TA Community Interview - KBop a doo

By Kevin Tavore, 2 years ago
Two weeks ago, we broke a record. We had the longest interview we've ever had by quite a bit, and it was all thanks to TA's own resident wordsmith, Xpovos. He even threw a $10 XBL gift card in to reward those of us dedicated enough to read through his entire review. Eloquent as ever, he made sure it was worth it. But he's not the only one here on the site who's good with words, and today we're going to get to know someone who's been impossible to miss this past year on the front page.

It is, of course, none other than our resident newshound Kelly, also known as KBop a doo. She's put down over 800 news articles since joining the newshound team only 14 months ago, yet we somehow haven't had the chance to sit down with her and get to know her better. That's gotta change. And so it shall. Without further ado, but with Kbop a doo, here she is:

The Interview

Gamertags almost always tell something about their owners. Tell us about yours.
You know how parents always have stupid nicknames for their children (hopefully that's just not me, anyway)? My dad called me KBop when I was a kid. I had a lot of names I used for PC games like $5FootLong (hopefully you remember the old Subway commercials or you'll think I'm really weird), PancakesAreGood, and some other classics, but they were all taken (and in the case of $5Footlong, you can't have a dollars sign in your name on Xbox) so I tried to get "KBop," which was taken, so I added the "a doo."
You know when someone just looks exactly like what their name is? She just looks like $5FootLong. It's uncanny.You know when someone just looks exactly like what their name is? She just looks like $5FootLong. It's uncanny.

Tell us about your gamer pic. Why did you choose that one?
It's just the classic Super Meat Boy pic that half of the Xbox community also uses laugh. Super Meat Boy is a great game and I like the pic, so I've stuck with it. I occasionally switch between this and Dig Dug, but you'll always see me as one of the two.
How long have you been gaming? What’s the first game you remember playing and do you have any fond early memories of gaming?
I was born in 1991 and we had a PlayStation growing up. My siblings and I used to play games like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. When our extended family would come over, my parents, aunts and uncles and cousins and I would play Tekken 3 against each other. Like any family who was serious about Tekken, we had a "No Eddie Gordo" household rule. Anyone who plays Eddie in Tekken 3 is the worst type of person!

We also had the PC collections of old Namco games — Return of Arcade and Revenge of Arcade — which had games like Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, Mappy, Xevious, etc. so I had already played hundreds of hours of those before they later came to Xbox.
Do others in your family game, or are you a first-generation gamer? What does your family have to say about your gaming?
My dad used to play Galaga and Galaxian on the computer from the same Namco collections. He would get pretty focused on it and we'd always wait for him to finish the level before coming up and talking to him. My mom was really good at Xevious, but doesn't play much else aside from phone games nowadays.

I'm really the only person in my family who's stuck with gaming this far down the line. My parents know it's a big part of my life and are cool about it; my mom likes to browse thrift stores and sometimes she'll find me cool vintage games or gaming memorabilia like figurines.
Assuming you’re not a professional gamer, what’s your day job?
I recently went back to university after having many years after high school of not being sure what I wanted to do with my life. I'm studying both journalism and business administration. Before that, I was a secretary at a company that manufactures industrial chemicals (thrilling, I know!) for about four years. Since it's summer and school is on break right now, I am back at my old job until I go back to school in the fall.
KBop in the future at a feast, receiving her second Pulitzer.KBop in the future at a feast, receiving her second Pulitzer.

If you could be anything in life, what would you be? Is that something you think you’ll ever try to become?
I really want to work in the gaming industry in some way. I'm kind of doing it right now with being a writer for TA, but as much as I love it, it's a volunteer gig. It'd be amazing to be able to make a living somewhere in the industry.
What in the video game industry would you most like to do? What would be the best fit?
Something like public relations or dealing with other people. I think Community Manager or a role like that is something I would really enjoy.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever experienced either in work or out and about?
This isn't really weird, but rather sweet. In high school I worked in the floral department of the local grocery store. There was a gentleman who used to come in and have me fill out greeting cards to send to his wife, in different handwritings and signed by different people. She was struggling with a life-threatening disease and he wanted her to feel like she was getting support from a lot of people. I believe he told her that the cards were from members of their church. I'll always remember it because I thought it was a very kind gesture between a husband and wife.
What part of the world do you live in? If I were to visit, what sights would I have to see?
I'm from Illinois; there's absolutely nothing here. We're known for our corrupt politicians and for being the state currently the most in debt. Most people are trying to get out, not in! laugh

Jokes aside, where I'm from is actually regarded as one of the best places to live in the US. I grew up in West Dundee, Illinois, which was named Good Morning America's "Best Block in America" in 2010. It's in the suburbs of Chicago so we can ignore the busyness and crowds of the city while at the same time having it only about 45 minutes away if we ever want to go to a concert, sporting event, etc. It's also about 20 minutes from O'Hare Airport. I currently live about 45 minutes away at school, but have always enjoyed living in this general area.

