(The following interview is a conversation between the funny MadamStarr or Cresta Starr and a Black Girl Nerds guest blogger (BGN) Ayesha Depay, that took place on November, 14th 2014. We talked about streaming, women in gaming, and the League of Legends community. If you’re unfamiliar, League of Legends is a free multiplayer competitive computer game in which you and your team battle it out to destroy the enemy base. Players from all over the world try to improve the personal score to move into higher and higher tiers or leagues of players. )
BGN: Can you tell me the name you prefer to be called?
C: Well, my real name is **** ****
[It’s a] extra vanilla [name] but I go by the name Cresta Starr cause there’s a lot of crazy people, and besides if you try to look up **** **** on the internet, good luck. There’s a million of us. I use that name because I used to be a model way back in the day. I didn’t want people all up in my sh*t. So yeah it’s, Cresta. Do that, Cresta will be the most easiest for people to know who I am. [..]
BGN: When did you start streaming? What made you get into streaming? And YouTube? You did a little YouTube? But that’s not really where you’re at you are in fact of more the streamer. (Streaming is live video feed sent over the internet to be viewed in real time as opposed to downloaded version. Many gamers stream a video of themselves playing games.)
I’m a streamer ‘cause I don’t know how to edit videos, and I’m very lazy. I started streaming I want to say about 3 almost 4 years ago. I want to say that, but I have really awful memory. I started streaming when Owned TV [own3d.tv] was still a thing. Then everyone’s like, “You need to go to Twitch. Twitch is the new wave.” I’m like “I don’t wanna go to Twitch” ‘cause I’m loyal. I stick with one thing; I stay with it. Then Owned TV went out of business for not paying their streamers. It was a really sad deal. I wasn’t sponsored with them either. […] They went out of business ‘cause there was, like, a big scandal with this player in particular named Destiny. He was a StarCraft player, and something else I can’t remember–I could be wrong but, long story short, they were supposed to pay him, they never did, and he made a big stink about it on Reddit–he made a big stink about it everywhere. There was a class action lawsuit to my understanding even the streamer Athene was like ”You know, you can say what you want about Owned, but having Twitch be a conglomerate as well as an monopoly is just going to be bad for business” and that’s what happened.
When Owned went under I had already had a channel on Twitch, but it wasn’t as popular as the one on my Owned because when I was on Owned, I was just spamming it on the League of Legends forums. I got the classic “Oh my god, it’s a black girl. It’s a n*gger, N- word.” I’m like “Whatever, you gotta try a lot harder to offend me.” I’ve got really thick skin, but whatever. And then I just kept with it. I started it because at the time I was dating this guy and he was like “You should stream.” I’m like, “What’s streaming? I’ve never heard of it, tell me more.” And he’s like pretty much “You’re a girl on the internet; they’ll give you money.” I was like “Oh man, free money!” That is a lie. That is not how that happens. Its delusions of grandeur. That is not how it happens. I see the formula how it happens; cam tilted down boobs “Yes. Look at me, and I’m really sh*tty at the game, but here’s my boobs”. I’m not that person. I’m not that person in real life; I’m not going to be that person on the Internet. However, I do see that business model works. I’m not mad that they getting their money, it just doesn’t work for me. And you know, now just recently I feel like I’m picking up traction because of it and I feel like I got to know a lot of people and I met great people because of it. But you ain’t gonna make no money. Not at first. You gon’ be struggling for a long– I’m still struggling sh*t, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have a lot of regular viewers. I really enjoy them. I enjoy their company. I like meeting people. This for me is like “Yes. Come watch me be an idiot for your entertainment, and maybe we’ll play some video games.”
BGN: I feel like what you said about women and gaming there’s just a lot going on right now
C: Yeah, that’s a loaded question.
BGN: It’s loaded right? So I… guess…what I was going to say is: why do you think that more women aren’t visible? Because we know statistically that we’re 46 percent of gamers. If we’re 46 percent of gamers, everyone keeps asking questions; where are they? Where are we?
