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Alicia Alexandra: Changing the Game
April 18, 2016
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Video games will rot your brains she said, nature is full of wonder she said. Okay so I get it. You want me to go outside. You want me to experience nature and all that fun stuff. Well you know what else is fun? Assassinatin’ fools in Paris, Late Modern France. A little Assassin’s Creed Unity. Taking down the monarchy. Vive la Révolution! You can’t do that outside Mom. You can’t.

Suffice to say video games have come a long way over the years and unless you grew up with it, you probably don’t get it. Whatchu know about next-gen game consoles Willis? Or how about the army recruiting gamers to fly drones, companies hiring gamers specifically for their strategic thinking and problem-solving prowess. It’s all happening. We’ve officially crossed over to a place where guys and girls are building careers out of gaming, and one such girl is Alicia Alexandra (aka @eightbitblonde) from Girls On Games.

Girls on Games is a gaming culture and review blog based in Montreal. Think video game reviews, behind the scenes content, event coverage, editorials, industry spotlights and interviews. Today Alicia is the Managing Editor, but she had to work her way up just like everyone else. Cue the Drake.

“My passion for gaming fuels my work on Girls on Games. When I first started [there] it was as a writer. The team was made up of 4 people and we quickly realized that our big aspirations and small size meant that multitasking was going to be a necessity. It was all very “trial by fire” but I learn best that way.”

Some people fall in line and some people decide to follow their passions. Alicia is definitely the latter of the two. As part of the editorial team, she researches and reviews new products, edits articles, covers gaming conferences across North America, reports in videos, and makes guest appearances on the Girls on Games podcast. She is also a Community Manager at Sid Lee, expertly manipulating the social profiles for one of our videogame studio clients, a position she earned in part due to her affiliation with the gaming community, and undoubtedly due to her passion. AND it all started out as a writing side project for fun.

Her journey into the video gaming world really began with Fable (still her favourite game today). Before long she was getting involved with forums and becoming a fully functional contributing member in the gaming community. This led to an opportunity that would change the trajectory of her career and land her where she is today. I asked her how she got her start.

“A friend that had just started contributing to Girls on Games put me in touch with the co-founders. We met up at an eSports event in 2014 to get a feel for one another and I joined the team a few days later.”

Alicia is a prime example of someone who went out into the world and designed her own professional existence the way she saw fit. It’s not something a lot of us can truly claim. When high school is over and the pressure sets in, many of us look to post secondary pamphlets for guidance. We follow a path that has been pre-played for us and hope for the best. When you consider the amount of people that have failed at that, it’s pretty impressive to hear about the ones who completely threw out the rulebook and succeeded.

“I had a goal, but definitely not a path. I was determined to work in gaming (in one way or another) and I knew that Girls on Games was a step in the right direction.”

Did she know what she was doing?

“Not really. All I knew was that I wanted to make it happen.”

And she did.

As people we tend to fear the things we don’t understand, and rather then try to find appreciation for these things, we wind up discriminating Trump style. It’s a defense mechanism that we use to protect ourselves from the idea that the world is changing, because dammit, we like the world the way it is. I can totally see why it would be scary to think that your kids won’t grow up the same way you did, but then again isn’t it inevitable?

At Sid Lee we have a motto: Fuck Status Quo. It’s about staying ahead of the curve, or rather drawing your own damn curve altogether. It’s about doing things differently, not just for the sake of it, for the sake of exploration, understanding and being able to bring something new and useful to the table. Some people out there might think that videogames are rotting our brains, and shielding us from true human connections. To that I say, go to any video game conference and take a look at the people around you. Meet the people who are building the games, playing the games, and covering the games. I asked Alicia what she loves most about gaming.

“The community. I love being a member as well as working within it professionally. There are so many intensely creative people in gaming, both developers and fans, so there’s always something new and exciting happening.”

Gaming has become a community of fully functioning brains who were brought together because they decided to follow their passions. People like Alicia who built a life out of something she loves.

Also, keep in mind that some of these people might wind up behind the joystick of a US military drone strapped with high explosive missiles and pinpoint precisions. Doesn’t that sound like a friend worth having?


Written by Cameron Hudson 

Photos courtesy of Girls on Games

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