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Gaming Interviews

TSM FTX Brandon Goes ‘Inside The Screen’ With Aaron “Don” Dukes

This week’s Inside The Screen, hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes, features special guest TSM FTX Brandon. Brandon Moreno is an uber-talented visual effects producer and compositor whose talents have been applied to dope pieces of visual splendor for the premier esports organization TSM FTX (Team SoloMid). TSM FTX is home to a wealth of teams and streamers spread out across some of the most competitive games on the scene today – League of Legends, PUBG, Super Smash Bros., and plenty of other hotly contested games are represented by top-tier players within the prominent esports entity. Brandon shines via his role within TSM FTX, plus his quality work has been applied to a boutique esports production team of his very own called Upscaled.

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Besides the work he’s dedicated to the esports realm, Brandon has also applied his eye for production to some super dope side projects that incorporate popular licensed products. With the most fitting choices in background music and creative imagery, Brandon has crafted immaculate video ads for the likes of Beats by Dre, Off-White, Nike, Apple, and Mercedes-Benz. Be sure to pay a visit to his YouTube channel to get a closer look at his myriad works of promotional productions. Brandon isn’t just an amazing video editor and entrepreneur, though – he’s also pretty nasty on the sticks when it comes time to dominate in Valorant. It’s pretty reassuring to know that Brandon’s strategic first-person shooter skills are equal to his skills as a dedicated video maker.

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For someone at such a young age, Brandon has already made several accomplishments that have raised his stock within his profession and afforded him the opportunity to financially prosper. Here’s hoping that he goes on to do even bigger and better things as his video production career continues to blossom.

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Gaming Interviews

Kaz Goes ‘Inside The Screen’ With Aaron “Don” Dukes

This week’s Inside The Screen, hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes, features special guest Kaz. Kaz is a maestro of sorts in his main areas of expertise – he’s a 3D artist, motion designer, video editor, streamer, and gamer. His motion designing/video editing freelance work is tied to the booming world of esports, plus he’s also created and continues to create dope pieces of art that double as NFTs and sweet wall panels.

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Kaz’s striking visuals can be spotted across sites such as Darkroom, Behance, and his own personal web page. Once you lay eyes on his numerous works of 3D art, you’ll quickly be convinced of Kaz’s undying dedication to his craft. While chopping it up with Aaron, Kaz delved into some other topics surrounding the world of art that he’s still knee-deep in. Listening to his thoughts regarding the most influential anime duo of all time provides some insight into which type of shonen anime he adores the most. Another enlightening topic that Kaz delves into takes place outside Inside the Screen and it answers this complex question – “how does one convince one’s parents that a degree in a creative industry is basically useless?” Be sure to check out his insight into that inquiry right here.

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Kaz is also an avid gamer that dibbles and dabbles in competitive first-person shooters. You can usually catch him puttin’ work in during his Valorant Twitch streams. He actually got his start as a Destiny content creator and did that for two years. Once he put together his own PC rig, Kaz began spending his time enjoying other shooters such as Overwatch, PUBG, Fortnite, and Apex Legends. Be sure to check out Kaz’s sick Valorant skills and his artistic ventures via his IG and YouTube pages.

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Gaming Interviews

The Future of Gaming with AvaGG, BlackKrystel, and More

You probably already know who they are and what they do. And at this point, you’ve probably also grown to appreciate their efforts in the genres of gaming, music, modeling, cosplaying and more. AvaGG, Erica Nagashima, CRAY and BlackKrystel got together for a very special roundtable discussion on behalf of Rockstar Energy Drink.

The topic of the spirited conversation was an important one: “The Future of Gaming.” All four talented content creators covered a wide range of topics, including the challenges and misconceptions that come with being a female in the gaming space.

AvaGG

“What drives my hustle is proving everyone wrong.”

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When the topic of what drives their hustle came up, each woman listed their distinct reasons: Proving the opposite sex wrong, driving the trolls out, growing their brand, paving the way for the next generation, etc. All efforts worth applauding.

Another point of interest was the idea of growing one’s own community. All four gamers have been doing an amazing job spreading their image across various entertainment mediums and building their brand to truly mean something, so it was great to hear what goes into amassing such a sizable fanbase. Tactics included finding other like-minded people in their field, networking with fellow gamers, regularly interacting with their followers through Discord and more. The rest of the roundtable featured some equally riveting dialogue regarding topics such as the gaming hobby as a whole, dealing with online toxicity (and coming into contact with rare cases of positivity), and how gaming will evolve years from now.

