Stephanie Tinsley (Tinsley PR)
Stephanie Tinsley is the final boss at boutique PR mercenary consultancy Tinsley PR. Prior to founding her own business, Tinsley worked on the PR agency side for brands like Atari, NVIDIA and Microsoft Games Studio. A graduate of Chapman University, Tinsley recently relocated from Los Angeles to Denver, Colorado with her wife and 2 year old daughter, their two wonderful dogs and a satanic cat. Keep up with the trash talk at @agentinsley on Twitter.
What is the first video game that you remember playing?
“Not to date myself here but the first games I remember playing were on the Atari 2600. We had Pong, Pitfall, Star Wars, Decathalon, and a bunch of other ones. Decathlon, in retrospect, seems amazingly boring but we loved it. It was a game about track and field, but it must have hit at the right time when the summer Olympics were in Los Angeles because we knew all the sports and were super into it. The last, big mode in that game was the long race and you had to jiggle the stick back and forth to make the guy run around the track – after your 4th lap your hand would start to cramp so you’d strategize to quickly hand the controller off to the other person so they could take over. If your hand cramped, you slowed down and the AI competitors would win.
I also remember playing Pitfall for what seemed like hours and hours, wondering if there was an actual end to that game. I recently actually Googled ‘ending of Pitfall’ because I wasn’t sure if that game had an ending. Turns out it did, and boy was it anti-climactic.”
“The first time I remember feeling like I wasn’t ‘smart enough’ to play video games was when I played E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. That game shipped in broken state and you could never actually get home. What fucking bullshit, right? There I was, a determined little kid, running from screen to screen trying to find the other piece of the goddamned phone I needed or whatever it was to get this stupid pixelated alien home and there was no way to actually do it. Fucked me right up, I’m telling you.
I met Nolan Bushnell a couple of years ago and told him E.T. on the 2600 was the reason for all of my problems in my life. He laughed and I laughed and we took a photo together but I was dead serious about it.”
What are your favorite games of all time?
“That’s such a hard question because games hit you differently at different stages of your life. I mean, I have to say Pitfall if we’re talking about the first game I ever loved but of all time above all others? God I don’t know man… it’s probably a tie between Fallout New Vegas and GTA IV. Brucie was the shit.”
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
“I have a two year old with one due in just a couple more months plus two active Airedale Terriers, so gaming time outside of playing early alpha builds is really limited to be honest. When I do get chunks of free time my passion is for hiking/backpacking and fishing for rainbow trout like I’m fuckin’ Golem from Lord of the Rings or whatever I swear to god. I love trout so much. Anything outside though – chasing down big supercell storms to get timelapses with my cameras or just a bike ride and I’m in, 100%.
I am also a huge tennis fan to the point that every major tournament or big tennis news I have to fire off a warning tweet that a bunch of tennis commentary is incoming, since I think the majority of my followers are games enthusiasts who don’t know the first thing about tennis hahaha. So many people have told me that they now love Serena and Venus Williams because of my tweets that I keep trying to get free tennis swag as an influencer, lol.”
Do you and your children play video games together?
“Not yet, she’s two years old so we’re limiting screen time as much as we can. But my wife loves her Nintendo Switch so I’m sure the gaming days are just around the corner.”
How do you make time for gaming with a busy family life and career?
“Getting older is a funny thing – especially in the games industry. Outsiders think it’s all “just fun and games” but I know a lot of people who think, talk about and write about games all day long so the last thing they want to do when they get off work is play video games. It’s just a time issue for me. I love big open world single player RPGs – Dragon Age all day long over here – because when I get time to play a game I don’t want to dick around with competitive games I haven’t had time to get really good at and spend my time getting my ass whooped by some 11 year old. Just tell me a really pretty story and let me run around and romance NPCs and go collect pink crystals or whatever.
I get motion sick (an occupational hazard in my industry) so VR and FPS games are usually out for me. I know, I know, I know.”
“So it’s pretty rare to game for fun a lot of the time these days, but I know when the kids get older it will become a more regular thing so for now I’m just being patient and concentrating on my other hobbies. Who knows by the time the kids are old enough to really be into games what those consoles (or no consoles?) will look like. Really what I want is the future of gaming like on Black Mirror where it’s fully immersive or in the movie Her where it’s all perfectly seamless 3D holograms and you use your fingers just ever so slightly to make your character run and jump.
That’s the future I want to live in. Also hoverboards. If the future could give me a hoverboard that would be great.”
What is your proudest moment as a parent?
“Oh god uh… all of them? Parenthood has been such a trip. Every day is this new adventure and every day they learn 12 new things. Probably the most recent ‘proudest moment’ is when Ursa, our daughter, looked at the TV and asked me to put tennis on, hahahahaha. She doesn’t know it yet but she’s Serena Williams’ biggest fan.” =)