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.
Best Gadget Ever: I’d have to say Kinect. This device (and the Dance Central video game) taught me dance moves I can actually use on the dance floor. Okay, so maybe I am biased. ;)
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.