It's great to see that members of the old G4TV crew spread out and do their own things. Adam Sessler keeps everyone on baited breath with his video game reviews and Olivia Munn is well into her acting career. Most recently, it was announced that Jessica Chobot, from G4TV's Proving Ground will be launching her new webshow Nerdist News on The Nerdist channel on YouTube. Chobot, will be filling viewers in on the latest happenings in the video game world, tech and other pop culture tidbits relating to nerd culture with her own brand of humor and tongue-in-cheek wit.
Jessica Chobot spoke to Complex about her thoughts on nerd culture and how it's evolved over the years, the great "who is a real nerd" debate and the upcoming Daylight video game she's been working on. Be sure to check out Nerdist News today at 6pm (EST) here.
Complex: With gaming/nerd culture personalities gaining more attention from web-based shows, what are your thoughts on the internet vs. traditional television?
Jessica Chobot: I think web show content will even out with traditional television and eventually surpass it in a very short amount of time. It’s already begun to happen with the gaming/nerd culture web celebrities now.
I don’t admit this often, I’m really into Korean dramas and fringe science
And with shows such as House Of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and Arrested Development making waves in the digital space, it’s very exciting to see the level of production within the web space continuously grow. The Nerdist Channel and Nerdist News is a great example of that very thing—Gaming/nerd culture mixed with high quality video content and production.
Reporting on nerd culture would seem to get pretty tiring after a while, are there any specific areas that really get you pumped?
Jessica Chobot: My heart is still very invested in the gaming aspect of nerd culture. I’ve always loved video games but now that I have an even better understanding of how difficult they are to make (due to my involvement in Zombie Studios’ Daylight video game), I’m even more in awe of them and the people that make them.
Another side of gaming that I’ve been getting caught up in is e-sports. I’ve been hosting more and more events lately and I’m really enjoying it. Watching the shout casters work their verbal magic, seeing the teams work together for their common goal and all the pressure everyone is under – it’s outstanding stuff to watch!
Lastly, and I don’t admit this often, I’m really into Korean dramas and fringe science. You hand me a subtitled Korean rom-com or a marathon of Dark Matters on the Science Channel, and you’ve got an extremely happy woman on your hands.
Jessica Chobot: I would consider myself a story-based gamer. I am a total sucker for a good tale. Still, there needs to be good game play mechanics as well. Nothing destroys the desire to play something faster than broken mechanics.
What type of video games are you into? When you're not playing to stay on top of what's going on, do you have a particular genre you enjoy more during your personal time?
I’m also a massive collector. And by “collector” what I really mean is, “hoarder.” Skyrim fed perfectly into my hoarding tendencies. I picked up and stored every damn thing I came across. So many books! So many dragon bones! So much thistle! Hahaha!
Therefore, by default, I would say my usual “go-to” type of game would fall under action-adventure, or a story-driven shooter ala: Bioshock or a solid RPG. I also really like weird puzzle games like Fez, Year Walk or The Room.
So re-reading this I’ve concluded that I like pretty much anything as long as it’s well done.
What are your thoughts on eSports and the direction it's going in?
Jessica Chobot: I’m very impressed by it! The few events that I’ve hosted, Halo 4 Global Championships at PAX Prime and, more recently, the Battlefield 4 showdown in London, were ridiculously fun. People get so pumped up and the gamers are so skilled that you end up with these phenomenally close, white-knuckle matches.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to praise the shout casters. I may host the events but let me tell you, it’s the shout casters that are doing the heavy lifting. They are truly talented and completely dialed in. I’m in amazement of them every time I hear them.
I just hope that I’m able to do more and more of them. Partly because it’s a growing side of the industry that I would love to be a part of but also because they’re just so much fun!
Who and what is the great determiner as to what makes a person a “valid nerd”?
What do you think of the on-going argument of what makes a "real" nerd and what doesn't?
Jessica Chobot: I feel that the on-going “to nerd or not to nerd” argument is a moot point nowadays. Who and what is the great determiner as to what makes a person a “valid nerd”? Who gets to say that what I’m passionate about is any more or less than what you’re passionate about?
I understand the love and passion that people have for the nerd/geek culture but at some point, the labels become ridiculous and mean.
Which video game releases are you most looking forward to?
Jessica Chobot: Hahaha! The one I’m working on! Daylight from Zombie Studios and Atlus Games. We’re going to have it launch on both Steam and the PS4.
There’s also Elder Scrolls Online, Titanfall, The Order: 1886, Destiny, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Fable Legends, and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (I am a massive Dear Esther fan).
Which video game character would you say your personality is the most like and why?
Jessica Chobot: Hmmm…I’ve never really given that any thought. Let me ask my husband, Blair….
My husband, and I quote, “Nathan Drake. Because you’re rather adventurous, you like history and you manage to escape almost anything unscathed.”
Being an alum of G4TV, what are your thoughts on its shutting down?
Jessica Chobot: At the time, I was certainly sad to see it go. it was also quite scary to see it disappear. In hind-site though, it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me.
It kicked me out of my comfort zone and forced me to try new things (the writing on Daylight), focus on what is truly important (my newborn son) and re-evaluate my career (moving into freelance). In fact, this year has been more successful for me than any of the previous ones! I just hope that, with more hard work and passion for what I do, I can continue to enjoy working in this industry for years to come.