If you missed out on this livestream convo, be sure to tune in and show AvaGG, Erica Nagashima, CRAY and BlackKrystel a lot of love.

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Gaming Interviews

Get to Know KarimCheese, the Boston-Based Streamer That’s Doing It Big

Brought to you by Pagoda Snacks. When you find yourself in need of a hearty snack, it’s worth bypassing the popcorn and peanuts to go straight for Pagoda Snacks’ delicious lineup of egg rolls. You can fulfill your hunger by munching on Pagoda’s White Meat Chicken, Pork and Vegetable Egg Rolls. Plus, check out their delicious offerings of Crab Rangoon, Cream Cheese Wontons and Pork & Chicken Potstickers. Be sure to keep an eye out for Pagoda’s tasty treats in the frozen food aisle!

“Welcome to the dojo.”

That phrase is tied to one of the most chill personalities in the game-streaming spectrum. The hardcore gamer we’re alluding to is none other than “KarimCheese,” an officially partnered Twitch streamer whose community reach is getting wider and whose career is constantly expanding.

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Karim—this week’s guest on Inside the Screen, hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes—has already done some major things within the confines of his streaming career. He’s also partnered with plenty of other notable tech/gaming peripheral companies such as Logitech G, Gamer Advantage, Blue Microphone, AMD Gaming and Herman Miller. And to top it all off, his face was plastered on a billboard in Times Square during Twitch’s celebration of Black History Month.

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When the cameras are on, Karim keeps his “Dojo Fam” entertained thanks to the nice variety of games he regularly has in rotation. He’s dabbled in a bunch of titles, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, God of War (2018), FIFA 22, Halo Infinite, etc. But Karim’s biggest claim to gaming fame is Apex Legends, which is the sort of game he’s better at than most. His slick first-person shooter skills came into play on a professional level when he competed in the 2021 Twitch Rivals – NA Showdown for the game. Alongside fellow streamers Vinc3ntvega and FunFPS, Karim nabbed 18th place under the moniker “Team KarimCheese.” It’s always worth tuning in to watch Karim put in that work when he hops on the sticks for Apex Legends.

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Karim is a great representative of the ever-growing POC space among Twitch streamers as a whole. His huge sense of humility, super-chill demeanor, and lovable affection for all things anime and futbol will instantly make you an avid follower after just one viewing. With 17K+ Twitch, 8K+ Twitter and 52K+ TikTok followers on deck and counting, Karim’s fanbase is getting bigger by the day. We can’t wait to see where his streaming career takes him next.

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Gaming Interviews

Gabe Olivero Goes ‘Inside The Screen’ With Aaron “Don” Dukes

This week’s Inside The Screen, hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes, features special guest Gabe Olivero. Gabe’s work ethic inside and outside the screen is commendable – the man’s workout routine and work within the content creation space are equally impressive. His hosting duties, event planning, and affinity for content creation are certainly noteworthy and have showcased his ability to juggle multiple roles with ease. And as the master of intros, Gabe knows just how to get everyone’s blood flowing and raise his viewers’ excitement levels through the roof.

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Gabe’s work accolades are definitely worth celebrating. He previously worked as an on-camera talent for The Game Agency, plus he also did a bit of show hosting and event emceeing work for Frederator Networks, Inc., Cheddar Inc., and Andbox. He also tended to a gaming content and event coordination role for 368, which is a New York-based gamer and creator house. Gabe also has his very own YouTube channel, where he posts anime hot takes, live streams his numerous gaming sessions, and posts episodes of The Gabe Olivero Show. If you take a trip over to this Instagram, you can take a peep at his many workout clips, various excerpts from his opinionated videos, and hilarious interactions with his mother (who’s kind of a mini-celebrity in her own right). Now that Gabe is linked to Elgato, the sky is the limit for his future moves within the content creation and gaming industries.

Gabe has a lot of love for numerous things – he’s big on music, physical fitness, gaming, and anime. When reflecting on his many fandoms, Gabe spoke about the uncool factor aimed at people like him way back when – “I remember when liking anime wasn’t cool. Video games were always in a weird spot because, you know, people on the sports teams were always into video games. Everybody kinda played video games, but it wasn’t accepted as much. But now it’s like everybody does it. I have a friend whose business is going to people’s houses in the middle of nowhere in the country and teaches people’s parents how to play video games with their kids. Or teaches kids how to be good at video games so they can relate with other kids. Because that’s all everybody does. If you’re not playing video games, you’re not connected.”

