Lenovo recently announced Amy Campbell as the winner of their Legion Epprenticeship. The first of its kind, the epprenticeship will see Amy study under some of Australia’s leading gaming experts in both development and content creation.
Amy is a New Zealand-based fitness instructor-by-day but has been writing for OnlySP which has now been absolved into The Escapist+ program. She’s recently begun streaming on Twitch as well, which I ask her about in our interview.
I had the chance to ask Amy what she hopes to get out of the experience, discuss her love of Horizon: Zero Dawn as well as how she began writing for OnlySP and what she wants to achieve in the future.
I spotted Amy tweeting about Bugsnax so I asked her how often she thinks about 2020’s potential GOTY first and foremost and she had the correct answer.
Hahaha. I am always thinking about Bugsnax!
Read on for the full interview.
What are your favourite games of this generation? It looks like you’re a bit of Horizon: Zero Dawn fan?
This generation is a tough one to pick favourites from but absolutely, I adore Horizon: Zero Dawn more than anything. I am also a very big fan of Spider-Man and Disco Elysium. Both had very particular visions in mind and the developers stuck to their guns to bring them to life.
I noticed you’ve done some writing and video work for The Escapist. How did you begin the journey to being published on a website like that?
To expand my knowledge on the gaming industry, I set up a blog to write about video games during a break from University. A couple of months and a handful of articles later, a small site called OnlySP were looking for more writers, so I sent through some of my work and was lucky enough to join the team. The now, Editor in Chief of The Escapist, Nick Calandra, had started OnlySP and was involved with the site from a distance. He asked me if I would be interested in becoming a regular contributor to the reviews team. I jumped at the chance and am incredibly grateful for the experience.
Was writing your initial love? Or have you been more interested in video work/streaming?
When I was younger, I always loved writing but slowed down in favour of more performative mediums like dance. I started writing more at University which reignited my love of the written word. Honestly, I had not even considered the possibility of streaming or video creation despite being something my prior work experience had well equipped me for. I definitely prefer the ability to convey my thoughts on games verbally, but I do still love carefully crafting a written piece when I can.
Do you have a favourite piece of writing or a video I should suggest to readers?
I have been lucky enough to write quite a few personal pieces that I am incredibly proud of. One was a love letter to my parents during the New Zealand COVID-19 lockdown and another is the story of how I met my fiancé by playing Rainbow Six: Siege.
And it looks like more recently you’ve begun streaming on Twitch? Was that because of more free-time because of COVID-19? How’s that experience been so far?
I have! The extra free time and new webcam gave me the opportunity to start streaming with The Escapist crew before I decided to try it out on my own. I have had a wonderful experience so far. The people that find their way to my small community are incredibly kind and supportive and even my time streaming as a group has largely been very respectful and enjoyable. I was prepared for the worst but I am definitely grateful to be experiencing the best so far.
In the press-release announcing you had won the Legion Epprencticeship, you were quoted saying: “[…] a timely reminder for me to continue to pursue my dream – which can be difficult without the right guidance.” What is THE dream you talk about?
I am a crazy dreamer and I change my mind constantly as to what kind of role I could imagine myself within the games industry. Ultimately, I would love to work as a voice actor to help bring stories to life. I am a performer at heart and to make that dream come true would mean more to me than anything. Otherwise, I have a soft spot for animating motion capture and would love to dive deeper into that niche aspect of development. I am grateful for the opportunity Lenovo Legion has provided and am excited to get in front of industry professionals that can help craft my current skill set to get me closer and closer to my dream career.
Out of all the people you’re going to get the chance to have mentorship from, who are you looking forward to getting advice from the most and why?
All the mentors have such diverse expertise and there is so much I cannot wait to learn from each of them. Having followed Hex for years and watching her work with the Lenovo Legion brand, I am pretty nervous and excited to chat with her because her time in Australian games media has helped carve a path for someone like me. I also grew up watching her on Good Game, so it is hard not to be incredibly excited about getting the chance to chat with her.
Other than more opportunities like this one from Lenovo what do you think would help more up-and-coming writers & content creators to get their foot in the door?
A louder discourse as to what opportunities are out there and what they actually look like. There have been a lot more discussions recently as to what studios are looking for or which sites are looking for pitches but opening up that dialogue further would go a long way to help a lot of people.