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  • LGBTQ and Gaming: The Strive for Equality

    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and more are fairly prevalent in the gaming community. The number of those who identify as such varies country to country, but a recent study by Gallup Poll in 2017 revealed that 4.5% of adults identified as part of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. In the gaming world, there’s little data on how many people identify as such. Within KSI, the data is entirely unrecorded and largely unknown, but there are those who are open about their LGBTQ+ status. 
    Modern video games and development studios have a larger population of LGBTQ+ characters and employees than in previous decades, in which the population was considered to be slim to nonexistent. Gamesradar’s Sam Greer wrote that only 179 video games commercially released had LGBTQ+ representation. Of these, only 87 had playable characters with only 8 featuring a non-hetero main character. While at first glance that seems like a high number, it’s actually quite small when taking into account the 1,181,019 video games that exist.
    When it comes to KSI, the experience in modern times is quite different from years past. More than half polled have had positive experiences about coming out as part of the LGBT community. One member shares, “I’m gay, and when I came out, I thought it would be a huge deal because gamers are [jerks] and don’t accept us at all. In KSI, it is so much different! My squad at the time was accepting, and we all talked about our personal lives and it didn’t matter that I was into men.”
    The insight of older members, however, shows a slight shift in that experience such as issues that come up or phrases and comments being used that aren’t acceptable. One such member says, “I am gay, and older than most members here… I’ve had to remind my fellow KSI members that you cannot use the word ‘fag’ and [such], that I don’t want to hear that and it’s immature. I’ve gotten a laugh from it or been told I only find it offensive because I like it.” Unfortunately, that behavior was much more common in the past, but, as KSI has progressed in the last five years, it’s been reinforced how members should be accepting of all. Former members who were openly part of the LGBTQ+ community also tend to agree that the current generation seems to be more accepting and hopes that it doesn’t go backwards. 
    One game that broke several barriers in this field is the Mass Effect series. It allowed gamers to play Commander Shepard as either homosexual or heterosexual. It was not just a hinted nuance like so many other games but actually allowed players to romance certain characters leading to a full relationship. Some scenes were risque while others were standard relationship cutscenes. Mass Effect even allowed Shepard to not participate in any relationship, instead exist and build friendships with others. The game also broke barriers with NPCs also being in multifaceted relationships, pushed as part of the importance of the character and less of a footnote. For example, an Asari would be considered to be in a lesbian relationship as part of their matriarchal society. 
    As one member states regarding the acceptance of LGBTQ+ persons, “I feel, with the spread of the internet and online texting apps like Discord and Kik and how accepting a lot of communities are, it provides people to express themselves and offer a safe space with people who are a part of the community.” As more persons in the LGBTQ+ community continue to publicly identify, it’s becoming more of a reality that the gaming world is adapting and creating more opportunities for proper representation. And, if KSI continues to educate itself in this realm, it could become a cornerstone for gaming communities for the LGBTQ+ world.

    All Roads Lead to Rome: How Far is KSI from Rome?

    The saying goes, “All roads lead to Rome”, which means that there are various ways to arrive at a conclusion. In the past, KSI had the “It’s my way or the highway” mentality, but that seems to be less of an option these days. Members made sure of that by voicing their opinions.
    Currently, KSI is redoing its website, making new awards, focusing on adding new members to the Hall of Fame, revamping our Discord server, opening and modifying departments, and more. Since the change of board members, KSI hasn’t stopped moving - especially the members. So how does everyone feel now?
    One member says, “I like the new changes and environment that Vik is doing. I feel he needs to clean [the] house more and have more staff and [fewer] assistants if that makes sense. I do feel more bold moves need to be done in certain areas, and that comes with having a staff.”  
    That’s not the only person to share this sentiment. “Everything seems to be going great really but I feel like we need to watch who is putting up above us all. Vik is awesome but I’m worried we have leaders who may be not working as hard.” 
    Now, this may seem harsh as we do have leaders working around the clock, but it’s all on how we present the effort. So how do you clean staff without seeming like a dictator? That isn’t an easy task due to the fact that if too much shifting is made, members get antsy and worried. To accomplish staff changes it must be made open and done with one staff change at a time. It also means promoting members who are known in the community and are respected by the members. 
    Not all members agree with the former statements, though. According to a different member, "I think this current leadership is the best leadership we have had since KSI split creating KN. I think this new generation of KSI will lead to many great things. I've been around KSI for a minute and have seen many leaders come and go and have full confidence in just about any leader within the community.” 
    Another member states, “KSI is currently in a good state in terms of being ready for a successful future in growth. When I joined KSI in 2018, in late mid-September, felt KSI was [going] through an environmental change. In other words, KSI was going through a time where members were doing their own thing, where it came to a few not following policies, guidelines, procedures, etc. However, a few changes and rearrang[ments] have been made throughout the last year inside division/squads throughout KSI.”
    Some members are extremely critical of the current status of KSI. "KSI is currently working their way back on track to a successful community. This goal is highly represented by the PlayStation Division of KSI. The Xbox side who has their backs tighter against the wall from the past seems to be a bit further off the tracks. Although they are starting to glide into the position they seem to have a few obstacles within their ranks that hold them back. Outside of Division Operations, KSI seems to be behind the power curve in the Web Side. They are working on a new site and a new Discord set up, however, the Social Media’s are confusing and not advertised as much, and they have a lackluster stream environment that doesn’t seem to have a focus or guidance in a time when streaming has been the hottest."
    We are becoming more open and communicative and that is a vast improvement from some people I spoke too. “My General is so awesome! He talks to us pretty much every day when he gets online and jumps into parties with us” and “When I joined a couple of months ago all I ever heard from my mates were complaints from members about people not talking to them…. Right now I love this place and people are talking and now I hear fewer complaints.” This has to be music to the leaders’ ears since, according to the notes and memos posted, they are working on that as one of the main goals. 
    So communication is a big key as we’ve all said in this community. So how do we address communication once again? We have to stop flirting with words and start just saying what we want to say. Stop being afraid of ridicule and uncomfortable topics, and start having open dialogue at all times. Go to the members more and stop making them come to yourself. Communication applies to everyone, not just leaders, and that is something every KSI member must come to as a conclusion to move forward.
    So what about quantity? As of the moment we have over 900 members including a handful of leaders, which again is another improvement from the last couple of years, and this is not something we can say was easily obtained. When asking some officers and generals, the consensus is generally good - stating that support from divisional leadership has vastly improved efforts as well as proper inter-squad activities. One ranking officer is quoted to say, “Don’t get me wrong it's great that we have bigger numbers; I just worry that we will forget others and fluff will come back.” That’s a concern for anyone who cares about our activity and numbers, which are not mutually exclusive. The idea of large amounts of fluff and forgetting some members is a long-standing history of KSI. This generation though seems to have a handle on the situation with following up with members not in meetings, asking what games they want to play nowadays, and reaching out for one-on-one conversations.
    So how does KSI achieve activity, high retention, overall happiness from its members? To achieve goals such as that we must allow freedom within the confines of our guidelines and opening up to possible failure and slower growth and by accepting we have a past but that doesn’t define the future. If all roads lead to Rome, then what path should we be on? We, as a community, ought to aim for the one that further embraces open communication and approaches possible setbacks with a goal-oriented mentality. A perfect KSI would have no infighting or squabbles, would have fast growth and high retention and activity. But no community nor person is perfect, and it’s reckless to strive for the impossible. That being said, we can get pretty close so long as we all work together.
     

    Hall of Fame Process: The Future of KSI

    Hall of Fame is not easy to achieve but is achievable for some. In fact, there are roughly 100 current members who are recognized in the Hall of Fame out of the thousands of members who have walked through the doors of KSI. Each member has done something to push KSI into other levels, has been selfless, and given vast time to KSI. The following THREE members of KSI have been selected to be possibly added to the Hall of Fame. We will only be sharing a few details of information about the three.
    KSI Miagi 7 - Miagi helped create the newest KSI CMS and helped further KSI efforts in clan management. Miagi was apart of the Research & Development team before it was disbanded and continues to this day to support Web Operations.
    KSI Obsidian 7 - Obsidian has been in KSI for a long time and while a short period of time he wasn’t in KSI his ideas and policies continued to be apart of KSI. His leadership played a key role in the success of LE which has been considered to be a prestigious division in KSI.
    KSI Viktory 7 -  Viktory has reached the role of Executive Director becoming our third one in which before he was the Education Director revamping the department to today’s current format. He continued to lead and build the PSN division after the KN split. 
    Potential Hall of Fame inductees are selected and researched by the committee members, they could be recommendations from other members old or new. All the names are what we call “thrown into the ring”, which means they will be debated on by all the committee members on whether what they have done for KSI are worthy of the Hall of Fame. Each potential inductee receives 24 hours of debate by the committee at which time the Division Leaders of KSI is brought in as spectators to ensure debates are unbiased and accurate.
    After every name who has been thrown into the ring has had debates, the Chair of the committee reviews all debates and selects 1 – 3 names to move forwards. These 1 – 3 names are then voted on by the committee and receiving a simple majority of the votes allows them to move forward to the next steps. 
    After the committee phase, these members will then have to attend a Town Hall where the community will question them and get to know them. This will allow these members to get exposure across the community and share what they have done for KSI. The community will then get to vote in an open poll on whether they are worthy of the high honor. 
    The final stage of the process is the debate between the Owners of KSI, JT, and Kered. They will look at the nominations put forward by the committee and the vote by the community, then make the final decision on whether these members are inducted. 
    A ceremony will then take place and will include events like interviews with leaders who have made the Hall of Fame, speeches, giveaways, and finally the Chairman will officially induct the new members of the Hall of Fame.
     

    Future Angels: The Next Generation of FA Leaders

    Written by KSI Hitman00
    Edited by KSI New Blue
     
    A Division inside of any community is only as strong as its leadership at the Squad levels. The job comes with a lot of stress, patience, determination, and grit. These are qualities all found in the squads in this community, not just Fallen Angels’. I sat down with two of the newest rising leaders of this Division in order to get their perspective on what it takes to be a leader and what kind of style they bring to the table. They both gave refreshing perspectives on what it means to be a leader and what it takes to get there.
     
    KSI New Blue Is the General of Hades. He has a reputation of being a leader who breaks away from the status quo and maintains an excellent relationship with his members. He has been back in KSI Clan Operations for only three months now after a brief hiatus to Web Operations but already has made his mark in squad and divisional operations with the most meteoric rise to the General rank I have seen in my five years in Community Operations. 
     
    Thanks for sitting down with me. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to make a move into a Major or General spot?
     
    Blue: Never give up! No matter how many times you get angry, set back, or let down, DO NOT give up. You never know when your lucky break will be. 
    Take it from me. Don’t be the quitter! Be the one who always gets back up and fights.
     
    This position obviously maintains a lot of stress as you are in charge of anywhere between 40 and 60 members. What advice would you give when it comes to handling that stress?
     
    Blue: Lean on those you respect. Showing weakness to your higher ups might seem like an awful idea. It sounds scary and embarrassing, but really it’s showing how courageous you are. Get help when you need it. The Div staff is always there to assist you whenever you need it.
     
    Regarding leadership styles, we know there are multiple. In your opinion which leadership style seems to be the most successful in this community?
     
