It’s not everyday that you come across a female gamer, especially in India where gaming itself is in general frowned upon. A nation where parents thrive not on their own, but on their child’s success. It’s not easy to juggle gaming, have a 9 to 5 job and raise a baby.
Meet Murderdoll82/ Fyremantis, a Gamer who broke all stereotypes and went on and did just that.
We @badcontroller, managed to convince this multitasker to spare some time for an interview. Read on, Enjoy!
Rainmaker: Thanks for giving us the time!
Murderdoll82: Sure! Happy to be here.
Rainmaker: So who introduced you to gaming and at what point in your life?
Murderdoll82: Back in 1991, my brother and I always used to hang out together and watch other kids play. Super Mario Bros, Battle City and Bomberman were the first games I remember watching those kids play. I was fascinated by the concept of gaming on a digital platform.
Rainmaker: So was your brother your partner in crime when you started gaming?
Murderdoll82: I used to always tag along with my brother. We never had the money to play those games. We would just hang around watching other kids play games. When we moved to Delhi, we used to do the same thing at video game parlours and just watch kids play. One of the shops had this offer in which if you play 10 games you get 1 free. So, my brother came up with this idea to buy coins for 10 rupees whenever we get some money for buying groceries, play one game and buy whatever needed for the 10 rupees as coins. This scam worked for a while until the owner of the game shop got wind of this because a lot of kids had started doing the same thing. He switched the one rupee coins with those fake coins. So we were back to cheering the kids who still had their pocket money left. That was the Street Fighter II/ Mortal Kombat/ Snow Bros/ Contra era.
Rainmaker: What is the first console you owned?
Murderdoll82: My uncle who came from Dubai bought us a Nintendo Famicom. Back in the 90’s, everyone had an uncle in Dubai and an aunty in the US! It was so great. We used to spend countless hours on it playing Mario, Soccer and games like Duck Hunt and Wild Gunman with the Nintendo Zapper. Remember, those 99999999 in one cartridges? We used to get those from Palika Bazar. The Famicom went to my cousins because of my board exams and was never seen again. In retrospect though, because I removed the distraction and aced my boards, I felt aptly rewarded.
“We used to spend countless hours on it (Famicom) playing Mario, soccer and games like Duck hunt and Wild gunman with the Nintendo zapper.”
Rainmaker: First PC you played games on?
Murderdoll82: I got my first PC in 1995 – a 386 computer with EGA monitor. Played games like Prince of Persia, Sky roads, Pre historic and the original Wolfenstein3D. From then it was PC games for a very long time.
Rainmaker: Have you consistently been gaming or have there been breaks?
Murderdoll82: Gaming took a backseat when I went into college. I used to occasionally play Age of empires or Counter Strike but I was really bad at it. Then in 2004-2005 I happened to go to one of my friend’s party and saw the PS2. I played Prince of Persia: Sands of time. I absolutely loved it. Soon, I got one for myself. Then on, I was back into gaming.
“Then in 2004-2005 I happened to go to one of my friend’s party and saw the PS2. I played Prince of Persia Sands of time.”
Rainmaker: How has it been growing up playing games, what is essentially seen as a boy’s hobby?
Murderdoll82: Games are for boys is something I heard only once I got into college. I strongly disagree with that. It’s a healthy hobby just like any other. It’s just that boys play it more often than girls. Today, you will see a lot of women playing Candy Crush, Farmville and Clash of Clans. Those are games too. So, generalizing it as a boy’s hobby is unfair in my opinion.
Rainmaker: When and with what game did you start online multiplayer gaming?
Murderdoll82: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was my first online multiplayer game. I had played Counter Strike and Age Of Empires etc on LAN but online multiplayer was a totally different experience. On LAN, you know your friends and you know how they play and what you need to do. I even had a small clan with two of my friends. It was really fun and those are one of the best memories I have.
Rainmaker: What is the funniest sexist remark you have heard during your years of gaming?
Murderdoll82: “You play ‘ok’ for a girl.” Another guy told me “No wonder we lost because you are a girl.” But the worst I have heard is: “Are you a guy posing as a girl” lol.