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When Aaron inquires about Gabe’s top five anime shows, Gabe gushes over some of the best names in the genre – “You got Yu Yu Hakusho in there, for sure. For Shonen, it’s Naruto. The only other competition to it is One Piece. My favorite slice of life at the moment is Bunny Girl Senpai. If I go mech anime? Originally it was Gundam, the original series, but at this moment it’s [Neon Genesis] Evangelion. And the last two? A movie would probably be Spirited Away. Because it was a childhood anime, it has to be Dragon Ball.”

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Make sure you check out the rest of Aaron’s lively conversation with Gabe to learn about his vegan eating habits, his friends’ reactions to watching his content, and his reaction to the ongoing developments within the world of VR & tech altogether.

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Gaming Interviews

Say Hello to XSET Co-Founder Clinton Sparks

“When you compete with yourself, you can only get better. When you compete with others, then you are only aiming to be better than their best, which may never be as good as yours.” That’s the first thing you’ll read when you hop on over to the very first page of Clinton Sparks’ official website. That life mantra is one that everyone should abide by and believe in since it’s done wonders for Sparks’ prodigious career thus far. As the co-founder and co-owner of esports organization XSET, Sparks is making huge strides towards including more diversity within the professional gaming space.

When you hear about all the roles and accolades attached to Sparks’ name, you’ll quickly come to recognize him as a modern-day renaissance man – as described by The Esports Observer, Sparks “is a Grammy-nominated, multi-award winning hip hop songwriter and producer, DJ, TV and radio host, serial entrepreneur, Twitch content creator, author, and marketing wiz who clawed his way out of poverty.” Sparks’ musical accomplishments are many – he once went on tour with Diddy as his personal DJ, produced the lead single off The Notorious B.I.G.’s Duets: The Final Chapter album & earned his first platinum record, and collaborated with major artists such as Kanye West & Eminem. On the entrepreneurial front, Clinton Spark Enterprises oversees Get Familiar Inc., Get Familiar Radio, Get Familiar Tech, Esports Technologies, and XSET. A recent partnership with Twitch resulted in the creation of his famed music and show business series, WIN BIG with Clinton Sparks. Sparks’ newly published self-help book, How to Win Big in the Music Business, offers the proper steps needed to prosper within the industry he knows like the back of his hand.

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During a recent episode of the Aaron “Don” Dukes hosted Inside the Screen, Sparks joined as a special guest from Cancun, where he was hosting a special Madden gaming tournament for NFL’s El Snap channels, and shared a ton of insight into his approach with XSET. “So it’s really not starting from the dirt and I’ll tell you why,” Sparks noted. After delving into his many accomplishments within the music industry and beyond, Sparks went on to note that he worked with XSET CEO and co-founder Greg Selkoe to do business with the popular esports organization FaZe Clan. Sparks went into detail about how things progressed from there – “we went over there and built the whole business model and started bringing in revenue, brought all the brands, and I got to work doing what I do best. And what I’ve done my whole career is getting people familiar, integrating them, and intersecting different genres seamlessly.” With big-time investors such as Pitbull & Swae Lee on board and a wealth of beneficial brands in tow, FaZe Clan reached new levels of success.

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After Sparks and his business partners, Greg & Wil Eddins (who previously served as FaZe Clan’s Vice President Of Apparel/Special Projects), made the decision to start a new esports venture of their own, they teamed up with Framerate (an esports social video network) founder Marco Mereu to kickstart XSET. XSET plays host to a wealth of talented pro players across games such as Valorant, Apex Legends, Rocket League, and Rainbow Six: Siege. Some of the more notable esports competitors associated with XSET include iDom (Street Fighter V), SuperEvan (Call of Duty: Warzone), Snood (Fortnite), and Arianarchist (Valorant). On the business partnership front, XSET works with the sports nutrition brand known as GHOST, a gaming furniture company called Respawn, fast food restaurant Wahlburgers, the controller customization brand known as Scuf, and the gaming peripheral company HyperX.

