Kenneth Shepard – Whats up, I am Kotaku’s New Employees Author

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V from Cyberpunk 2077 living his best life in Night City.

Picture: CD Projekt Pink / Kotaku

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. I’m Kenneth Shepard, Kotaku’s new employees author.

If you happen to don’t know me, I spent the final three years writing concerning the online game trade over at Fanbyte as a employees author, and I did so by the lens of queerness, community, and introspection. I’ve additionally written about these issues in locations like Polygon, IGN, Paste Magazine, Gayming Magazine, and loads of different locations I gained’t record right here. However in the event you had been type sufficient to learn my phrases over there, you’ll discover all of that over right here at Kotaku, as effectively. However on prime of this, I’m right here to assist out in our Tips & Guides part, the place we discuss concerning the hows and whys of how we play video video games.

I bought my begin as a reporter working in native information. What started with writing for my faculty’s newspaper ultimately changed into operating it, then working at my native newspaper for a stint. The tip aim was at all times to get a job writing about video games, however I feel writing about individuals on the bottom stage knowledgeable a whole lot of how I feel and discuss concerning the trade. The place as soon as I used to be interested by watching large companies duke it out within the identify of conquering the market, I now care extra about what video games imply to us as a tradition of gamers and creators. I inform individuals one of the best query I requested in interviews when working for the paper was, “What does this imply to you?” and I might watch somebody mild up as they answered. I prefer to maintain that very same mindset after I write about video video games and what they imply to individuals who aren’t sitting on a board and bragging about report income whereas shedding half their workforce.

Exterior of writing about video video games, I additionally speak about them on Normandy FM, a biweekly retrospective podcast I co-host alongside Destructoid’s Eric Van Allen. If the identify didn’t clue you in, we began out as a Mass Impact podcast that went by the whole thing of BioWare’s science fiction saga, with episodes going beat by beat by every sport alongside unimaginable friends from across the trade. Doing that present has been wildly influential to my important voice, because it shifted a lot of my fascinated about video games, narrative, and participant expression to actually dissecting a specific second, reasonably than attempting to encapsulate issues in reductive broad strokes.

Within the years since, the present has turn out to be only a normal online game retrospective present. We went on to cowl Dragon Age, Jade Empire, The Final of Us, and Last Fantasy X, and are at the moment a pair episodes away from wrapping up our look again at Cyberpunk 2077. Within the new 12 months, we’ll begin enjoying by the Nier sequence, which is thrilling, as a result of it’s the primary time I’ve not performed a sport on the present earlier than we cowl it.

Gosh, what else is there to inform about me? Pokémon is my vice in life and I’ve a specific set of six Pokémon I think about my core social gathering (Raichu, Palkia, Latias, Beautifly, Torterra, and Houndoom). Pre-pandemic, I lived in film theaters and also you’d catch me seeing every thing that was exhibiting, good or unhealthy. I’m nonetheless attempting to get again within the behavior of seeing films once more, however that transition again as theaters have reopened has been an ongoing course of. Previous to writing about video games, I used to be on monitor to be a music educator instructing highschool choir (I clearly have a knack for selecting profession tracks which have extraordinarily secure job markets), as a result of each homosexual teen singing of their highschool choir within the early 2010s was caught in Glee’s grasp and might be in remedy proper now attempting to overlook Matthew Morrison’s efficiency of “Blurred Strains.” I don’t do music professionally anymore, however I sing a imply showtune in my automotive and paid an excessive amount of cash for a duplicate of Ellie’s guitar from The Final of Us Half II to not play it sometimes.

Earlier than Kotaku, I lived in a small Georgia city with my 16-year-old Yorkie-Chihuahua named Lily, who owns my complete coronary heart. I don’t know the way she’s going to react to metropolis life as we transfer to New York, particularly in her grouchy outdated age, however I’ve been working for a very long time to get us right here. I began writing concerning the online game trade as a wide-eyed faculty scholar again in 2013 with a horrible evaluate of Grand Theft Auto V for my college’s paper (which has fortunately been misplaced to time and web site redesigns), however what I didn’t inform most individuals again then was that I began writing about video video games as a result of I used to be certain the profession would get me out of the suffocating bounds of small-town Georgia and into the massive metropolis I so longed to dwell in. Years of school, a pandemic, well being points, and a layoff later, I’m penning this from G/O’s New York workplace as a employees author at Kotaku. I can see the tall buildings out the window and listen to the hustle and bustle of the town under. For the longest time, seeing a metropolis skyline felt like your loved ones taking you to a pleasant restaurant. It was a particular occasion that you just knew would set you again for a paycheck or two. Now? As quickly as my work day is over I’ll stroll out into the town and know I’m not simply passing by.

So, as I write this, it’s a time of fairly vital change for me. Transferring from writing for one web site to writing for one more is one factor, shifting your complete life to the town you’ve been dreaming of for half your life is one other. So right here’s to new beginnings in a brand new, thrilling place. Each within the huge metropolis, and right here at Kotaku. See y’all on the entrance web page.

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