Girlz of Destruction Interview

Interview with the Girlz of Destruction is fortunate enough to have an interview with the toughest girls in gaming, the Girlz of Destruction! The Girlz of Destruction are a team of women that compete in Quake 4. Some of the girls on the team live in a house called the Home of Chrome. It’s setup to be a 24/7 place to train for competitive e-sports. The Girlz of Destruction gaming house in Sweden is sponsored by Via Technologies. Some of the Girlz will be at the upcoming Couples in Gaming Seminar in San Francisco.

How did the Girlz of Destruction come about?
Mrs. X – In 2001 I started playing Quake 3 online, and I thought it would be fun to find other girls that played. I came across Missy, and asked her if she would like to start a team with me and we just took it from there!
Missy – Back in 2001, I met Ms.X through the internet and we thought it would be a fun idea to put together an all girls team, since not a lot of girls played, but we knew most of the ones that did! Quake 3 was our primary game, and we played constantly. We’ve been a solid team for a few years, and our first major tournament was Quakecon 2005, where VIA sponsored us to attend, and we took the top 3 places at MsQuakecon taking home 30,000$USD in prizes. That was just the beginning for us, and now we are living in the famous “Home of Chrome.”

What games do you actively compete in?
Livia – Quake 4 and if there is any tournaments for Unreal Tournament, I will try and play in them too!
Missy – I am actively competing in Quake 3 and Quake 4 tournaments. I have also been the first and only female to get into the top 100 GGL rankings for FPS 1v1 duelers. Also my team mates and I have been placing top 32 and higher in male dominated tournaments, which is a good placing amongst these high skilled gamers.

The website states the four out of the seven members of the girls of destruction team live in the Home of chrome. How do those four get chosen?
Missy – Here’s how it all started: A few of the girls and I had this crazy idea about how cool it would be to live together in a gaming house, and game all the time! We finally got down to doing it, and really making plans for it. That’s when VIA stepped in, and made it 10x bigger than what it would have been, and thus the Home of Chrome is born! Now it’s not just a gaming house for us, but visitors too who want to train and bootcamp in Sweden. We didn’t “choose” 4 members exactly, but the 4 of us were able to commit to leaving our lives and starting this world wide adventure. The other members wish they could join us, but for them it is not possible; however they come with us every once and awhile to events.

Can it get crazy living with three other women in the Home? Do you pull pranks on each other when you aren’t training?
Mrs. X – We have a lot of fun. The house is full of good humor so you never can tell what may happen
Missy – I would say we always pull pranks on each other, we always do silly things and say the raunchiest things just to get a reaction. It’s HILARIOUS! We write parodies to popular songs and perform them with props and little dances. It’s a totally different experience to visit the Home of Chrome, it’s like no other gaming house, ours is definitely the coolest.
Trito – We pull pranks on each other every now and then. Once I planted plastic bugs in Missy’s bed to scare her. When she found them we planted them in Ms.X room instead.

What do you like to play when you aren’t training?
Livia – Haha, when I’m not training I’d rather take a break from gaming. I’m scared to get into a game like World of Warcraft because I know I’ll get hooked.
Missy – If I’m not training for 1v1 games, then I will play Team Death Match or Capture The Flag for Quake. It’s really fun and I play for hours.
Mrs. X – I enjoy playing Enemy Territory for fun, and Unreal Tournament.
Trito – Quake 4 is basically the only game I play now. When I’m not training duels, I sometimes plays some CTF games in Quake 4, just for fun. I used to play Quake 3 Clan Arena a lot and that is something I’ve started to do again some weeks ago. I also like to play silly colorful shockwave games on the internet.