“The funniest sexist remark you have heard during your years gaming?
“You play ‘ok’ for a girl.” Another guy told me “No wonder we lost because you are a girl.” But the worst I have heard is: “Are you gay guy posing as a girl” lol.”
Rainmaker: How do you respond to such comments?
Murderdoll82: I generally ignore sexist comments. But sometimes I do reply a bit rudely as well. Somehow a lot of my good online friends these days were initially the ones who couldn’t digest the fact that a girl was beating them at games.
Rainmaker: What is your favorite game/series?
Murderdoll82: The Souls Series- Demon’s Souls(2009), Dark Souls(2011) and Dark Souls 2(2014) is my favorite franchise.
Rainmaker: People say that the Souls Series is amongst the hardest of games, and you have platted all three games in the series. What inspires you?
Murderdoll82: That is indeed true. I have platted all three of the Souls Series games. Most people are put off by the difficulty. Games in the ‘90s (Mario, Contra) were so difficult and did not even have a save game feature, but once you got the hang of it you didn’t feel like letting go. It’s the same with the Souls Series. You learn from your mistakes and you conquer the difficulty. That’s where the sense of accomplishment lies. That is what keeps me coming back to it.
“That is indeed true. I have platted all three of the Souls Series games.”
Rainmaker: What is the hardest game you have platted?
Murderdoll82: I found Demon Souls to be hardest game to platinum. It took 200+ hours.
Rainmaker: How much do you spend on gaming in a year?
Murderdoll82: I spend close to 25K a year on gaming.
Rainmaker: How do you see India’s competitive gaming scene?
Murderdoll82: Competitive gaming has started in India, but hasn’t yet become as practical as a professional sport, so you need to study and join the mainstream to make a living. The future is definitely bright though, and I see gaming pay off for the serious gamer in the future. The current pool for the next DOTA 2 tournament is already $11 million, and I know and interact with several serious and professional DOTA 2 players here in India.
Rainmaker: Five years from now, do you still see yourself gaming?
Murderdoll82: I think I’ll be gaming my whole life (laughs sheepishly).
Rainmaker: You obviously come off as mult-tasker. What is your take on coping with everyday pressure.
Murderdoll82: Gaming is a hobby and should be considered as such. I think multi-tasking also makes you a better person since later in life when you find yourself bogged with a lot of work, you won’t press the panic button so easily.
Rainmaker: How do you juggle work, family and gaming?
Murderdoll82: I am lucky enough to have a partner who understands and respects my hobby. Although my husband is not a gamer, he is absolutely cool with it.
“I am lucky enough to have a partner who understands and respects my hobby.”
Rainmaker: Take us through a typical day
Murderdoll82: So, a typical day starts with reaching office at 10am, finishing work by 5pm. After I’m back, I prepare food and do all household chores, and then catch a couple of hours of gaming. This is when I unwind and relax.
Rainmaker: What platform do you play on the most?
Murderdoll82: I like playing on the PlayStation 3 the most, although lately I have been playing a lot of DOTA 2 on pc. I’ve had consoles since 2004.
Rainmaker: Do you have a next gen console yet?
Rainmaker: When do you plan to get it? What game are you looking forward to playing on the PS4?
Murderdoll82: March. There are talks about either a new Souls Series game, or a re-mastered version of Dark Souls 2 on the PS4, so I am definitely looking forward to that. Besides that, I am eager to have the COD experience on the next gen platforms.
Rainmaker: There seems to be an age old rivalry between console gaming and PC gaming. What are your thoughts on Console gaming v/s PC Gaming?
Murderdoll82: According to me, console gaming is cheaper since you don’t have to upgrade it every year. However, many of my favorite games are still on PC and can never come on consoles. Games like Star Craft 2 and DOTA.
Rainmaker: And finally, do you feel gaming has had any influence on your personal life?
Murderdoll82: I wanted to name my son Raiden. After some negotiations with my husband we dropped the R. My baby’s name is Ayden *chuckles*