More Than a Gamer Girl
A quick look through Meghan’s channel reveals a deep appreciation for gaming and its surrounding culture. This interest stemmed from an early life surrounded by her brothers in Modesto, California. “I grew up with four brothers, so we loved going outside and playing, but we could only play until the streetlights came on,” she recalled. “We had some pretty bad rainy seasons with flooding, so on the days we couldn’t do that, our dad would take us to Blockbuster to pick out one game. We only had one console, maybe something my grandma picked out for Christmas. We’d pick out the game that our oldest brother wanted to play and watch it like it was a movie.” This became a family tradition, and Meghan soon took up the role of Player One. “Our biggest struggle was trying to finish it before the week was out,” she explained. “If my older brother finished, I got to play it next. I’d watch him play, and see how he would beat the game. I’d take mental notes on the hard parts, then speedrun it before we had to return it. When my brother moved away, the tradition passed down.”
As if completing long-form games within a week wasn’t a great enough challenge, Meghan also sought out pursuits in extreme sports throughout her childhood, including skateboarding, rollerblading, and even BMX biking. “I started skating when I was 13,” he explained. “I rollerbladed at first, and got really good. I could do grinds and stuff, but I broke my arm, so my dad took away my skates. I asked for a bike for Christmas, and it came with pegs. I learned how to do tail whips, bar spins, and stalls. I got really good at street flatlands tricks. I got so good that we started to get a group together to learn tricks outside my house.”
Meghan’s dynamic pursuits soon gained some negative attention close to home, which presented her with a different sort of challenge than trying to land flips and tricks. “I started getting bad scars and bruises,” she recalled. “My dad is more of a traditional Mexican. My family never made me feel so much like, ‘You can’t do this because you’re a girl!’ I rather think my dad was trying to protect me, because I didn’t have a female influence.” His concerns led him to revoke Meghan’s biking privileges--but she wasn’t going to let that stop her from doing what she loved. “He said it wasn’t ladylike. He took my bike away, so it sucked that I couldnt do what I loved doing. But, I’m not a quitter.”
Meghan soon worked her way around the problem, despite her father’s misgivings. “I had a group of friends that started skateboarding,” she said. “I started hanging out with my friends who had boards, and I’d ask for their old ones, since my dad wouldn’t buy me one. I started buying the pieces for my new skateboard. My logic was, he couldn’t take it away from me because I made it myself, and bought it myself.” With the release of Tony Hawks’ Pro Skater, Meghan grew even more inspired, and aspired to compete in amateur-level skateboarding competitions. “Over time, I finally had enough pieces to make my own skateboard,” she recalled. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater came out, and I learned to do a kickflip because of that game. I was at the park every single weekend, and even got 3rd place in an all-girl’s skating competition. I would compete with the guys and the girls.”
Meghan continued to skate until she was nineteen years old. Her tenacity was only challenged by another, more serious injury, which forced her to rethink her ambitions with the sport. “ I got a bad concussion, where I didn’t wake up for a few minutes,” she explained. “It scared the heck out of me. That injury really scared me from competing amateur. I don’t go as hardcore, but I still do it.”
From Extreme Sports to Editing
Although primarily a content creator and hostess, Meghan believes that her past as an avid gamer and skater afforded her a valuable skill set, which aids in her current work. “With editing, I have to think of it like a videogame,” she explained, “using hotkeys and how my workflow happens, having a steady hand. I used to build skate ramps, so coming up with makeshift rigs for cameras is easier, too. With my DIY stuff, it blows into my cosplay as well. Everything I’ve learned has helped me in what I’m doing now. I’m so grateful for it. I’ve done so much, it’s almost hard to pinpoint everything that it ties into.”
Meghan’s history with gaming likewise influences her YouTube content and Twitch stream. “I grew up a Nintendo kid, and I think you can see that in the way I create content and create my brand a bit,” she stated. “It’s more on the bright, sunny, and cartoony side. Those are the games I like to play.” She isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. Meghan found a deep love for darker storylines through Blizzard games and Starcraft, as well. “The first PC game I played was StarCraft. The story sucked me in. It was so dark and gruesome, and I fell in love with it. I got really into World of Warcraft, too. That’s all I did.”
Meghan now works to find a balance between games that she enjoys and games her viewers want to watch, transitioning from MMOs to sandbox titles like Minecraft. “PC gaming started with Blizzard games with me,” she explained. “It balanced me out--I could be one type of game nerd, but I lean to RPGs and MMOs. With streaming, I have to find a balance. My audience really loves Minecraft, and that’s maybe more of the Nintendo side for me. I still get that WoW, MMO, Final Fantasy kind of gamer in me, and I try to sprinkle that in as much as I can. It’s all about finding balance. With gaming now, you get strongly attached to a game or gaming genre, and I’m trying really hard to give me a little more range.”
Who Run the World?
While Meghan’s current success is a product of her tenacious nature and ambition, she wasn’t always in an optimal situation. In her “Draw My Life” video, she explained that her parents’ separation introduced a slew of issues that led her to feel completely hopeless. After wrestling with teen drinking and attempting to be a parent for two of her brothers in her mother’s absence, Meghan found peace through her church group, and finally moved to Los Angeles after winning YouTube’s Next Up contest. Now, she sees a future where girls can succeed in the gaming industry, after experiencing her own achievements in the field.
“I think it’s amazing the way that the space is now, seeing things that we only dreamed of, like being a professional gamer,” she expressed. “I shot a documentary about the League of Legends championships, and they sold out the Madison Square Garden. It was packed. Every seat was full, and people were chanting, watching people play this game. I feel like I’m living in an alternate universe that my childhood made up. Every single day I’m super grateful.”
With the gaming world’s success, Meghan sees an even greater space for women in the scene, because they’ve always been a part of it. “Having a presence as a girl shows people that it’s normal,” she maintains. “There’s a huge chunk of women who have always played video games. In the world, you only see the guys or the pros. Now, in the OWL, you see Geguri. There are amazing girl gamers at a pro level who aren’t in the spotlight as much. I feel like the more normal it becomes, the less of a hard time people have seeing it for what it is.” Meghan feels that placing a greater spotlight on women in gaming will help influence girls looking to break into the scene, and normalize the occupation across all walks of life. “I know a ton of talented girl gamers,” she said. “We’re out here, and we’ve been playing since we could hold a controller in our hands, and we’re here to stay. I like things that put the spotlight on it. And it’s good for a young audience to see it too, to see that they can do it too.”