By Aimee “Ashlanne” Rekoske
We’ve jumped into Fall! That means cooler weather and more SOE Employees to meet! We want you to get to know folks in Marketing, Customer Service, Development, Operations, Quality Assurance, Facilities, Audio Visual, and Finance, just to name a few.
Each month the Community Team will highlight one of SOE’s many diverse employees. Please meet Shawna Matthews, Game Master in Customer Service at SOE! Take a moment to find out about what a typical day in the office is like for her, what her favorite SOE game is, and other fun tidbits. As a special bonus, we include a screenshot from her favorite SOE game!
Tell us about yourself! What’s your name and what do you do here at SOE? How long have you been working at SOE?
My name is Shawna Matthews (GM SparkleMotion) and I am a GM on DCUO or DC Universe Online. I have been working at SOE for about 4 years now. Gosh, has it been that long? I have previously worked on both Everquest and Star Wars® Galaxies. I have to say they have all been fun.
How did you get into the industry?
This is my first step into the gaming industry. People may be surprised to see exactly how much work we actually all do here. It’s all been fun though. I have gotten to get a little sample of different parts of the industry and now I know where I want to end up. I have also discovered that I want to stick with SOE. I believe in the games we are putting out and the amazing creativity of the people making them.
Tell us what a typical workday is like for you.
I know the standard reply is “No day is typical”, but it really applies. A GM’s day is really dictated by what is going on in your game. DC can be especially varied because of how often we release DLC content for the game. The only really consistent thing about my day here is my lunch-break nap. No really, I love napping. People should really consider napping more often.
Let’s talk favorites… What is your favorite SOE game title? What is your favorite thing about that game?
How great is it that I work at a company that puts out so many great games it’s impossible to pick a favorite? In the past I have played a lot of Everquest, Everquest 2 and DCUO. Right now though, I am biased. My favorite game is Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. This game is almost like a passion project here at SOE. It has had such a difficult past, and now looking at what the team is doing with the free to play transition and the few sneak peaks I have gotten at new content, it is exciting. The game is getting a new lease on life because it deserves one. My favorite part is kind of an overlooked portion of the game, which I hope gets some love going forward. I love diplomacy. I’m not that good at it, but I love it.
Are you a geek? If so what makes you a geek?
I am a total geek. I define a geek as someone who has it within themselves to be completely passionate and involved in something. There are so many types of geeks out there if you go by my definition. When I discover something I really like, I go all the way with it. I like to learn as much as possible and explore every facet. That makes me a geek. A very happy geek.
If you could go on vacation and money wasn’t an object what would you do?
If I could go on vacation and money was no object, it would cease to be a vacation. I would take up a nomadic lifestyle with my husband and our beloved bugg (our dog). We’d travel to archaeological sites the world over. We will definitely delve into different cultures and try to learn as much from them as possible. Annual fall trip to Paris would be necessary.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
I think I would rather be myself than any fiction character. If hard pressed to pick though, I would go with Andy from Pretty in Pink. I want Ducky as a sidekick.
If you could have any superpower (or ability from inside one of our games), what would it be?
I was thinking about this last night when I got home, and I am very tempted to say the ability to find parking no matter the circumstances. I think I am going to have to go with the mental powers from DCUO. Honestly, I just want the ability to turn my enemies into cute little sheep or ghosts.
Do you have a hobby? What’s the last book you read? Last movie you saw? What is your favorite TV Show? What do you do to unwind after a busy day?
I have one of the geekiest hobbies around. I play in a couple weekly tabletop RPG games. Right now I am playing a technomancer in a Shadowrun Game and a super cool archer in a DC Adventures game. Gaming is definitely a big hobby for both myself and my husband. At this point I am going to also have to call redecorating the apartment a hobby.
To unwind after a busy day, I will walk the dog and do yoga. Nothing releases tension like falling on your bum trying to do a balance pose. I have also been known to clean as a way to relieve stress as well.
I am currently reading “Kiss Me Judas” by Christopher Baer. The last movie I saw was “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark”. That one was both better and worse than I was expecting. To be fair though, I watch a lot of movies at home. We do not have cable so we watch Netflix a ton. My favorite TV show of all time is either going to have been to be “History’s Mysteries” or “Arthur C Clark’s Mysterious World”. Oh, or Carnivale. Hmm, Twin Peaks might win. I can’t decide but I love spooky mysteries.
Enjoy this screenshot from the Vanguard Saga of Hereos, Shawn’s favorite SOE Game!
We hope you enjoyed meeting Shawna and will join us next month for another SOE Employee Spotlight!