    Blue: I think members respond really well to people that they can game and have fun with, as simple as it sounds. Everybody loves the people they can stay up till 1 am laughing their butts off with. Most importantly, make your members feel at home. If you don’t see them for a few days, ask how they’re doing! I think it’s that simple.
     
    Next, I interviewed WarMaster, Newly promoted Major of Rapture. He has been in KSI for about 6 months now and has a reputation as one of the fairest leaders in Squad Operations. 
     
    Thank you for your time.  What advice would you give to someone who is looking to make a move into a Major or General spot?
     
    WarMaster: Alright, well I guess a big thing is building confidence in yourself and your abilities. If people have eyes on you for Major, or even if they don’t, grow in confidence that you have something important and valuable to give to better help your squad. Another thing would be to keep your motives and priorities straight so you can steer clear of going for Major only for the position but to go for Major so that you can better help your squadmates and the experience of KSI for normal members. 
     
    This position obviously maintains a lot of stress as you are in charge of anywhere between 40 and 60 members. What advice would you give when it comes to handling that stress?
     
    WarMaster: It depends on what is causing the stress. A lot of times it’s from being overwhelmed with decisions and work for the squad, but the best way to help with that is to always ask for guidance and help from others. As Major, you have a General and Co Founder right above you who were in your position not too long ago. They are there to help you and can help you make decisions and help with the workload if need be. Also, just having your officer core help where needed to take some pressure off of you.
     
    Regarding leadership styles, we know there are multiple. In your opinion which leadership style seems to be the most successful in this community?
     
    WarMaster: To me, the most valuable asset is making connections and gaining assets. Basically, just making friends and connections so that you always have people to help you out in times of need for various things. And, it makes things easier and less stressful when dealing with other leaders in the community when you at least remotely know each other rather than knowing *of* each other. Also, one thing that is taught in Officer 101 that is very valuable, is [that] to be a good leader you need to be a good follower. Basically, just being able to understand and follow the leaders above you to set an example for the members and officers below you. 
     
    Being a leader in this community is worth so much more than just a rank behind your name. It’s knowing that you have people who look up to you to make decisions on a day-to-day basis as well as molding and guiding the future of this community. These two leaders hold in their hands the key to the future of the community and the division itself. Your job as a leader in this community is to shape the future of the community and these two guys are doing a very excellent job with it. I look forward to seeing the future of Fallen Angels and it’s all because of the leadership and guidance of leaders like New Blue and WarMaster.  Until next time, long live FA and long live KSI. 

    Meet The Board: Obsidian_7 and Nex Addo

    The dust has settled for KSI and now it’s time to build! The KSI Board has elected two new members into their ranks. Congratulations to KSI Nex Addo and KSI_Obsidian_7!

    Nex Addo first joined KSI in 2009 into KGB Division. He’s currently the Wiki Team Lead and News Team Lead. He was inducted into the KSI Hall of Fame in 2017.

    Obsidian_7 first joined KSI in 2005 into Lost Empire. He’s currently a Co-Founder in Atlantis Rising, the PS4 Division. He’s also in the Education Department and Wiki Team.
     
    What do you want to say to the members of KSI who may not know you two that well? I'm sure some people are asking, "Who are these people?”
     
    Nex Addo: I want the members to know I'm not just an old relic sitting on the shelf who comes back when they want but a member like themselves in this community. I take what I do seriously for them and I want them to be open, critical, and understanding when they reach out to or however they feel. I'm here for them to hear them out and assist them. I've been doing this for a long while and I've had my failures and my successes and I want people to learn from mine and grow on their own. KSI is doing this together!
     
    Obsidian_7: Like Nex Addo I want members to understand that we are here for them. We want to hear and engage in healthy debates that will help us, the board, understand what the community needs in order to keep on striving forward. I have been in this community, this home, since 2005 and we all want the same thing, a safe place to game, learn and teach. My door is always open to those who need to be heard and I will always have the time to listen to what the needs are for the community. I take great pride in every aspect of my life and KSI is no different. As long as we continue to work together, grow and learn KSI will be here to stay.
     
    What exactly do you two bring to a Board in 2020? Both of you only returned to active roles this year after a lengthy retirement.
     
    Nex Addo: In my opinion, I bring quite a lot.. During my retirement and before it I held different titles but I was the Program Director of a LGBTQ Group in the city. I've also been studying more Public Relations topics and studying in a noncollege aspect. I've done quite a bit, I would say, in my time off. But, my return didn't come without concerns and long conversations
     
    Obsidian_7: As for myself, what I believe I can bring to the table is just a few different things. The board as it stands has many talented leaders with different leadership skills and it is vital that when they elect new members they have something different to offer. Before my retirement I was the division leader of LE and that experience in itself, though it was not my first time being a division leader, taught me a lot and how to be more grounded. Coming back to KSI and working my way back up the ranks instead of asking or demanding rank has given me the opportunity to see what is actually happening currently in the community. Something I believe the board recognized and considered when nominating me to be on the board.
     
    With nearly 800 people recruited this year so far, it's safe to say KSI is experiencing some pretty crazy growth. What do you think brought this success and how can we keep the momentum?
     
    Nex Addo: The fact of the matter is we are here because of the efforts of every member who is here. Even the ones who do not recruit. We must understand the reason we are here is because of their effort. The reason for this growth boom we will call it is only recent and a common history for KSI. The numbers mean a lot when it comes to the effort of recruiting but the effort of maintaining is where it's at. Can we keep these numbers and limit fluff to less than 1 percent is the real task. Which will mean events planned by our leaders.
     
    Obsidian_7: The amount of growth we have been experiencing especially recently is due to everyone really working together and understanding a common goal for this community. With the right leaders in the right place being directed by upper leadership things tend to fall in place really. Recruitment is just only one part of making this growth a successful growth. Maintaining a high retention rate is just as important. Especially if we want to see more events or tournaments for our members.
     
    Which leader of the newer generation has earned your respect? Where do you feel they exceed expectations?
     
    Nex Addo: KSI_Ronald7 has really earned my respect and I see him doing big things! He’s a good tempered and thoughtful leader. I can not wait to see what he brings to the table.
     
    Obsidian_7: I am going to have to say KSI_Kimber 7. That guy has worked hard to get where he is at now. He took charge of Awoken when his old squad leaders left and he kept at it till Awoken split. He is able to take constructive criticism and adapt his leadership style to fit any situation. With him being promoted to founder very recently it won't be long till we see him bringing a bigger impact to AR and the community!
     
    Would you give us a sneak peek into what you two hope to achieve for KSI while serving?
     
    Nex Addo: A sneak peek? Ok well, honestly I'm looking to help bridge some communication between Web and Clan Operations. While it's not obvious we could better our talks and that's no one in particular fault but it is something us leaders, including myself as News Lead, need to address sooner than later. I also want to help get Web Ops to talk more amongst ourselves. I believe that communication is key to ALL OF KSI success. My other plans are to start working on promoting events and assisting the teams that are involved need to create clan-wide events.I also have to agree with Obsidian on helping us address arcane rules and guidelines.
     
    Obsidian_7: Well for myself there are a lot of things I would like to achieve with my time on the board. The most important one for me is being a voice for everyone in the community. Share their thoughts and opinions with the board and bring up their proposals. Though there are other things I'd like to do as well personally, like focusing on changing some old bylaws and introducing new helpful policies or things of the sort. KSI is moving forward in a very positive way and all I'd like to do is help keep that momentum going.
     

    Top 5 Shows to Watch During COVID

    Dear White People (Movie & Netflix Series) WARNING: Nudity, Language, Drugs, and much much more
    Dear White People is considered to be a controversial series and movie as some have claimed its an attack on white people. It set on a group of people of color in a predominantly white college facing modern race relations. While some of it seems far fetched on the plot it’s not far from real-life situations and has an in-your-face method and how they are addressed to a resolution if one exists. This is a must-watch if you are willing to have an open mind but also understanding that you may have some ideas of how you can personally adjust your own life and choices towards others.
    Ghost in the Shell (Anime Movie & TV Series) WARNING: Partial Nudity, Language, Drugs, Violence, and much more
    Ghost in the Shell in my personal opinion and quite a lot of those in the anime community believe this is a classic and all should watch at least once. The movie and shows are not set for those doing other **** while watching as you will need to pay attention. You can actually watch the first movie called Ghost in the Shell on most services and be rented or bought. The TV Series is MUCH harder to find and if you have an XBOX, it is on the marketplace.
    It set in the near future after many wars and humanity has mostly been cyberized. The main protagonists are a group of police called, Public Security Section 9 an anti-terrorism unit. The two major cases of the TV Series are Individual Eleven and Laughing Man. If you are just wanting to watch tv this would be great and will take some time to take in.
    Tuca & Bertie (Netflix Series) WARNING: Partial Nudity, Language, and a few other things
    Tuca & Bertie is set with anthropomorphic animals addressing everyday issues including unwanted sexual advances, female inequality, job, life, and really quite a bit more. The characters are two women in which one works a full-time job trying to obtain a promotion while navigating the corporate career ladder and misogyny in life, the other is free-spirited not believing in the corporate world but helps address her own issues with identity and relationships. The way this show addresses every topic is amazing with both jokes and possible real-life resolutions. Unforuntantly it was cut after the first season but it is a much watch! 
    Nailed It! (Netflix Series) 
    Nailed It! It is great for the WHOLE FAMILY! Amateur bakers get on the show to recreate creations presented to them and let us just warn you nothing is as good as the original. One of the best parts of this series is Nicole Byer the hilarious host. If you are thinking it then she is going to say it. She has no care in the world about making jokes about what we are watching throughout each episode. Nothing is funnier than watching people attempt to bake.
    My Hero Academia (Anime TV Series)

    Who doesn’t love watching heroes and villains fighting it out over the future of the world? Well, this show is a bit different. The series is set around students and teachers who have “quirks” otherwise known as superhuman powers while the students are learning how to control them. The main protagonist is our young student who has been chosen to be the next top rated hero. We follow how he is getting there while battling villains wishing to stop him and others from toppling their plans. The show can be found both in Dubbed and Subbed versions depending on the version you prefer.
     

