"For me to be able to play video games, board games, just any kind of game, I only have to think about the task at hand," Olivia Munn tells PEOPLE

By Nigel Smith
December 01, 2020 08:04 AM
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As fans of Olivia Munn are well aware, the actress seriously loves gaming.

Before The Newsroom and X-Men: Apocalypse, Munn, 40, spent four years hosting the technology and gaming show Attack of the Show! on the G4 network, where she proved her video game chops.

With the latest Xbox and Playstation consoles at the top of wish lists this holiday season, Munn has teamed with LG Electronics USA for a series of documentary-style digital shorts airing on LG's YouTube Channel. The series, titled Zero In, features Munn, pro football star Richard Sherman and esports champion Artour "Arteezy" Babaev of Evil Geniuses, each discussing their own distinct approaches to gaming, while playing Ubisoft's recently released hit game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on LG' s OLED TV with 4K resolution.

LG OLED TV
| Credit: LG

"As a casual gamer for years, I’ve played on my fair share of TVs," says Munn. "When I turned on my LG OLED TV, I was immediately enveloped into a world of stunning colors and lifelike gameplay performance. I can’t imagine ever playing without it now."

Below, Munn talks with PEOPLE about her love of gaming, why it bonded her family, and where she sees the industry going next.

Credit: LG

PEOPLE: As a lifelong gamer, can you recall when you first fell in love with video games? 

Yeah, I mean, it goes so far back. I'm one of five kids. So I remember having a joystick connected to a computer, playing the Olympic games — you could play these Olympic games on your computer. For my family, it was — I think — imperative to my mother's sanity that there was something that the kids could do to leave her alone. She had five kids, so as soon as there were video games available, computer games available, we got them. It was a really great way for my mom to just kind of get it out of her hair. So I remember just as far back, I mean literally as far back as my memory goes pretty much, I remember being at a computer, playing the Olympic games with my siblings and trying to compete with each other.

And then we had every console you can think of because as soon as something came out, that would be what all the kids would ask for. And so we would all be so obsessed with it. In fact it was funny because we are five kids and my youngest brother, he's four years younger than me and six years younger than the oldest sibling, and as it happens in life, you start to get older and we all stopped playing with our younger brother because we were starting to age out. And so what our parents did was they put the video game consoles into his room, all of them. Everything was in his room because it forced us to go play with him. I remember as a kid just thinking, "Oh, that's so smart and also so annoying." And so my little brother Johnny would be like, "Do you guys want to come play with us?" And we were like, "Yeah, of course we want to, we have to, I mean there's nowhere else to play this game." But yeah, that was like... That was a pretty clever thing for my parents to do.

Credit: LG

How has gaming evolved for you? Do you get something out of it now that you didn't when you were a child?

When you grew up, you played Nintendo, playing different things and I think as a kid, it was about learning these skills and it was just something that was so new and unique. I really put so much attention into playing games. When you're part of a big family, there's a lot of competition, so playing games was a huge part of our life and a huge part of like how we kind of ranked each other as a kid.

As I got older, and especially as an adult now, it becomes more of a meditative thing for me. I think for me it becomes just an escape. When I'm on set, I have a console in my trailer just because it's something to just turn my mind off, something that I can use to allow my mind to rest and not really think about anything. And I think when I was younger, I was so focused on the game and the skill and competing, and now as an adult, it's less about competing and more about giving my mind a moment of rest to not think about anything else.

Can you describe the rush that playing video games gives you?

It becomes an escape from the rest of the world. When you are focused on a task at hand, whether in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and you're becoming a viking and you're trying to get off a ship and try to find a person, battle a person — that's everything that you have to think about in that moment.

And I guess it'd be the same for people who love to run marathons. They train for those marathons. Your brain just gets to just shut off and you're just thinking about that one thing. For me to be able to play video games, board games, just any kind of game, I only have to think about the task at hand.

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What's your take on how far gaming has come as evidenced by Assassin's Creed Valhalla and how lifelike it appears in 4K?

I don't think that my brain even considered what the industry would become. I think every time a new console comes out, a new game comes out, it is pretty staggering to realize what people have been able to think of and to create. I never anticipated this at all. When I was playing super Mario Kart, never did I think that in any year in the future that I'd be able to be taking in the Northern lights of Norway in 4K, which is what I was experiencing with the LG OLED TV and Assassin's Creed. I was playing with these like animated turtles, and then in race cars, and next thing you know, I feel like I'm actually inside of this world and it does pull you back into this other time and it's a pretty amazing thing.