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By SarahTheRebel On 12 May, 2012 At 04:23 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews | With 1 Comment

No GravatarThis week I had the opportunity to catch up with Will Santiago, better known as AkilleezMight, winner of this season of The Tester. I spoke with the 28-year-old  Brooklyn native after his first official day of work at Sony, so decided to ask him a few questions about his new job and the state of the gaming industry.

So what are you playing right now?

Just finished Prototype 2. I’m also playing my favorite RPG of all time, Legend of Dragoon, and I’m playing Final Fantasy 9 again.

What’s your current favorite game?

Soul Calibur V

What’s your favorite game of all time?

Earthbound. It was the first game I played where I was just captivated and I remember being like oh my God. Wow.

How was your first day at Sony as a Production Associate?

It was very informative. I got to spend time with a bunch of talented people all day. It was cool to really get some one on one time with them and to learn the history of the studio.

You’re moving from New York City. Was it a big adjustment moving to Cali?

I’m used to moving around because of being in the military, but it doesn’t make it any less daunting. Moving from coast to coast was a big transition. Especially with jumping into the real gaming side and seeing behind the scenes of the game industry. It’s totally different than I imagined!

How was your experience on the Tester? Did you ever doubt that you would be the winner?

I cant say that I didn’t think I would be the winner. I tried to stay confident. The really weird thing about the whole experience for me is that I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t get nervous the whole time I mean… I was on a reality show. That can be intimidating but for some reason I just kept my composure.

 

It wasnt until after the Santa Monica visit that I actually became confident that I was going to make it to the end.

I have to ask: why the Tester?

It was a whim. I was on vacation and I saw the first two seasons. I was just looking at the blogs and thought why not? So I made my profile, submitted my video and the rest is history.

So what do you think of how women are treated in games/gaming culture?

It goes along with the whole race thing. Things are moving forward. I like the way the industry is moving towards being more diverse and more gender friendly. There are more female protagonists now. I definitely support this move because it’s not just good for adults: it’s good for the kids. Gaming helped me stay out of trouble and I think if we can introduce more diversity and culture into our games and teach people not to segregate then it would be a positive thing.

Especially (working with Sony) now, I see a lot of women able to take on roles in the industry as project leads or directors or other prominent roles like that. It’s impressive and it’s the way it should be. I like the improvement I’m seeing.

Is there anything you would change about the state of the gaming industry?

Yes actually I would love for the golden age of gaming to come back. You know, when everything and all parts of the game came with the disc.

It just  seems like there’s too much complacency and dependence on patches to fix errors that shouldn’t be there at launch. I know a lot of it has to do with deadlines from the higher ups but people used to put blood, sweat and tears into games to make them damn near flawless at launch.

If you could be any video game character, who would you be and why?

I would be Dante from Devil May Cry 3.

…Why?

*looks at me incredulously*

Cuz he’s a f***ing bad***!

*laughs*

Ok, Ok well he’s over the top and he’s this funny, arrogant, crazy character but he is never unlikable.

Keep an eye out for Akilleez as the newest addition to the elite ranks of The Tester winners!