hello, I'm Zorine Te. I work hard to quietly deliver the best content in video games.

Archive for the ‘Gaming Culture’ Category

Top 5 work I’m proudest of in 2016

To say that 2016 has been an eventful year would be an understatement. Looking back, I realised that I’d published much more work than I thought I had. But isn’t that always the case? We always diminish our own achievements.

Of course, 2016 marked a huge transition for me–moving from Australia to the United States to accept a new job offer I received. I’ll talk more about that in a separate post. For now, please enjoy a look back on the year through my eyes.

I hope you all enjoy reading or watching these. A lot of hard work went into them! And most of all, thank you to all the people out there who support me. Without you folks, I could not do what I do. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all a happy new year and all the best for 2017!

Warcraft Movie Review


First published on June 8, 2016

This press trip was exciting to me for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, it took me to the Warcraft film premiere in Hollywood. Secondly, I was among the first to watch the Warcraft film. As a longtime fan of Warcraft lore and its games, excited did not even begin to describe it. The event itself was a lot of fun too. I saw a lot of interesting cosplay, met Leeroy Jenkins himself, saw a bunch of actors and actresses. After the event concluded, I wrote the review on the plane ride back to San Francisco, in the taxi ride, and finally finished it in my hotel room at 2AM. This feature also marked my first ever movie review.

How Pokemon Go Nearly Destroyed a Quiet Suburb


First published August 1, 2016

At its peak popularity the Pokemon Go phenomenon brought my friends and I together. However, it also brought out the ugly parts of people and the mob mentality, as this feature highlights. I investigated, photographed, and interviewed several folks in one particularl suburb in Sydney which had been negatively impacted by the effects of the game. I had hoped that shining a spotlight on the issues would prompt developer Niantic into taking some action. It eventually did.

Xbox Head Phil Spencer Talks Scorpio, PS4 Pro, 4K Resolution, and More


First published on October 5, 2016

This was the last major feature I published on GameSpot before I left. I’d interviewed quite a few high-profile people before, but head of Xbox Phil Spencer defied expectations. He was friendly. He liked to laugh. He would turn questions back on me and ask for my opinion on certain matters, which was unexpected. Most folks I interviewed tended to answer questions systematically, then wait for me to continue. Phil made the whole ordeal flow like a candid conversation and he did so while being very down to Earth. I really enjoyed this interview and I feel like the tone, and Phil’s love for the games industry, really shows in the feature.

Why World of Tanks Is Wildly Popular and No One Seems to Know Why


First published October 1, 2016

In my entire career as a writer, this feature was the longest and most researched I’d ever published. It was the product of travelling far to South Korea and Poland, 14 interviews, and a lot of writing and editing. The topic was fascinating to me to begin with, but I knew when I took on this assignment that it would be a challenging sell. However, I could not be happier with the result. Unearthing the mystery of how the World of Tanks came to be one of the most successful games in the world right under our noses without the majority of us noticing was great fun. Super interesting and insightful interviews, too.


MonteCristo on casting Overwatch: ‘Blizzard paid me more in two weeks than Riot has in five…’

First published November 10, 2016

This interview was shot at my very first BlizzCon, and my first event to cover with Yahoo Esports, whom at this point in time was a publication I had worked at for 2 weeks. I wasn’t sure what to expect from MonteCristo but prepared for the interview as I would any other. Thank you to Rod Breslau who answered my many questions beforehand. MonteCristo’s frank honesty and ability to articulate made this interview a very interesting one. I lost track of time throughout and our poor cameraman was apparently struggling towards the end! Still, I’m very proud of the end result. I hope you find it as interesting to watch as I did to conduct it.


Proving myself in esports, again and again and again and again


I love gamers. As most of you may already know, I devote a huge chunk of my life to gaming. Even before I started working in the industry, I have clocked so many hours skilling up, playing with friends, watching tournaments, etc. Specifically, competitive gaming was something that has had a huge influence on my life, and will continue to be for a long time.

So when I have to repeatedly prove myself to my fellow gamers simply because I am a female, I get frustrated.

Because people assume I know nothing of competitive gaming, that I don’t have any skill, that I don’t know I embedded myself in that history here in Australia, that I have never competed in tournaments and led my team to SWEET, SWEET VICTORY.

A team of men I captain, by the way.

I remember chatting at the booth of a brand (that I will not name) at last year’s PAX Australia. Conversing with 2 guys about one of my favourite topics (CS) I remember gushing about the good old 1.5 days, source TV, and how warmod was a failure (sorry Garfield). They were surprised, and one guy turned to the other and said, “This girl’s legit!”
My response? “Uhh, of course. I work in esports” – because at the time, GameSpot still covered esports and I was the person in Australia to do it.
Him: “Yeah but there are heaps of chicks who ‘work in esports’ and not know anything about it”

Really? Feeling uncomfortable, I brushed it off with a laugh and left the booth.