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Sparks’ business savvy and vast knowledge of every corner of the entertainment industry have afforded him the opportunity to make major strides within the esports industry on behalf of XSET. The continued strides towards enhancing the esports organization’s clothing collection, company partnerships, pro player signings/team alignments, and social initiatives will surely push XSET further into the stratosphere. With his past accomplishments alongside FaZe Clan and his team of fellow industry shakers beside him, Sparks and XSET have everything they need in order to continue making major waves in the esports industry.

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Gaming Interviews

AHAD Goes ‘Inside The Screen’ With Aaron “Don” Dukes

This week’s Inside The Screen, hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes, features special guest AHAD. AHAD is a self-described broadcaster and genius who jokingly regards himself as being rated #1 in female focus groups. As a content creator/broadcaster, AHAD pulls off the flashiest of plays and sprinkles in a bit of his personality while grinding in Valorant. While he’s been known to dabble in other popular first-person shooters such as Battlefield 2042 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, AHAD is most known for creating memorable moments during his focused Valorant sessions.

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Once the topic of putting in the work comes up, AHAD provided an interesting anecdote when it came to time management. “Last year, I was streaming Valorant from day one,” he noted. “I was streaming from 6 pm to 6 am every single day. And I was clocking in 300 and something hours streamed every single month last year. I would sleep for two hours, go to work in the morning, I’d come back from work at like 2 or 3 pm, sleep for two hours, wake up again, quickly shower, eat something, then go live at 6 pm again every single day. That’s 12 hours almost daily for all last year starting in March.” To say that AHAD’s schedule is not for the faint of heart would be a severe understatement.

AHAD is known for hopping on Twitter to vent about Valorant’s Ranked mode. In a very vivid description of the sometimes infuriating game mode, AHAD stated that “Ranked is like an ex, bro. It’s like an emotionally abusive ex. I just keep going back every day for 10 hours a day. I’m trapped. I’m not even in love, bro. I got an illness.” AHAD perked up a bit more when he began speaking on women gamers and their affinity for communicating/not communicating during his Valorant sessions – “I think girls when they don’t comm, it’s totally cool. But you know what’s crazy is girls at the Immortal/Radiant level will always communicate. There is never an issue of using the microphone or typing ever. I’ve noticed I have lots of friends that are girls that play Valorant at lower ranks that don’t use their microphone or prefer not to. And I totally understand.” AHAD clearly understands the toxicity that girl gamers deal with in an online environment, especially when it comes to playing competitive games such as Valorant.

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Due to the 2020 pandemic, gaming ended up becoming a central hobby for many as they chose to pass the time while under lockdown. After Aaron spoke on the societal realization that gaming is now an essential part of everyday living. AHAD spoke on the influence of gaming on the casual side of things by stating that it doesn’t really exist anymore – “there’s probably a Tweet I put out a long time ago, something along the lines of casual gaming is not really casual gaming anymore cause everybody wants to attempt to go pro or get a contract. So any piece of mind that you get from playing games is gone.” Aaron and AHAD have clearly run into a whole bunch more “sweats” these days that go just as hard as them when it comes time to grab some W’s in Valorant.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/By1vcGXAMwm/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/By1vcGXAMwm/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/By1vcGXAMwm/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by ahad (@ahadify)</a></p></div></blockquote> \n</div>

Make sure you sit in on the rest of AHAD’s lit conversation with Aaron “Don” Dukes on the latest episode of Inside the Screen. Their chat takes a deeper dive into Valorant’s Ranked match woes, his past streamed games, the flood of younger pro players entering the scene, and so much more.

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Popular Streamers KittyPlays and Krystalogy Talk Mental Health In Gaming

Mental health is important, and so is self-preservation. In order to be our best selves and perform at our highest levels, we have to make sure we are taken care of mentally and emotionally. One of the ways we can do that is through gaming. A recent Microsoft study found that 84% of respondents agreed that gaming has positively impacted their mental health over the past year during the course of this pandemic.

Researchers have cited numerous mental health benefits to playing games including lessened feelings of loneliness, to further help spread positivity in the world of gaming  Bai Boost, a new plant-based, caffeinated water drink from Bai Wonderwater, has partnered with Take This, a non-profit supporting mental health in the gaming community, as well as wildly popular streamersKittyPlays and Krystalogy to continue to bring light and education on mental health awareness.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9W4lzlTCp/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9W4lzlTCp/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9W4lzlTCp/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Kristen Michaela (@kittyplays)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

We spoke with both KittyPlays and Krystalogy on the personal benefits of gaming and how they personally take care of themselves, while also getting advice on how to fit gaming and self-care into our busy schedules.