    A New Executive Director

    Over the last few days, I got with KSI Viktory 7 about his new job in KSI as Executive Director. The job is not easy, fair, nor at times fun. The fact of the matter is its a demanding job that requires skills you must understand and master during, before, and after to be known as a successful candidate. In this interview, we will both address the personal and professional sides of Vik.
    Nex: How do you feel about becoming the new Executive Director?
    Vik: I feel a little bewildered, to be completely honest. It wasn’t a role I ever expected to be asked to fulfill and hold in my time in KSI. There have been so many great leaders that have held the community leader[ship] role that I’ve known to do an amazing job at it. So, naturally, I’m a little nervous that I [may] mess it up.
    I am also excited, and ready to get going. I want to leave an immediate impact on the community in a positive way and begin pushing us in directions we’ve only ever talked about in the past. Turning this really amazing hobby into a professional organization, and allowing KSI to be a brand that is tied to helping our fellow gamers.
    Nex: What do you do for a living and all that jazz?
    Vik: So for years, I have been a culinary worker. Worked around numerous kitchens. I’ve kind of done a little of everything that can be offered in the field; Fine dining, franchised chains, catering, food truck, remote contract, in-home cooking, schooling, diners, and so on. I feel confident I’m really good at that. Recently, I took a step back into something more normal and took my culinary skills to a grocery chain that has a restaurant department where I currently work during the outbreak of COVID-19 as one of the management personnel. It’s a lot different, there is much more structure to what I am doing now and it’s taken some of the stress of 60+ hour weeks, unsociable hours out of my normal weekly routines and it’s been a very positive change, even during the “apocalypse”.
    Nex: How did you get into KSI and why did you stay?
    Vik: So at the end of 2007, I received an Xbox 360 for Christmas with a copy of Halo 3. Naturally, I spent the rest of my holiday break getting super into it, playing almost every day for multiple hours. Eventually, in my random matchmaking adventures, I came across a stack of KSI players and got absolutely world starred. It wasn’t close. I was the only player on my team that managed to hold their own at least somewhat. They sent me a message, I assumed it as mad **** talk but was pleasantly surprised when it was an offer to the game with them. Joined their lobby, and played together for a while. It was at the end of this session that they asked me if I wanted to join the community, and I obliged not really knowing what KSI was, or exactly what I was getting myself into.
    It’s pretty cool to think about how this is a shared experience between myself and almost every other member of the community. Being recruited in, getting a wide-eyed perspective of how large the community is, how interactive it is. It’s really amazing to know that this has been a replicated experience for almost 17 years and still going strong. 
    To be brief, what kept me here all these years are the people. The type of people you meet in KSI are truly one of a kind. Diverse, interesting, passionate. This community has a knack for bringing in the most wildly contrasting personalities and somehow this melting pot of different people can come together and build something great will always keep me here.

    Nex: How do you feel personally about leaving the DoE position?
    Vik: It’s slightly disappointing because Education was my project. I designed it, shaped the content and the instructors, and spent hours integrating it into the Clan Ops structure. I know I gave it a solid foundation, and whoever ends up taking that role in the future will do wonderful things to make the department even better than it is now. I just hope to keep some involvement when I can, maybe host a workshop or even write some new curriculum as I can!

    Nex: What are your worries about taking this position?
    Vik: I think my main worry is I could fail; there isn’t someone above me that can fix it, or shoulder some of the burdens. I’m the last line of defense and it falls on my plate to get **** done. A smaller, secondary worry is I won’t have as much time to game as I would like, but that’s a small sacrifice so that our members can have more events, activities, and friends to pursue gaming the way I won’t be able to.
    Nex: What do you believe is the current state of affairs in KSI like?
    Vik: The current situation in KSI is mediocre. There are a lot of really amazing selling points in the community. Numbers are actually up, activity is taking more a forefront across the entire community, our leaders are better than they ever have been. But, on the other hand we have dead departments, lack of community initiatives, less large scale events, less of an emphasis on keeping KSI fun. It almost seems the community as a whole is in Maintenance Mode; trying to maintain the status quo for fear of being too big, or shrinking too much. I think that attitude ultimately will lead to a decline if we do not do something to shake it up, make it interesting again. I think the rest of this year will be crucial in developing the community into more than a husk of what it used to be.

    Nex: You mention that you feel that KSI stands in a rut or well maintenance mode, do you as the ED feel this is something you as the former DoE could have addressed before taking this new role or not?
    Vik: I addressed what I could in my role as DoE. But one individual can only do so much, or contribute enough to make a difference. As both a Division Lead of AR and a Department Lead for Education, I believe I left these areas in better shape than I found them and have set a good foundation with both. Going into the ED Role, it just gives the community another piece to the puzzle to become better, and hopefully allow me to take some risks, and set a different tone for our family.

    Nex: Over the past few months KSI has gone through a decrease in numbers, members getting angry with the board, board members leaving, and a couple more things. How do you feel about this personally and what do you think will be different while you are the ED?
    Vik:  I feel that the members made a point, and the point still stands. How it’s approached or communicated with leadership is not necessarily the right way to go about it. The board up until this point has not been utilized to its maximum potential, and this is how I feel I will make the biggest difference as Executive Director. I’m willing to take risks, I’m willing to learn from the other communities out there. I’m willing to put us out there and be different. KSI the brand is old fashioned, and somewhat stuck in a previous mindset that hasn’t suited the community direction for years. Let’s be better.
    Nex: KSI is currently at a steady amount of active numbers and activity but it could be considered some of the lowest in some history of KSI, what are your thoughts?
    Vik: My thoughts on the lowest activity in KSI’s history? It’s irrelevant. We reset the brand from the traditional leadership, we didn’t have a slew of former people around to rebuild. We did everything from almost scratch and had to build up all the resources to get to where we are now. There were a massive learning curve, there [were] concessions and adjustments, there were lots of growing pains. But the important lessons were learned, and we cannot discount how much effort was put into this version of KSI with maybe 1/10th of the assets. Elder, Kered, Crusader, Koda, Icespot, Heroiism. There have been many leaders here who have brought this community to life, and we owe them as much effort to take KSI to the next level.
    Nex: You mentioned that numbers are irrelevant or did I misunderstand, is this not something we should be partially concerned about?
    Vik: It’s not that numbers are irrelevant, but there are as of today 610 registered members in our CMS from Senior Leadership to our newest recruits. My concern is for those already here in the immediate future, and ensuring that we retain and many family members as possible. The environment built here needs to be sustainable, and reasonable to the member needs, the community functionality, and the progression of something long-lasting. We are on the precipice of taking a step forward into a realm KSI has never been in before, in the 17 years of our established existence, we’ve never established ourselves as a brand someone could actually see as an organization. The Gaming Community Hobby has evolved around us for many years, and hopefully by opening our doors a bit and changing with the times, will the members and the leadership rise up to the challenge of change.

    Nex: You'll be asked this all the time but as the US President is asked I want to ask you. What do you think you will do in your first 100 days?
    Vik: I have 5 things that absolutely need to be done in the first 100 days in my position;
        i) Install a member into the Director Rank in Clan Ops to push the two divisions in a positive direction, and coordinate proper community growth at the member level. Reaching 750 Members should be doable. 
        ii) Launch the full Member Services Department under KSI Airy 7 and staffing the necessary positions, also to ensure the Courts are properly supported and utilized within KSI.
        iii) Develop the Events team into an independent department with a fully functioning schedule of events on Squad, Division or Community level. 
        iv) Establish Responsibilities for every board member to accomplish on a weekly and monthly basis, and keep everyone on track to one community direction.
        v) Set up Social Media and Stream/Productions to develop individual member brands, affiliated brands, and focus their directions on community initiatives.
        vi) Establish KSI as an official organization either an LLC, an NPO, or otherwise.
    Nex: What's a personal goal you want to accomplish?
    Vik: Personally, I want to establish a charity through KSI and help a fellow gamer through a difficult time. Doesn’t matter if they are a KSI member, or a stranger, but throughout my life, I’ve always wanted to be a part of a philanthropist movement, or work for a not for profit, charity, humanitarian group. The older I get, the more I want to give back and feel like I’m making a difference. Gives me purpose going forward.
    Nex: Were you asked prior to the board meeting to be nominated?
    Vik: Yes, I was asked if I feel up to the task by some of our fellow leaders, and was approached with the opportunity before it was proposed this past week. I wasn’t expecting it at the time, and it was a sidewinder for me. I did not believe there were those who thought I could lead this whole community. Thinking back to our previous leaders who’ve held that title, I was quite flattered. 
    Nex: Did you think about not taking on this role?
    Vik: Of course. I was very much content with the role that I was in, and was happy to allow someone else qualified to lead take that spot. There are plenty of leaders here capable of doing amazing things in this role, and I’ve never been one to seek roles because I want them, but because I genuinely see an impact I can have, and execute it properly. I’m very big on the procedure, and accomplishing tasks in a timely manner, and establishing a precedent for future decisions. With the way KSI is right now, I just hope I can leave it one day in better shape than I found it, and give another leader the chance to do something great with it

    Play or Skip: Animal Crossing New Horizons

    Close your eyes and imagine being set on an island talking to your animal friends, fishing, catching bugs, and being robbed by a raccoon for tons of money. Now open your eyes and see yourself on that island. Animal Crossing New Horizons is the game of the year according to me. Fans of Animal Crossing have been waiting years for New Horizons.
    The first day is all for learning the mechanics, getting a sense of your island and crafting some tools you will be given access to. Essentially New Horizons is super simple, you fish, catch bugs, talk to animals, and much much more! You’ll land on the island and meet your neighbors, plan where you will live (for now), and realize the subtle amount of debt you are going to get into for just MOVING to the new island. Now go to bed and wait for tomorrow. 
    Crafting will become a daily to weekly activity to get used to as much as you talk to your neighbors. Tools won’t be lasting long even after improving them but the fact is you better accept it. Crafting will become second nature and you will gain new recipes to craft every day and seasonally as well. I've crafted so much even my furniture in my house is crafted. 
    It's almost a month into the game coming out and the game has had a mostly positive reception. There are some complaints such as one island PER SWITCH CONSOLE, only one resident can control certain aspects of the game as the "Resident Rep", and no clear goal line. All of which is true. Rumors circulate that this is a money-grabbing scheme that requires more switches to be bough but only Nintendo knows why this is all true. Some of these things have been positive such as only one resident as representative 
    Item, characters, goals, seasons, and much more are STILL COMING OUT! This is something you must understand this game is constantly updating and allowing change. The game while may have come out 100 percent complete the fact is its a game where you just live through and set your expectations differently. So much more is to come.
    So should you Play or Skip? Well, I’d say PLAY THE HELL OUT OF THIS GAME! You will lose countless hours just doing the simple things for fishing and catching bugs. This is such a relaxing game during COVID-19. My advice is to take your time and don’t be a try-hard like me. It’s nice to meet goals and not time travel like others do but I won’t judge how you play. I will judge you secretly if you hate this game though. 

    KSI Elderpoot 7 Retires

    Another chapter in KSI’s long history is closing with the retirement of our Executive Director, KSI Elderpoot 7. Many things can be said of his time in his KSI, of his legacy. He’s attained every rank that KSI offers and has executed his responsibilities in every measurable way. Hall of Fame member, Senior Director of more than 2,000 members, Director of Web Operations, and Senior Administrator where he played the pivotal role of making web operations relevant to the community again. I can list many more similar accolades, but one stands out. Some say a Leader is defined by those they have taught and guided. Using that metric, Elderpoot is defined by greatness. Multiple proteges of his are known as some of the best quality leaders KSI has seen. If you stack the achievements of Poot with the achievements of those he’s trained, there are few in 15 years of KSI who can compare.
     

    It's mostly common knowledge by now, but for those who don’t know, it was conversations between Poot and I that led to the last split of our community. We knew the risks involved, and I wasn’t convinced that they were worth the potential reward. But Poot convinced me. He envisioned a community where we brought the ethos of KSI to as many gamers as possible. A positive, fun, and safe place for anyone that needed it. Creating a community that was run with fairness, led by leaders who put the concerns and voices of the members first, above all else. He had more faith in KSI’s resilience than I did; he had more faith than anyone at the time. And, boy, was that faith well placed. He convinced me KSI had the potential to be greater than it ever was. Over the past two years as both Operations Director and Executive Director, Elderpoot has guided the community to create a culture and attitude that best benefits our members. He led the charge to make KSI more than a simple gaming community.  He helped make KSI a family again. He instilled, from the lowest ranked private all the way to the Board a sense of belonging and inclusion. A community where in reality no member gets left behind, a principle KSI was founded on. 
     
