Felicia Day is a serial overachiever, the kind of person you might resent if she didn’t have such a disarmingly likeable manner. The 35-year-old actor, writer and producer created her own successful original web series The Guild (inspired by her obsession with World Of Warcraft), contributed voice acting to Fallout: New Vegas, and worked with BioWare to create a dramatic extension of the Dragon Age universe. Most recently, she's established herself as an author.
What’s your earliest gaming memory?
Probably getting yelled at by my mum because I ran up a $400 bill on the Sierra helpline, which cost something like $4 a minute. I couldn’t get through many of the puzzles – because I was probably too young. Come to think of it, I actually got yelled at two times. Before the Sierra helpline incident it was dialling up Compuserve and getting hints for Infocom’s Leather Goddesses Of Phobos, and that was like another $400, because it was about $2 a minute to dial up to Compuserve at the time. So that was my most vivid early gaming memory, the trauma of being yelled at.
Did you own a console as a kid or were you always drawn to PC gaming?
Yeah, I was on the little PC which only had green text on it, and then we upgraded to an Amiga when I was about seven years old. So my formative gaming was done on an Amiga, which was like the nerdy version of a PC. And probably nobody knows what an Amiga is now, so I’m really dating myself. But yeah, all of my games were on the Amiga because for some reason my mother thought getting a console was bad for me – that I would play games too much. We had an Atari 2600, but we got an Amiga, so that was like really advanced gaming. That’s what introduced me to SimCity and The Faery Tale Adventure, which was the first RPG that I ever played, and made me think: ‘This is the most amazing thing ever – I can walk around anywhere I want and do whatever I want all day!’
Are there any particular developers whose work you follow?
I’m interested in pretty much anything that Valve does. There are definitely developers and people that I know that no matter what they do – even if it’s a game that’s kind of out of my wheelhouse – it’s going to be so well done, not to mention a social experience to share with other gamers, really, because so many people will be playing that game at the same time. There’s this quality and attention to detail and world-building that’s so rich, and obviously curated, that you can’t help but be sucked into their experiences. And you know, Richard Garriott, from Ultima times, I mean I’ve always been obsessed with that guy.
What’s your gaming platform of choice?
I used to be more of a PC person, but, to be honest, now I’d really rather play on my Xbox because I’ve got a really nice setup in the back of my house, with a big TV and I kind of enjoy seeing the bigger screen – it’s a little more immersive, and, if you’re playing Left 4 Dead [below left], it’s a lot more frightening. So, yeah, obviously the kind of game can determine the platform – clearly you can’t play Civ 5 on the Xbox with a big screen like that and MMOs don’t run very well on there, so it just depends what the game is, what kind of mood I’m in, and what time commitment I have. The casual games don’t translate as well, although playing Bejeweled on Xbox isn’t a bad experience. I long for the days when I had eight hours a day to just play WOW. Honestly, if I could just get a month of that I think my energy level would be much more positive.
OK, moment of truth: favourite
game of all time?
Ultima VII. It’s the game that started my immense love and fandom of videogames in the first place.