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ALEX: Hi, everyone! Welcome to Open World season 2. Yes, we’re back with the show about video games, localization, and memes. But, as you can see, we are a little bit different right now. We have new hosts. You know me from season 1, but now we have Lara Lapier, Melisa Ilari. Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves for our new audience?
LARA: Hi, everyone. Welcome! It’s so good to be here. I’m Lara, I’m an English translator, and I’ve been playing video games since I was six years old, so maybe I can share with you a little bit of my experience through all these years being a woman and playing video games. What about you, Meli?
MELISA: Yeah. Hello, everyone. I’m Melisa Ilari. I live in London, although now I’m here in Buenos Aires, where we’re recording this. I’m from a small city called Venado Tuerto. And, of course, I also love this, and I’ve been in the translation industry for over six years, so I’m also hoping to share some of that input in our show.
MELISA: And, Ale, you put us in the spotlight, so now it’s your turn to introduce yourself.
ALEX: Well, yes. My name is Alexis Biró. I’ve been playing video games since I was three years old. I started way too young. I’m 34… 31 years of experience playing video games. So yes, it’s our personality to play video games.
LARA: “What do you do?” “I play video games.”
ALEX: I play video games. Yeah. I’m actually an English teacher, but the passion that I have for video games has taken me to wonderful places, like co-hosting a podcast.
ALEX: So, guys, let’s start with this. We know that we play video games. Why did you start playing video games? Lali?
LARA: Um… Well, at the beginning, I think it was like some sort of entertainment, because I started like really, really young, you know? And it was the perfect excuse that I had at the moment… that my mom had at the moment to make me go inside, because I was all the time playing outside, you know? “Lali, you get one hour of computer games if you get inside!” “Going!” You know? I was like, going!
MELISA: I mean, it worked. A good strategy.
LARA: It worked. Yeah. The thing is, it developed into something a little bit rougher throughout the years, you know? It was no longer an hour, instead, we’re going with two, three, four…
ALEX: “Lali, don’t you wanna go outside?”
LARA: Yeah! “Lali, why don’t you go outside? There is a sunny day outside…” “No. I wanna stay in playing video games. You caused this.” No, mom, I love you, please. But yeah.
MELISA: Yeah, well, I started playing as a kid with my little brother, like something we shared during the weekends. We had like two shops in my hometown where you could rent like the games for the Sega.
ALEX: Oh, my God, yes.
MELISA: And so I played Sonic and Aladdin and those games that were…
ALEX: Was this like that everywhere? We’re all Argentinians, by the way. I don’t know if it was like that everywhere in the world, in other countries. Like we used to rent Sega cartridges for, what, 24 hours, 48 hours? And then you’d have to give it back.
LARA: Sometimes, a week, if you were lucky enough.
ALEX: If you were lucky or if you could afford it, yes, a week.
MELISA: Sometimes you would go there and they don’t have it, like someone else has it.
ALEX: “No, it’s rented already.”
MELISA: “It’s a very popular game.”
ALEX: “There goes my weekend.”
LARA: And you had to get another game. It was like, uggh!
ALEX: I already played the Looney Tunes game. Well, it’s funny that we all have like some family-related things going on around video games. One of the earliest memories that I have it’s me playing the first Mario Bros on the old NES at home with my mom, you know? And then playing Mortal Kombat with my dad growing up a little bit.
LARA: Yeah, absolutely.
ALEX: And yes, the times that you play grow up.
LARA: Yeah, I remember playing Zombies Ate my Neighbors with my brother. We were like, “Oh my God!”
ALEX: That was a Sega game, right?
LARA: It was a Sega game, and it was so good.
ALEX: Sega Genesis.
LARA: Yeah. You had both characters. You had the girl and you had the boy. Back in the day, it was a lot, you know?
ALEX: Yeah, you got to choose who you played with. Yes.
LARA: Yeah, you could choose which one you wanted to play. And we were like obsessing. So good. Such a great game from childhood.
MELISA: I always used to pretend that Knuckles from the Sonic game was a girl, you know? But my brother was like, “You know he’s a guy.” And I, “No, no. The red one, that’s a girl.”
