This winter I found myself with time on my hands, and a blog I frequently read happened to make weekly mention of RuPaul's Drag Race. While I had heard of it while living in Chicago, and saw advertisements to view it in bars, I was usually too much of a busybody to sit down and watch. So, sitting down, I was rather amused by what I saw.
Therefore, following Ms. Pandora Boxx on Twitter (and a few of my other favorite queens), one weekend I happened to notice she was making reference to mowing down zombies in Dead Rising 2. Huh, thought I. I do not recall having recently interviewed a drag performer, so figured I would send an email out into lonely space.
Much as she was on RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 2, Pandora is an absolute delight. Effusive and bubbly in a manner that made it easy to remember why she won Ms. Congeniality that particular season.
Therefore, without further ado, the interview!
GayGamer: First the banal gamer questions many enterprising nerds ask upon encountering their own kind in the wilds (or the jungles of blogdom): what have been some of your favorite gaming moments, and what type of games do you play these days?
Pandora Boxx: It's always a good gaming moment when I actually finish a game! I tend to get bored at some point and never finish. I do love games that can make me laugh too. I loved Conker's Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64. That was a gaming masterpiece. That game cracked me up and was fun to play. Right now I'm addicted to Alice: Madness Returns for the PS3. I played the original PC game and loved how twisted they made Wonderland. They really have outdone themselves with the new vamped up version. I think it's incredible. Plus anything Alice in Wonderland related usually sucks me in from the get-go. I just finished Batman: Arkham Asylum and that game rocked my world. I'm also loving Dragon Age and Dragon Age II. Addicting!
GG: You are frequently touted as a great comedienne with a terrific sense of timing and humor: what do you find funny in games and how do you feel they could improve?
PB: I guess I do fancy myself as funny! I think it's great when games can inject some humor into it. I think it makes things more realistic because there is humor all around us. Plus I think if you are laughing while playing you can make people have even more fun. I don't think there are enough wacky, funny types of games.
GG: Fluff question: Final Fantasy X-2 is often hailed as gayer than a gay man's gay and directed toward a female audience. Considering the dress spheres and constant fashion and performance, have you played the game? If so, which is your favorite dress sphere?
PB: I love, love, love FFX-2! I guess it is pretty gay! I loved FFX as well. I think it was one of the best games I've played as well as X-2. The dress spheres were totally amazing. The costumes! I take inspiration from video games for some of my outfits. The Songstress outfits were totally amazing and had great abilities. I love the Black Mage outfits as well and you always have to have a great Mage on your team!
GG: Imagine Harmonix were to create Drag Central, mixing the best parts of Dance Central and the singing portion of Rock Band with a fun fashion and personality portion. What would you expect of the game?
PB: For everyone to have to Lip Sync For Their Lives! Like really. Like maybe zombies will eat you if you don't lip sync and dance right!
GG: If you could make over one woman and one man game character into a drag king and queen, who would it be, and what decisions would you make to help them start their career in fierce fashion?
PB: Mario! He'd be a cute little queen! I'd say Luigi but I think he secretly already is a queen. Let's make Peach a drag king and maybe she can stop getting herself kidnapped for once. There's so much color and vibrancy in the Super Mario World, it's perfect for drag queens and kings.
GG: Had one of the challenges during Season Two of Rupaul's Drag Race been centered around videogames (mini-challenge would be seeing who would win while playing them), and then the main stage challenge be to either emulate a videogame character or console, what do you think you would have presented your adoring fans?
PB: I might have to dish out some Rikku or Lulu from Final Fantasy X. I love the Final Fantasy wardrobes a lot. Or a little Harley Quinn from Arkham Asylum. Or even a little Alice from the new Madness Returns. There are some fierce ass bitches in video games. It would be hard to pick just one.
GG: Describe the type of videogame hunk you'd like to control via analog stick.
PB: A little dash of Tidus (FFX), a pinch of Alistair (Dragon Age), with Batman's voice and agility, throw in some Chris Redfield and Nathan Drake. Oh and I'd like a hint of Link too. I think I have a thing for elves. I want him to be in a game like Dragon Age so you can see him half naked and be able to hook up!
GG: Many thanks for your answers!
I would like to extend many thanks to Pandora Boxx for giving us time in her busy schedule (particularly since last month was Pride month) to conduct this interview.
Also, many thanks for her providing access to press photos taken by Chelse Thompson.