Krysti Pryde on Her Portrayal in The Tester, "In Real Life, That's Just Not Me"

We spoke with Krysti Pryde when she competed in the reality program The Tester.

It's hard to pick what first catches your eye when you meet Krysti Pryde. Is it her purple hair? Her height? Or maybe it's that she looks like a combination of Sailor Jerry and Sailor Moon. With a collection of nerd tattoos, including some related to the aforementioned leggy anime character, Krysti Pryde stands out in a crowd.

She's been gaining notoriety in part from the gaming reality TV show The Tester, as well as from various modeling gigs, including a cover of Tattoo Life Magazine. This year she was a featured guest at Florida Supercon this year. It was there that we hit her up to chat.

New Times: Can you explain your handle to us?

Krysti Pryde: To be honest, I changed my name unofficially to Pryde because I didn't want creepy people to find me on the internet. But it's also my favorite super hero's last name.

Speaking of Kitty Pryde, what's your favorite storyline of hers?

My absolute favorite storyline is from a six issue miniseries where she and Wolverine go to train as freakin' ninjas in Japan.

Joss Whedon has become such a central figure in the Marvel universe with "The Avengers" but before that, he wrote the comic Astonishing X-Men which is centered around Kitty Pryde. Did you read that?

Yeah, he stuck that bitch in a bullet! I love Joss Whedon because he has such a mind for sci-fi and fantasy. He is a huge Kitty Pryde fan himself so when he stuck her in a bullet I was like, it's gonna be okay.

That's tricky though, when Joss loves a character he tends to kill them off. RIP Fred!

So true!

Can you explain what The Tester is to those not in the know?

I was on season three of The Tester, and it's a video gaming reality show where you compete in challenges that are physical or creative and related to gaming, but they don't actually have to do with you playing video games. I definitely felt like I got the ol' bait-n-switch because I was like "Yeah, I'm gonna go on TV and play video games and win a job!" but then it was like nope, they're gonna dress me up as a clown.

How do you feel about your portrayal on The Tester, taking into account all the editing.

It's funny, when people meet me they're like "Wow, you're so much nicer and less scary!" The thing about reality TV is they're portraying you as a character of yourself. Editing is a magical thing and I was depicted as the tattooed, take no prisoners, bad girl, and kind of boring, too. In real life, that's just not me.

Was there any footage you liked?

Every week Sony released behind the scenes footage of us goofing off and when people would watch that on YouTube they would be like "Oh, she's not a bitch," or "He's actually really cool." It's because they were seeing us for who we really were and not just a character on a show.

What is your favorite memory from The Tester?

Oh man, there's so many. When it was me, Akilleez, Reality, and Skyd1ddy after Suzkaiden left, well, you're not supposed to interact with the production crew and sound guys at all. But we did. I would go in the bathroom and talk into my mic and be like "I'm thinking about you while I shower," and you would hear the sound girl with all her sound equipment out there laughing.

I know that you're big on gaming, obviously, but what are your views on women in gaming? Should they be recognized as being different and proud to be "gamer girls" or should gender not matter all?

You know, it bothers me because there shouldn't even be a divide. I shouldn't play a game and get on the mic and have it be a big deal. Unfortunately, it is and will always be an issue, but that's going to be an issue in any community when you're a girl doing something that's male dominated. But when I was born this is just what I happened to be interested in. There are so many girls out there that are legit, it's not something they're doing for attention or to impress their boyfriends. It makes me happy when I meet girls like that.

You've said before that your favorite video game is Metal Gear Solid, what drew you to that game?

I am a story person. As a writer I'm driven towards character development, towards plot. I wanna play a game but I also wanna be thinking about it. With Metal Gear it was one of the first games I played where I had to pause it and be like holy shit, and take in what the character just said. It really opened my eyes to the potential of video games.

If you're a person who likes comic books then you're attracted to storyline.

Exactly. I mean, the entire Metal series has been so consistent with its story and its characters. They keep it fresh and that's so impressive to me.

What are your game recommendations for people new to the gaming community?

It depends on the kind of person you are. I always suggest easing in with some RPGs so you can get into the story. Or open world games like Skyrim where you can kind of just explore and do your own thing.

One of your more defining traits is your tattoos, how many do you have?

I don't know if I count my sleeves as one tattoo each or as separate tattoos so I just tell people when they ask: "Most of my body."

You seem to have a nerd collective going on with your tattoos, and you have them in every genre. It's not just all gaming or all Star Wars.

Yeah, I have gaming tattoos, Star Wars, Sailor Moon, Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, World of Warcraft, D&D, Zelda, it goes on.

You were on the cover of Tattoo Life Magazine recently. What was that like?

You know, I had no idea I was even on the cover of that until someone tweeted me a picture of it. So I contacted the girl who took the photo and I was like, "Did you know about this?" and she was like "Yeah, did you not know?" So that was really cool. One of the things I've always wanted in life is to be on the cover of a magazine, I feel like that's so exciting. People kept taking pictures of it and buying copies, it was just a good feeling even though I was in my underwear.

At least they blurred-out your nipple.

They did blur the nipple.

Um, not that I was looking... Next question! What gaming or comic book character do you identify with the most?

I'll do comics first. It would have to be Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat. She's a very free-spirited girl but also a no-nonsense girl and she values intelligence and integrity over everything. She's very tech savvy, like myself, and she likes dragons and I like dragons. I mean, I changed my name to match hers.

A lot of people might not realize that Krysti is your real name. People on The Tester had these crazy names like kwajaMonster and yours was more user friendly, so to speak.

Some people came in and got to keep their gamer tags, like me, and some people got assigned them. I think they kept mine because I have my website and I already have a base.

That's probably smart, I can't imagine them trying to change egoraptor's name.

Yeah they'd be like, "You're going to be... Pleasant... Stegosaurus!"

Pleasant Stegosaurus!

They're delightful! But as far as which video game character I identify with... So many girls bitch about how there's no decent female protagonists in gaming, but that is not true at all. One of my personal favorites growing up was Princess Zelda because she didn't necessarily need to be saved. She was a more intelligent, put-together princess than say, Peach. Zelda always did her part to help save Hyrule. I definitely respect her and I think she's a good role model for kids getting into gaming. I also really like Claire Redfield from the Resident Evil series. Again, just normal, put-together, smart, and a badass.

What's the craziest thing you've seen at Supercon?

My favorite thing here, and the weirdest, is the Ghostbusters booth. They've got all these Ghostbusters running around and then there's the Stay Puft Marshmellow guy, like, not quite dancing but pop-locking and breaking it down.

What's your favorite thing about cons?

It's just such a weird, fun atmosphere. It's where a bunch of stereotypical anti-social people can come and be social with each other. You can be dressed like a bunny or a video game character or a half-naked cat hybrid and that's cool. You can't go the the supermarket like that. But here, you're the shit.

You can follow Krysti Pryde on Twitter, Facebook, or her blog.