Above: Ruby Rails plays a bunch of games, from Zelda to Overwatch.

Image Credit: Ruby Rails

GamesBeat: Does that come in handy, to be able to do things like that?

Rails: Some people stream that. They’ll stream themselves making a game in Unity. I think that’s awesome, but the process — it’s creative, but it’s so slow. I don’t think it’s as fun to watch. But I wouldn’t say it comes in handy. Anyone can play a game. Making a game is a different thing entirely.

GamesBeat: The nickname “Ruby Rails,” that comes from programming.

Rails: Ruby on Rails is a programming language, yeah. But I program in C-based languages, C# and C++. Ruby is really similar. I thought it was the funniest name I could come up with that was similar to the programming side of my life. And it’s easy to say.

GamesBeat: Do you have any observations about the different platforms? Do you wish there were particular things you could do on Twitch or any others?

Rails: Things are changing so rapidly. The growth in the past few years has been astronomical. Catching up to that and finding out how to enforce rules — what rules are worth having and which ones can get slid under the rug — needs a lot of work. But they’re doing the best they can with something that’s growing so fast.

GamesBeat: You’re an attractive woman. Is that a challenge sometimes when it comes to trolling?

Rails: The craziest thing is that it’s not. It’s so weird, but I don’t experience that. I call myself a “reformed troll” because I used to be that person, so maybe, it’s just the perspective I have that changes that, but I really don’t deal with that at all. Sorry, women everywhere [laughs]. Twitch does have really good moderation tools. If you take the time to properly use them, which I do — I’m not sure how much that filters out because it never comes into the chat. Maybe trolling is happening all the time, but everything gets filtered out before it gets to me. Those tools are definitely worth taking the time to learn.

GamesBeat: Have things gone just as well for you on other platforms — like Twitter?

Rails: Twitter does nothing. Twitter’s like, “Good luck out there.” Instagram, you can ban or mute certain words, but Instagram is so saturated with bots and so many users that it’s nearly impossible to get all of it out. Twitter cleaned house on the bots, though, which I really appreciate. It’s a lot more helpful for your personal analytics, if you get into those, when they clean out the bot followers. You get a more accurate reading.

GamesBeat: I noticed your tweet about, “It’s a real person on my Twitter!”

Rails: Yeah! It’s not an account that just likes everything with a keyword. It’s amazing. Making those bots is so easy.

GamesBeat: It would be wonderful if we could have a world where we all made money playing games, making costumes, things like this. It feels like celebrities can do this full time, at this point — you have someone like Ninja making a lot of money — but I wonder how it might spread out to more people.

Rails: He’s interesting because he’s been around so long, but he’s blown up so fast, even in the past calendar year. It’s crazy. He’s taking people from other mainstream media and bringing them into the gaming community. There’s been some animosity brought toward him for that, and it’s undeserved. He’s doing his job, and he’s doing a good job at it.

It would be interesting to see more mainstream celebrities — athletes, actors — coming into Twitch. I don’t know how well that would be received. But we’re all here to have fun. There’s room for everyone.

GamesBeat: But do you think it will be possible for someone who’s not a celebrity to make money?

Rails: I really think that’s happening right now. You end up becoming more popular and coming into a kind of niche celebrity on Twitch or Instagram or Twitter or wherever it is. It happens organically. I think it doesn’t necessarily matter where you come from in that sense. You don’t have to be born in L.A. to a lot of money. You can grow on Twitch into that.

Above: Ruby Rails is into streaming and cosplay. She’s also a programmer.

Image Credit: Ruby Rails

GamesBeat: Where would you like to see this go for you personally, then?

Rails: I ask myself that every day [laughs]. I just love doing this. I love being online. It’s so relaxing. That’s a strange word to use for work, but coming to Twitch — the people here love being here. Everyone chooses to be here. That’s such a blessing. How many people can say that their co-workers, essentially, chose to be there around them? That’s wonderful.

GamesBeat: What have you tried lately as far as new games?

Rails: I’m so excited for Cyberpunk 2077. I love punk everything. For me, it’s like The Fifth Element plus Fallout. It’s the coolest thing. I’m so excited. I love CD Projekt Red. I pre-ordered Red Dead Redemption II, and I saw everyone playing it on Twitch already. Obviously, I’m right here, so I can’t pick up my copy. I’m so mad that it’s this weekend [laughs]. I want to shoot cowboys!

GamesBeat: I had it for 10 days in advance.

Rails: You got it early! That’s not fair.

GamesBeat: But I had to travel. I only effectively got to play about six of those days. I’m about halfway through the campaign. I’ve done 66 missions already, and I’m only halfway.

Rails: I’ve heard it’s the most expansive game they’ve ever made. I’m so excited. It’s like the Sims but cowboys [laughs].

GamesBeat: There’s all this ambient stuff you can do. You just go out into the world and find things.

Rails: I heard it just organically happens. You flip over a rock and end up on 20 hours of side [missions].

GamesBeat: Do you switch around to different games a lot?

Rails: I do. I’d say I play Overwatch most consistently. I don’t know why I love it so much. It’s not my usual style of game at all. But I love it. It’s fun to play with viewers. I think that’s what’s nice about it. “Hey, who wants to jump in?” Then, it becomes a more interactive group activity, instead of just watching me do stuff.

GamesBeat: When you’re off stream, do you still play games, or do you turn that off?

Rails: It really depends. Online games, like Overwatch or Splatoon, I don’t play them that often in my free time because I love RPGs. I love The Witcher. I’m so excited for Red Dead. Things that aren’t online, solo games, are usually what I do in my free time.

GamesBeat: But you’re still playing games all the time.

Rails: Playing all the time, yeah. That’s a constant.

Above: D.Va’s ultimate isn’t the most annoying nuke in Overwatch.

Image Credit: Blizzard

GamesBeat: What else do you do for fun, then? What’s not work for you?

Rails: Going to conventions — I can’t play games here. I’m not going to pack my Xbox in my suitcase. This is my fun time. I bake bread. That’s another hobby. I guess that’s what I like to do in my free time [laughs]?

GamesBeat: Do you think you’re at a point where you don’t want to go back to your old way of making a living, another game job?

Rails: Maybe, when the industry changes a bit more. The hair was just the last straw. There were a lot of things that were wrong with the game industry that still aren’t good — like equality between men and women in the workplace. It’s male-dominated. Everyone favors men in it.

I was trying to go for a promotion, a programming job, and the woman I was interviewing with I’d worked with for years. She said, “Wow, we’d love a woman in this position.” I said, “Great. I’m ready. I’m here for it.” And they ended up giving it to men anyway. Two men for one job who had no programming experience. It was my worst nightmare. And then, the purple hair — I just said, “This is not my industry. I’m going to move.”

GamesBeat: Do you know those people over there?

Rails: I don’t! Maybe they hang out in my chat room? That’s the thing. It’s anonymous. I don’t know. TwitchCon is awesome. Being online and being a woman in the game industry — it’s like a reverse effect. It’s the best thing ever. I went from, “This industry favors men,” to, “This industry favors women, and it’s great.”

GamesBeat: Have you jumped on the Fortnite or Call of Duty bandwagon yet?

Rails: That’s the weird thing about Overwatch. I completely suck at first-person shooters. I don’t like them at all. And then, I started playing Overwatch and thought it was the best thing ever.

GamesBeat: You seem a lot more animated and entertaining than a lot of esports pros.

Rails: Maybe that’s why people tolerate me [laughs]. I like to scream a lot. It’s entertaining. There’s my niche.

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