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PlayNerd Centerfold Hardware in the Dresser Drawer Edition

leigh laughing.jpg

Fabulously fierce. This sounds fitting for a woman who writes for more crazy popular venues than there are days in a work week. Ladies, gentlemen, and fabulous swirls in between, meet Leigh Alexander: video game journalist extraordinaire.

I'm gushing because she writes about so many facets of the gaming industry. To name a few: she's editor at large at the art and business of video games epicenter Gamasutra, she talks about socio-cutural gaming issues in a monthly Kotaku column, she exercises her imagination in gaming and beyond at Thought Catalog, she's recently taken on the games section of NYLON Guys, and she rampantly refines her repertoire on her own blog Sexy Videogameland.

For those feats alone we should applaud her. But like her journalistic career, she is relentlessly daring and bold in being our first female PlayNerd spread. She understands our comedic, yet insightful intent and is willing to come to bat just like the rest of the PlayNerds. Her photos may have even one-up'ed our previous half-naked hero, Rob.

Whether or not gamers agree with Leigh, her meticulously crafted, thoughtful pieces never fail to elicit hundreds of responses. Something readers can't debate are the testaments to her love for gaming, woven throughout her writing. And of course, no package is complete without the look to go with the talent. Leigh's definitely got the look. She has a knack for making the joystick-wielding gamers and journalists swoon.

GayGamer's Drand had such a fantastic shoot with Leigh that by the end, I think you'll be wanting to lay on the rooftops and hang out gaming with this fabulously fierce femme fatale, as well.

leigh rooftop.jpg

What about your job excites you?

Lots of things, but what I love most is the opportunity to speak directly to the people who create in the medium of games. It's so exciting and it feels like such a privilege to get to pick their brains and then translate that to others -- my work is to talk to some of my heroes!

What game(s) have gotten you the most worked up?

The Metal Gear Solid series just makes me swoon. That's probably at the top of my list. Especially the third one -- Snake takes so much pain, and you have to be the one to like, splint his bones and stuff. SIGH!

What gaming characters do you think are hot?

Big Boss, Albert Wesker, Vincent Valentine, Tseng, Vergil, Billy Coen, Shinjiro Aragaki, Alucard, Tifa, Edea, Sylvia Christel, Naomi Hunter, Bayonetta.

leigh hair.jpg

What are some of the wildest PR/press events you've attended?

Ooh. No comment ;)

Facial hair has become more mainstream and sexy these days. What other attributes would you like to see get attention in games? How else can we objectify men in games?

Wife beaters. More wife beaters. Long, lean torsos. Tattoos. Also, they need to be less superhero and more tortured. They should brood delicately. And they should probably break laws and crack heads regularly but for their own PRIVATE, MORAL REASONS. And throaty, quiet voice acting. Eee!

What dirty secrets have you been told by people in the gaming industry?

Oh lord! No one would trust me if I weren't a vault, and then I couldn't get any work done. Knowing everyone's dirty secrets is part of what makes it fun, even if I can't tell anyone.

How would your personal ad read for who you are and what you are/were looking for?

Oh, geez. Umm... sassy, opinionated nerd seeks well-animated, sulky antihero? Must be able to return from own death for multiple sequels?

leigh legs.jpg

What do you think the relation is between Kama Sutra and Gamasutra?

Well, my boss named the site specifically so that people will give me weird looks and ask me to repeat myself every time I say for whom I work. But I'll tell ya -- me and my crew can write news for hours.

How sexy is "videogameland"?

Banned in Australia and Germany.

What games/hardware do you play in the bedroom?

Lately the 3DS comes to bed with me every night. I keep a PSP in my dresser drawer just in case I'm in the mood for some variety.

leigh controller.jpg

What are some advantageous situations that exist for woman in video games? Disadvantageous?

Well, lots of the most vocal and passionate game fans are boys who like girls. I'm not naive enough to think that my gender doesn't play a role in why people discover me or my work, although I think (I hope?) there are a lot of people who are simply curious about a female perspective and not following some biological urge! And, y'know, maybe a few people who don't care and just like what I write.

The disadvantage, of course, is that I wonder about that. And there's also a lot of sexism in the industry, even if it took me a long time to accept it -- I wanted to just keep my chin up and pretend it doesn't happen as if simply being myself were enough to make it go away. But when someone calls you a dumb slut because you speak your mind or when you get creepy sexual invitations in your mailbox on the regular -- or worse, when you're at a professional event and someone who is meant to be another professional makes some kind of sloppy overture at you because there are few other single women in the room -- it's hard to really disassociate that.

In order to be successful online, one really has to put oneself out there. Yet standing out in your field or drawing more attention for your gender is definitely a double-edged sword. For every person who takes the initiative to approach me, speak to me at an event or discover my work online because they're curious about me as a woman, there's three people going "she's only successful because she's a woman."

To them, I say, "if that's true, it should be easy for you to do better than I, right?"

