As kids, many of us relied on video games to escape from the mundane and harsh environments of reality. Video games taught us morals, gave us guidance, and brought us closer together to our friends and family. For Sofía Staley, video games were an integral part of her childhood. Those classic SEGA games inspired her to go to expos, set up booths, and share the joy of SEGA games with other fellow SEGA Nerds in Argentina.
We sit down with Sofía to talk about her cosplaying and expo expeditions!
SN: Tell us a little about what you do, Sofia!
I started to make my own cosplays a few months ago. Also I have a SEGA stand-in booth at a gaming expo, where I lend my SEGA consoles for free play, and I organize gaming tournaments there.
SN: What made you want to go into this profession?
It’s a hobby for me, more than a profession.
I usually try to go to all gaming events in my country, and I was surprised by the fact there is no SEGA anywhere, only Nintendo, PlayStation or Xbox. SEGA had a little space in general gaming sections with some classics, but I wanted to bring the people back to the 90’s, when everything here was dominated by SEGA consoles and a lot of fun games. That’s why I did it, and it works. People come to see what I’m doing and it reminds them of their childhood.
SN: What would you say is the most difficult and enjoyable part of cosplaying/SEGA booth?
The most difficult about this is the cost. I’ve had to spend my money and replace joysticks when they’re wasted after hours of gaming and tournaments in the expos. As for the cosplays, I’ve had to customize my own cosplay because SEGA does not have too many famous female characters, well, they are awesome for me, but not many people know them, so I have to make the cosplay as close as possible to the character I want to represent, and it costs a lot of money.
SN: What is your first gaming-related memory?
When I was young, I was kinda antisocial because I was different. I went to a private school. Girls and boys bullied me, because I was fat and ugly, or that’s what they thought.
Everyone when they’re little, most of the children, are fascinated by games, but usually, most girls, when they grow up, they leave them and start to be interested in other things. It was hard for me because I felt excluded, no one wanted to be close to me, so I was into games since I was 4 years old.
That experience made it last longer with gaming, because when everybody was hanging out with friends, I preferred to be alone in home with my Genesis. My brother and my cousin used to play the Genesis with me, and I have good memories of it. We were playing a lot of multiplayer games with multi-tap, having fun. They were younger than me, so even when I felt excluded by guys who were my age, I could find happy moments with my SEGA.
After this introduction, I remember my neighbor named Facundo. He lived in the same building, but he had an SNES and I had the Genesis. We used to go to each other’s house to play the same multi-platform games on our own consoles. I didn’t know about the console war because I was very young, but I hated Nintendo because we were playing Mortal Kombat and I laughed at the fact that he played it without blood because it was censored. I also I thought the music was different and sounded much better on SEGA, so we used to discuss and fight all the time about which one was better ^^… but it was very funny.
SN: Did you have a favorite SEGA game growing up?
I can’t choose one, but I remember Radical Rex; such an under-appreciated game; No one talks about it. It was one of my first games, and of course, wasn’t so awesome as Sonic, but the music was really amazing and the game was really fun. Then when I become teenager and my parents bought me the Dreamcast, I started to play Crazy Taxi and I never stopped playing it. I still play it on my Xbox.
SN: What do you like to do outside of the glitz and glamour of cosplaying?
Music. I play guitar and bass, not very well, but I’m good at singing 🙂
SN: Tell us a bit about your upcoming projects
I’m planning to get more games and consoles for the expo and make the best SEGA space and free-play for everyone 😀 …. and more cosplays of SEGA games!
SN: Where can people follow you? (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc)
I don’t like to be conceited and make things to stand out myself, but I had to make a fan page for everyone who want to see my cosplays and what I do 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/
[Editor’s note: The SEGA Nerds Spotlight is our chance to highlight some of the awesome things people in the SEGA and gaming community are doing. If you want to be featured in a future SN Spotlight look here.]