C: We’re just hiding.
BGN: You’re very visible but why do you think more women aren’t doing that? (Authors Note: Crestar is not a part of the LGBTQIA community and means no disrespect by mislabeling parts of our community. She misspeaks and uses asexual when she meant heterosexual.)
C: Well, right now it’s a very dangerous time for women in gaming, no matter what your race is. Transgendered, asexual, whatever you identify. If you identify as some sort of woman, not an asexual male, it’s a very dangerous time for you. It’s always been a little bit rougher on girls in games because it’s a boy’s club. At the end of the day, boy’s [are] like: “Well, you didn’t like us anyway; now we have our own thing,” and now [they say] “I don’t want you want to be in it to alienate us from our own thing,” and I think they’re missing the point.
I am a gamer, just as much as you are. I want to play video games. I just want to have fun, and to attack women who play games, girls, women, [or] whoever, I feel like you’re alienating yourself because at the end of the day girls don’t get online, and say: “Oh, you’re a boy, you’re stupid. Your girlfriend must play your account.” BuzzFeed did a whole video on it. It’s like “Oh, You’re a fake guy. You’re a fake gamer guy.” No one does that. Now with everything that’s been going on with Gamergate and doxxing and people’s identities getting out there, as a girl it’s really like, “I don’t want tell you I’m a girl.” I don’t know what the hell you may say or do to me if I:
- Refuse your advances
- you just feel in your heart that I’m a cancer that needs to be purged.
When I first started playing World of Warcraft, I was not ashamed to be a girl. I was like “I’m a girl, f*ck it. Yeah, I’m awesome.” And then I heard stories; I’ve been witness […] firsthand to girls who do stupid things, and I call it very stupid. Yeah, you meet people through video games; nothing wrong with that. People fall in love. You play with people, all the time; you get to know them–you love them. You like them. There was this one girl on one of my servers who pretty much cyber sexed or slept her way through the ranks, got with the GM. He flew her out to wherever he was staying, and he was feeling some type of way back home. She cleaned out the guild bank and then server transferred. I feel like it’s isolated incidents like that that make men think that all girls are like that. “Oh, you going to come in here you’re going to ruin my game; you don’t even play the game.” I’m like “Well, I do. I enjoy video games and nerd culture just as much as you.” Just like with the whole Gamergate thing, its isolated incidents. Its a few guys who feel like that you must be purged because [of] “Your journalistic integrity is not.” It’s not it; you’re just attacking people. You’re not attacking men who are vocal about this. It isn’t right. You’re attacking women, and as a female who grew up in the Bronx, I’m not afraid. You say you’re going to rape me? B*tch, I wish a n*gger would. I’m sorry about the cursing.
BGN: No, go on. I’m listening.
But I feel strongly about this. It sucks. It does suck that if I log on to play video games and I’m playing with strangers the first thing you do is oh you’re a girl like in League “Oh, you going to play support?” Yes. I enjoy support. Nothing wrong with that. I played a rogue for 6 years. I played an assassin class. Every other time I played an assassin class. I deserve to take a break. I want to put my feet up. How about that? There’s nothing wrong with it; just an integral part of the game as someone who’s a top, a mid, a jungler, every part is important. You’re not any less or any more because you play a different role. I just find it stupid that as a girl, l have to fight twice as hard and everyone has to have thick skin ‘cause it’s the Internet and people are going to say and do what they want. But if I become rich I’m going to find everyone who cyberbullies and go to their house and administer face punches.
BGN: (laughing uncontrollably) oh I’m sorry.