What’s the best thing about being in the Home of Chrome or a member of Girls of Destruction?
Mrs. X – Since partnering with VIA our experiences have been amazing. The travel, and meeting people from around the world is something very special and I am very fortunate to have this opportunity. I love the girls on the team, we get along well and I’m really glad to see our team this strong, after 5 years running. It just keeps getting better.
Missy – Living in the Home of Chrome entitles us to very special privileges that VIA provide for us, that no one else has!!!! We have 8 PCs in the house all given by VIA, and being a Chrome ambassador means we must attend an event with VIA at least once per month, whether it be a competitive tournament, or an IT convention, like Computex in Taiwan or CeBIT in Germany. And, of course, one of the best things about being a girl of destruction is to be on a team with real friends whom I get along with and who are as dedicated as I am.

What is the reaction like when you arrive at tournaments? Do you think tournaments and events like World Cyber Games are starting to open up to women gamers?
Trito – I’m very excited to see the setup for the gaming computers and brackets telling you what opponents you have to face. It’s also nice to meet gamers and people you only meet a few times a year at events. Some tournaments, like ESWC, have female tournaments and I know that gets more woman gamers to attend the competition.

Missy – No matter which tournament I go to, the gamers will always stare and I know what they’re thinking “a girl?? Huh??”.

We’ve had this discussion on the boards a lot, women that play first person shooters want to be able to have the choice to play as a female character in multiplayer. Would you like to have that option? And do you think developers of first person shooter games will ever include female characters in multiplayer mode?
Mrs. X – Quake 3 had female models, and I loved the one I used! I would prefer to have the option of choosing, and I’m not sure why a lot of games don’t have it. I know a lot of guys that used the female models in Q3 also, so it’s a good thing to have for everyone.
Livia – Developers have already included female characters in multiplayer mode. I know that Quake 3 had female characters you could choose, and maybe even games as old as Quake 2 had them too! When I first started playing Unreal Tournament 99, there was also an option to be a female… and there has been in every other Unreal Tournament released since then!

And last but not least, what issues do you think are still facing women in competitive gaming?
Livia – I think that women can be at the top of competitive gaming if they simply applied themselves as much as the boys. From what I’ve seen, the boys will play for 8 – 10 hours straight a day, just training. But… even if a girl did spend that much time training (and I know we have sometimes!) their mentality is still different to that of the guys, which makes them have different strategies and thinking patterns. Maybe one day girls can use this to their advantage, but for now the top guys are still able to dominate it. Part of the reason that VIA backed us for the Home of Chrome idea is that we both wanted to see how far we can get in tournaments given the opportunity to practice and play as much as the boys.
Missy – I think the main problem is getting women to understand what competitive gaming is really about. It’s not about blood, gore, and guts; It’s about strategy, skill, fluid movement, prediction, timing. I don’t think it’s just women, but the public needs an explanation too. Once it’s explained to you, it’s much easier to understand or figure out on your own. Which is part of the message we want to get across at CCG.
Trito – I think it’s more common for boys when they are young to hang out and play computer games. I don’t think many girls are hanging out in that way, they might go to the mall instead. When you talk to a female gamer it’s not very rare that it was their brother or boyfriend that got them into gaming. After playing in the female tournament MsQuakeCon last year, I got a lot of response from girls saying that they wanted to play competitively too. In that way I think female tournaments can be good, because female gamers can get together and inspire each other to play. But I also think that females should play in the same tournaments as males. Since this is not a physical sport, the women don’t need handicap. The female tournaments are good though for the purpose of getting more women into gaming. It’s also good with events that focus more on girls.
Mrs. X – Not enough women are coming forward and entering competitions. Maybe they just don’t know about the events and tournaments out there, I know I was pretty clueless for a good year while playing. Hopefully this will change as competitive playing is becoming more and more popular.

Thank you again for your time! I can’t wait to meet some of you at the Couples in Gaming Event in San Francisco on November 11th! Good luck at your next tournament!
I will be adding events, tournaments, and qualifiers to tournaments on the Gaming Life calendar. We’ll also be adding articles covering the tournaments and trying to help female gamers be more aware of how they can play professionally if they want to!