Interview with Jo Garcia, Playboy’s Gamer Next Door

Jo Garcia

At the Mafia II Community Launch Party in New York City, GamerNode’s News Director Mike Murphy caught up with Playboy’s Gamer Next Door Jo Garcia for additional details about the launch party, her opinion on the game, what she’s been playing, and more. Garcia was a special guest for the party that was hosted by 2K Games and Gamertag Radio, with Gamertag’s Danny Pena a.k.a. Godfree and Peter Toledo a.k.a. Peterocc taking on MC duties.

[Audio at the bottom of the page]

Mike Murphy, GamerNode: Alright this is Mike Murphy, News Director for and I’m here with Jo Garcia. Jo, how are you doing?

Jo Garcia: I’m doing well. How are you?

GN: I’m doing good. So could you first tell me what this whole event is for? The whole Mafia II party.

JG: We have Gamertag Radio, got together with 2K, and they are doing community parties through three cities in the US. They hit up Miami and they hit up Chicago and now they’re hitting up New York City. All the three big cities. And what they’re doing were community parties. They were getting the community, the people that play the game that are out there. That are first hand, they get to come hang out. Get involved with the Mafia II lifestyle. They’re rockin’ fedoras and they’re rockin’ their little boas and their Tommy guns. They’re living the life of Mafia II and they’re getting to know the game.

GN: Nvidia’s also here. They’re showing off the game in 3-D. Did you get to take a look at that yet?

JG: I did get to rock it ’cause Nvidia is amazing. They’ve done some great things in 3-D. And I did get to play it on the three-screen, which is a whole different immersive experience. If you take the car and put it into where you don’t see the car at all, where you’re seeing it from the windshield, that experience, it wraps around you. So when somebody hits the car it flies into your face. It’s amazing what they can do with 3-D. But playing a shooting game in 3-D you feel it. You have your left and right peripheral on this system the way they have it set up. They did such a great job shooting this game. I’ve never seen a game like that in 3-D. Avatar came out with their 3-D game and it was good, but this one was better.

GN: Earlier today when you were on the stage you got the typical criticism for being a girl and people not believing you that you’re a gamer. Do you ever get tired of hearing that at all?

JG: Honestly I think I will always have to hear that. I think it’s one of those things that until more girl gamers come forward and say that they’re gamers [it won’t stop]. I’m an avid gamer. I don’t have to be a pro gamer to be or enjoy videogames…I don’t have to be a pro gamer to be effective in it either. The games I do play I’m good at. And I can get just as competitive as the guy. It’s just one of those things. I choose not to be a cocky person about it though. The fact that I say that I’m a gamer is that people ask me, “Hey, what do you do?” Well, I do. I get into videogames. I do sit on my couch for eight hours a day. I get lost in them. I get the headaches. And when I say you get the headaches, you get headaches when you sit too long and play a videogame…Your eyes are bloodshot, and people think you’re smoking something. It’s just you cracking out on your videogames. Which is probably just as bad, right?

GN: Yeah.

JG: But, I’m gonna always be here. I know I am. And the fact that I shop for Playboy doesn’t make it any easier for me. It’s like, “There’s no way that girl.” I play videogames, I can fix my own car, I can cook, I don’t mind cleaning, and I love to take care of any guy that I’m in a relationship with. So I’m like the ideal chick. So God forbid that exists. They don’t want to believe that because either the girl they’re dating or married to just doesn’t add up and they’re pissed off at me about it. But in the end I’m gonna be me regardless of what people think or say. I just stopped listening to the hype.

GN: That’s good. So obviously you’re playing Mafia II. What do you think about that game? First. And secondly, what else have you been playing lately?

