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Maria Ozawa is Our First GameOPS P.O.I.

If this is a dream, I don't want to wake up!

Yes. You are reading the title of this post right. Maria Ozawa. Maria. Ozawa. The MARIA OZAWA IS FINALLY OUR Featured Gamer VERY FIRST GameOPS P.O.I (Person Of Interest)! [As part of re-launch, our Featured Gamer section has been renamed to GameOPS P.O.I. or Person Of Interest to accommodate non-gamers.]

Before we re-launched GameOPS as a video gaming blog in 2007, I sent several emails to Maria's agency in Japan requesting for an interview. I even asked my mom who lives in Japan to send a snail mail for me. I was hoping she could be our first GameOPS Featured Gamer. Obviously, she didn't get any of my messages.

Since then, I religiously stalked read her blog. In the process, I've learned that she plays Guild Wars and owns a Nintendo Super Famicom, a pink Nintendo DS, and a pink PlayStation 2. She also plays in the arcade occasionally. But I really didn't get the information I want. What if she was just holding that Nintendo DS to look like a "girl gamer" ? What if the rumor she's playing Guild Wars was false? Nobody knew.

Last month, while we were talking and discussing plans on reviving GameOPS once more, Maria tweeted this:
I said to myself,  why not try one more time. Maybe she'd answer now since she's in the Philippines. And this time, I am no longer limited to sending her emails or snail mails --I have the power of social media! There's a big chance of her answering this time.

I spammed Maria on all her social media accounts. I did a #NoticeMeSenpai maneuver. I sent her messages on Snapchat and Instagram, spammed her Twitter timeline, sent a friend request on Google Hangouts, and even signed up for an account at Ameba, a Japanese social media site where she blogs.

(GameOPS site traffic in 2010)
A month later, GameOPS was relaunched. No replies. No messages. Not even seenzoned.

I lost hope.

Then an instagram direct message notification popped up on my phone the other day. It was from Maria. She finally noticed me!

So why all this effort you ask? Besides having a crush on Maria when she was still using the "Miyabi" name, she has been very important to us at GameOPS.

For the last nine years, she has constantly brought traffic to our website. Not just traffic, GameOPS became known to an audience outside gaming. It's one of the reasons why we decided to expand and adopt the slogan"Beyond Gaming" six years ago. Yes, we also owe it to her when we won an award.

I know this is supposed to be the first GameOPS P.O.I. (Person Of Interest) feature, but please let me use this opportunity to ask her gaming related questions first (ala featured gamer muna). I really want to know if she played Guild Wars or if she really is a gamer or just posing for the camera.

Let's leave the non-gaming questions on the second part. Yes! This is a 2-part feature. After all, this is an interview that took 9 years in the making!

1.) Could you tell us something about yourself?

Hi my name is Maria Ozawa and I started doing some business here in the Philippines from 2015. I have a lounge in Regminton Hotel called La Maison.

2.) There’s this mystery among us we hope to get an answer, did you play Guild Wars nine (9) years ago?

Haha yes, I used to but not any more.

3.) In 2007,  we ran articles about you being a video gamer, do you still have your original pink Nintendo DS? How about your pink psTwo? How about your Super Famicom and Donkey Kong?

I'm still a gamer indeed! But last year when I was attending a event in Dutdutan 2015, someone robbed my pink Nintendo DS from my manager's bag and ever since... I was too shocked to buy a new one. Because you know how we save lots of stories in every game right? Imagining losing everything.... I just didn't have the energy to re start all the games that I had saved...... sob
(The Nintendo DS was stolen at Dutdutan 2015)

4.) How about now, do you own any video game system? What are they? Did you buy the “new” Nintendo 3DS?

I haven't bought any new video games lately... Like I said in question 3, I was pretty shocked from the accident. But when I go back to Japan next month I'm planning to buy new DS just to move on... But at home I still sometimes play PlayStation or those old Super Famicoms hahaha

5.) What games did you play on your Nintendo DS and PS2? What are your favorites? Why did you like playing them?

Mario kart, kingdom hearts, cooking, super mario brothers, sangokushi (I don't know the English title), zoo keeper, Shingekino Kyojin (don't know the English title. its the giants who eats humans), One Piece, Zelda ...etc

6.) Do you remember what was the first video game you played? (What video game system)

Family Computer and the game was something about a giant...?i forgot the title.

7.) What gaming system do you prefer playing games on (console gaming, handheld, mobile phone, personal computer)? Why?

Now a days I play apps in my phone more because when I go to the shoot or taping... in the car... it's easier and it's handy to play games in your phone.

8.) How about a particular video game character, who's your favorite? Why?

Hmmmm...there is a lot that I like but in the past few years, I like Zoro from One Piece because I love his character! Super mabait to his crews, strong, reliable, super gwapo, and I like the way he handles his swords.

9.) Do you play online games? What are your current and alltime favorites? Will we be able to play with you or exchange Nintendo gamer codes?

No... I don't play online games now.

10.) If you were to convince a friend or co-worker to play video games, how would you do it? Would you do crazy stuff just to convince them?

Haha maybe. I'll just explain how it's a life savior when you're super bored or stuck in traffic and its actually fun when your the type who likes to compete with people. It brings you the modifications .

11.) Did playing video games made any difference in your life? If yes, could you tell us?

Well... I don't know if it changed my life but it surely made my life more exciting!

12.) Do you have any personal video game related story that you can share with us?

In grade school I used to play donkey kong with my little brother all the time and I remember I always bullied him when he loses the battle .Haha come to think about it it's so mean... But that's what siblings do right? haha


So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. The decade long question if she played Guild Wars has finally been answered. From her favorite game character Zoro in One Piece (super mabait at guwapo rin ako, Maria!) to her love for old school Super Famicom games, Maria Ozawa is indeed a true gamer.

Shame on the a$$h*le who stole her Nintendo DS. Anybody willing to buy her the New Nintendo 3DS? If you’re free, visit her at La Maison lounge at the Remington Hotel.

Please stay tuned for the second part of our interview where we discuss her life outside gaming.

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By the way, I love girls who play The Legend of Zelda. *waves at Maria*


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