both the lives of gamers and the world of popular culture for a decade. And you better believe Sony Online Entertainment is going to celebrate this milestone throughout 2009.

Members of the Allakhazam team are at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas right now, and today they were able to see first-hand the unveiling of the cover art for EverQuest: The 10th Anniversary Collector's Edition, a book that focuses on EQ's lasting legacy. The cover was created by Donato Giancola and dedicated to the late Keith Parkinson, the painter of the original box art for EverQuest and the creator of elf princess Firiona Vie.

Also, the members of the Allakhazam team in attendance heard about SOE's plans to create a documentary about the life of EverQuest this year, and they even got the chance to talk to John Smedley, the president and CEO of SOE, about hitting the 10-year mark. Smedley (seen in the photo unveiling the book's cover) mentioned some exciting EQ news, so keep an eye out for that interview. We'll be posting it next week.

Keep reading after the jump for more information on the unveiling of the anniversary book's cover.