    I can say much and more about Poot, who’s become a close friend of mine. He’s the kind of leader that comes around very rarely. When I retired, Poot was my only choice as a replacement and that in and of itself speaks to my opinion of him. He guided and led KSI better than I ever could and I couldn’t be prouder of that fact. Poot left his mark on KSI’s history, a history that stretches back almost two decades. The impact he made won’t fade, his work has proven that. Poot, I know I speak for KSI as a whole when I say thank you for your service. It’s a debt that can never be repaid.
     
    KSI Kered 7
    Owner of KSI Global Gaming

    Meet a Board Member: KSI Copper 7

    Additions and subtractions: The words the KSI Board has been all too familiar with in the past month. The fact is, KSI could learn much more about each member of the board. That’s exactly what this article series will be about: Interviewing each board member to learn about their plans, their self, and thoughts. With each article, we hope to shine some light on exactly who these people are. Allowing each member of KSI to make their own feelings. Our next interview will be with KSI Copper 7! 
    ***
     
    KSI New Blue: Copper, tell us about when you first joined KSI.
     
    KSI Copper 7: When I joined KSI there were like 160 people in here and they were doing WW2. It was fun. Biddulph and Migraine told me and the wife that being in KSI is all about having fun and just gaming. So I thought, right on! So we started at the bottom of the ranks and I was just having fun until I got introduced to KSI robfink26 and KSI THYMINE 7. They taught me about what all the officers did and can do.
     
    KSI New Blue: Can you talk about your time going up the ranks?
     
    KSI Copper 7: I started in Rapture. We only had a few officers in the squad, but when they hosted a Gamenight, they killed it. When it came to ranking up, I busted my butt to help out the squad. I had fun recruiting people into KSI. When I was a Sergeant, I was hosting game nights just to get a lot of people into game nights. As many people jumped me, I just worked that much harder to prove I'm here to help the squad grow. About a year and a few months I was running a squad, and it was Rapture. Being a Co-Founder is just like being a General but with a twist. The only difference is being over two squads. I was over Rapture and Redemption. But being a CoFo, you have to learn to step back and look at what's going on in the squads. I knew rapture was in good hands but I was still helping out the squad. Redemption had its ups and downs. After a while, we started getting into it and started picking the squad back up. Founder: Now that’s where I had to learn to not just focus on two squads but six. I also needed to figure out what squads were doing good and what squads needs the help while talking to the Division Leader and Co-Founders too figure out what we could do to start changing stuff too help the squads. No matter what, the way I looked at stuff, you look at what worked and what failed and try to change to put a twist on stuff. Also, see where it would peak too the members.
     
    KSI New Blue: What position do you hold on the Board? How did you get there?
     
    KSI Copper 7: I hold an FA Leader’s seat on the board. I had to do an interview with a few of the board members to make sure I was ready to hold a seat.
     
    KSI New Blue: What makes your perspective on KSI unique from the other Board Members?
     
    KSI Copper 7: Well each board member has their own thing to do, from the owners all the way to board reps. With the seat I hold, I have a chance to get a few things changed on the FA side (If it can get passed). And like I told the board members, I am here for KSI and trying to make it better for the members. 
     
    KSI New Blue: What issues does KSI face today? How can you and the board make sure they get resolved?
     
    KSI Copper 7: The problems I see in KSI are depending on the squad. Some are recruiting and some are finding officers. But as for the Board, I can’t speak for all of them. All I can say is that when it comes to both sides of it, we go over everything and we talk about what action we need to take to help everyone.
     
    KSI New Blue: What are your dreams for KSI? Where do you hope to see us in 6 months?
     
    KSI Copper 7: My dream for KSI is to have it grow and for people to just have fun at what they love to do; that’s gaming. I am hoping in 6 months to be at least getting ready for a div split or be sitting in a good spot to be talking about it. For KSI as a whole, I’m hoping we can get some new things going with cross-platform battles and maybe Crowns on a few games.
     
     

    COVID-19 & KSI

    2019 Novel Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) a recent and current pandemic of the world affecting cultures, countries, religions, young and old. Not only is it affecting people health-wise but also the world economy. Though something we aren’t thinking about is how it is affecting our own, KSI members. From the board to the recruits. So how does COVID-19 affect KSI?
    First, let us talk to KSIxDaniWolf who actually has been diagnosed with COVID-19. “So It started with a cough, I thought it was just a smokers cough but it got too the point I was like, dry heaving. After that, I started to get very sleepy and then the fever came on, it reached 42 at its highest but it’s usually 39 (it’s now going down) but even though my body would be feeling really hot and covered In sweat I always feel cold, sore to move and shivery. Coughing so much I puke I haven’t been able to stomach anything for days. I’m starting to reach the fatal point that I might need to be hospitalized but I’m keeping with meds and I can’t really move from my bed, it’s sometimes difficult to breathe especially after a coughing fit, my muscles ache and even moving a few feet I can feel super drained”. So for those who are sick there are constant news changes as to what to do and not to do, how long to be self-quarantined, what medication to take and much more. 
    Some squads and divisions are reporting upticks towards activity and recruitment which some attribute To mass quarantine and layoffs. KSI Titan 7 claims, “As of yet I’ve only seen a minor increase in activity from some of the members in my squads being that schools are shutting down and businesses are sending employees home.”
    KSI New Blue also states, “My squad seems to have been affected positively….Our game night attendance has gone up by a ton, and recruits are just falling into our hands.” Now we could claim that this is due to COVID-19 but only time will tell after restrictions are lifted and people go back to work. We would have to ask every recruit that walks into the door as to why they joined KSI and is part of the reason COVID-19.
    KSI members are also being affected in personal methods such as going out on a day to day basis, education, and visiting families. For example, KSI Synical states, “[The] UK is going into lockdown on Friday, with Army and Police being stationed on every street in every city apparently, as the public can go out for 3 reasons. Walking the dog, Shopping, and Emergencies.” In the United States, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is recommending a 10ft plus standing distance between you and other people as well as no gatherings above 5-10 people.
    Some people are seeing a different impact, while not considered to be “awesome” but because of other reasons. Gas in New York according to KSI BlueWolf is $2.22 while it usually never drops below $3.50. Some have been able to spend time with family since they have had the ability to work from home.
    KSI has quite a bit of First responders, hospital workers, and medical professionals who are required to go into work and put themselves out there to help others. These people are doing it for many reasons but procedures have changed. Hospitals are putting tents out and first responders take extra precautions if COVD-19 is suspected. Again we go back to KSI Titan 7 who is a Fireman, "As of now, the only way it’s impacted us is changing in protocols when running calls for possible COVID patients."
    While this disease has been going around KSI maybe benefiting in the increase and activity of members but we must remember that this is serious. Some have contracted COVID-19, some are losing their jobs, and some might be facing lockdowns. We as a community must make an effort to check in on each other even if you don’t take this seriously, we must make sure we get together, we must make sure that we don’t judge anyone varying on how they feel about this, and we must make sure this all about gamers for gamers.
     

    Meet a Board Member: KSI Ronald7

    Additions, subtractions, and much more have been words the KSI Board is all too familiar with in the past month. The fact is KSI could use to learn more about each member of the board and that exactly is what this article series will be all about. Interviewing each board member, as we learn about their plans, their self, and thoughts. With each article, we hope to shine some light on exactly who these people are and more. Allowing each member of KSI to make their own feelings. Our second interview will be with KSI Ronald 7.
    ***
    Nex Addo: Tell us a little about you…
    Ronald: Ugh, this is the worse part of these things lol. My name is Aaron, I'm 34 (35 in June), Married with one awesome 10-year-old girl. My family has been in the office furniture installation business since 93' and I plan to take it even further. I4 enjoy all types of games, but also the outdoors; Kayaking, Camping, fishing, etc. At the moment we have a small farm with Chickens and a nice Garden, but the wife and I would like to own some land one day and become as self-sufficient as possible.
    Nex Addo: What do you do on the board and what is your title?
    Ronald: I am an Elected Position, so I don't actually have a title.
    Nex Addo: Ok so as an elected position what exactly do they do?
    Ronald: Nothing too different than the other members to be honest. Someone in a Leadership position: Operations, Web Ops Director, Clan Ops Director, are automatically on the board. There are 3 Board Elected Positions in order to round out along with Divisional Representatives.
    Nex Addo: What are your plans for KSI as a whole while you’re on the board and what do you want to see from KSI as a whole working together?
    Ronald: I want to make sure that we keep things constantly moving forward by having short term goals that we can easily hit to keep our motivation and morale as a whole up, all while working towards our long term goals.  We also want the community to feel like their input is being considered and are being heard, which will bring a sense of unity to the community….I want to get us all working together again, from Privates all the way up to Owners. I know we have multiple Divisions on different platforms, as well as different departments, and as we grow those will grow as well. My goal is to make sure that even though we may be separated by our choice of gaming platform, we are all still part of the same community and can continue to work together to bring KSI back to its full potential.
    Nex Addo: What is one thing you think you think is a barrier that the board needs to focus on to move forward and how can it be resolved?
    Ronald: All of us started as Privates at one point and even though we have worked our way up the latter, we need to maintain that relationship with the rest of the member base. I feel we need to blur that line between Leader/officer/member. Not only do we need to feel we are working together but, if we want the member base to feel comfortable coming to us with ideas, issues or commendation, they need to feel like they are part of the team and not just another number in our ranks doing our bidding.
    Nex Addo: What is some advice for those who want to be to be on the board as well?
    Ronald: Keep an open mind, but maintain your morals. You can disagree with someone's idea but still see things from their point of view. Always think that your actions can and will affect more than just yourself. Think long term instead of just what is right in front of you.
    Maintain a cool head, never make rash decisions based on emotions. If you ever feel yourself losing control, be honest with yourself and others. Adjuring a meeting to another day so everyone can collect their thoughts and cool their heads will always be better than making a decision that can ultimately affect everyone. 
    Have one or two people you can confide in personally or that you are fine with taking constructive criticism from. These people will be your foundation. They can help bring you back down to earth, right you when you are in the wrong or lift you up when you bring something good to the table or are just down
     

