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Ciji aka StarSlay3r CiJi

Guitar Hero Master

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CiJi aka StarSlay3r

Girl Geek: Ciji aka StarSlay3rI'm a 24 year old gamer that has been gaming since the age of 4. From beating Mario Bros. as fast as possible and shooting ducks with my plastic gun faster than my friends; I now shoot spartans on Halo 3 and rock the faces of gamers everywhere with my plastic guitar in Guitar Hero 3.

An avid gaming competitor for the past  6 years and professionally competing for the past 2 years, I have won many tournaments for games from Need for Speed: Carbon, Fight Night: Round 3, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur 2, and am most known for my national rankings in the Guitar Hero community.

Today I spend approximately 40-70 hours (in crunch time) working in the gaming industry for a video game publisher testing for software defects. When I get a break from work I spend a good 20-30 hours a week practicing for upcoming tournaments or competing in Guitar Hero tournaments around the U.S. In my free time I cosplay as the character Judy Nails from the Guitar Hero series and attend gaming conventions or go to events to help raise funds for various charitable organizations for breast cancer or autism research.

An Exclusive Q&A from NewBiiz!

NewBiiz: How and when did you get into gaming?
I first got into gaming at around 4 years old. My parents bought me a Nintendo and I was forever hooked to the wonderful world of video games. As the consoles got more advanced I developed my skills and went from gaming on Nintendo, Sega, Playstation 1, PC to competitively playing on PS2 and Xbox 360 on games like Guitar Hero, Soul Calibur, Need for Speed and more.

NewBiiz: When did you decide that you were good enough to compete in tournaments?
CiJi: I just loved to go to gaming events so anytime there was a tournament for a game I played I just tried it out. When I started getting 1st and 2nd in racing games and20rhythm games I decided it was time to practice harder and try to play with the big dogs in the large scale tournaments. August of 2006 was when I started competing in larger scale guitar hero tournaments and I trained hard to make it to state finals and national finals several times with that game. Deciding to compete in tournaments means dedicating at least 30 hours a week to practicing the game to ensure that I keep my skills in tip top shape and can take on some of the tough competition that is out there.

NewBiiz: What was your hardest competition to date and why?
My hardest competition to date would be the one I just finished about a week ago called the World Cyber Games. This is basically the video game Olympics and the best of the best competitors from all around the U.S. were my competition. Some top ranked players like Priest and Wolfe came out to play and I definitely had to play better t hen I've ever had to play before for these matches.

Girl Geek: CiJi with her custom guitarNewBiiz: You seem to be an expert in a handful of games, what is your favorite game to play and why?
My favorite game to play is Guitar Hero. I am very passionate about music and when you combine that with my love of video games you get my addiction. I love Rhythm games but something about rocking out to some of my favorite songs with my custom guitar in front of tons of people is just a ton of fun for me. Even though I take this game seriously when competing I really just love to do showmanship tournaments so I can headbang and run around the stage while playing. Any game that you can play competitively but still have fun is awesome in my book.

NewBiiz: Since you have quite a lot of media coverage already, what are your three best moments?
Wow my best 3? That's tough! My first favorite moment was when MTV came out to film at the Dallas CPL for Guitar Hero. My next moment was when I was running for G4 Gamer girl and I found out I had thousands of supporters all across the U.S. It was awesome to be interviewed by every gaming website/ radio station from west to east coast for the next couple months. One of my favorite moments was when I was asked by Rob of Coin-Op TV to help him co host an episode for about the Guitar Hero 3 launch party. I had so much fun and got to meet all of the developers/ producers on the game, and even got invited out to Neversoft studios later that week to actually play against the developers on a huge projection screen in their motion capture area. It was so awesome!

NewBiiz: What other goals do you have that you want to accomplish?
I'd like to have a bit more support in the gaming industry from companies so that I can run gaming events of my own for fun and for charity groups. I have run a couple small tournaments but nothing large scale, so my ultimate goal is to have the largest gaming tournament in the U.S. one year and be able to donate a large amount of the proceeds to a charity group that really needs the help.

NewBiiz: What is your advice to up and coming girls that want to play games that are dominated by males?
Just because you're a girl doesn't mean that you can't be a pro gamer or even just be good at a game. If a guy is getting you down saying you can't do well simply because you're a girl just pop in some halo for the pc, snipe him in the butt and show him you mean business! We're not all about barbie games or NintenDogs and we are getting better and better at the FPS genre formerly dominated by males. I say practice hard, look for a clan that would support you and train with you like the PMS clan, GOD clan or XGC clan and show them that girls can play just as good if not better than guys.

NewBiiz: What is the coolest thing you've done to date? Girl Geek: CiJi getting her face scanned for the Spiderman: Web of Shadows game
The coolest thing I've to date though was when I was asked to be in the upcoming Spiderman: Web of Shadows game. I totally freaked out when I went in to have my face scanned and saw the first few pictures of what I'm going to look like in the game. Originally I was told I was just going to be a pedestrian but quickly got upgraded to a significant character in the game that causes all sorts of chaos in the game and I even have my own cutscene! To be immortalized in a game is one amazing thing that I'm not sure can be topped!

NewBiiz: When you are not gaming, what are you doing?
It depends what day of the week it is. Right now is crunch time in the gaming industry so I work 12 hour days 6 days a week. My one day off I love to try to do something really fun like going to Universal Studios, Disneyland or just catch a movie, go to a concert or check out a anime/comic convention. I also write game reviews/ hints on a site called mainly for about the game Guitar Hero and am active in the gaming community on many gaming  related websites keeping up on everything that's going on in the industry.

NewBiiz: What is the funniest reaction you've gotten from boys who think girls don't play games?
Several times when I show up at tournaments in my gear I've gotten "oh that's cute she's here to support her boyfriend in the tournament" but then when I bust out my custom guitar and hop up on the stage with them I've literally watched the color drain from the guys faces. A lot of guys don't realize that there are girls out there that play competitively and they often think that I'm going to do poorly when I compete, I love to full combo a song right after someone assumes something like that and just say "yeah, you're going to be seeing that a lot" and walk away.

NewBiiz: Anything else you want the world to know?
One thing is that I'm not some celeb who thinks she's too cool to talk to people. I'm really just an average gamer that loves to meet new people and play games, so if anyone would ever like to play with/against me in Halo, Guitar Hero, Quake or anything else hit me up! My gamer tag is always StarSlay3r in any game so feel free to send me a game invite. Keep on gaming and to all you girls out there, don't let anyone tell you that gaming won't take you anywhere. If you're passionate about gaming and you have the determination to do well you can accomplish anything.

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