There’s a new Deputy in town. Well, Features Deputy, Kris is Features Sheriff. You see, Jen has joined the editing team as Assistant Features Editor, so I thought that the best way to introduce her would be a Meet the Staff! Oh, and I’ve added in a bonus question(!!) for this special edition. You don’t get much better than this.[drop2]Name: Jen Allen
Living now: Swansea
Gamerscore/Trophy Level: 123088 (might be higher by now!)/Level 7
Random fact about yourself: As a child, I was asked to leave the Girl Guides before I was pushed/kicked out. It’s not as bad as it sounds! I disagreed with too many decisions and the guide leader was a bit power mad.
Q: You’ve been gaming most of your life, but what was it that started it all off?
A: A Commodore 64. My parents bought me one when I was 6 part as an educational aid, part as a fantastically fun Christmas present. From that day on, I was pretty hooked. A couple of years later they bought me a Gameboy, then a Sega Megadrive after that. Along the way, I was a total mercenary of a child and would be extra nice to the neighbours’ kids so I could play on their Sega Master System and my babysitter’s brother so I could play on his NES. As I grew older, I saved up many pennies for a Sony Playstation and discovered the joys of RPGs. I regularly played or owned pretty much all consoles bar an Atari Jaguar, Lynx and a couple of other systems I can’t think of at the moment. Used to be a big MMO (EverQuest mostly then World of Warcraft) and Counterstrike player but not much of a PC gamer now. I’m a big Xbox 360 gamer these days.
A: I’m a big cinemagoer and visit the cinema nearly every week. I’ll see pretty much anything at the cinema as I just enjoy the experience. I also enjoy cooking, reading, walking (live near some great beaches and forests!), socialising. Started getting more into keeping fit too. The usual really!
A: Hmm, once when I was at college, I choked on a glass of water and felt thoroughly embarrassed once I’d recovered! It was a Friday afternoon and everyone was quite relaxed, the tutor included (who was a family friend too). I was messing around and chatting a bit too much so the tutor threw a small stress ball at me as a joke. The problem was that I was in the midst of taking a large gulp of water and was taken by surprise. So I choked on the water instead! It sounds incredibly lame but I had huge trouble breathing and all I remember was seeing everyone looking at me a bit worried but not doing anything to help! I recovered. My tutor was probably even more embarrassed than me! Yeah, sorry it’s not more exciting.
A: I’m a self employed writer. I spend much of my working day writing news, features and reviews for a site focused on the iOS market. I also do a few other bits and pieces for other places too but that’s my main income at the moment.
A: Haly is a shortened version of my original tag, Halycona. Halycona came from a typo. Years ago, I liked the word Halcyon and used it as my name in RPGs like Baldur’s Gate. When I first played EverQuest, I needed a name for my character, a female troll, I decided that adding an a to the end of the word would sound more feminine. In my haste to start the game, I typed too fast and ended up with Halycona so I stuck with it. Then when I started playing Counterstrike I needed a shorter name so I went with Haly.
Halycopter is a recent addition to the group as Haly sounds like the start of Helicopter, hence Halycopter.
A: My Dad’s unfortunately no longer alive but when he was, he tried hard with games. He loved me talking about them and watching me play them but he was never very good at them! He loved the idea of flight sims but could never find one that he could manage on his own. He did quite enjoy Return to Castle Wolfenstein though despite being awful at it.
My Mum is a big gamer though. When I was a kid, we would always play Columns and Bubble Bobble together. We still play Bubble Bobble sometimes now too. She was a big Tetris and Zoo Keeper player too. In the past few years, she’s picked up a love of the Dragon Quest series. Over the course of about 3-4 months, she sunk 200hrs into Dragon Quest VIII completing pretty much everything possible. She’s moved onto Dragon Quest IX and VI on the DS now. She had a brief infatuation with the Wii but due to a disability, she finds the motion controls too painful for any length of time unfortunately.
A: Now this is an awkward one. You see, I genuinely can’t remember! I remember visiting the site regularly when it was a PlayStation only site then stopped for some unknown reason (I wasn’t a big games player for one period of my life so it was probably then). I returned to regularly reading in the past year or two and found myself wanting to get more involved by commenting and on Twitter as the community felt refreshingly mature.
A: Final Fantasy VII. It came along at just the right time in my life. I had all the time in the world to devote to it which was ideal. I spent the entire Winter, after receiving it for Christmas, breeding chocobos and doing everything possible within the game. Loved the characters (although couldn’t stand Aeris!) and the challenge of the boss fights. For numerous years afterwards, I’d return to it on a yearly basis. Sadly these days, I never seem to have the time!
A: The Playstation 1. I was a big Sony fan until this generation and nothing could better the Playstation 1 in my eyes. Just its sheer wealth of quality RPGs like Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VI (although it was a port), Suikoden 1 and 2, Vandal Hearts, Star Ocean 2….ahh so many happy memories! Also my first experiences with Gran Turismo, Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider were brilliant.
A: I have no idea! I’m not much of a public speaker unless I’ve been drinking. As it’s morning while I write this, I’d best not start! So, just hello really! Thanks to the great community for making this a lovely site to visit. Also, I apologise for my excessive use of exclamation marks in this! I exclaim when I’m nervous! Honest!
Well! There’s Jen for you! You’ll most likely (not) see her editing our articles behind the scenes, or you will see her writing some of her own. We hope for many exclamation marks, strange tales of choking on water (I didn’t know that was possible, was Jen technically drowning?) and tpyos that become tpyocopters, or something like that.