    Meet a Board Member: KSI Airy 7

    Additions, subtractions, and much more have been words the KSI Board is all too familiar with in the past month. The fact is KSI could use to learn more about each member of the board and that exactly is what this article series will be all about. Interviewing each board member, as we learn about their plans, their self, and thoughts. With each article, we hope to shine some light on exactly who these people are and more. Allowing each member of KSI to make their own feelings. Our first interview will be with the newest member of the board, KSI Airy 7.
    ***
    Nex Addo: Tell us about you
    Airy: About me... Uh, well, I'm a 12-year Navy veteran, about to medically retire. After that, I'll be a full-time author for a while. I'm a mother to three rascally boys whom I hope will someday join the ranks of KSI. I'm passionate about removing mental health stigmas and finding homes for rescued dogs. And also all the gaming.
    Nex Addo: What is your KSI History?
    Airy: I've been in and out since Dec 2005, taken part of and led teams that built 6 divisions, most recently Lost Empire/Phoenix Rising in 2017. I've been the Director of Clan Ops, overseeing the closure, recovery, and rebuild of 7 divisions. I've been on or have led every single type of team throughout KSI (including MLG, Court, and Marketing) and was the Deputy Director of Web Ops in 2017. Most recently, I was the lead editor of the News Team in 2019.
    Nex Addo: Let us turn to your new position, what is your new position here at KSI and could ou sum up what you will be doing?
    Airy: The final title has yet to be officially determined, but we're tentatively calling it Director of Member Resources/Services. In short, it's a multi-faceted approach to empowering and supporting the members. Among this includes things such as being a bridge between the Board and the members at large (working in conjunction with division reps) to advocate for members needs. Another aspect is peer support for both internal and external needs. Finally, this is enfolding the previous role of Chief Justice regarding court oversight.
    Nex Addo: So what are YOUR PLANS for KSI?
    Airy: My plans - do whatever I can to ensure the longevity and growth of the community and support it is the environment that gave me the skills I've used half of my life.
    Nex Addo: What are some goals both short and long term you have that you want to see us accomplish?
    Airy: Short term, I'd like to see KSI continue to grow under the mentality of being one team and supporting each other. It'd be nice to see the teams filled out more, though I am impressed with the state of T&E and Education. 
    Longer-term, I'd love to see the community pursue the non-profit route to further inspire and support gamers in the coming generations.
    Nex Addo: You are usually considered to be an old member of KSI and leader. The board did talk about bringing on less to no old members and yourself did mention not heading on big roles. What changed and why did you take on this role?
    Airy: As far as what changed regarding the old school, I don't know. Elder nominated me on the condition the board accepted the new role. Icespot revealed that I was uniquely qualified for this particular changed position. Also, although I'm considered old school, I'm one of the few who has taken part in every generation. I don't try to go back to "old school" in most ways because those techniques don't work in the modern community, both in mindset and growth. 
    For myself, there are several reasons I accepted. Foremost is that I firmly believe in the potential of this generation to become what KSI should have done several years ago. Second, this is a role I am passionate to see do good. It is not a leadership position, so I don't have to worry about reprisal to my squads or divisions. I get to focus entirely on advocating for and supporting members.
    Nex Addo: You touched early on something I want to go back on and that is how do you think you are experienced for this role.
    Airy: I really hate to sound like I'm bragging, so this is going to be hard....
    I have experience in every facet of KSI. I've taken part of every opportunity, every generation, and I've learned something new every single time. I'm one of those who grew up with KSI, whose life was influenced by the community and even more so by what I learned along the way. This role is all about ensuring those same opportunities and more are available for others. It's not just experience, though, but also that I'm passionate about the purpose.
     

    Member Spotlight: BlazZze 7

    You may not notice him, but he’s there. KSI BlazZze 7, or just Blasé, is a recipient of the News Staff of The Year Award, twice, labeled Most Outstanding, and received the Outstanding Service Award! With over 20,000 forums profile views and 1,300+ posts, he was certainly a celebrity in his time. With his most recent retirement beginning in April 2019, he now lives the simple “Community Area” life. 
     
    KSI New Blue: So, BlazZze, tell me about when you first joined KSI.
     
    KSI BlazZze 7: I was always fond of "clans" but KSI was my first formal gaming organization. Coming into something so established and big was daunting, but at the same time, it was very exciting! Luckily, I was able to be friends with good leaders such as Spazbit and Lucky Poi who helped to guide my good intentions in the right direction.
     
    KSI New Blue: Who have been your favorite people to work with over the years?
     
    KSI BlazZze 7: KSI Spazbit> A blast to work with to rebuild LE. With the rapid growth within the division, she was able to provide structure. 
     
    KSI Game> Amazing dude. When I came back, I had the honor of helping to rebuild the news team for him. He was always open when it came to the bettering of KSI and always came with an open mind. 
     
    KSI Anatomy> I mean, I don't think the news team could've been as well structured back in the day if it wasn't for his help. I had a blast at the same time even when the team was just made up of me, Anatomy, and Lolo.
     
    KSI New Blue: What is your proudest moment or achievement in KSI?
     
    KSI BlazZze 7: Helping to rebuild LE from falling apart, to a fully fledged flagship division.
     
    KSI New Blue: Is there anything you wish you could have done differently?
     
    KSI BlazZze 7: If anything, I wish I got more heavily involved with web ops when I first joined. I did participate with web ops at that time, but I wasn’t as heavily involved as I wish I was.
     
    KSI New Blue: How would you describe your time in KSI with only 3 words?
     
    KSI BlazZze 7: Exciting, enlightening, and inspirational.
     
    KSI New Blue: You're a pretty quiet guy nowadays. Will we see you come out of retirement anytime soon?
     
    KSI BlazZze 7: Haha, good question! More than likely not. My clan ops days are over (for the foreseeable future). I enjoy video editing and writing in my free time but I don't plan to make a return to web ops.
     
    So, that’s Blasé’s thoughts on Blasé, but what do his ex-peers think of him? I asked Nex Addo and Miss LoLo what they had to say.
     
    Miss LoLo: He's always been thorough and encouraging. We had great team cohesion under his guidance, and the quality standards were really high, which propelled the team to learn and improve. I recall the banter between him and Anatomy was pretty funny! His temperament definitely sets him apart. He is good-natured and rarely got worked up about something. He kept us on task while still keeping good humor. He led the most active and highest quality news team since the days of Ch1ef running it.
     
    Nex Addo: He's quirky, odd, and funny, though his leadership makes himself equal. He’s constantly checking on his team. The fact that everyone including him is on the same goal is what makes him different. Besides the title, he's not more important than anyone else.
     
    Thanks for taking the time to learn more about a member of the community you may not have known! Do you have a member in mind you want to know more about? Feel free to send me a message on discord at KSI New Blue#5555! Thanks to BlazZze, Miss LoLo and Nex Addo for their parts in this article. See you next time on Member Spotlight!
     

    Hello? Are You There, KSI?

    It's been two weeks since the last Town Hall hosted by the Board and Owners of KSI, yet little seems to have come from it. In fact, it's almost as if it didn’t happen because, when you talk to members, some choose to just let it go, some left, and some came back. To get a full picture of KSI’s current status based on what we do know is going on, we spoke to the members. No Board member nor Owner was interviewed for this article.
     
    From those who decided to leave...
    Usually, when someone is asked why they left, we run into negatives and sometimes situations we cannot resolve. In this recent instance, leadership must try all they can. They have no choice but to step in, talk, and be transparent. If this cannot be achieved, there are members who have said they are willing to leave and those who have left already. The following comes from some of the latter.
    “It’s all of their fault! Great that the Kered and JT said, ‘sorry’ but who gives a ****.” This former member continues, “The whole board needs to go except Vik!”
    Some members only left because they feel KSI is going in a different direction, "....I only left because I'm not sure where KSI is going, and I don’t think it is for me.”
    One may ask why it matters about those who left; they left, and it's their problem. Retention is a problem and...
    ...a Town Hall is still another reaction.
    Reactions regarding the Town Hall and the answers provided by both Board and Owners varied from positive to having little or no faith. For example, one member says, "I feel that the Owners made a decent effort to answer as many questions as they could; however, I do not feel they have specific answers to the questions people asked. They spent a lot of time going off on tangents and answering other questions without answering the one at hand. As far as my feelings on the owners, I have mad respect for the two of them, and I am good friends with Derek. I don't have much to complain about, but I will be watching to see what happens in the coming weeks to see if they commit to their promises or not. One example being, I asked a question in open door days ago hoping from a reply from the Owners directly and that has not happened yet. Take that as you may, but if I was an Owner looking to regain the trust from my members and leaders I would be making every effort to communicate and answer queries, possible."
    Some claim that leaders are being lazy and complacent. Another remark indicated, "I'd have to say the owners did great, but they left and have a lot of trust to regain from me. If you leave and come.back, it just means you made a quick decision and don’t think."
     
    Back and Ready to Do More
    “At first I couldn’t care less, but, after the town hall, I felt everyone had something to hide as if they knew that something was coming…. I felt I couldn't lose my family and leave them behind. I care a lot for them and about KSI.” 
    Coming back is both a difficult choice and a thoughtful one. It means accepting how KSI is working and helping better it from the inside. This community has much to offer in terms of diversity, skill-building, and mentorship, and there's always room for those who are eager to support those endeavors, new or returning.
     
    Mixed Reactions from Those Who Stayed
    Staying means that, no matter if you have faith or not, someone wants to be here for one reason or another. Staying means it's time to kick into high gear.
    "I stayed because I have no reason to leave, I'm a part of KSI global. It doesn’t mean I wouldn't leave if I didn't believe what was said.”
    Another member says, "I stayed because I really think no one is lying or hiding anything, and the Town Hall was perfect."
     
    Where Do We Go From Here?
    Today, KSI stands around 500 active members. Of which, some have both advice and warnings. We interviewed quite a few people and came up with a variety of answers, most of which were unexpected. One, in particular, stood out.
    “I thought the town hall meeting was successful in a way but also failed in some other areas. It was a great way to try and bring a new way to help motivate and bring in some much-needed momentum in the right direction, but the follow up to member’s concerns was a failure. Of all the years that I’ve been in this community, this is probably the most crucial time for upper leadership and the rest of the community to kick it into high gear. Granted I know things do not happen overnight and maybe even within a week but all that momentum that I could see at squad level was wasted.
    “Transparency is important; letting members know that their community leaders are trying is important, especially to the newer generation of members. With the lack of direction from leadership, it’s hard to see what the future might have in store for us. I don’t want to sound like I’m talking down to upper leadership because they are doing something to help move forward. Vik has been doing an amazing job with communicating to us what his goals and expectations are, and that kind of mentality is what I believe is needed from the rest. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed, and I’m glad we had the turnout we did at the town hall and with everyone expressing their opinions is what we needed in order to move forward…
    I’ve been a director, a division leader, all of [the ranks] repeatedly... With me coming back to the community and starting from the bottom and working my way back up again, it’s going to push me to where I want to be -- that bridge between members and upper leadership, divisional roles or higher. Knowing the needs of the members and the way leadership needs to respond. My goal ultimately is bringing back the LE mentality. Knowledge, Strength, and Integrity. It’s our core values. Having the knowledge of what to do, the strength in which to get things done, and the integrity of doing the right thing at all times. It really doesn’t get simpler than that.”
    So how does KSI as a whole address all that is going on? Well, first it starts with being open about everything, which includes our flaws. We must understand what we are doing wrong before we can move forward and not sweep everything under the rug. We must allow members to stand up and call out what is wrong and hold each other accountable to KSI's core values. 
    Second, remembering how we got here. We didn’t get here overnight at all; it took a decade of work and effort. It means going back to our roots, which is all about gamers building a space for gamers. Everyone suffers from wounds whether it be surface-level, mentally, or physically threatening. Right now, we are opening the wound as we always do in a vicious cycle. Hopefully, we will not be left on read.
     

