A 10-year-old played a series of opponents in Super Smash Bros. at a GameStop location, but she was hired for the event as an actress.
Karissa Bannister is 10 years old and appeared to be an amazing Super Smash Bros. player. Trouncing a series of opponents at a GameStop location in Southern California, Karissa “the Destroyer” looked like she could be a new competitor in the Smash community. However, an image from a casting call website indicates the event was a marketing event.
Karissa is an actor who allegedly took a job through a casting call on Casting Networks Los Angeles. A Super Smash Bros. community on Reddit found a screen capture of a Casting Networks Los Angeles page. The image states, “The shoot is basically a hidden camera job where we have a little girl play Super Smash Brothers against a series of opponents at a sneak peek before the launch. She trounces everyone she plays.” The image also states six roles for people to play against the girl who would be hired.
The date on the image for the event was Nov. 8, the same day a video from the event went viral. At points in the video, Karissa will take her hand off of the controller while her character continues to move.
Many of the competitive Smash players are men. Many people were excited to see a young girl rising to prominence in the community just to be disappointed that she wasn’t playing the game. Semi-retired competitive Super Smash Bros. player Milktea tweeted her frustration with GameStop’s decision.
“Don’t get me started on all the gender implications this little stunt has. Fake 10-year-old girl gamer, w/ a presumably male player behind her?” she wrote. “You want to promote the idea that females can play games too? Let’s start by highlighting female gamers that aren’t paid actresses. FYI, every young girl who looked up to Karissa, the prodigy, now has to realize that she’s actually an actress.”
The Escapist has contacted GameStop for comment.