Jessica Chobot Interview
GotGame recently got the chance to chat with Nerdist News host and gaming/pop-culture personality Jessica Chobot for a special, exclusive interview. The former G4 personality and TV host is now a regular fixture of Nerdist Industries. You might have recently seen Chobot in her hilarious new Alien: Isolation sketch alongside Nerdist Industries colleagues Malik Forte and Dan Casey (available below). You might also remember Jessica from her appearance in Mass Effect 3 as the NPC character Diana Allers, who was also a potential romance character for Commander Sam Shepard. Chobot also served as the writer for the horror video game Daylight for PS4 and Windows PC, released earlier this year.
Jeffrey – Is working for Nerdist like the best gig ever? You must be on Cloud 9 every day there.
Jessica — It totally is! I finally feel that I’m working with a group where I can report of the stuff I love while really being able to be myself in the process. The stuff I did in the past was perfect for me at the time and helped to fine-tune my approach, but I was never really allowed to showcase my personality. Nerdist is a place that not only allows for that, but encourages and promotes it.
Jeffrey — Was the idea for the Alien: Isolation skit taken from those prominent ads out there for The Evil Within with the live filming of people playing the game and filming their scared reactions?
Jessica – The concept for the Aliens skit wasn’t specifically taken from The Evil Within reaction videos. Those reaction gameplay vids have been happening since horror games started making a comeback w/ Amnesia & Slender Man. If anything, the reactions we shot were just a means to an end for getting us to the “prank scene” with Dan, Malik, myself and the E.M.T.s.
Jeffrey – So when do you start work on Mass Effect 4?
Jessica – Haha! I wish!
Jeffrey Harris – How much fun was the Mass Effect experience? Is it amusing to see yourself in a video game where players as Shepard could have a potential romance with Diana Allers?
Jessica – Having my cameo in Mass Effect was fantastic! As for the romance option for Diana Allers, I thought it was handled perfectly. The only thing that threw me for a loop was when I ran into Diana (aka: myself) with my Shep in the game and started interacting with her/me. I didn’t expect to be freaked; but I must admit, there was a bit of uncanny valley stuff happening there.
Jeffrey – Now that there has been some distance, was it sad to see what happened with G4 and to leave, or is it just a chapter of your life that’s just over and done? I’d be curious to hear your perspective of what it was like.
Jessica – At the time it was certainly tough. Both my husband and I lost our jobs, we had just bought a house AND I was about to have a baby. A lot of stressers all at once! However, in hindsight, it was just another stepping-stone.
Jeffrey Harris – One thing I really enjoyed about Alien: Isolation was the really strongly drawn out female characters. Overall, I think in major titles like this we are seeing stronger female characters, and gradual changes toward the portrayal of female characters in games as more well rounded characters. Not sure if you agree, but also as a game scenario writer, I wondered what you felt about the game’s characters and if gaming is making any strides at all in utilizing female characters?
Jessica – I’ve certainly seen more and more options for playable female characters and strong female NPCs. As time moves on, and gaming continues to become more inclusive, I think female characters and storyline within games will continue to grow and expand. In fact, I can see more games becoming somewhat gender-neutral in the future, ala: the character customizations within Sunset Overdrive, where you can play the game as anyone you want to be.
Jeffrey – Has 2014 been an off year for quality major gaming titles, or are fans just using selective memory?
Jessica – I think it’s a combo of selective memory (there are still a TON of great indie & PC titles that have been available during 2014) and the 2013/2014 launches of the new-Gen systems. Such is to be expected. When Xbox 360, Wii & PS3 launched, there was a very definite lag in what people considered to be “quality” titles. Patience is a virtue during a system launch.
Jeffrey – What are your three most anticipated must-play gaming titles for next year?
Jessica – Although technically announced for release this year, I’m going to go with Dragon Age: Inquisition. Next year, The Order: 1886 & Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. For 2016, I’m: SILENT HILLS ALL THE WAY!!!! *I’ll also take, The Last Guardian, although my hopes for that title ever seeing the light of day wane with each passing year.
Jeffrey – Do you think the Oculus Rift will be the future of gaming? Or do you see things going in a different direction?
Jessica – I don’t know if I’d say it’ll be the “future of gaming.” If done right, I can certainly see it being a viable option for gaming that consumers will seriously consider and developers will embrace, either willingly or maybe not so willingly.
Jeffrey – What’s the one big event film you must see in 2015?
Jessica – I’m not really into seeing movies in theaters, so I’m always a little bit behind when things come out. I’m someone that likes to stream titles within the privacy of their own home. However, I will probably end up going to the theater to see ALL of the Avengers and Marvel offshoots that are planned. I just think those types of flicks are better with all of the pomp and circumstance of surround sound and popcorn. I’m also going to see Batman v. Superman right away ONLY to check out how they handled Wonder Woman’s character.
Jeffrey – How was the experience writing Daylight, and will you be writing another game soon?
Jessica – Writing DAYLIGHT was a great experience and one that really opened my eyes up to what actually happens behind-the-scenes in videogame development. Currently, I don’t have any plans to write another game, however there are other writing projects that I’m working on and that are moving forward, so hopefully I’ll have something to announce soon!