No. It’s true. I’m going to administer the face punches ‘cause it’s ridiculous. You can’t say whatever you want and do whatever you want to people online. Okay, like, there’s a cosplayer [person who is dressed in costume] named Maki Roll. Super nice girl. Sometimes people are f*cking rude to her, for a lack of a better word. She’s from DC. She turns it up on people. At Comic Con some guy was like: “You’re a b*tch”. She’s like “Say that sh*t to my face.” I’m like [you’re going to] run across the wrong person and you’re going to see that person in real life and that person is going to hit you. And then you’re going to look like: “Well why did you hit me?” Why I hit you? Let’s go to the YouTube comments, when you called me all these things, everything but a child of God. You can’t sit up here and say and do whatever you want, and a lot of people aren’t afraid — don’t feel repercussions. They don’t know what repercussions are, and then when it happens to them they look like: “I was attacked.” You were attacked? No N-word. Let’s look at your history where you’re just being completely toxic to people. I don’t think it’s fair. ‘Cause the women thing […] also brings up, women were raised to be, nice, gentle, sweet, [and] “Mi-mi Mi-mi” [girly voice] and that’s what society says, but if you’re rough and tough, and you curse like a sailor you’re not a real lady. I mean my grandma says that to me every day. Like, “You curse so much.” I’m like man. Listen, I may curse a lot; I’m rough but nobody f*cks with me and I’d rather have that than be dainty and sweet and find a husband. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”[…]
BGN: There was one more thing that I really wanted to ask and I realize I just skipped it. It was season five. It’s a new season Riot (Games, the developers of League of Legends) has updated everything we got new jungle monsters, we got a different look, things are falling apart, it looks really nice. What are you most excited about for season five because now you have to re get to Gold (League, start from the beginning) I think?
C: Well, my problem with the map, and everything, it looks very DOTA-ish [Defense of the Ancients]. I’ve played DOTA before; I’m not a fan. I like League of Legends. I guess you can say it’s sorta cartoony. I feel it wasn’t as cartoony as, let’s say Strife is. But I liked League of Legends for how it looked. It was nice, you know? I understand you wanna feel on the cutting edge but the more they act like they update the characters, update the look, they update all this stuff it looks more and more like DOTA. I am beginning to feel and I never felt this way before, but I feel that now league is becoming a DOTA clone. And at the end of the day DOTA is the granddaddy and all of that stuff. It’s the reason why we have got HoN [Heroes of New Earth], League, Strife and any other MOBA [Multiplayer Online Battle Arena] that you can think of. DOTA is the reason why we have it, but everyone needs to have its own individuality. I feel like the splash art is amazing but I believe and I feel that League is trying to keep up with DOTA. Which to me doesn’t make any sense, because you’re more popular than DOTA. Be your own person.
Now as far as getting back to Gold. I want to try get “PLAT” [Platinum league] this season. Last season I was gold. And the season before that, I was gold as well and the season before that, I was silver. This year I got to gold three. I’m like I got to gold three before; I want to get “PLAT”. I want to see if I can get to “PLAT” five. I wanna keep pushing myself. I’m excited because I am going to be switching from support to ADC [Attack Damage Carry- a very champion high damage output champion but is very physically weak and relies on the protection of a support champion]. I’m tired of ADC’s abusing me. I’m a person and their like; ”Oh my god, newb [ inexperienced player] support, support doesn’t do anything.” Oh my god your face tanking him there’s only so much I can do there cool downs [the time you have to wait before champion can use special ability again]. “Well, you’re not shielding me fast enough.” What? You get blown up. If I’m playing Janna, I put my shield on you. You take so much damage that the shield is like […]. What do you want me to do? I’m sick of that crap and I think that it’s important that everyone plays every role so you can see what it’s like on the other side. Maybe I do get mad at my ADCs. You have poor positioning, back up you can’t fight them. He has a BF sword, you have two Doran’s blades. Know your role. Like, holy hell.