    Meet KSI CH3DDAR

    Leadership no matter the role or organization can be a difficult road to not only be in but to get there. Recently a new Director of Web Operations was announced, KSI CH3DDAR 7. He is known to be a quiet man who has accomplished many tasks and helped further the KSI Discord server. So who exactly is he?
    "Currently I am an undergrad student studying Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science or Software Engineering, haven't decided yet. I've been in communities since I first got an Xbox at like 12 years old and like most people who stick around, it's something I truly enjoy. Being in Web-Ops just makes it that much better.” 
    He tells us more about his experience even outside of Web operations.
    “So experience here is KSI has mainly been AAP. In past communities, however, I have held the equivalent rank I have now. That experience has taught me a lot about what to do, and what not to do.”
    Each member of KSI usually has a mentor, in fact, most members have more than one. 
    “My predecessor, Hero, has definitely been a mentor to me since joining KSI. Icespot has been a big help as well, so I would have to give him some credit. Lastly, after getting to know Vik and his leadership style, he is for sure someone I look up to.” 
    Many leaders have pieces of advice on how to achieve goals in KSI and that is no different for CH3DDAR.
    “Just do your thing. If there is something you want to accomplish in KSI, you can accomplish it. Its not gonna happen overnight, so don't let that stop you in whatever you do.” 
    So how is he handling his own advice?
     “One thing I am challenging myself in doing is becoming more outgoing. A lot of people probably notice I don’t talk a whole lot in discord. It’s not that I am not active, but it’s the fact that I don’t like texting a whole lot. I would rather sit in a voice chat and talk.”
    Everyone gets their go at something and this time it is KSI CH3DDAR turn. 
     

    The Ongoing Battle: Challenging Sexism and Harassment in Gaming

    There are roughly 164 million video gamers in the United States alone. Out of that, 46%  are female gamers, and fewer than 30% of game developers are female. As anyone can tell, the video game industry is dominated by men in multiple areas from playing to developing and everything in between. Even with a small percentage of the female base in gaming, there is no shortage of triumphs achieved by women in this realm.
    In August 2014, #gamergate became a prime example to the extent of what women in gaming face. Proponents of the group #gamergate claimed that progressive culture was poorly affecting the industry and was unwelcome. Some directed threats of own, murder, and other harm at two female developers and a media feminist. The FBI was informed but made little attempt to resolve the situation, claiming that there was a lack of leads, and local law enforcement cited the same reasons. As of yet, there have been zero arrests made in the case but multiple identifications made.
    In KSI, women have made strides in the male-dominated gaming organization through standing in some of the most impactful roles. There have been ladies-only divisions/squads and women in multiple roles, to include board positions and leadership roles throughout the ranks. Though some still deal with crass people, the ladies in KSI tend to have more positive experiences than negative.

    One current member shares her story:
    “I’ve had a guy message me after being in a party with me once and said, ‘I have a crush on you. I think you have a beautiful voice.’ It [was] taken care of and the dude didn't message me again, but a couple of people in leadership roles still had a big joke about it. The fact that I was [put] in a very weird and uncomfortable spot was funny [to them].”
    Another female gamer tells her story:
    “I was playing in a match of Call of Duty with my squadmates and I was called a ‘*****’. I went to ignore it, as this is something that happens all the time, but my team said [that] only they could call me names and pick on me as if I was their trophy. This include[d] my Founder.” 
    That Founder was suspended from KSI for three weeks for allowing the behavior to continue in front of him but returned after suspension as though nothing happened. The female member was then passed over for promotion four times and was told she wasn't working hard enough like her male counterparts. This is a classic case of reprisal. That Founder eventually left KSI.
    Yet, it’s not all about the bad. KSI can also be a place for inspiration and equality. A former female senior member says:
    “I rose through the ranks quickly, and, of course, anyone who didn’t know me said it was because I was a girl. The only female in senior leadership at the time advised me to rise above it, that I may have to work twice as hard to prove myself, but that it would feel twice as sweet to rise with integrity. I tried to emulate her that way. Eventually, I received a message from a former member who had risen significantly through the ranks who said that I had shown her it was possible for women to lead and be respected for it. All I did was pay forward the advice given to me. The increased presence of ladies among the community alone says that advice continues to run through these squads and divisions.”

    KSI has long maintained a zero-tolerance policy of sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind which is strictly enforced among much of the community. But some continue to express that it only applies to those not holding leadership roles or those favored by said leadership. This has proven to be an ongoing discussion amongst members and leaders alike on how to handle the aforementioned situations. Even so, most members across the community are better equipped to educate themselves and each other in real-life societal situations no matter their title or rank or any other potentially discriminating factors.
    Though not all women believe this is not just a KSI problem but a problem overall. For example, one gamer tells us,
    “Will say though, gaming as a female is difficult. There are so many people that are highly opinionated that believe we don’t reach a specific skill level; they can be judgy, pervy, and downright disrespectful but in KSI, aside from a select few, people here make the couple weirdos worth putting up with.” 
    As the number of women in gaming grows, including those in the developer roles, it’s quite possible that this behavior will be taken more seriously than ever. KSI could become a leading force in that realm, but that all depends on the efforts of leaders and members alike.
    If you or someone you know is experiencing issues similar to these or any other forms please reach out to any leaders. You can also submit an email to [email protected]

    Written by KSI Nex Addo - News Team Lead
     

    The Everyday Heroes of KSI

    Many members in this community put on a uniform, and go to work not knowing whether or not they may come home that day. From police, fire, and EMS, each first responder faces many challenges related to the career. Although a lot of these challenges happen on the clock, most still continue after the sirens are gone. The challenges that most first responders encounter on the job teach them skills that translate into other parts of their lives, such as KSI. 
    First responders are often seen as heroes, in reality, they’re just your normal everyday people. We put our clothes on and go to work every day just like anyone else. The only difference is the job that first responders do, they run into situations that most people would run from. From shootings, cardiac arrest, structure fire, or a simple head injury first responders see a lot on a daily basis. The traumatic calls, the tough times create a bond between first responders that often isn’t seen in other careers. There are times that first responders have to lean on each other because nobody else can understand. Through the good times and the bad, we love our job and wouldn’t want to do anything else. First responders wake up and go to work for the one thing, we like to help other people on their hardest days. 
    Let’s meet, and listen to some of the experiences of a few of our first responders within KSI. 
    KSI xTITANx 7-FA Co-Founder (Firefighter)
    What drove you to be a first responder?
    "Growing up I watched fire trucks pass by my mom's office, a kid I went to preschool with, her dad was a captain for the local fire department and getting to see the truck when he would come by. Then when I got older, a massive grass fire threatened the community I lived in to the point we almost had to be evacuated. I wanted to go through the academy provided by my local community college but I got scared by the difficulty of the EMT course and didn’t follow through. Fast forward about a decade and what really drove me to become a firefighter was after my brother's suicide. I decided I wanted to follow my dream of becoming a firefighter but still wanted to stay in the job I had. A friend of mine just so happened to be a volunteer firefighter and invited me to come out to a training night and check it out. I filled out my application and the rest is history. Almost 4 years later I’m still a firefighter with the same fire department, and I can’t imagine my life without it. The friends I’ve made, the bonds of brotherhood I’ve made, becoming baptized by fire, the lives I’ve touched because of this job. It’s a life I wouldn’t ever change."
    What is one thing you’ve learned while being a firefighter?
    "Pride. Taking pride in my work. Taking pride in my apparatus. Making sure they are clean and ready to go. To show our citizens that their trust in us is not misplaced. By taking pride in how we treat and care for our citizens as if they were our own family."
    KSI Fire728-Valkyrie LT (Firefighter)
    What drove you to be a first responder?
    “I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter/first responder since I was a kid. My father, uncle (mom's side) and grandfather did it. My uncle was the only one to make a career out of it and is now I believe a captain or chief. My grandfather and father, like me, were volunteers for a dept when they were younger. My mother was an EMT for a while before she changed career paths. So growing up in a family like that you get drawn towards it. I also just like the feeling of helping people. The feeling of an adrenaline rush when a house is on fire and you get called to put it out. Being a first responder, especially a volunteer, because you don't get paid for it is an experience because you risk your life every time you choose to go to a call. Yes as a volunteer you can choose what calls you go to but I like to go to as many as I can. Its really an eye awakening thing and makes you appreciate life even more because you see what can happen to you or someone you care about. At the end of the day, I love it. I love what I do. I love the man I became because of it. I don't wish what I see upon anybody. I've been fortunate that I haven't seen any fatalities yet. As much as I don't want someone to pass away I know that day will eventually come and nobody is ever prepared for it. Everyone reacts and handles the situation differently.”
    KSI Gordon-Hades SGT (Firefighter)
    Is there any particular lesson or trait you’ve learned as a first responder that has helped you in KSI?
    “Some traits from being a first responder that has helped me in KSI is being level headed and always trying to help people out whenever I can.”
    What drove you to be a first responder?
    “Well, what drove me to be a first responder is the stories that my dad and uncle would tell me as a kid. My dad was a chief in the same department I and my brother are both in today.  Guess you can say it’s sort of a family thing.”

    From a first responder, the news team, and all of KSI, we’d like to thank all of our heroes for everything they do!
    Written by: KSI x Maze, Contributor
    Edited by: KSI New Blue

    KSIThePunisher

    This February KSI lost a great member. KSIThePunisher, rest in peace. 
     
    “You never know what you have, until you lose it.”
    It is the sentiment that controlled the mood of Tuesday’s memorial meeting and game nights, with nearly a hundred attendees total. 
     
    “He was a kind, nice, funny, loving, young man. It was last weekend we got married and began our lives together. He would always make sure that everyone I mean everyone else was happy before he took care of his own needs and wants, I witnessed him give multiple homeless people about $500 each so they could go get food, new clothes and whatever else they wanted. He honestly loved playing with you guys whenever he could. He made time to be around you guys, but he loved the outdoors.” -His Wife Victoria
     
    “He was playing D2 on pc for a short period, and he woke me up like 2 am (I am 6 hours ahead of est) to show me that the recluse had no recoil on pc it was so hilarious. He was so stoked about it and I was so tired, but in the end, we got a good laugh, and I’m happy we did. I’m gonna miss him. I think we all will.” -KSI_Cree
     
    “He was very important to me... When I first joined KSI I did not talk to anyone. He pulled me aside and talked to me about KSI and what it meant to be a part of KSI. He also started inviting me to game nights and introducing me to members. He taught me all about BO4 and the different weapons I knew nothing about. As we spent more time getting to know each other, he started teaching about the roles in KSI and how to rank up. He saw the potential I had as a leader and pushed me to rank up. He really meant a lot to me and I'm truly sorry he is gone.” -KSI Kush
     
    “Well, one of my favorites was when one time I was doing a Pit of Heresy run and it was before any of us figured out how to do any of it, so we kept jumping from symbol cave to symbol cave to find the right enemies and after 2 hours we pulled it off. then we got to the witches step and as much as we wanted to be serious about it, we kept knocking each other off, by accident at first, and then on purpose because by that point we were all crying from laughter because we didn’t know you could do that. and then when we finally finished that part, we got to the ogre caves, and at the worst time, we would block the shortcuts into caves to get each other killed because that got us laughing so hysterically I think at least 2 of us peed a little bit. Then we got serious, figured out the way through, got to the knight boss, and we were him down to one shot, and to finish it he and the other guy shot rockets at him but before they could hit I tweeted my body with a thunder crash and killed the boss and myself in an electrical blaze of glory, and all started laughing to tears again. it's one of my favorite memories of playing and hanging out with him, and I feel it shows just how happy and humorous he was.”-KSI_Zangestu
     
    Even though I personally only spoke to him once, he still sent me a DM every couple of months, only to ask how I was doing, or what I was up to. It was certain, through his words and actions, that he cared greatly about the community and its members. Although he’s gone, he will never be forgotten. 
     
