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Watch: Celeb who mocked SA gaming becomes games fest host

Lalla Hirayama

The gaming industry has come in leaps and bounds, both globally and in South Africa. Between a growing general gaming population and the explosive rise of esports, it’s hard to argue that gaming hasn’t been mainstream for the past few years.

So we can’t be surprised when celebrities are announced as the hosts for the VS Gaming Festival, which will feature a R1.5-million FIFA 17 tournament as its main attraction. After all, if it brings in the casual observer, then that should only be a good thing. We should be surprised however, when one of these hosts is Lalla Hirayama.

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For the uninitiated, Hirayama shot to prominence in the gaming industry when she was the star of a poorly received video done for The Verge (which was an otherwise stellar show). The video may have been deleted initially but, fortunately, a mirror still exists.

The video, which saw her interview various attendees at rAge 2011, was laced with some of the most stereotypical questions and observations related to the industry.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” the presenter asks an attendee. “So what does this button do?” she asks another, before pressing buttons (literally and figuratively). Other questions relate to showers and general hygiene, naturally.

In any event, gamers responded with a torrent of criticism, with some people naturally taking it too far.

But it’s been over five years since the video first aired, so has Hirayama’s opinion of gaming changed since then? We’ve emailed her representatives for comment and will update the article if/when we get a response.

Anyway, the VS Gaming Festival takes place on 22 and 23 July, promising to host Africa’s largest FIFA esports tournament.

h/t for video: Grant Nicol

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