Tell us about your home life – parents, spouse, children, significant other, animal companions?
I live with my boyfriend of more than four years, Eric, near the university I go to. Our apartment is no pets so that makes us sad, but maybe someday! We're both gamers and we actually met playing Gears of War 3 online. Nowadays we play a lot of SMITE on PC together, which is his favorite game. We've also picked up random things like Rust or Don't Starve Together here and there.
If you had to pick a spirit animal that represents you, what would it be and why?
The chinchilla, duh, though I'm not sure why. It seemed like the right thing.
What is your favourite aspect of gaming, or being a gamer? What keeps you playing?
It's just become one of my favorite hobbies. I always enjoyed the interactivity of a game over watching TV and movies and consume far more games than any other type of media. Games that tell great narratives are great, though I enjoy all types of games.

I'm also an extremely competitive person and love to triumph over other human beings as opposed to AI, so there is always some type of multiplayer game in my life. I'm currently grinding my way through Platinum ranked in SMITE, though it's the PC version, not the Xbox version. I was Diamond last season and I'm hoping to make at least that this time around.
Let’s talk about emotional impact in video games. Has a game ever filled you with rage? What happened and what did you do?
Oh, of course. Like I said, I'm competitive, so I won't lie that I get a little huffy when the game isn't going my way. I'm usually the first to admit when something is my own fault as opposed to blaming my team, however, and I always try to take it as a learning experience on how to improve for next time.
On the flip side, has a game ever made you cry?
I cried at the beginning of The Last of Us and I also cried a lot in the first season of The Walking Dead at several points such as

*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***

So sad!
Outside of games, what are your other media habits? Do you have favourite books, TV series, movies or podcasts?
James Bond is my guilty pleasure. I always have one of the books handy and I love most of the movies. Being a secret agent would be the coolest thing ever! I also read the Harry Potter books hundreds (not exaggerating, hundreds) of times when I was a kid. I thought it would be amazing for Hagrid to come to my house and tell me I was a wizard and take me away to Hogwarts to learn magic!

To be totally honest, I don't consume much other media anymore these days as far as movies and TV. We don't bother with a cable subscription and we've even been slacking on Netflix recently. I don't remember the last movie I saw.
Is there a book, movie or TV show that you'd really like to see adapted into a game? I'll accept ones that have tried and failed, but only if you tell me how you'd fix it!
My favorite movie is My Neighbor Totoro. I'm not sure how it'd all work out as far as it being turned into a game, but I do like games like Ni No Kuni on PlayStation that have tried to emulate that visual style in a video game. More please! And on Xbox, please!
What about music? Is it something that makes an impact in your daily life or simply something you use for enjoyment on occasion?
I have a 45 minute commute to work every day, so I always have the radio on. While I love my own music, I like the radio because it gives you that great feeling when a song you had forgotten about comes on and it's just what you needed to hear. I like all types of music but I am an especially big fan of classic rock. I'm also partial to late 90s/early 2000s easy-listening, pop type stuff just because it's what I grew up with. I'm not exaggerating when I say I like all music — I'll still listen to an old metal mix tape a high school boyfriend gave me ten years ago just because I like the songs on there!
If all video games disappeared in the world, what would you do? How would you spend your time? What hobbies would you pick up?
I would die, of course! No, I'm just kidding. I've always loved writing so I'd still be doing that, I just wouldn't be writing about video games I guess.