ALEX: “Do you see that long hair?” What about nowadays, guys? Do you guys play video games? Meli, I know you travel a lot, I don’t know…
MELISA: Yes. It’s complicated with traveling. I sometimes take my gamer computer if I’m gonna be there for a long time, like now that I came to Argentina for the holidays. But to be honest, I did stop playing while I was like on my high school years. I played as a kid and then, you know… I think… And we’re gonna have a whole episode about it, but I think it just wasn’t as common for young girls to be playing in my generation. So my younger brother continued playing and now he’s like a really good gamer. Hi, Mati. But I didn’t, and now I kinda rediscovered that passion for video games, and it’s something I really enjoy to do on the weekends, after a long day of work. You know, I’m not really good, but I still enjoy it.
ALEX: You can play video games and not be good at it. I mean, I suck now that I’m a dad…
LARA: Yeah. Same.
ALEX: Because that happens, you know? You’re playing, “Hey, you suck!” Yeah. I used to suck too when I was younger.
LARA: I’m not a dad, and I play like four hours a day and I still suck.
ALEX: How many hours do you play a day?
LARA: So, let’s say from Monday to Friday…
ALEX: You said four hours a day?
LARA: Yeah. Sometimes it’s four, sometimes it’s three hours a day. From Monday to Friday. But Sunday and Saturday, it is different, because I have more free time, and it’s dangerous… it’s dangerous the amount of time I spend playing video games. Yeah.
ALEX: And what are you guys playing right now?
LARA: Um, right now, I’m playing a little bit of Overwatch. I started playing Tiny Tina’s Wonderland. I think that game is amazing. And I recently finished Pokémon Scarlet, so it’s just like, oh my God.
ALEX: You’re going through that mourning phase.
MELISA: In case it’s not obvious that we’re Pokémon fans.
LARA: Yes. The thing is, I’m still playing it because I’m trying to find my Shiny, though. It’s so hard to find the Pokémon Shiny, in Pokémon Scarlet, at least. I’m still going for it, I don’t care. I won’t stop until I find one.
ALEX: But the replayability that some games have is awesome. I recently finished A Plague Tale: Requiem, that Theo actually recommended this game to me.
LARA: Thank you, Theo!
ALEX: Thank you for that. I cried like three or four times.
LARA: But you were warned about that.
ALEX: I was warned. He warned me. But, I mean, they have a new game plus, you know, that you can get all of the upgrades and everything, but it’s like I can’t get over the ending. I’m not gonna spoil anything for you guys. But yeah. What are you playing right now, Meli?
MELISA: Yeah, uh, well, I just downloaded It Takes Two, that I’m gonna play with a friend, and Lari heavily recommended it as well. And I’m also like trying new games, so if anyone watching wants to recommend any games, let me know. And I’m playing Destiny 2, I’m really enjoying that one. And Fortnight, which I play with my nephew and my sister. You can play online so it’s…
ALEX: So you only play on PC? Or do you play on Switch or something like that?
MELISA: I only play on PC.
LARA: I play on… I play on everything. I play on PC, I play on Switch, and I’m currently playing also on PS5. On PS5, I just finished Guardians of the Galaxy, and I miss Rocket dearly. Oh my God!
ALEX: I didn’t play it. Are you spoiling something?
ALEX: Yeah, right?
LARA: No. No.
ALEX: No? Okay.
LARA: You’re good. You’re good.
MELISA: You’re an Xbox guy, Ale?
ALEX: Actually, I’m not an Xbox or a Playstation guy. I currently have an Xbox Series S, I have a Nintendo Switch, I have a pretty decent phone that I bought at last year’s Gamescom when I went to Cologne. But, I mean, back in the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 eras, where you have really good exclusive games for every console, I used to go back and forth.
ALEX: Back then, I couldn’t afford to have both at the same time, so I used to buy me an Xbox 360, play something exclusive, then sell it. I had a friend that had a shop, so he hooked me up with used ones, you know? I would just want the PSP, for instance, to play, I don’t know, Crisis Core, you know? “Please, give it to me…” I figured it out.
MELISA: Another game I played very recently is Tetris Effect.
ALEX: It’s a classic.
LARA: It’s a classic. Yeah.
MELISA: I can’t recommend this game enough. It’s an addiction, I’m not kidding.
ALEX: It doesn’t matter who you ask, Tetris is a game that has touched us all at some point. So, we’ve been playing for quite a while, even though we have our lapsus where we don’t play. If you had to choose like one, your favorite game ever… Lali?
LARA: Yeah. I have this one like…
ALEX: If you wanna think about it… Oh, you have it. Okay.
