Laura Massey is big into games, to say the least. She’s a software engineer for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console, part of a team working on top-secret stuff for the Redmond software company. And in her spare time she created the automated — and highly addictive, as we can attest — NerdTrivia game on Twitter.
Meet our latest Geek of the Week. Continue reading for Laura’s answers to our questionnaire.
Name: Laura Massey
Job, hobby and/or other geeky pursuit: I’m a software engineer on the Xbox 360. My team and I brought you social fun on the 360 with features like friends and Xbox LIVE Parties. Right now I’m helping incubate the next big thing for Xbox. No, I can’t tell you about it.
Coolest thing about what you do: The absolute best thing about my job is that I impact a product that delights millions of people. When I see people enjoying the things I’ve worked so hard on, it’s an amazing feeling that’s hard to describe.
What does it mean to you to be a geek? To me — Passionately (obsessively?) pursuing an activity or field, usually until every minute detail is conquered.
Geekiest things you’ve ever done, built, or worn: Despite dressing as a Castle Crasher or Lara Croft for Halloween, the geekiest would have to be the Nerd Trivia twitter bot I created, @NerdTrivia. This bot asks questions once an hour over a variety of nerdy topics, grades answers and awards points, all through twitter. It also grants achievements and tracks you and your friends on a leaderboard. When creating the bot, I wanted to make something interactive and fun that the geeks on twitter would enjoy. It’s growing strong with 3,000 players!
Mac, Windows or Linux? An easy one — Windows.
Kirk, Picard, Janeway or Sisko? A difficult one. I respect Picard’s leadership, but I gotta go with Janeway: a strong role model for women plus she’s the voice of the dragon in Dragon Age.
Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? Definitely a transporter. Think of all the traffic and airports we could avoid! I’d constantly be transporting back to Texas where I grew up for the Mexican food, BBQ, family and sun. I’m not that fond of Seattle food.
If someone gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I would … Hire my graphic designer twin sister and finally start creating mobile apps we’ve been brainstorming that would… hey, wait a second. Are you trying to steal my ideas? ;)
I once waited in line for … I’m accustomed to waiting in line for many things, usually gadget or geek related- most recently it was for the movie X-Men: First Class on opening night.
Your geek role models: I don’t really think of other people as role models. I don’t want to be like anyone else; that would be boring and unoriginal. I prefer to be myself!
Greatest Game In History: Diablo 2. I was addicted to that game for many years, plus the series has inspired many good games since.
First computer: An IBM PC that my dad bought for the family. I was pretty young, and I remember spending a lot of time fighting my sister and brother over it.
Current phone: iPhone 4
Favorite app: Twitter — I spend the most amount of time (by far) in this app.
Favorite cause: Child’s Play. Started by the creators of Penny Arcade, the charity provides games, books and toys for children at children’s hospitals around the world. Check out the website to learn more: http://www.childsplaycharity.org/
Most important technology of 2011: Mobile computing. It’s changing the way people expect to interact with computers.
Most important technology of 2015: I’m currently working on it. I still can’t tell you about it. :)
Words of advice for your fellow geeks: May the force be with you!
Twitter: @lauralollipop; Gaming handle: You can find me on Xbox LIVE as lollip0p.
Geek of the Week is a regular feature profiling the characters of the Pacific Northwest technology community. See the Geek of the Week archive for more.
Does someone you know deserve this distinguished honor? Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Geek of the Week photography by Annie Laurie Malarkey, email@example.com.]