But I think it’s going to be really rough on Junglers, especially now that you can’t leave the fountain as fast. Cause I’ve been playing the new map on Teambuilder. So, you can’t leave the fountain as fast and jungle camps spawn a little bit later. I feel like the cheesy invades, especially if you’re Lee Sin. I’m gonna do my Red [Buff-a reward you get from killing neutral monsters on the map. These buffs give champions a spike in power for a short time. Junglers usually these monsters on their side of the map to gain rewards] or do your Blue [Buff] or do your Red [Buff] then my Blue[Buff]. I think that is going to be really tough on them and I hope that the Junglers do get some sort of reprieve. Before, they nerf [is a change made to the game so that something is less effective] First Blood gold; if you were a Jungler, and you got First Blood, that was great. You could really snowball and help your team. No one cares about that now cause you only get like a 150 gold, but if you get that other kill you get another 300 gold and then that’s where it really counts, but you can really screw over a Jungler now and it makes me sad the Junglers won’t really have much of a chance, but I don’t know. As long as there champions like Lee Sin, I say Lee Sin ‘cause I hate him. Champions like him, Diana, Alkali, Kat, they could just like “Hey I’m going to teleport to you and ruin your day!” I feel like as long as there’s champions like that exist it will never be the same.
BGN: We recently got three new champions?
C: I don’t like Kalisa.
BGN: You don’t? No. She’s terrible?
C: She looks like Nidalee without cat form.
BGN: Yeah. I thought that too.
C: She looks like she plays like Nidalee without cat form and I say this now but I pretty sure she’s going to end up being like Orianna. When Orianna first came out. It was like; “Oh my god she’s a**.” She sucked. “Only Orianna support.” Then some pro-player mastered her because it’s probably gonna have a high skill cap. And “Oh my god Orianna so good.” Same thing with Lulu top. “Oh my god Lulu top is so good” So I say this now, but I’m not a fan of her. I’m not fond of her, and the first week she comes out I’m banning her.
BGN: And what did you feel about Azir and Gnar?
C: Azir who? I have yet to see a good Azir; I don’t know what he does. I know he make turrets. I have yet to see a good Azir. Gnar, he’s cute, but he’s also really freakin dumb. He does so much damage! Holy crap! He does so much damage but he’s getting the strong nerfs. They are decreasing everything on him on the next patch [Game update]. Poor Gnar. Gnar is out of those three champions [the one I] perceived […to be] the best. Like I said; Kalista, I need to see her in action. The first week everyone gonna ban her cause she’s either gonna be really good cause she’s overpowered or some scrub is gonna pick her like: “I’m gonna pick an overpowered champion!” and just feed [died a lot to the enemy champions, giving them rewards]. You just ban her. Don’t even bother! Like I said; I have yet to see a really good Azir. I think because of his passive and the way that his kit works. He’s kind of funny to build. Do you build [items you buy with in game gold] him AP [the strength level of champions special abilities or moves]? Do you build him like Kale with attack speed AP cool downs. Do you build him straight bruiser AP? I think he’s weird. I played him once, and I was like; “What the hell am I doing.” I don’t understand.
Gnar, he’s so versatile and the fact that his ‘Ultimate” [strongest special ability or move] can come at any time so you can’t engage pretty much every time, and any time you want to. And if he knocks you against a wall you might as well go to the bathroom because you’re goanna be stunned for that long. His stun is stupid, but it works with his kit [set of abilities] . You can’t control his ultimate so you can’t engage whenever you want to. He’s like listen “I’m bout to change. Ya’ll better get on the good foot, and just come.” I like him, but like I said; he’s getting the young nerf stick. I have to hold off, but as far a stance right now; Kallista is a “waa whop” bye, bye.
BGN: This interview has been awesome. Thank you for your time. That will be all. That’s a wrap. That’s all I’ve got.
C: Thank you. Firm hand shake. Thank You. This was fun.
If you want to see more of Cresta visit the links below.
About the Author
Ayesha is a student pursuing her degree in Therapeutic Recreation. When she’s not hitting the textbooks, she’s writing, performing, and fangirling. She has a passion for video games and nerd culture in general.
Nerd focused Tumblr: http://ayeshathenerd.tumblr.com/
Writing focused WordPress: https://ayeshathewriter.wordpress.com/