    “It is not the length of life, but the depth of life.” -Ralph Waldo Emmerson

    Play or Skip: Call of Duty MW

    2019 was home to many great games, including Kingdom Hearts 3 in January, Anthem in February, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Ones in November. Among those popular releases was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. This game was officially released on October 25, 2019. As with any game, there are pros and cons.
    Starting off the list of cons for this game is the game was a big download of over 120GB. Depending on the internet service and the storage space on one’s console, it was taking up to a few days for it to completely download. Recently, there was another update that adds to the size, leaving it to sit at about 153GB. This update was one where no one knew until they logged into the game and went to play. It was also a two-piece update, which some people only had to do one and some did both. Another downside is that the battle pass must be purchased to obtain certain characters and weapons. One last con to this game, is it sometimes takes a while to find a game mode. Some game modes are more popular and are easier to find matches in, while others are not as popular and may take a little more time. 
    On the flip side, there are plenty of pros to this game as well. One of the pros is that by now there are pre-owned copies available at some GameStop locations, but the game is only $60 dollars normally, which is decently affordable. Another pro is the graphics. The graphics and sensibility on this game are a lot smoother than those of Black Ops 4 and previous games. There are also many game modes that are fun for everyone involved with. As previously mentioned, there are game modes that more people are going to enjoy including basic domination and search and destroy, as well as infected and shoot house, and many more. They have most of the modes in both core and hardcore as usual. A big pro that it has, is cross-play. People are able to play games with mouse and keyboard players, ps4 players, pc players, and Xbox players. 
    Call of duty has given the gaming community many great games since  2003 and they continue to improve and make things better as the technology around them gets better. Modern warfare seems to get more positive reviews than negative ones. Ultimately, the consumer will make the choice that is best for them. Allow this to be an aide in the decision making process. Happy gaming to all. 
     
    Written By: KSI Ethera
     

    December Member of the Month

    “A leader is best when people barely know he exists…when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will all say: We did it ourselves."
    - Lao-Tzu

    Being noticed and chosen as Member of the Month is for some an amazing achievement. To go above and beyond the normal duties of the written description is in itself amazing. This is why we are celebrating two amazing people, KSI Babytree 24 & KSI_KIMBER_1911 this month.
     
    ----
     
    "Now that I processed everything, it’s a good feeling. Everyone puts in so much effort for this community, it’s rewarding for what you do for your members and that goes to be recognized." - Babytree24 

    “I feel honored to be nominated, I love it here in KSI. I feel like KSI is my second family.”
    Kimber_1911
     
    ----
     
    Quotes about Babytree24 
    "They are a great and outstanding officer and they do their best in everything they do." 
    "Babytree has grown as a member just as other members have grown in this division. She is excellent access to have not only in her squad but to her members. Joining the education department has truly been her niche and provided her services to help and assist other members with KSI and support their growth. This member is a bit nervous sometimes but finds her way. She has come up a long way and replaced Bubba shortly after his departure. I am extremely proud of her and her accomplishments here in KSI and is why I am nominating her."
    "Member [Babytree24] has been doing alot for their squad, especially in the absence of their general. Picking up all the slack and growing the squad."
    ---
    Quotes about KIMBER_1911
    "He has been amazing general and friend anyone can ask for hes been a true role model for me"
    "I am nominating number [because] he does a good job at running the squad and he is a great guy"
    "He has stood by his squad regardless of who left, or caused drama.  He kept his squad together. He leads his officers to be supportive of each other.  He has been reliable. An I’m very happy with the way he communicates with div staff. Always very respectful.  He sets the bar high.  Quality family member!"
     

    Game Communities Still Matter

    Humans are social creatures as many studies have pointed out so it comes as to no surprise that gaming communities are extremely popular and have been for a long time. At this current moment, there is a vast amount of these communities that can claim longevity and membership. These communities were not easy to make and didn’t always remain stable. In fact, some go through splits causing massive numbers to leave communities, some don’t make it past console changes, internal disputes and more. Community is defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals”. The definition best defines what video game communities are all about. 
    Most people join through the common interest of a particular game. For example, recruiting in some communities is done through voice chat during matches or private parties. This is when the current members of the community chat and “screens” the player finding out if they seem to be a good fit for their particular group. This particular set up can be a bit biased though. While the current recruiter may find that they don’t like the player for some reason another person attempting to recruit may find it hard to get the new person in resulting in that they [new person] may not be added; disallowing them to join based on poor judgment. It’s not to say that this method is a terrible idea but in fact, it teaches social cues which in long term helps protect the group as a whole. The recruiter must be able to pick up on subtle non-visual cues. These might be a poor attitude which may result in future confrontations, argumentive behavior about group sportsmanship, and general behavior towards other players.
    Communities teach structure and command. Today the world is set up in a corporate structure and it matters how you act, speak, and behave. Quite a few communities break up members into small groups that allow for growth and support. Groups are lead by one or multiple members which allow the important skill to be fostered. Allowing members to create their own type of group within the confines of the rules and guidelines set above himself. Becoming a leader helps you learn problem-solving skills, internal dispute resolution, and politics. For example accusations of cheating, behavior, and ill intent require leaders to get involved. A poor judgment made by leadership may cause membership decline, arguments, and much more. Leaders must make decisions based on facts and witness statements. What makes this harder for communities is that this is not done in person to person but over voice and text. This is not to say that you cannot learn something but it allows leaders to learn how to maneuver a conversation with delicacy. 
    Communities make great strides in group participation. Requiring people to work together teaches trust, verbal communication, and support of each other. Today we must be able to trust each other to get ahead in the world even though it is a dog eat dog world. Basic verbal communication is taught in these types of events and group projects which allow others to express themselves and teach which words best describe situations. Situational awareness forces people to learn what to say, how to say, and when to say something. For example, people must be able to understand when presenting and who they are communicating with what is appropriate and when it is an appropriate time. Some people acquire these skill sets outside of communities and allow them to practice in this setting while others learn through the communities itself. 
    Besides skill sets being taught gaming communities affect gameplay. Some small groups that now are professionals came from small or big time communities. Nowadays getting a large group together seems to be a great idea to go match by match and dominate your opponents. This allows for friendships that go beyond the game and stretch for over many years. Games themselves teach but communities enhance the experience allowing for so much more. Instead of just playing by yourself you have a community of people who are ready and eager to log online and play. The video games don’t have to be just violent as some would say and shooters but you have calmer games such as Minecraft, Animal Crossing, Mario games, and much more. Hoping that communities can stay on track for stability we shall see in the future what will become of them. Will they start to end or will they prosper bringing new ideas to the table.

    Video Games for 2020

    In 2019 we were given a wide variety of blockbuster titles of video games. We got Ace Combat 7, The Outer Worlds, The Division 2, and many more. At E3 and many other expos games were announced as well as delays from 2019 to 2020.  As we get close to 2020 let us take a gander at the games coming out and some details.
     
    Watch Dogs: Legion (XBOX 1, PS4, PC) - March 20th
     
    Near future London has turned into a hackers nightmare after a group who utilized control of London via the CToS system. Its now time for the hacktivist group Dedsec to free the citizens and by doing this it will be YOUR job to gather a resistance. This video game will feature the ability to control other characters which can be lost permanently through various methods forcing the player to play as someone else. Don’t forget not everyone is a fan of Dedsec and will support your enemies. Gather the resistance and free London!
     
    Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch) - March 20th
     
    Grab your bags and hop on the plane as you continue your next adventure with your animal neighbors in the new game brought to you by Nintendo. The long-awaited casual sim for the series is finally out. Fish, hunt bugs, plant flowers, decorate your space, and much more! Up to 18 players can play at once on one person’s island. So grab that switch get your tickets!
     
    Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4, XBOX 1, Stadia, PC) - April 16th
     
    Imagine corporations deciding and controlling laws created in the country and state now place your self in futuristic California. You play as, V a mercenary whose looking to make a name for themself in Night City. A robust character making and decisions you make in the game will affect the grand scheme of things. Martin Blacha, CD Projekt Red’s plot director, spoke to ‘Inn: Poland’ which was later translated via VGC, “From a creator’s perspective, Cyberpunk 2077 is a story about heroes in opposition to the world, and that world itself is one of the heroes as well.” It is also to be said that the game contains multiple volumes of dialogue.
     
    Microsoft Flight Simulator (XBOX 1, PC) - In the Year 2020
     
    Its time to explore petabytes of information and make a flight, show yourself the world. Expect thousands of different airports, flowing waters, roaming landscapes, and much more as you plot yourself flight plans. Weather will also be a factor for example at E3 it was said that if it was raining in real life you will also get to experience that in the game itself.
     
    Halo Infinite (XBOX) - Holiday 2020
     
    Master Chief is back! The game sets with our favorite protagonist right after Halo 5 outside of that we do NOT know much about the plot but were given a teaser trailer at E3 2018. Keep your ears to the ground and your eyes on the web as more information will be released the sooner we get closer to the release date.
    Written by Nex Addo, Senior Writer

    A Year In the Life of KSI 2019

    As we approach 2020, it would only be natural to reflect on our 2019. Oh, what a roller coaster we’ve had this year. We’ve cried tears of sadness and joy. We split squads, merged squads, split a division, and merged a division. Our gains and losses have given KSI one of its most dynamic years ever. 
     
    At the very start of the year, KSI JT 7 and KSI Kered 7 inducted 3 outstanding leaders into the KSI Hall of Fame. Congratulations to KSI Chaoticz 7, KSI_Johnson_7, and KSI POSEIDON 7!
     
    Additionally, starting the year, the PS4 division Fatal Genesis, the longest lasting division at the time, split to create Infinite Reality under the leadership of KSI Rivers 7, KSI_Johnson_7, KSI POSEIDON 7, and KSI Icespot 7 on January 26th. Consequently, KSI_Johnson_7 was promoted to Director of both divisions.
     
    At the end of the month, KSI POSEIDON 7 was promoted to the Director of Education in KSI. 
    “With Poseidon, I think we’ve found a person that can elevate education to the point that hasn’t been done before.” -KSI Kered 7
     
    The same day, KSI Heroiism 7 was promoted to the Founder of Fallen Angels.
     
    Near the beginning of February, the 3 Divisional Representatives to the Board of Leaders were elected. KSI xREDDOGx for Fallen Angels, KSI 7th Seraph for Infinite Reality, and KSI-DRAMAMAMA-7 for Fatal Genesis.
     
    On February 11th, the community was hit with a huge announcement. KSI Kered 7 would be retiring as Executive Director of KSI come May. In his article, Kered let us know that he would be nominating KSI Elderpoot 7 as his successor. 
     
    At the end of February, KSI Heroiism 7 was promoted to Division Leader by KSI Elderpoot 7. 
     
    Early March, brought some needed change to the Fallen Angels’ leadership. KSI BIG JOHN 7 was moved to Founder of FA, and KSI Chaoticz 7 was promoted to Co-Founder over Valkyrie and Judgement. 
     
    On March 9th, KSI_Johnson_7 was promoted from Director to Senior Director by KSI Kered 7 and KSI Elderpoot 7. 
    “Johnson has been an integral part of the KSI team, and I couldn’t be more proud of his, and all of KSI’s growth and performance over the past year.” -KSI Elderpoot 7
    KSI Icespot 7 took Johnson’s previous spot as Director over the PS4 Divisions. 
     