LARA: I have it. I have it. My favorite game of all times is Fallout New Vegas. I think the kind of story that gets you to choose your ending, choose whatever you wanna do, I think it’s… that game nails it down to the point that you do whatever you wanna do. And it’s so good, the story is so good. I don’t know, I love Fallout games, and I think New Vegas is top-down my favorite, yeah.
ALEX: Nice. Meli?
MELISA: It’s hard for me to choose, since there’s so many games I wanna try, especially like new games. But, you know, just like nostalgia always hits me hard, so I probably would have to say Sonic, one of my childhood games, if I have to say of all time. What about you, Ale?
ALEX: God. I did the question and I don’t have a straight answer for that.
LARA: Oh, it’s okay.
MELISA: I think he wasn’t expecting us…
LARA: Yeah, but it’s okay. I mean, it’s so hard to choose one.
ALEX: I could choose like Final Fantasy VIII. Final Fantasy VIII was like the first Final Fantasy game that I’ve ever played. I played like 500 hours or something like that.
MELISA: What? That’s… wow.
ALEX: Yeah. We didn’t have like trophies or anything back then, but if they existed, I would have Platinum. But then Final Fantasy IX. The first Silent Hill was amazing. Incredible. And more recently, Bloodborne. For me, that game is a masterpiece. I mean, I’m still waiting for Bloodborne 2, but that’s not gonna happen. But yeah.
LARA: Let’s just wish.
MELISA: Nice. Those are all good choices.
ALEX: So, childhood games. What do you…? What was the first game that you’ve ever played, Lali?
LARA: First game I’ve ever played. I was six years old, I was with my dad, I remember, and we were playing Tomb Raider 1. Like the Tomb Raider with Lara that it was all pixels and…
LARA: …boxes and triangles. It was a little bit sketchy.
LARA: Yeah. That was my first one. And then I went into the Lara multiverse, you know? And I kept playing.
MELISA: You didn’t say your catchphrase.
LARA: Oh! Oh my God!
MELISA: This is how Lara introduces herself to everyone.
LARA: Every time I have to introduce myself…
ALEX: Let’s act it out. Hi, I’m Alexis.
LARA: Hi! I’m Lara. Like Lara Croft, but not that cool. I always introduce myself like that because I think it’s funny and, when you’re in the world of video games, everyone knows Lara Croft. So it’s just like, “Yeah, like Lara, but not that cool.”
ALEX: It’s like Lara-Uncool Lara.
MELISA: As someone that knows you, I have to say, you are cool.
LARA: Oh, thank you.
ALEX: Yes. You are Cool Lara. The other one is the pixelated Lara. And Meli, what are the games that…?
MELISA: I can’t remember the first one. Probably like Tetris, I don’t know. I really liked Snow Bros, that’s like more retro, my older brothers used to play it.
ALEX: NES times. Yeah.
MELISA: Yeah. I really liked that game. Even recently, we were in a place that had some arcade games, and they had the Snow Bros…
ALEX: There’s always a Snow Bros there.
MELISA: Yeah. And it was a really fine game. What about you, Ale?
ALEX: Super Mario 1. Earliest memories. I couldn’t get past the castle in World 4, I remember, when I was a kid. And then growing up, I tried to replay it, you know? “No, I’m not gonna play this. I can’t win this world.” And it was like, “It was this easy?” But you know, you grow, you learn. The mechanics, eye-to-hand coordination get better or something.
LARA: Yeah. Absolutely.
ALEX: But, guys, what… Nowadays, I mean, I play on PC, on consoles, on phones. What’s your cup of tea? You explore this, but what do you prefer to get your game on? I prefer being on the couch with a joystick and a screen. Old school.
LARA: I would say my PC. I spent way too much money on that PC, and that PC is my child, I built it myself. So it’s just like, this is my Frankenstein, this is my creation.
MELISA: I feel like on social media, we should share your setting. You have a really cool setup for gaming.
LARA: I mean, you will get to see it in the interviews. You will see it. You will see it.
ALEX: Yes, guys, because we didn’t discuss this when we first introduced the season 1. With season 1, we’re gonna have…
MELISA: Season 2.
ALEX: Season 2. Sorry. Yes.
MELISA: It’s not gonna just be us talking about our childhood games?
MELISA: Oh, okay.