I'm always one of those people who wants to try and be more active, but never does anything about it, so if video games disappeared, that certainly would be incentive to finally go outside and get active!
What’s the best thing you’ve ever done that you thought you wouldn’t like?
Going back to school. I wasn't sure if it was a mistake or not. I'm 26, so I'm not the oldest person who has ever gone back to college, but taking courses with a bunch of 19 and 20-year-olds has given me perspective on my life to say the least. I'm way happier than I was in years prior and I finally feel like I'm moving toward a place in life where I'll be doing something I truly enjoy.
What is the nicest place you’d never want to go? What makes it great and why wouldn’t you want to go there?
Anywhere with a beach! Mexico, California, Hawaii, The Caribbean, you name it. My skin tone does not take kindly to the sun. Also, I can't be the only one who thinks we're all going to wake up one morning and find out the ocean has swallowed some of these tiny islands. Stay away from those places, people!
What’s your favorite game of all time on any console? What makes it special?
My favorite game of all time is Jak II. It was a perfect sequel to the original Jak & Daxter to me. I loved how much there was to do and how it had a world to explore instead of just going level to level, which is what a lot of platformers were at the time. A lot of my love for it is probably nostalgia — like everyone's favorite game — but I played it on The Jak & Daxter Collection when that came out and I still loved it.
If some evil spell allowed you to own only a single game for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
It'd have to be multiplayer... probably Dota 2. Is that cheating? With how many characters there are, each game is never the same, and there are always custom games, spectating replays and live matches, and more to occupy my time if I don't feel like playing the main game. It's also getting constant updates so the game is always changing.
Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?
I could say all the games I've put on there with unobtainable achievements, but truth be told I don't regret anything. I had a ton of random games that ended up with unobtainables on my tag long before I even joined TA, so I accepted a long time ago that I'm never going to obtain some of these amazing completion percentages that other site members have. It doesn't bother me.
Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?
People that are whiny in multiplayer games. The mute button is a great invention; I'm quick to mute people who are annoying.
What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?
Is it weird to say "nothing"? I have a huge backlog that I've been focused on, so I haven't been looking too much ahead. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of great-looking games coming out, it's just that I don't picture me getting to them for a while with the way my gaming is going currently. I struggle with finding a reason to buy full-priced games because of my current backlog.
What games have you been playing recently? What do you think of them?
If I haven't already mentioned it, I'm a news writer and reviewer for TA here on the site, I've been knee-deep in review games and haven't played much of my backlog lately. In May I reviewed Enter the Gungeon, Dreamfall Chapters and Black & White Bushido.
What game are you most proud of completing? Why?
I am most proud of SSX. It's mainly ratio-inflated from being Games With Gold, but some of the medal-related achievements were pretty tough. I also loved the game. It's also my hardest ratio completion by far, which I know isn't high compared to most others on the site, but I'm proud of it nonetheless.

I was also the first person in the world (at least on the site!) to complete Paladins: Champions of the Realm, so that was a neat experience, since I've never been first at completing a game before.
What single Xbox achievement are you most proud of? Why?
Call of Duty 4: Modern WarfareMile High ClubThe Mile High Club achievement in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare worth 42 pointsSky dive to safety on Veteran difficulty

I haven't accomplished anything amazing lately, but back at when I first got Xbox 360, I was proud of Mile High Club in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. I had hit a mental brick wall with it for a long time and finally managed to get it one day. Looking back on it, it's nowhere near as hard as I had made it out to be, but it's one I'll always remember.
In a slightly different vein, do you have a favorite achievement? One perhaps that you just really enjoyed attaining?
I like iconic achievements, ones that everybody seems to have. They show everyone in the community has played that particular game or experienced that particular thing at some point in time and sort of bring people together. Like this one:

Halo 3GraduateThe Graduate achievement in Halo 3 worth 12 pointsEarn 5 EXP or finish 10 games to complete the requirements for basic training (Online).
If you found yourself dropped into a video game, which video game character would you most want to have your back?
Definitely that big shark boss from Feeding Frenzy. He could just eat any enemies that approach us and then we could hang out and chill.
Any game characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?
Ashley from Resident Evil 4. There aren't words to describe the permanent damage this woman has done to my eardrums. "LEON, PLEASE!! LEON!!! HELPPPPPPP! LEON!!!!!!!" Res 4 is one of my favorite games of all time, but it really needed an alternate story line where you just leave her to die and go about your day in peace and quiet.
Apart from infinite lives, what gameplay feature do you wish you could make use of in real life?
Pausing. *boss comes up behind you and asks what you're doing as you're obviously browsing TA* --PAUSE--
Ever had any bad experiences online? How did you handle it?
I play MOBAs a lot, so there's almost always someone slinging around some type of hatred, so you just get used to ignoring it or muting that person. One time someone took it too far and started looking up my personal information online and trying to use it against me — also called doxing — which was really, really not cool. I reported them and was assured that action was taken against them, so hopefully this has deterred them from doing it to anyone else.
If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone in the world, whom would you choose? Why?
Arteezy, a professional Dota 2 player. Teach me how to be good, man!
What other consoles do you own? What are your favorites on those platforms?
Aside from Xbox 360 and Xbox One, right now we own PS3, WiiU, Switch, DS/3DS and pretty much all the classic systems like PS2 (which can play PS1 games), GameCube, GameBoy, Genesis, N64, Super Nintendo and I think I forgot a few. A lot of it is in boxes. My favorite PS3 game is Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which is also one of my favorite games period. On DS my favorite games were the Phoenix Wright series. My favorite game on the GameBoy will always be Tetris, another all-time favorite. To be honest, the WiiU and Switch have both been collecting dust since we got them, so I couldn't even say there. It's hard to find time as you get older!
Have you ever had a game you really looked forward to that you were disappointed in when it finally arrived? Tell us about it.
Gears of War: Judgment, what a piece of garbage. My friends and I had played a ton of Gears of War 3 multiplayer and were looking for the next big thing. Let's just say Judgment was not it! On Xbox 360, it would notify you when a friend started playing a game you were playing. There was a memorable moment where I was playing Gears of War 3 after Judgment had come out, and one by one all my friends began to join me so I kept getting notifications about it. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is also a huge disappointment compared with Call of Duty 4.
Do you play games without achievements? Has the existence of achievements changed the way you play games?
I do play games without achievements. I am also a big PC gamer and no one really cares about Steam achievements so there's that. I like it — it's nice to play a game and not wonder "Am I missing anything?" But on the other hand, I also like getting achievements. For some reason I do feel an obligation to try to get as many as possible and will usually breeze through an achievement list before starting an Xbox game so I can be aware of missables or unobtainables. It's nice to game either way.
Tell us about your gaming set-up.
I'm usually at my PC. I have a 27" monitor and a gaming PC where you'll always see TA up. In the living room, we have a 50" TV with all our major systems organized under it. I've got shelves and shelves and piles and piles of games, collectors editions and gaming memorabilia all over my house. I also have a ton of framed gaming posters. I haven't yet set everything up in the apartment we're in right now, but my last apartment looked awesome with framed posters everywhere. Everything about our place screams "gamers."


How do you use TA? Tracking, walkthroughs, solutions, sessions?
All of the above! I love statistics so those are just fun to look through for me — I've spent hours like "Really? Only 14% of people have that achievement?", just looking through random things. I like that there are both solutions and walkthroughs since sometimes it'll give you different options on how to get an achievement. The authors work hard on solutions and walkthroughs, so if you use one, be sure you're giving them a big thumbs up if it was helpful! I've met a ton of friends through sessions or the forums and the community here is great for the most part. It's great to be around such a big community of like-minded gamers.
How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?
My completion percentage has gone up from 49% to 62%, which is a huge boost! Looking at my sad stats made me want to get my achievements act together. I've also gone back and completed a bunch of games that I started years ago before I knew about TA. I've also taken part in some of the events here like UHH and GTASC, which tend to dictate what you play, UHH especially. It's always a ton of fun and I really liked being told "Play that game and get that achievement," since I tend to look at my backlog and be overwhelmed and unsure of where to start.
What do you like and dislike most about the site?
Probably both would come back to the community! I love the community for the most part, but there occasionally seems to be the odd person who is unkind to others for no real reason, and a lot of arguments over silly things.
How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?
I learned about it from my friend PRS Sarg, who funnily enough is an online friend of mine that I met in Dota 2. He told me about it when he found out I also gamed on Xbox and enjoyed achievements. I then became way more active in earning gamerscore and participating on the site than he did, though I'll always owe him big time for being the one to introduce me to the site!
Have you made friends here?
Yes, tons! I'm hesitant to list them because I would feel like the worst person if I missed anyone, but there are a lot of users who I would consider good friends and I would continue to check up on them even if I stopped using the site for whatever reason (which is not likely to happen). You all know who you are!