    Unfortunately for the entire community, on April 1st, KSI Elderpoot 7 let everyone know that he would have to step down from his position as Operations Director due to the overbearing workload he had been enduring. He planned on having KSI Koda 7 step in at the end of the month. After around 8 hours, Elder let us know that it was only an April Fools joke and that he would be staying Operations Director for the foreseeable future. Thank God. 
     
    On a much more serious note, April 25th brought us heartbreaking news. KSI Atlantis 7 had passed away. Atlantis was a Co-Founder in Fatal Genesis and was involved in AAP, Internal Affairs, and Education. 
    “He exemplified the qualities we look for in a KSI member. The time and effort he has put into this community will echo for years along with our memories of him.” -KSI Kered 7
    The next day, KSI JT 7 and KSI Kered 7 inducted Atlantis into the KSI Hall of Fame, the highest achievable honor in KSI.
    Atlantis also became Member of The Month April and had Fatal Genesis re-named Atlantis Rising in his honor. 
     
    At the tail end of April, KSI-DRAMAMAMA-7 was moved to Founder of Atlantis Rising
     
    Mid-May, KSI Icespot 7 made the announcement that Infinite Reality would be Merging into Atlantis Rising. IR Exitum and Imperium would be merging into Integritas. The Div Staff moving forward would be KSI Rivers 7, KSI 7th Seraph, KSI-DRAMAMAMA-7, and KSI POSEIDON 7. 
     
    May 23rd, the Director of Education, KSI POSEIDON 7, stepped down from his position to put his full focus on Clan Ops. That left a hole that KSI Viktory 7 was fully prepared to jump into. 
     
    Also on the 23rd, KSI Icespot 7 was promoted to Senior Director. 
    “Icespot represents all the qualities we look for in senior leadership, and then some. He has the full trust and faith of JT, Poot, and myself in carrying out the duties and responsibilities required of a Senior Director.” -KSI Kered 7
     
    3 days later, KSI Kered 7 announced that KSI Elderpoot 7 was promoted to Executive Director of KSI. 
    “I can say with full conviction that Poot Poot is the right guy to lead y’all to realize the potential taking advantage of the tools available.”
     
    On May 31st, KSI Elderpoot 7 made his first announcement as Executive Director. KSI Icespot 7 would be moving up to become Operations Director of KSI. 
    “We look forward to working with Icespot over the coming months to elevate KSI into the gaming community that will be the envy of the community world.”- KSI Elderpoot 7
     
    So, another month goes by and Fallen Angels’ Rapture squad officially split into Azrael under the leadership of KSI Ares 70, KSI xXLEGIONXx, and KSI MamaTwirly. This split moved KSI Copper 7 to Founder of Fallen Angels and KSI Ares 70 to Co-Founder of both squads. 
     
    Come September, Web Ops had been on the backburner for months. With the only active team somewhat being Events, it was time to choose a new Director of Web Operations. When KSI Elderpoot 7 brought KSI Heroiism 7 to The Board, Heroiism was unanimously voted the Director of Web Operations.
     
    On September 22nd, the Chief Justice, KSI Crusader 7, announced that after an entire decade of service, he would be stepping down and retiring. 
    “Continue to work hard and make this community the best it could be. Put aside differences and come together to work hard and achieve the same goal every leader in KSI strives to be.”-KSI Crusader 7
     
    Seemingly out of nowhere, on October 13th, KSI Elderpoot 7 released the KSI Handbook. The Handbook covers dozens of topics ranging from the Recruitment Process to revoking a “7”. 
     
    At the very end of October, KSI Icespot 7 announced that Atlantis Rising would see the promotion of two fantastic leaders. KSI Viktory 7 was moved to Division Leader and KSI 7th Seraph moved to Founder.
     
    Thanks to the leadership of KSI xLucifer, KSI x Maze, and KSI x Falcons, The Fallen Angels watched Leviathan split into Hades, bringing FA to 6 squads on November 20th. 
     
    A month later, December 20th, the Head Hunters overhaul began. The K7 League is here!
     
    KSI CH3DDAR, the AAP Team Lead, gave us an early Christmas present on December 23rd: AAP Awards would be officially opening on Discord! 
     
    After over 350 graphics, 200 live streams, 1600 recruitments, 25 articles, 1500 Game Nights, and countless memories, nobody can deny that this year has been amazing! Happy New Year,  KSI!

     
    Written by: KSI New Blue, Senior Writer
     

    12 Days of KSI 2019

    In 2018, Chaoticz 7 wrote a beautiful article asking 12 members what KSI meant to them. This year, he told me that he would write it again. Then, in classic Chaoticz fashion, he let me know that he was just messing with me and that I’d have to write it. Thank you Chaoticz -_-.
     
    With that, here’s your 12 Days of KSI 2019! 
     
    What does it mean to be a KSI member and what is your favorite memory/part of KSI?
     
    On the first day of Christmas, KSI Elderpoot 7 said to me:
     
    For me being a KSI member means being part of a community of friends where you always have somebody play or talk with. 
     
    My favorite memory in KSI is a group of memories from back on Halo 2. The long nights of sitting in a lobby just talking and hanging out with friends for hours and hours. And on occasion, starting up the game on Containment and driving around in warthogs having fun. Those nights of fun with friends were unforgettable, and KSI as a whole changed the course of my life!
    -KSI Elderpoot 7, Executive Director
     
    On the second day of Christmas KSI Cresit said to me:
     
    To me being a member is being a part of a great big family. I love everyone in KSI as a bro and sis, and I've been treated the same. It's great meeting different people from around the world and having a laugh. I can't actually pick one favorite moment there’s too many. I've had a great time with a variety, but if I could narrow it down I loved it when I was in Judgment and we'd jump on bo4 for some custom blackout but it wouldn't just be a normal game. We'd do different things, like vehicles only, and we'd all have a laugh trying to hit everyone. There was no drama it was just us in the game, having a good time, of course, there are other moments but that's the first thing that comes to my mind!
    -KSI Cresit (B-SSGT)
     
    On the third day of Christmas KSI xMaze said to me: 
     
    To me what it means to be a KSI member is that I’m part of a team or a community of people with similar interests. It means that you always have someone online to play with or talk to no matter the time of day. KSI is essentially just a big family and we are always there for one another. 
     
    My favorite part of KSI is just the big family aspect. I’ve been in KSI for nearly a year and when I first joined I didn’t expect much out of it. I thought it was just gonna be a group of random people that all they did was play Xbox. I quickly learned that I was wrong, and many of the people I’ve met through KSI are close friends of mine. No matter what happens, I know that I’ll always have someone to talk to and lean on.
    -KSI xMaze, Graphics Lead, Events Team (H-MAJ)
     
    On the fourth day of Christmas KSI JACOBKILLER said to me:
     
    I am glad to be apart of the best community and to support this community! My favorite memories are when we get teams together and destroy randoms.
    -KSI JACOBKILLER (R-LT)
     
    On the fifth day of Christmas XxT3DdYTGODXOxX said to me:
     
    For me, being a KSI member means to be a helpful and caring person. What it means to me is to be there for your squad. Talking to them, sharing games with them, maybe financially aiding them. I’m always there for my squad. 25/8 thru thicc and thin all always be there to aid anyone.
    My favorite memory was very recent. It was becoming Major of AR Olympia. It really let me do what I feel Olympia was capable to do.
    -XxT3DdYTGODXOxX (O-MJR)
     
    On the sixth day of Christmas KSI xLucifer said to me:
     
    To me, being a member of KSI is about being apart of an extended family. Its a chance to meet new people from all over, and get to know them. There are people in the community who have been there for me when I needed them and I have been there for others here. 
     
    Some of my favorite times in KSI is a hard question, there’s been so many. It would probably be before deploying, playing prop hunt on bo4 with Leviathan and KSI xTITANx 7. Our team would be hiding, and KSI xTyrone would do everything he can to bring the hunters to me. Or playing as manikins on nuke town and not worrying about winning, we just tried to mess with the hunters as much as possible. We did this for hours as a squad, almost every day before I left home.
    -KSI xLucifer, Graphics Team, FA Co-Founder
     
    On the seventh day of Christmas KSI Icespot 7 said to me:
     
    What does it mean to me? It means family. Cliché, I know, but it's the honest truth. I come across people all the time who talk about the amazing friends they've made in our community. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about. The people you meet and the experiences you have - that's what it means to be in KSI.
    Favorite memory? No one specific moment, but the late night sessions with my friends where we're laughing so hard we can't even play the game. That's what I love.
    -KSI Icespot 7, Operations Director
     
    On the eighth day of Christmas Nex Addo said to me:
     
    Being a KSI member means you understand gaming can be more than just playing around. In KSI you get the chance to make lifelong friends that in some cases you get to hang with outside of Xbox. In KSI you get the chance to learn different gaming techniques, join creative teams, and much more. Again, KSI is more of an experience in HOW you enjoy gaming.
    I have quite a bit of favorite moments in KSI, not just a singular moment. I would have to say one moment I enjoy a lot is when Anatomy and I were able to host a 24hr live stream charity event. We raised money for a great cause.
    -Nex Addo, The Legend
     
    On the ninth day of Christmas KSIGamma said to me:
     
    For me being in KSI is a chance to get back to the roots of gaming and what I enjoy about it. Camaraderie. Equality. Family. One time some guy was saying that he had been to Germany And Norway and they were nice and all, but he wouldn’t trade them for an American Cheeseburger, and KSI Cree went off saying “oh I’m sorry that we have the best healthcare on the planet, I’m sorry that...”
    And then I popped off with “hey guys, can I get some fries with that?” Good times.
    -KSIGamma (L-CPT)
     
    On the tenth day of Christmas KSI ckeirnan said to me:
     
    What it means to be a KSI member is the opportunity to be in the most elite force on Xbox and have a family of gamers that have each other's back no matter what! My favorite part is, not sure yet because I haven't been in that long but I would have to say the game nights.
    -KSI ckeirnan (L-SGT)
     
    On the eleventh day of Christmas KSI xX BUBBA Xx said to me:
     
    Being in KSI is very interesting. Why? Well, what I mean is that within KSI there are two sides that I like to call one side the business side and the entertainment side. Now, being a member of KSI I lean towards the business side where you take yourself to another gaming experience level; which is more focusing on moving up and growing the community. Although, how much you may like doing that, at the same time; you can never get enough love from the entertainment side of things in KSI.
     
    Being part of an amazing group and gathered with men and women of all ages that love to game is an awesome and amazing experience and KSI makes it feel that way. From experience, from other gaming communities, they don’t even come close to KSI. KSI is my home and that everyone treats everyone with the unlimited KSI experience and that is my favorite part.
    -KSI xXBUBBAXx, Events Team (A-MAJ)
     
    On the twelfth day of Christmas KSI-SubsidingAxe said to me: 
     
    To me, KSI is like a family with brothers and sisters but I enjoy everyone even if nobody understands me. lol. The most memorable moment was when I was moved up to captain it was a very happy thing I couldn't ask for more, of course, I had to help Exitium out before it fell apart but I got to host my very first meeting in my KSI time but of course, I had trouble talking to people but they enjoyed it. Met some cool people even did a video series with them on my YouTube channel but my time in KSI is a wonderful time.
    -KSI-SubsidingAxe (A-SGT)
     
    Written by: KSI New Blue, Senior Writer
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