Audra Bowling
Audra Bowling
Reviews Editor

At RPGFan Since:
October 2018


Favorite Games/Series:
Suikoden, The Legend of Heroes, Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei, Ace Attorney, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Street Fighter, Tekken, God Eater, Ys, Growlanser, Hakuoki, Fire Emblem, Kingdom Hearts, The World Ends With You, Planet Stronghold, Aravorn Games, Code: Realize, Zero Escape, Lunar, Wild ARMs, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, Xenogears, Legaia, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series

Favorite Genres:
RPGs, Visual Novels, Fighting Games

Growing up, I was acquainted with gaming but not well-versed in it. I had a hand-me-down Sega Genesis from our cousin that I spent what my mother deemed an appropriate amount of time on, lamenting the fact that a certain game felt the need to be so realistic as to require a dolphin to need oxygen when breathing underwater. Poor Ecco was never going to find his family with me at the controls!

I decided I wanted a PlayStation in middle school because all the cool kids seemed to have one (thanks, peer pressure!), and on my birthday my uncle surprised me with a copy of Final Fantasy VII. When asked by my mom why he picked that particular game, his response was "Because this one seems like it has more to it than just mindless fighting."

Was he right too! Within minutes of the opening sequence I was caught up in a plot and world that I had never imagined could be found in a video game. I became downright obsessed with seeing Cloud's story unfold, creating multiple saves so that I could replay my favorite scenes any time I wanted. I regaled friends and family who patiently went along with my emotional renditions of the plot more than they needed to do. Later, I bought a copy of Suikoden II with my own hard-earned allowance. And that, as they say, is that: I was utterly smitten with RPGs and their interactive storytelling.

RPGs were not only a form of escapism whenever things got tough in the real world and depression would get the best of me, but they were also a form of entertainment that had me thinking of stories in a way I never had before. I was placed in the role of a character, allowed to delve into a fully realized world and adventure where what I chose seemed to have some measure of impact. RPGs inspired me and helped my imagination soar. I never thought of writing myself until I became lost in the world-building of some of my favorite games. I loved thinking about the characters in RPG plots, dwelling over strategies on how to advance a game's narrative. I reflected on game events well after they had passed, wondering just who else that shopkeeper saw in their day when I wasn't stocking up on recovery items. RPGs helped me reach new creative heights, and gave me the diversion I needed to push through difficult times. The genre will always hold a special place in my heart.

When not playing video games, I am a huge fan of reading and writing. Animation is a huge love of mine as well, and I enjoy pet sitting when not working at a library. I tend to be a bit more on the reserved side, but get me talking about one of my passions or random trivia notes and you might just wish you hadn't because I will never shut up! I hope to bring that same level of passion to my work here at RPGFan as well, and I'm looking forward to working with wonderful people who love RPGs too!