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Karunology: An Interview with Kevin “Karune” Yu

Kevin Yu, better known as Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, has given an exclusive interview to GameReplays, where he used to work as a Game Administrator under the name SageKing.

Karune talks about his job at Blizzard and explains what being a community manager for one of the world’s largest gaming communities means to him.

Highlights:

In college, I had actually studied Communications and International Relations, which does have some relation to what I’m doing now; but I think the passion for gaming and community building was the bulk of my ‘qualifications.’ As a child, I had always loved strategy titles – turn based games like the Civilization series, Master of Magic/Orion, Jagged Alliance, and then real-time-strategies as they began to come out, with Westwood’s Command and Conquer series, and obviously Blizzard’s Warcraft and StarCraft series.

Blizzard has always been a company which values community as a high priority. I am the one who is fortunate to be able to build upon that reputation. StarCraft 2 has always had plans to integrate the community closer with the title. I believe my job has been to further build upon that idea of community interaction, empowering the community with tools and opportunities to grow and build their own identities, as well as implement new ideas that I feel could build a closer relationship with the community and the developers.

karunepatch.JPG

Workdays, despite being similar in hours, are actually not that identical from day to day. I try to start the day by answering a few forum threads where appropriate. Usually in the early part of the day, there are meetings with the community team, or with the PR (Public Relations) team, where we can update each other on the status of our current projects or brainstorm on future endeavors. In the afternoons, the activities could range from playing StarCraft 2 with the development team or community team, interviewing developers for BlizzCasts, gathering fan questions and getting answers for our Q&A Batches, brainstorming and pitching new community projects, working with the web team on collaborative web/community projects, debating with fellow co-workers on the latest strategies in StarCraft 2 or class discussions about World of Warcraft, and well?the list goes on.

You can read the rest of the interview on GameReplays.

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