ALEX: No. No, you’re not gonna listen to us for the entire season talking about video games. We’re gonna have… Last season, it was 18 episodes with 18 guests. Now we’re gonna have the same amount of episodes, for the entire season, but we’re gonna have one episode with just us talking about different topics: diversity and inclusion, accessibility, fictional languages…
LARA: A lot of localization topics, too, so it’s just going to be a little bit more mixed.
MELISA: Really interesting topics.
ALEX: We’re still gonna have people from the industry, from the localization side, from the video game side, from top companies that you’re gonna find very, very, very, very interesting interviews. But to wrap it up for a… Before we wrap up, what is your background, guys? What did you study? How did you get here into the localization industry?
MELISA: Okay, personal. Okay.
ALEX: What can be more personal than your first game? Come on.
MELISA: Yeah, that’s a good point. Well, I have a master’s in Policy and Management, so my background is very mixed. But I’ve worked for six years in the translation industry, and recently I just started, you know, moved to the video game localization specifically, which I was very excited about because, of course, I love video games, I love the industry, it’s such a cool industry that we work in. People are very passionate about what they do, and that’s just really nice to see and really nice to work with. Lari?
LARA: Yeah, I’m an English translator and I have a diploma on Audiovisual Translation. But when I first started the career at college, I had a teacher… Hi, teacher. I’m not gonna say your name. But she was like, “What do you wanna do after college?” And I was like, “I wanna work with video games.” And she was like, “Oh, my God. You’re gonna starve.” And I was like, “What?!”
LARA: But yeah, I never kept like that thought in my head just way too much ‘cause I was like, “No, this is what I wanna do, and I will do it.”
MELISA: Good job, Lari. Good job.
ALEX: There’s this misconception, right? Maybe it’s because there’s not much information out there, that either you do video games, like you’re a proper programmer, or you play them. But there are so many things in between that you can do. I mean, the video game industry is an industry that moves across many talents.
LARA: In the video game industry, you need accountants, you need lawyers, you need everything. So it’s just like, if you wanna make the jump, if you wanna go into the video game industry, do it. There is a lot of positions open.
MELISA: Yeah, and the industry is growing so much, like, it’s insane. And so, you know, I think it’s just a thing, you know, like parents would say, “Oh! This kid, he’s all day playing video games. He has no future.” And like, no, actually, he has a future. He can actually work in video games, and it’s a very successful industry. So.
LARA: Yeah. Absolutely.
ALEX: Yeah, well, funnily enough, the video game industry exceeded in 2021 both the filming and the music industry in terms of revenue.
LARA: Oh, that’s amazing. Yeah.
MELISA: That is insane.
ALEX: That is a fact. Well, for me, I’m an English teacher, actually. But most of my life I’ve been doing, for job reasons, jobs in sales or in marketing. And I’ve been working in the localization industry for the past two years now. And one of the things that the industry also needs is people to translate video games, too, to actually play the games in your own language, right?
LARA: Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t agree with you more.
ALEX: So, guys, what can you tell the audience out there to expect from season 2? And what are you most excited about?
LARA: I think we are going to have a lot of interesting guests coming this season, and I think it’s going to be a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more chill. We’re going to be talking about different topics regarding the video game industry, not only localization, so it’s going to be a little bit more diverse and inclusive and everything regarding topics, right? So yeah, I think it’s going to be a really, really good season for us, and I hope you enjoy it.
MELISA: Yes. I mean, I’m just very excited to share this experience with both of you guys. I really respect you and admire you, and I’m very, you know, just looking forward to share all our experiences, and hopefully, that will be helpful to the people watching/listening. Yes, because we’re gonna have discussions about very, very different, very important topics which I think are not just talked about enough. And I’m also just very excited about the guests and just learning from them.
LARA: Yeah. Absolutely.
ALEX: All that being said, I can only… I only have left to say that we are making Open World for you guys, for our audience. So we are making this for translators, producers, people who want to get into the industry and don’t know where to start, even if you wanna be a tester. If you wanna know how the localization industry works, then this podcast is for you.
LARA: And I wanna say something here. If you really, really want to get to know us, if you really want… have a question, if you wanna get in touch with us, please join our Discord. You have the Discord link down below in the comments or in the box description section.
ALEX: Or wherever you can actually add a caption.
LARA: Just go in there. We’ll be there for you.
ALEX: Yeah, guys. Well, I believe that that’s it for today’s episode. But stay tuned to all of our socials to know what episode is coming up next. And please join our Discord server, you can reach out to us, to our team. And we’ll see you on the next episode.