JG: Well Mafia II has grown a lot since Mafia I. And they added stuff that you wouldn’t uniquely see…in the original Mafia game. The thing about Mafia, like people are comparing it to GTA. GTA is a very open world style game. This game is very linear to a certain extent. It’s linear in that the story drives the missions. And there are little tasks that you can do here and there to kind of distract yourself, but it doesn’t throw you off the game. It always keeps you on the page. If it’s telling you [that] you need to go to Joe’s apartment, it’s always going to say that you need to go to Joe’s apartment. But if you need to import some car’s at Derek’s at the port, you can do that real quick and then you can go and check out Joe’s apartment. But it keeps you in the story for the time. It doesn’t let you deviate too much. There’s certain parts of the game that remind me very much of Beast Rider, where the game locks you in a spot and it makes you do what you’re supposed to. I don’t want to give a spoil away but at the very beginning of the game it’s making you go to a specific place and it gives you a boundary. So if you try to deviate off that boundary it reminds you, “Hey, you need to go see whatever.” And it makes you turn around and you have to go back. So it won’t let you sidetrack for certain parts of the game. And I think that’s very good for a gamer that can tend to be–I’m an addictive person so I want to finish everything. So if you give me restrictions, then I have to do what I’m supposed to. And this game does that for you. It also gives you a lot of things to collect. You have the wanted posters that are scattered throughout the city that you can collect for an achievement and obviously the Playboy magazines. There’s 50 vintage covers and 50 centerfolds. It’s a total of 50, but you get to see both the cover and a centerfold. The beauty about that is that they’re legitimate centerfolds and it’s like a little treat. You get to open it up and it’s a great thing. So I’m looking forward to that and seeing more of those types of things in videogames and Mafia II did it right. Especially with cover system. They added a cover system, which is awesome! Especially when you’re backyard brawling with these guys in ports with guns and all that good stuff.

GN: So what else have you been playing aside from Mafia II?

JG: Well I just got Kane and Lynch 2 so I haven’t played it yet. So I’m stoked about actually playing that game. I might do it on PC. They actually sent me a PC copy as well. I’m interested to see how that plays out on PC. So I’ve been playing that or starting to play that. I’ve been playing Red Dead [Redemption] ’cause I just got the DLC so I want to see how that all plays out. Borderlands, I’m still playing that. I’m on my second playthrough and I can’t stop playing it. It’s like one of those games that-

GN: It’s like crack.

JG: You have three DLCs. There’s a new one coming out soon. So I wanna, I have my guy at like level 54. Like something ridiculous like that. So I’m ready for the new DLC but I’m still playing that. I’m looking forward to a lot of games so I’m trying to curb myself. But I’ve been playing StarCraft II a lot. I waited way too long for that game. So it’s just my crack right now. I can’t put that game down for the life of me. It’s so hard. And then I finished Mafia II but I’m going back right now. I’m either at 35, 36 of my achievements I’ve already unlocked. And now I have to go through and finish what’s left over. And there are people who are wondering, there’s an achievement in there that people are confused about. It’s at the very beginning of the game. I’m not going to tell you what it is because I don’t want to spoil it. But if you get confused about it and you can’t figure out where it’s at, hit me up on my Twitter (Gamernextdoor) I actually figured it out. Finally figured that one out.

GN: You mentioned that you’re looking forward to a lot of games. Which ones in particular are you looking forward to?

JG: I’m actually looking forward to Killzone 3. I saw it in 3-D at E3 and I was just like, “Wow!” I’m stoked about that game. A lot of people are looking forward to Halo: Reach. I never really got into…Halo in general, but Halo: Reach looks like something I would play. So I’m looking forward to Halo: Reach. Wanna see how that all plays out. Fable III. Looks amazing. I can’t wait to see more of that. Civilization looks great. I can’t wait to play that game. Black Ops, the Treyarch Call of Duty that’s coming out here soon. I wanna see if they did us justice ’cause with all the craziness that’s going on with Activision and Infinity [Ward] and all this nuts. I want a good Call of Duty game to come out. Modern Warfare 2 was amazing so I want to see more. Keep that trend going. I’m still a little curious about Epic Mickey. I was sad to find out that it wasn’t available for PlayStation or Xbox anymore. So we’ll see where that all goes. But those are my big games. Also looking forward to Mortal Kombat. Been reading a lot about the Mortal Kombat. I wanna see how that game’s gonna play. ‘Cause I’m all about the friendships and the fatalities and the rainbows. They said they’re going to keep it bloody and keep it what Mortal Kombat was back in the day. I wanna see it now but I want to see it with new graphics, new engine, and a third dimension man.

GN: So last question. Next weekend is PAX Prime. Are you going to be there?

JG: I unfortunately am not going to be at PAX Prime. Everybody keeps asking me, “Are you going to PAX?” I’m like, “I think I’m going to miss it again this year.” I missed it last year and I cried. So I wonder what I’m going to do this time around. They’re trying to make it so that I’m down there for it but it’s like hit-and-miss. I can’t say, “Yes I’ll be there.” And then not show up. It would be sad.

GN: Alright. Well, Jo Garcia thank you very much.

JG: Thank you guys.



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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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