Ultimately, what's the worst is that I don't like the idea of being a "woman in games." I'm a person in games, and while I can't have any other perspective than a woman's, I dislike getting pigeonholed as "the female perspective writer". I write about all kinds of things, y'know?

What's the one thing I should have asked that would have been fitting for this interview?

Whether I want a drink before you take these photos, and the answer would have been "absolutely."

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18 Comments

Charlie said:

It's tough out there for the ladies in video game journalism, I like her wit, I'll have to follow her articles.

Stunning photos by the way. Did Mr Jay help with those?

Drand said:

@Charlie Thank you for the photo compliments! I've only taken about 2 photo classes in college and was worried they'd come out awful.

Leigh is amazing, you should really read her blog. Her insights always have me nodding a lot with her and she's a HUGE supporter of the LGBT community.

Uhh? said:

So, all the times that you write about how women are objectified in the industry you didn't think that putting sexy photos of yourself up would impact that at all?

The whole idea of PlayNerd is for everyone to be objectified in a fun manner. Everything everyone does in the gaming industry is already objectified, anyway: the games we make and the words we write and say.

I tip my hat to Leigh for owning this shoot. She has yet another career waiting for her if journalism ever bores her.

Digital Lit said:

@Uhh?, No actually, that shouldn't impact her work at all. These "playnerd" articles are done with tongue planted firmly in cheek, and reading what was written should make it clear that she was participating for fun, not to present herself as a sex object. There was nothing exploitative of her in these photos whatsoever. Additionally, objecting to the sexual objectification of women does not mean that women, even women who object to objectification, are not allowed to ever be sexy if they feel like it.

Leigh said:

I'm not being objectified, I'm having fun having my picture taken.

Right, what Digital Lit said. Thanks dude.

Colette Bennett said:

Leigh be my waifu

Caracticus said:

I have a real difficult time objectifying my BF, but there are times he REALLY wants to be objectified. If "Objectified" means "lusted after" and that in turn means to participate in really hot animalistic passionate sex, then let's be frank: we all want to objectify and be objectified, once in a while... when we're in the mood, in the right context and for and by the right "object". It's part of human nature.

I think the correct criticism of objectification is "inappropriate objectification" or maybe even just "inconvenient objectification".

SilentHitoshura said:

Stunning pictures of a beautiful woman. Strong, playful sexy and tasteful... i.e perfect.

Drand said:

Remember people: Sexy does not always equal sexist!

Drand REALLY should be a photographer for hire. This piece was an immaculate collaboration and a stunning realization of my vision for this series. Leigh and Drand are the stars here.

Fingers crossed there are more PlayNerds near the concrete jungle of Drand's home (NYC). Then again, I think future PlayNerds may want to fly themselves to Drand.

@Colette Bennett: We're coming for you. ^^

Sinky said:

Agreed. My tongue (boner) is firmly planted in my cheek (pants). Leigh is an excellent writer and on an entirely unrelated note HAWT LIKE REALLY OH GOD

Plasmatizer said:

Leigh is simply too hawt.

Sexy, smart and likes videogames? Leigh is perfection.

Mittens said:

The camera loves you, Leigh. It's a "love-Leigh" photo spread...(I'm embarrassed and thrilled by that pun)

sex buddy said:

a Truly usefull post - Thank you so so much I wish you do not mind me emailing about this article on my site I'm going to link back Thank you

Tiara said:

Did Miss Leigh enjoy her pic being taken by another website of certain infamy? ((bites tongue))

Sorry, GayGamer, you've been scooped!

Too many other female gamers to list who are totally hot and would not have a "spread," IF you can call it that. These are pretty tame, really.

Kevin said:

Haha wow, this is a great article and photoshoot.

r4 said:

I love her wit, and he sensible posts too.. Especially the Kotaky article about Why she doesn't lose herself in games any more. I could not agree with here more! Keep em coming! And If I may say - AWESOME pictures. Hugs and kisses from Canada!

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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Recent Comments

r4 on PlayNerd Centerfold Hardware in the Dresser Drawer Edition: I love her wit, and he sensible posts too.. Especially the Kotaky article about Why she doesn't lose herself in...

Kevin on PlayNerd Centerfold Hardware in the Dresser Drawer Edition: Haha wow, this is a great article and photoshoot....

Tiara on PlayNerd Centerfold Hardware in the Dresser Drawer Edition: Did Miss Leigh enjoy her pic being taken by another website of certain infamy? ((bites tongue)) Sorry, GayGamer, you've been...

sex buddy on PlayNerd Centerfold Hardware in the Dresser Drawer Edition: a Truly usefull post - Thank you so so much I wish you do not mind me emailing about this...

Mittens on PlayNerd Centerfold Hardware in the Dresser Drawer Edition: The camera loves you, Leigh. It's a "love-Leigh" photo spread...(I'm embarrassed and thrilled by that pun)...

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