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Pelottavien pelien pelaaminen pelaajan reaktioita kuvaavan kameran kanssa on yksi youtube-kulttuurin sosiaalisista puolista. Pelien kokemuksia jaetaan muille käyttäjille, ja yleensä kauhupelejä pelaavat eivät ole niitä kaikkien parhaimmilla hermoilla varustettuja.

Lill Scarlett eli “Sparrowmella” on 22-vuotias Falmouthin yliopistosta valmistunut kuvittaja ja freelance-taiteilija joka sattumalta tekee myös pelien läpipeluuvideoita YouTubeen. Hänen suoskkipeleihinsä kuuluvat mm. Silent Hill, Sacrifice ja Alice-sarjan pelit.

Naisen nykyinen miesystävä Steve Torpey aloitti uransa kämppiksien nauhoittamalla videolla ”Steve Plays Fear Alone In The Dark”. Videosta tuli youtube-hitti ja se innoitti monia ihmisiä kuvaamaan omia reaktioitaan. Ehkä helpottavaa on jos joku toinen nolaa itsensä ensin? Tähän mennessä Sparrowmella on tuottanut useita Slender-kauhupelin eri versioiden pelaamisvideoita ja muutaman pidemmän pelisarjan. Osa videoista on tuotettu reaktiokameran kanssa. Yhteistyötä hän on tehny Kikoskian ‘Let’s play some games’ ja Mack&Mesh-kanavien kanssa.

Syy minkä takia tytön videoita on hauska katsoa, on hänen loistava huumorintajunsa ja toisaalta aidot reaktiot. Muunmuuassa Walking Dead-pelin läpipeluuta voi kuvailla lähinnä traumaattiseksi. Nörttityttönä hänen valintansa eivät yllätä minua, Sparromella tuo videoissaan esille pelaamisen sosiaalisia puolia, esimerkiksi Left For Dead 2 olisi hyvin tylsä peli ilman kavereita.

Sparrowmella on normaali tyttö, jonka julkisia sähläyksiä on muutaman videon teko humalassa. Animen harrastaminen on nykyään kovin yleistä, mutta suosikkisarjat kuten Claymore, Elfien Lied ovat sitten hieman ‘tiukempaa’ kamaa jota ei ihan joka tyttö fanita. Suosikki televisiosarjana on iki-ihana, ja traumoja aiheuttava, Twin Peaks. Mutta antakaamme hänen kertoa itse itsestään ja harrastuksestaan:

Playing scary games with a reaction camera is one of social features of the youtube-culture. It’s common to share experience of the game with other users. Naturally those who play scary games are not blessed with the toughest nerves.

Lill Scarlett is a 22 year old freelance artist from Falmouth University who makes playthrough videos to youtube. Her favorite games include Silent Hill, Sacrifice and Alice series of games.

Her boyfriend Steve Torpey did actually start up his youtube career when his roommates recorded video ”Steve Plays Fear Alone In The Dark”. The video became instantly youtube hit and it inspired number of people to record their own reactions about the games. Maybe it helps if someone fools himself first? To this day Sparrowmella has produced number of playthroughs about Slender-games and few longer playthrough series. Some of the videos have been produced with reaction cam. She has co-operated with other like Kikoskias ‘Let’s play some games’ ja Mack&Mesh-channels.

The sole reason for me to watch her videos is because she’s funny. She has brilliant sense of humour and in other hand genuine reactions. Based on that Walking Dead walkthrough seemed a quite traumatic ordeal. As a nerd girl her choices don’t really surprise me. She brings out the social aspects of gaming. For example Left For Dead 2 would be rather boring game without real friends to play with.

She’s quite normal young person alright – some of her worst choices were making youtube videos drunk. Anime as hobby is another really common thing although her favorite series like Claymore, Elfen Lied are a bit more hardcore stuff. Not everyday girly stuff. Her favorite TV-series follows the same theme, much loved and dreaded Twin Peaks.

But in all fairness let’s give her a change to tell about herself:

Rami: Hello gorgeus Sparrowmella, I bet most of geekgirls.fi readers are most likely not familiar with you so can could you tell something about yourself to our readers?

Nerdgirl Sparrowmella

Nerdgirl Sparrowmella

Sparrowmella: Well hello there! Thank you so much for the compliment. I’m a 22 year old lady with blue eyes, longish brown hair and an art degree. In my free time I like to make videos for YouTube, which involve games such as Slender, Amnesia and Alice. Been doing it for about a year now and I really enjoy it!

R: I think the story of your nickname deserves to be told 😉

S: Ahh Sparrowmella, is a strange name really. I used to do Lau Gar Kung fu when I was in University, and at one point we all gave each other bird names, I was the Sparrow. A while later a good friend of mine told me I reminded him of Mello from Death Note. Sparrowmello didn’t quite hit it for me, so I changed it to ‘Sparrowmella’ as it sounded a bit more feminine.

R: So, how did you end up playing video games and what were the first games you played? Any games that are close to your heart?

