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15 Minutes of Fame: Tamzin on being a girl gamer, movies, music

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

Last week, 15 Minutes of Fame introduced Tamzin, maker of the madly popular strat videos that have helped catapult so many guilds past some of the most intimidating battles in the game: Lady Vashj, Kael'thas Sunstrider and Illidan Stormrage. Our week-long correspondence with Tamzin meandered far beyond the actual videos – so this week, we bring you Tamzin's musings on her professional work in games and movies, being a girl gamer and her thoughts on the future of raiding.

Catch the first installment of our conversation with Tamzin, and then join us after the break for the second part of our exclusive interview. Be sure to click the screenshot here to visit her most recent video, Tamzin's guide to downing Illidan.


15 Minutes of Fame: So let's talk about the "girl" thing. Have you taken any flak or disrespect for being female? Do you think you're treated any differently in game or in your guild based on your gender? Have you experienced any criticism of your tactical videos based on your being female?
Tamzin: Being a girl in WoW is much more hard work and gets you many more problems than being a boy in WoW. On the forums, all you read about is how girls get free epix and stuff. To this day, I have yet to figure out how being a girl gets you more DKP for a raid than a boy gets. People just don't think it through when they make such moronic statements! Being a girl does have some pluses, but it has more minuses than pluses -- so can we please dispel the myth that girls get an easy ride in WoW! I've had stalkers, a lot of people expect me to play badly because I'm a girl, people want you to "say something sexy over Vent," etc., etc. I've had it all! There are pluses, though. Imagine, if you will (as a guy, of course), a game where 99 percent of the players are randy girls who want to have sex with you. Well, that's what it's like for a girl, hehe -- so it's easy to, how shall we say, "meet people." ;-P

What do you think about Blizzard's choice to remove so many attunements in the game? How do you think this impacts the raiding scene?
People always seem to forget that WoW is a business, pure and simple. Therefore, Blizzard had no choice but to do this. So many guilds (paying customers) were breaking apart because of the whole attunement thing. Especially over having to attune new members or re-rollers in guilds. This leads to many, many people simply quitting the game. In an ideal world, we would have attunements. I hated it when they took even the first-ever attunements out or nerfed them. I think they should be hard, rather than simply time-consuming like "Jump through this hoop; now jump through this hoop; now jump through this one," etc. It is better when they are hard, because it gives you a filtration process. You know if (players) completed that attunement, they know how to play their class pretty well. So you know they're good and safe to have in your raid. Because today in WoW, we often see people in end-game raids who pretty much have no idea about the fundamentals of how to play their own class.

What do you think about the news that Wrath of the Lich King raids will feature both 10-man and 25-man versions? Good thing, bad thing ... ?
Again, they kind of had to. They have this massive problem about how to keep the casual players playing the game, and this is a fix for that. I think it's a pretty good fix, myself. I personally would like to see them be less fearful of trying to always make everything accessible to everyone, eventually. So why not have really hard five-man instance, just give the really skilled players one place they can have as a non-boring five-man run to truly test their skills? Make a really nice drop at the end of it, so it's like a mark of honor because you managed to do that five-man run, something maybe only a handful of people on each realm can do. That would be cool. Blizzard always tries to make everything so that in the end everyone can do it. Usually they do this by making it hard, then we all spend ages of time, gold and hard work doing it. Then they change it and make it much easier (nerf) so that everyone else can then do it, too, which is insulting to those who did it the hard way and cheapens the reward from it. But money talks, and they don't want those people to give up and quit the game. Better to make them feel they "did it," even though they made it so easy any idiot could do it.

