Kim Bender is the Community Manager – ANZ and SE Asia, and is a huge supporter of Game On Cancer.
What got you into gaming?
There are so many things that really pulled me into the world of gaming, but it really started with a me and my brother playing on the NES (Super Mario Bros., Spiderman and Batman). I was on the young side though, so I didn’t really know how to play, and those games were hard! But, I think the N64 was where I really got into gaming, I hold some of my most treasured gaming memories with that console including; playing Perfect Dark co-op alongside my brother, finding my Dad’s top score on Rainbow Road in Mario Kart time trials, and trying to take that near impossible perfect picture of Mew in Pokemon Snap with the neighbourhood kids I grew up with. From there I just dived headfirst into gaming trying to find worlds that I had never been to before and places I could escape to after school (and after I finished my homework!).
What is your favourite game?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, no question, hands down my favourite. I was at uni when the game came out, and I remember going to my local EBs and asking for something epic, and Benji (the legend), recommended to me Skyrim. I remember taking it home on the promise of ‘fighting dragons’ and having sweet magical powers. It sounded epic. I was sold. I set it up on my PS3 and from the moment I made it out of Helgen, I was immediately drawn into the world. Dragons, political war, elves, werewolves, assassins and of course, vampires… this game had my name all over it… and who knew that 10 years later I’d be celebrating it’s 10-year anniversary as a Community Manager at Bethesda!
Tell us about your role at Bethesda ANZ
I’ve been working at Bethesda for two years as a Community Manager for Australia and New Zealand, and recently have added Southeast Asia to my scope of work. In my role I get to do all the fun stuff! I get to interact with the passionate communities we have surrounding our games, over our social channels, in person at events and online. I’m even lucky enough that I also get to play our games with some of our amazing content creators on stream. I also get to be super creative in this role by bringing to the community cool experiences and events, working with talented artists and propmakers to create replica one-of-a-kind IRL items from in-game and giving them away in competitions! The best part of my job is simply just sharing in the excitement of our games with the people who play them.
What’s been one of your biggest or most exciting achievements at work?
Anything that the community loves and connects with is always what I consider an exciting achievement, and last year, something that was just joyful, fun and resonated with fellow players in the ESO community, was the Mehrunes Dagon Body Pillow!
It was originally just an April Fool’s Day joke I wanted to run with after I saw the community falling in love with Mehrunes Dagon, and if you know me, I’m always trying to think up wild ideas and the body pillow just seemed so hilarious to me.
Once the social posts finally went out on April Fool’s Day and blew up, I knew that these pillows had to be made real, so we made a tonne of them and gave them away to the community. One pillow even made it into the hands of The Elder Scrolls Online, Creative Director, Rich Lambert. My entire year was made!
Who in the video game industry inspires you?
There are too many people to name individually, but I’ll throw the spotlight onto all the Community Managers out there in the industry who are some of the greatest, funniest, and most inspiring people in the industry. They have a passion for games that they aren’t afraid to share and they love games just as much as the community who plays them. Always show some love to your favourite game’s community managers when you can, trust me, we appreciate it more than words could ever describe.
What are your other hobbies?
I love tabletop games and I have a big obsession with Vampire the Masquerade! When I’m not playing games online with my friends, you best believe I’m off pretending to be a vampire/Kindred, or at least, telling a story about vampires/Kindred. I’m also big into painting miniatures, from AOS Nighthaunts to epic mechs from BattleTech, my best friend really got me into it!
Be sure to follow Kim on Twitter to see all the awesome work she does with the Bethesda community!