Nicole Lazzaro
Founder and President, XEODesign
00:56

“I Never Got Past Level Seven”

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The gaming expert waxes nostalgic for the wireframe universe of the arcade game she loved most as a kid.

Nicole Lazzaro

Nicole Lazzaro, Founder and President of XEODesign, Inc., has twenty years of expertise in Player Experience Design (PXD) for mass-market entertainment products. Voted by Gamasutra as one of the Top 20 women working in video games, and cited by Wired, Fast Company, CNET, ABC News, The Hollywood Reporter, and Red Herring, her clients include Sony, EA, Ubisoft, Sega, PlayFirst, The Cartoon Network, Disney, Lucas Arts, Nickelodeon, LeapFrog, Mattel, Monolith, Xfire, D.I.C.E, Leap Frog, Ugobe, The Learning Company, Broderbund, Roxio, Cisco, Go Pets, Sierra Online, and Maxis. She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Stanford University, where she also studied film making and computer programming.

Since founding XEODesign in 1992 Nicole's design and research has improved over 40 million player experiences, including several popular franchises for casual audiences such as three of the Myst Series, Diner Dash, GoPets, Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover, Mavis Beacon teaches Typing, Jeopardy Online, as well as creativity coaching for the designers of The Sims.
Transcript

Question: What was your favorite video game as a kid?

Nicole Lazzaro:  Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  So I think growing up as a kid one of my favorite…  As a kid the thing that had me drop the most quarters was Star Wars, the Star Wars Flight Sim.  I love the feeling of flying.  I love that whole experience.  I felt like I was this, you know, fighter pilot and I was you know racing and I never got past level seven, but you know I loved the way the audio came in.  I was in that universe, even though it was only wireframe at the time.  It was a wireframe kind of, you know, flight sim and that experience allowed me to extend my love of the whole Star Wars universe, which again was this…  you know this inspirational fantasy, so it really connected it you know for me.  And I think that would be...  Yeah, that would definitely be my favorite game. 

Recorded on February 16, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen


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