So moving beyond WoW -- what about the person behind all these characters and projects? Where do we find Tamzin the player?
I tend to move between Tokyo, Hong Kong and London a lot. I make music for computer games and movies -- that's my, like, day job -- and right now I have a contract in London, so I came here for that. But when it is over in a month or so I will be back in Tokyo again, unless I can find a rich, handsome guy with good sense of humor to seduce before my visa runs out. ;-P

Music-wise, I mostly just compose now. I did used to perform in a band (I'd rather not say the name, or I'm gonna get major fan cross-contamination spam issues) and solo too, a bit, and also DJ a bit. But now I only do it for fun not really professionally. I'm more in the background now, the person you never see, which is how I prefer it: making music for other people or for movies, adverts, anime and games. Mostly I work in Japan, but it's amazing how much London is big in the game and movie industry behind the scenes! This is my third London job! You'd think most work would be Japan and the USA, but it's not at all. For post-production and special FX, animation, in game FX and things, London is top! And Japan is good for game work, because the game industry there is much more vibrant than in the West. By that, I mean maybe one in 20 games that come out in Asia comes out in the West, so we get many more games there. It means more work for people like me. :)

Games people in the EU/US would know about that I have worked on recently ... I did a little bit of work on the new Medal of Honor game recently -- just some help with the guy they got for some of the music in that game. I've made sound FX for Björk again recently, too. I should be starting work on a new anime movie soon in Japan, my next job. It's a sci-fi anime, I think. It will be big budget, sort of like another Final Fan movie. From what I seen so far, anyway, I think they're aiming for global release, not just Asian market, but I don't know for sure. They're being very secretive on it. Oh, and I made music for some of the episodes of a children's cartoon that was animated in Asia but for the Western market. It's called Goose Bumps, hehe. It was played on 20th Century Fox children's channel recently.

I love music, though. It is my life! My dream is to be hired for my music ideas and style and things, for movie or interesting new games. But I know it is hard to get to that point. Only a few people are known in that way, where a director would say "I want that person to do the music!" But it is my dream maybe one day it can be true.

News just in regarding what I'm doing in future ... Looks like I'll be playing the character (i.e. doing the voice) for two new machinima movies, one by Baron Soosdon. He's doing a new movie going for the Worldwide Invitational machinima contest in Paris. Not sure if you were aware, but he just won the Online Machinima Film Festival, and I'll be very surprised if he doesn't win this next one, too. I'm doing the voice for one of the characters in that new movie. Also, another newcomer to the scene is making a movie that seems interesting, so I'm doing a character for him, too. Machinima -- it's the wave of the future, baby! :-)

What's ahead for Tamzin?
I'm considering moving my current main to a different server. I actually get around, hmm, I'd say on average 20 people whisper me, and around the same number in-game mail me, every day -- as in, people come on to my realms and make a level 1 character to be able to chat to me. To thank me for making the movie: "We killed Illidan thanks to you; just wanted to come and thank you personally!" Stuff like that. I think it's sweet.

I am not (moving) to hide. I am doing it because on my current realm no hardcore guild can handle my raiding schedule. My raid attendance level is too low to qualify for high-ranking raider guild rank. And I can't find any good PvPers on that realm, either. So I am migrating to find better PvPers and a more casual guild, but one that is still good in PvE. And I think on Outland there are many more of these. If I do buy the expansion, then I will play a Warlock there too, yes, unless they completely break the Warlock class. If they do, then I will play another class or just add it to my reasons why I didn't buy the expansion.

I'll be checking out Season 4, then I'll be checking out Age of Conan and Warhammer Online. I'll be surprised if I buy Lich King. It will just be more of the same, copy and paste with stats bumped up a notch or two, the usual thing they do. And it will break PvP even more because of the balancing nightmare it will only aggravate, as new abilities are added to each class. I'm tempted to go back to Eve Online, if AoC or Warhammer doesn't click with me. Other than that, I'm mostly playing online in UT3 and CoD4 and Mario Kart on Wii online, too.

Evolution of a WoW player How many ways can one person play WoW? We're looking for players who've evolved through the ages and stages: solo, friends-and-family guild, 40-man raiding, BC end-game raiding, early-days PvP and Arena PvP -- even pre-BGs PvP! Drop us a line at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com and share your WoW evolution.

Filed under: Machinima, Features, Bosses, Guides, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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