ONE37pm: This past Sunday was World Mental Health Day. How does gaming help to improve mental health?

KittyPlays: It helps a lot! Gaming allows me to participate and be social. It can also be very stimulating in the sense that you take on new challenges. It’s important to take care of your mental health, and gaming can be an easy way to connect with a group that has the same direction. You’re accomplishing something.

Krystalogy: I actually have a story about this. It was my freshman year of college and I was going through a rough time. I began playing Stardew Valley, and tending to my farm kept me sane rather than crying. It was soothing, calm, helped me stay focused and promoted positivity. Playing games can definitely help you stay centered and positive.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9zUkslVnk/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9zUkslVnk/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9zUkslVnk/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Krysta (@krystalogytv)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

ONE37pm: Adult life can be super busy and sometimes we don’t have the time to play games. Any suggestions on how we can incorporate that more into our lives?

KittyPlays: It’s funny because I never thought I would be telling adults to game. I would suggest putting it as part of your nighttime ritual. Again you can join a group, explore a new world, and it can help you when you are going through something and life is getting too heavy. Also this can depend on the game you are playing as well.

Krystalogy: To add, I haven’t been playing a lot of games outside of my career lately because I have been trying to read more and decrease time. However if I were to play a game right now to relax it would probably be Valorant. I try not to record/stream every moment because there are things that I want to keep to myself, and I don’t have to worry about small things such as how I look or what facial expressions I am making.

ONE37pm: How do you take care of yourself daily to help you balance your career?

KittyPlays: I’m a huge fan of morning routines. I don’t touch my phone right away when I get up. I do yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and journal. I have my lattes, do some reading, and then I officially start my day. So I would say it’s about setting that initial foundation.

Krystalogy: I’ve been reading a lot more because so much of gaming is about storytelling, and I love games and stories. I also read to reduce my time on social media because it can really be draining sometimes—especially with the negative comments. Reading, walking, etc., has been especially helpful to my physical and mental health.

ONE37pm: Is there anything else you want gamers to know about gaming and mental health?

KittyPlays: For me, everything is about optimism and positivity. This career can come with a lot of harassment, but at the same time gaming allows me to get in tune with myself. There are a lot of people who are complimenting and trying to tear you down at the same time, so it’s about being even keel. You have to really set a foundation because there’s tons of good things as well. Gaming can help you socialize and interact with many people across the world, especially in this pandemic.

Krystalogy: Don’t brush off your mental health! It’s okay to take a break, and it’s okay to give yourself time to rest because at the same time the quality of your work also reflects your mental health. Try that game! Go for that walk! Especially since we’re kind of still stuck at home because of this pandemic.

You heard them! Make sure you always take time to take care of yourself. You can keep up with both KittyPlays and Krystalogy on Instagram. 

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Draynilla Goes ‘Inside The Screen’ With Aaron “Don” Dukes

This week’s Inside The Screen, hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes, features special guest Draynilla. Draynilla is a prominent Apex Legends player and content creator whose electric personality garners plenty of laughs and positive vibes. The first-person shooter genre lies at the heart of his passion for gaming/streaming, plus he also makes sure to keep everyone’s Twitter timelines peppered with hilarity thanks to his outlandish thoughts. Draynilla chopped it up with Aaron about everything from good shower habits to focusing on one’s goals and not comparing oneself to everyone else’s accomplishments.

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Draynilla leaves his mark on the gaming sphere through his full-time Twitch streaming gig. And as a member of SoaR Gaming, his lively Apex Legends content is regularly showcased on an even larger scale. Thanks to his father and his love for gaming, Draynilla grew to appreciate it as much as him during his early days running and gunning on the Xbox 360. When Aaron speaks highly of his “demonic” Apex Legends skills and being surprised that he’s not a competitive player, Draynilla speaks on not being all that interested in going pro – “I sometimes think that maybe I could compete or do something like that, but to me, it’s just boring. I just like to run around in pubs (public games) and have fun. Just shoot people and game instead of trying to strategize, pick a position, hold it down, and sit here & shoot people as they come in. I like watching it, but for me I personally just like running around and having fun.”