S: As cliché as this sounds I have always enjoyed playing video games. It began with watching my brother play them, and is something I’ve always been very happy doing. I think that’s why I enjoy watching ‘Let’s Plays’ on YouTube so much. Anyway my brother and I used to play DOS games like ‘Prince of Persia’ and a silly little game called ‘Magic Pockets’, then when his computer upgraded we played the first ‘Metal Gear Solid’ and eventually ‘American McGee’s Alice’. As awesome as MGS was it was Alice that really had an impact on me. It got me excited for the recent sequel release for about 11 years and has even inspired my artwork. American McGee is one of my heroes.

R: Your channel in youtube features a lot videos you playing scary games. This format of videos bears close resemblance to geek gamers like Mack&Mesh and Steve Torpey videos (Although you seem to have a better nerves than guys). Was it always that you want to scream your lungs out for the joy of audience or how did you end up doing videos?

Slenderman by Lill Scarlett

Slenderman by Lill Scarlett

S: Hehe maybe! Like I said in my previous answer I do like to watch ‘Let’s Plays’, and it started with the user ‘Helloween4545’. He did a playthrough of Alice that made me start watching them in the first place. During University I found the user ‘Storpey’ when I was searching through ‘F.E.A.R Reactions’ and he made me laugh with his reactions. After watching him for a while a decided to try it myself (my friend also told me that he enjoyed watching films with me because I jump so easily). I actually started with Alice: Madness Returns, then some reactions to SCP-087-B.

R: Now to our favorite the hot topic of ‘girls and gaming’. As a obvious gamer girl how do you persieve gaming? Is it just smoke and mirrors to claim that girls play less than boys?

S: It is true that there are some guys that get surprised when they notice a girl playing something like ‘Left 4 Dead’ or ‘Call of Duty’, I reckon that us girls sometimes don’t like to make ourselves known (because sometimes men can be silly about girl gamers), hence why there are very few girl Let’s Players on YouTube. Gaming to me is slightly male-based, but we girls have a large hidden club where we just rock out with our awesome gaming skills! 😉

R: Dead Island: Riptide offers dismembered female torso as part of their ‘special’ packet . What do you think of sexism in the games? Are we getting somewhere or it’s just thing that is around because twenty-something males that are funding the industry? Is there any phenomena you find disturbing?

Really 'special' indeed

Really ‘special’ indeed

S: Dead Island did that as part of a packet? Gosh I didn’t know that! I have only played Dead Island once, that’s weird. Anyway it is obvious that there are more male lead characters than females. As a girl, female leads make more of an impact for me personally, like Lara Croft or Alice, and the odd female character in lesser known games like Giants: Citizen Kabuto. Weirdly though when it comes to Sexism in games I don’t really think about it, everything is just equal to me. I reckon if I think about it too much I might have a better answer for you, lol! But no, I don’t let it bother me. 🙂

R: Academic study ”Communication in multiplayer gaming: Examining player responses to gender cues” published in last September from University of Ohio, revealed that experienced Halo 3 player with female voice received three times more negative comments than male voiced one. It appeared that gamers did in fact react and talk differently with female gender. What’s your insight with this matter? Do we address general problem here and if so what you think it’s roots are?

S: Oh god they really do! I’ve had people message me on YouTube saying things like ‘OMGGIRLGAMERSUBBED!’. It’s silly really. I guess some nerdy guys find that kind of thing attractive, but there are others that are more inclined to call someone a Noob because they are female. It can be annoying, but in a way I don’t think it’s a problem, it gives us girls a chance to kick their ass! 😛

R: I have to admit I know next about nothing about general equality in the UK nerd culture. So can you tell something about our readers: Are you the lone crow or is there geek girl gangs in London subway or something like that?

S: I haven’t been in London for too long, so sadly I don’t know too much before any gangs here. As weird as this sounds I have always got on better with guys than I have with girls. I have the odd girl friend who is really into gaming, but I usually play games with my male friends and my boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong though! I’m always really happy to game with girls! If I find any kind of geek girl gangs I’d join them! 😀

R: As of United States game industry is only about 10% female. It’s better here but only somewhat. How do you feel any youth worker, parent or adult could support girls in gaming with hopes that the disparity might correct at some point?

S: Hmm, interesting question. I guess that best way to do it is to keep them involved, inspire them, let them talk to you about new games on the market or things like that. As long as we are not constantly reminded that we are ‘Noobs’ or getting men being silly because we’re female and keep our self-esteem boosted, we should gain the same support that any man should. 🙂

R: I noticed you had the courage to actually give your email to the public. What kind of fans do you have. Are they mostly male and do you receive any fan mails?

S: The email address I give to the public is my professional email, for my art site and for YouTube, anyone is free to contact me on there :). The fans I have are mostly male, and the messages I get are usually sent to my YouTube and Facebook accounts. I usually receive messages from people saying that they like my videos, which really does feel good for me. It does feel strange sometimes that people are so excited to talk to me, I’m just a normal person! Lol. My fans are awesome! I love every one of them and I will always try to answer ever message that I get.

R: What would you like to say for writers of geekgirls.fi ?

S: Keep at it! You are doing awesome work! 😀

R: Bonus: Word association!
R: OK ready?

S: Ready.

R: Scary?

S: Horror.

R: Zombie?

S: Mop.S: lol

R: Finland?

S: Country.

R: Gamer?

S: Friend.

R: Nerdgirl?

S: Awesome.

R: Thanks for answering!