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Interviews
 Written by David Taylor  on June 18, 2007

Interview:


More from CGS 2007: The Draft | Adanade 'sWooZie' Thorne Interview | Kat Hunter Interview | Jason Lake Interview | Johnathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel Interview


Kat Hunter, general manager for the San Francisco Optx, has been involved in the video game industry since 2000. A true renaissance woman, she has participated in almost every aspect from the video game industry from writing articles for publications like Gamepro and 1Up.com to being the webmaster for GameDaily. She is also an avid player and is best known for being a former member of the all-girl console gaming team, the Frag Dolls.

During the draft she managed to sign Dead or Alive 4 player Vanessa Arteaga, one of the most sought after draftees from the CGS Combine. Additionally she drafted the Counter-Strike team EF Gaming into the San Francisco franchise.

Gaming Target sat down with her for an interview on the last day of the CGS Combine, June 11th.



Gaming Target: How did you first get involved in the video game industry?

Kat Hunter: I came out of San Francisco. I actually started in an advertising agency and I rented this flat, or a branch, in the agency and worked out of there for a little while. Then the market crashed and the funding dried up very fast, but the people at the end of the hall said hey why don't you do what you do for us? That company was called Gigex. Now it's called GameDaily, and they were just recently bought by AOL Games.

I spent four years with them as their webmaster and director of IT. I was employee number three. After I left the staff in '04 I was a freelance journalist off and on up until now. I also currently produce gaming video content for sites like AT&T Blue Room and IGN.

GT: What sort of content?

KH: I have two shows right now. One show is called Retro, which is a look at old arcade games every week. My second show is called A-List On Location. It's a month long series where we go to a different game developer every month and get an in-depth look at what it's like to be in the final stages of game development.

GT: What advice would you give someone who wanted to get into video game journalism?

KH: Honestly when I started I hadn't written in awhile. I worked for a newspaper at the start of my career. [To get started in video game journalism] I worked for free for about half a year. I found people who wanted content and I wrote for free and when I had enough bylines I went to enough press junkets that people got to know me and I started getting really lousy assignments (laughs). I'd make $45 dollars for reviewing a game it took me 40 hours to play. I did a lot of that kind of work until I started getting the type of work I wanted.

GT: So what would be a way for someone to really make their writing stand out?

KH: Just do excellent work and keep doing it and when you get a portfolio of the type of work you feel proud of then you start sending those published links to other gaming sites.

GT: What are your favorite games and how did you get started in your ?video game infancy??

KH: I played Super Nintendo with the rest of America but I don't really count that as my gamer phase. After SNES I didn't pick up any gaming again until Xbox came out, and this isn't going to go over well with the core gaming crowd but the game that got me back into video gaming was Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I loved that game! That got me into Xbox gaming and when Xbox Live came out I started playing a lot of the online games and first-person shooters.

My favorite Xbox Live games are Far Cry?I love to play Far Cry multiplayer? I play that a lot. I like Rainbow Six and I like Ghost Recon. I worked for Ubisoft so that explains my taste in first-person shooters.

GT: So what first attracted you to being a general manager for CGS?

KH: I've been a manager in different capacities for about 12 years and my favorite part about being a manager is having the opportunity to bond with people in an environment that they love. My passion is video gaming. Every time I leave it I can't handle it, so this is my chance to develop a group of people in an industry I'm passionate about and for me it's as good as it gets.



GT: Without getting into specifics do you have a rough idea of who your draft picks will be?

KH: Yeah I do. There are definitely a lot of 2's in certain categories. I am waiting to see how the rest of the day plays out and my assistant and I are going to sit down tonight and spend a lot of time doing some mock drafts.

GT: In the draft you get first pick, so that should be advantageous right?

KH: It is advantageous but it's also a drawback because you're first but you also have to wait eleven times, so all the top talent gets picked. When you are more a three or four or five you have more balance in how to draft your entire team. But I still feel confidant that I'm going to get the choices I want with a couple sacrifices and the last pick is the last pick.

GT: What specifically are you looking for in the teams/players?

KH: I think I have a different approach than some of the other GMs. They're definitely looking to come back in 10 days and win the season. And while I want to win the season, I'm drafting my team keeping the future in mind because I want to win next season as well. When you see my draft picks I think you'll see that I think in the long-term not just the short term.

GT: Where do you see this event and professional gaming in general in 10 years?

KH: A stadium. I think it will be commonplace on TV. I think that there will be high school leagues playing other high school leagues. I very much see this going into our middle school and high school system and I see a place where a dad can take a son and buy tickets and actually watch people play Halo 6 together.

GT: Do you think the CGS will help to shed the stigma the video games have in some segments of the populace?

KH: Absolutely because what we have here is, if you look inside at all of the gamers that are in the CGS, the things that we say we want for young people in America? what we are asking of them? we want them to be disciplined, we want them to be mature, we want them to work in a team. Everything we say we want out of young people in America is represented inside those doors. So I don't see how once people actually meet them and get to know them and see what they do? how that stigma can carry across to what we're doing.

GT: With a lot of professional sports, like in baseball for instance, you hear people complain that it isn't about the game anymore and it's about the money or the decadence. Do you have any fear that by making gaming a professional sport that the same might happen here?

KH: Absolutely. I think it is going to be the job of the general manager to keep the focus on practice and the gaming and not on the showmanship and the money. We're all here to make a TV show at the end of the day and we're all here to earn money, but the only way we are going to do that is by staying true to the roots of the sport.

More from CGS 2007: The Draft | Adanade 'sWooZie' Thorne Interview | Kat Hunter Interview | Jason Lake Interview | Johnathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel Interview



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