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Leveling Up

We say that as each year passes, we all get older or wiser — sometimes both. But I think a better and more badass representation is that we level up.

Think about it: by the end of the year, we’re better at performing and tackling things than the start of our journey. By the end of the year, we know more now about the world around us than what we did at the start. And maybe some things knocked us on our asses at one point, but if video games have taught us anything, it’s that you needed to go back to the grind, back to the hard work and learning, because you needed the wisdom to understand the situation more before you could tackle it again.

It’s been a fantastic 8 months here at AYBOnline, and I have had my own share of trials by fire, successes, and hard knocks, experienced both from within AYB and outside. I’m proud of the work my peers have accomplished — and admittedly, I’m surprised at some of the things I managed to do, too. It doesn’t hurt to look back every now and then to see how far you’ve come, and for me, it’s a reminder for when I’m a little too harsh on myself. So here goes:

  1. Being able to help produce content, occasionally co-host, and work on the Level 1 Scrubs Podcast has been a phenomenal experience. Initially helping out with chat moderation and minute signs, eventually I started researching and sharing interesting news with the team to be included in episodes each week. The team has been nothing but great to work with and being able to meet and talk to some amazing guests has been a treat as well, and I’m excited for 2016 and what we have planned for it.

  2. Interviewing Rika Muranaka, both via email and in-person, was an opportunity and experience that I’m not sure I would have ever had were it not for being a part of the AYB family (and also Reactor PMing me and saying, “Hey, I want you to do this, here’s her email,” with a proper peace out send off.) It’s one thing to know about someone who’s worked on a game series you’ve played and love; it’s another when you get to speak with that person one-on-one and pick their brain on everything.

  3. Writing for an audience is vastly different than writing for yourself (though I guess this post is a mix of both worlds.) Being able to write about things that interest me — art and game design primarily, with a few other odd things — and share them to be read and discussed by others is exciting and brings a lot of meaning to the work I do. AYB primarily focuses on BaseLAN and the competitive aspect of gaming, but the other lovely thing is that our content team is comprised of so many different people, and we’re dedicated to bringing attention things that pertain to many different walks of life.  To me, that’s incredibly valuable and I couldn’t ask for a better team to work with.

  4. While it wasn’t as much as I wanted to due to being in Artist’s Alley during C4, working at BL29 gave me insight on what to expect for the next big event: BLXXX in May! But at BL29, I witnessed many things: not only the chaos and the moments where quick decisions and actions had to be made, but how amazing the team is for handling everything with level heads, as well as being able to create some kickass content and a memorable event for our attendees.  When you work with passionate, driven people, nothing feels like work.

It definitely hasn’t been all roses, as I recently had to step down from the Deputy Editor position — a decision I’m still pretty sad about, as I want to be able to do everything and help everyone out. But everything is a learning process, and from that experience, wisdom was gained in how we could make our processes much better. My constitution attribute probably could have used some strengthening (oh god D&D references, I’m sorry I’mnotsorry), but because of it, I leveled up in other ways, so to say.

I tried cheersing you the Leonardo Dicaprio way but my arms aren’t long enough to replicate accurately and the task is more difficult to accomplish by yourself, it seems.
New Year’s resolution: get longer arms.

So what about 2016?

In many meetings, there is a bit around the end called the “Blue Sky” portion, where we talk about future plans and also our hopes for opportunities and growth.

I’m excited to keep growing with AYB but I’m even more excited for the new experiences and opportunities that will come with it. Not only with BaseLAN and interviews and Level 1 Scrubs, but on a personal level, too. I’m looking forward to streaming some of my creative projects on Twitch, as well as opportunities to network and create within the game development and art studio realms.

Finally, I hope to maintain the sense of wonder I have at everything new that comes out and let that inspire me to create, both for AYB and my own personal endeavors. And I hope that you keep your sense of wonder as well, as there are so many good things that are to come in the next little while.

So celebrate your successes, seek wisdom in past mistakes, and do your victory fanfare.  Because, my friends, you have leveled up.

Kate is a contributor and a Graphic Designer for AYBOnline, and producer on Level 1 Scrubs Podcast. Her opinions are her own. Feel free to follow on Twitter and Facebook!

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