There are also people I see around the site a lot that may not technically be "friends" since I've never interacted with them, but I appreciate what they're doing and recognize them as integral parts of the site. Keep doing what you're doing, everyone!
Why do you choose TA over other gaming sites?
I love the achievements angle! I like gaming in general as much as the next person, but it's great to talk about it with a group of people who also understand what *insert weird achievement boosting term here* is.
Do you have any goals as a gamer that TA helps you track? Like being a completionist or topping a leaderboard?
I use Goals for when I want to complete a game. I give myself a deadline and I feel bad if I don't complete it by then, so it definitely helps out with that! While I don't set goals for gamerscore or completion percentage, I am trying to increase my percentage as much as possible by picking up achievements in old games I never bothered with achievements in.
Have you participated in any TA competitions like Leap Frog, UHH or GTASC? How did you fare and would you want to see if you can do better?
I have joined all the above. I haven't done especially well in any of them, but I did make it to Round 5 in The Ultimate Head to Head Contest 1 and my team made it to Round 15 in The Great TrueAchievement Score Challenge 2017. We actually miscalculated how much TA we thought we'd need and ended up getting eliminated by 100 TA or something like that, so we're all just idiots apparently! But it was funny nonetheless and we all had a great time playing while it lasted and none of us were taking it seriously, so that's the perfect type of team to be on. Shoutout to my teammates BaronVoNewman, Cower Before me, Eurydace and ParticleDeadWeight, I mean, ParticleDuality!
Have you enjoyed your time as a Newshound? What's your favorite part?
Yes, it's super fun! I like writing and interacting with other gamers so those are both my favorite part. I've also gotten the chance to try out a lot of games I otherwise wouldn't have thanks to being a part of the review team. This is also great experience for my (hopefully) future profession in the journalism or public relations world.

Lightning Round

Favorite Xbox game?
Halo: Combat Evolved
Favorite non-Xbox game?
Jak II
Favorite classic game?
Tetris
Favorite free to play game?
Dota 2
Least favorite game?
I hated Borderlands but suffered through it so as not to let down my co-op buddies.
Favorite game developer?
Valve
Favorite game weapon?
Halo: CE Magnum
Most hated game enemy?
Susano in SMITE, such an annoying, stupid, OP kit
Favorite Smite god?
Ares
Favorite game character?
Max Payne
Favorite game ending?
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Most hated game ending?
The Last of Us
Game that deserves a remake, remaster or sequel?
SSX Tricky remaster please!
Favorite game environment?
Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow
Favorite game music?
Chrono Trigger
Game that shouldn’t have had a sequel?
Doritos Crash Course... like... why? Why did this game have a sequel? Why did it have DLC? So many unanswered questions.
Non-Xbox game you’d love to have achievements in?
Hotline Miami, still sad this never came to Xbox. It has a challenging list and it's a great game so it'd be perfect.
End of Lightning Round

Final Thoughts

Is there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you?
If it isn't already clear, I'm a huge advocate of the site and I love the community here, so I just want to thank everyone so much for being here and also taking the time to read this interview.
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you want to talk about?
I feel obligated to self-promote, so here goes... I also blog about SMITE over at SMITE Scrub if you are a fan of the game, both discussing serious issues but also lighthearted topics too. You may have seen me on the Smite subreddit where my stuff gets posted sometimes.

I don't do much social media outside of Twitter but I'm on there if you feel any desire to follow my boring self. I always love chatting about games and TrueAchievements!
Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?
Again, I would feel horrible if I missed anyone, so I'm not going to name names. But whether you're a good friend of mine or just someone I've met in passing, or even disagreed with in the past, you're awesome and the site wouldn't be the same without you!
The TA Community Interview will be posted every two weeks if we have enough nominations! If you have a friend you'd like to nominate to be interviewed, or if you'd like to nominate yourself, please send a PM to kintaris. You’re more likely to be picked if you’re well-written, interesting, or write your own Smite blogs. Make sure to include WHY we should nominate you as that will improve your chances!
Kevin Tavore
Written by Kevin Tavore
Kevin is a lover of all types of media, especially any type of long form story. The American equivalent of Aristotle, he'll write about anything and everything and you'll usually see him as the purveyor of news, reviews and the occasional op-ed. He's happy with any game that's not point and click or puzzling, but would always rather be outdoors in nature.