Even before Draynilla’s passions for FPS games took shape, he became enamored with the Sega Genesis and its mascot Sonic the Hedgehog. Draynilla reminisced about his 16-bit glory days in full – “dude, I’d play like Sonic. I’d play like Judge Dredd.” And when the topic of grinding hard at games came up, Draynilla showed even more love to the “Blue Blur” – Sonic Adventure 2, bro! You remember that one where you’d like, grind the Chao’s and stuff like that? It was on the GameCube. I’d also play Super Smash Bros., too. Then I switched to Xbox 360 and started playing Halo. And that was the first game I really grinded. I used to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, too.” Back in the day, Draynilla was a traditional controller player. But now, he lights up the Apex Legends leaderboards through his expert mouse and keyboard skills.

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When Aaron brings up one of Draynilla’s past tweets that tells his followers to stop comparing themselves to everyone else’s victories, Draynilla breaks it down from a content creator perspective – “Just be the best you. If you keep comparing yourself to people around you, you’re never going to appreciate what you actually do have. Just keep working on what works for you and brings you happiness rather than just focusing on what the other person brings and what works for them. Focus on what you got going for you. And if you can improve that every single day, you’ll be one percent better every day and just keep going.” A simple and concise statement such as that one should provide all the inspirational talk one needs to keep upgrading oneself at a steady pace.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CUYrXw-Jwdg/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CUYrXw-Jwdg/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CUYrXw-Jwdg/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by SoaR Draynilla (@draynilla)</a></p></div></blockquote> \n</div>

Be sure to check out the rest of Aaron and Draynilla’s inspiring and hilarious conversation on the latest episode of Inside the Screen. You’re definitely going to want to watch as Draynilla reacts to his past tweets and reflects on one in particular that came to fruition in the form of a new Tesla.

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Actress and Producer Akemi Look Is The Latest Call of Duty Addition

This week’s Inside The Screen hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes welcomes Akemi Look. A woman of many talents, Akemi is an actor, writer, and producer, based in Los Angeles and one of the newest additions to the Call of Duty family where gamers were officially introduced to her character KITSUNE in the latest season of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. KITSUNE embodies everything Akemi Look represents in real life: fierce, badass, and the ability to command attention. It’s always an interesting experience when you can merge your passions together, and Don caught up with Akemi aka KITSUNE to discuss the latest happenings in her career, bringing KITSUNE to life, and more during their nearly 40-minute conversation. 

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So how exactly does one end up with a role in perhaps the biggest gaming franchise in the world. Don asked Akemi the question we all wanted to know. “This was a totally random audition for me,” she says before going a little further into the audition process and how she ultimately landed the role. “I’ve auditioned for a lot of video games before, and this one was interesting. My managers called me and basically asked if I could jump on a Zoom call on the spot.

They couldn’t give me much information about it at the time, but the casting director remembered me from a previous audition. I hopped on Zoom, and the casting director told me to make all of these different facial expressions while he took pictures of each one. It was all kinds of faces from screaming to really intense looks. As an actor I was like “great.”

Pointing out that Akemi’s path into esports and gaming is one that not many generally consider, Don asks the actress if her life is now partially connected to the gaming scene since her fiance Patrick creates music for video games, and video gaming acting is a part of her resume now. “Oh yeah! My fiance does video game music and all kinds of composing. It’s funny because this is the first project that I’ve done where there’s been so much hype surrounding it. COD fans are freaking amazing! They love this character and I get really excited when I get messages from the girl gamers who tell me they play as my character all of the time. It’s so cool and badass, and all of the guys in Patrick’s squad play as KITSUNE too! “

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tv\/CSe-Ip5JX5R\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tv\/CSe-Ip5JX5R\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tv\/CSe-Ip5JX5R\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Akemi Look (@akemilook)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote></div>

As Don and Akemi continue to chit-chat, the conversation pivots towards women in gaming, and the challenges female streamers regularly face. “That’s why I got so excited for this role because I knew it would be for all of the girl gamers out there. It goes back to the age old saying of representation and having a new face for a badass woman in combat. It’s fiction and it’s centered in this fantasy reality which I really love.  

As you can tell, Don and Akemi had a great conversation that you should check out not only if you are a gamer, but also into television and movies as well. You can continue to follow them both on Instagram.