Rewind further back. I am at a competitive event, for once not competing, but representing media.

“This is the LoL area,” the admin explained to me, “Oh, LoL stands for League of Legends…”

I refrained from rolling my eyes.

I am sitting in an internet cafe. Amidst my team, I draft out our hero picks and bans for this game. It is our first Dota 2 tournament in a long time.

Later, my teammate confided in me, “I could have been naked and painted blue and nobody would have looked at me”
So what, I say. I was one sole woman of what, 30-something competitors. So bloody what. Let them stare. I need to stay focused on the game to take us to victory.

It’s like I need to wear a t-shirt listing all my achievements in chronological order to simplify the process of proving myself every time I meet somebody new.

Instead, I remain patient that one day I simply will not face the doubt and disbelief anymore. Or I’ll just start cross-dressing at tournaments.

Perceiving casual gamers

8:30am. Sapporo, Japan.


I am sitting at a steel table outside a brightly lit MOS Burger joint. The air is so cold, each breath I expel forms a small cloud of mist before me. My closest friends sit around me, waiting for breakfast to arrive. As I wait for our meals to be served, I flick through my phone. It seems I have received an update about a game I have been following for quite some time; Soda Drinker Pro.

When I announce my excitement about this, I am met with the reactions I have come to expect.


Working at GameSpot – Looking back at 2013


2013 taught me more than just HFGTL.


If you had told me two years ago that in 2012, I would finally make my break into the gaming industry, I would have laughed. Bitterly. It was a goal that I had worked toward for so long, it almost felt as though the title of perennial volunteer freelancer would be bestowed onto me.

When I accepted the job as Community Manager back then, I knew my life would be forever changed. It was—and still is—the dream, the opportunity I throw myself wholeheartedly into.


Games you probably thought I hated

Hate is a strong word. It is a word I seldom use; a word I feel should only be brought out when the context is appropriate.

As a gamer, I seem to have developed an image with my audience as a gun-toting, text-hating, cutscene-skipping, hardcore elitist. Whilst that is true to some extent, I am also a firm believer in keeping an open mind when approaching anything in life, and games are no exception.

I like to broaden my horizons whenever possible and as a result have amassed a wide variety of gaming experiences in different genres.

So here are some games I loved, which most people probably thought I hated.


Getting to the Sydney Gamers League 5 in one piece

NOTE: Usage of real names have been replaced with in-game handles. If you’d like to know more about us, check out the DYRM Clan page – links are on the right/top right.

Getting to the Sydney Gamers League 5.0 was an absolute mission for Clan DYRM. Despite the chaos (or perhaps because of it), hilarity ensued. Hope you enjoy this recount of what it took for us to get to SGL.

It started off so badly.

Harli had it planned so well too. It was obvious that they couldn’t make the Counterstrike: Source tournament – clan member Maltesers had work and wouldn’t be able to make the start time.

So Harli had risen early with plenty of time to get ready. She started up her PC, meticulously cleaned its exterior, and had begun patching her games when it happened.


Separated at birth? Loghain Mac Tir and Varian Wrynn

So I’m on my third playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins when a most interesting realisation hit me.

One of the central characters, Loghain Mac Tir, bears a striking resemblance to Varian Wrynn from World of Warcraft!

On the left is Varian, on the right Loghain.

I shall lay out the evidence and let you judge for yourself if indeed the two look as though they could be brothers. Or the same person.

So first up is Varian Wrynn. His character is currently king of alliance city Stormwind and his biography details that he is very much a warrior as he is a leader. Varian also made a prominent appearance in the ‘Secrets of Ulduar’ in-game cinematic for WOW’s Ulduar patch.

The heavily armoured Varian.

Physically, the first thing I noticed was the hair. Both characters have very similar hair and faces. The second distinguishible feature they had in common was that they were both heavily armoured.

Loghain Mac Tir serves as one of the central plot character’s in Bioware’s RPG Dragon Age: Origins. Like Varian, Loghain is a human warrior who takes up a leadership role amongst his people. The similarities don’t end there.

Loghain in his heavy armour.

Besides physical appearances, both characters have a number of other things in common.

  • Widowed
  • Famous for having fought in great battles
  • Both command an army and serve some leadership role
  • Reside in a fantasy world populated by dwarves and elves

What a marvelous coincidence! And I shall put it down to nothing more then that. Although they do look like they could be brothers, couldn’t they? Even their in-game personalities are similar.

Loghain, Varian.