Powerful Women: Lady Gamers of Elyria - Kitlandria Bokest

This is the fourth article in a series about the Powerful Women Gamers of Elyria

Powerful Women: Lady Gamers of Elyria - Kitlandria Bokest

Victoria M. Xildithas

It’s that time again, Constant Readers, and I’ve got an interview that’ll knock your socks off! Perhaps one of the most well-known ladies in all of Elyria, and certainly the jewel of Bordweall: I bring you the one and only Kitlandria Bokest without further ado. Enjoy!

VMX: So, absolutely first - thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I really appreciate it, and I know the folks of Elyria do too. Tons of people enjoy your work across Kingdoms, but...for those who are, somehow, not familiar with you, tell us about yourself. What kingdom are you with, and what are you doing in the Chronicles of Elyria community that you want everyone keeping their eyes on?

KB: My typical handle is Kitlandria Bokest, though I am an alt-aholic in just about every game (so who knows what form I'll end up in!). Although once in Vornair like yourself, I am now happily pledged to the Kingdom of Bordweall. Presently, I am the Editor in Chief of the Bordweall Chronicles: the latest news, entertainment, and satire. It's up to you to figure out which is which! I also help lead a team for our Social Media Initiative and host the Bordweall Broadcasting Company program. Down the line, I'll be writing a ton of CoE inspired fanfiction, especially now that we have some tribe information.

VMX: So - to follow that up, actually: What was the draw from Vornair to Bordweall?

And please: Feel free to be honest - a Kingdom that cannot take earnest feedback is a Kingdom that cannot grow, and I feel certain the King would feel the same.

KB: I have heard King Evelake say himself that you can't worry about every single person. While that might be true in the long haul, at this stage in the game when there aren't hundreds of thousands of voices and we're community building, every voice should be valued and heard. I was a member of a Duchy that did a lot of micromanaging, to the point where many voices were snuffed out or problems were glossed over. Although I was in high up leadership at that time, I just didn't like the feel of it - I have always been about every person having a voice. The final straw was that it felt like a rich kid's club.

I met some really great people in Vornair, and I am glad that I still have many friends in that community! After feeling uncomfortable in my previous Duchy for a time, I reached out to other communities to get a feel for things. King Dleatherus was so laid back, responsive, and simple in his ruling that I loved him right from the get go. Four rules. More time for awesome. His focus on autonomy was very appealing, as was his selection process. There are so many exciting opportunities in Bordweall, and we're just getting started!

VMX: Great - I can definitely understand, and I hope King Evelake will take your words to heart. And most importantly, I hope that you really do have a great time there, and a lot of fun. Now, let’s focus on that gaming bit for a minute: How long (if you’re comfortable saying so) have you been playing video games, and what got you into them?

KB: Oh gods. Well, I think my very first game was the gold cartridge Zelda which was released about two years before I was born. I started playing that at 4 along with various other NES games. At 11, I started playing Everquest a year or so after its release - I can still remember finding role players in the Wood Elf city. That did me in; I've been an MMO junky since. Once I discovered character customization, and subsequently roleplaying, I've been completely hooked on video games!

VMX: A Link to the Past is the one that really did it for me, although I had an NES as well. My next question was going to be about your three favorite video games...but I think we just covered that?

Or do some others stand out as favorites right now?

KB: All-time favorites would have to be: Zelda: Ocarina of Time (you just can't beat that classic); Dragon Age: Origins (I'm a sucker for Alistair); and probably, <bites lip; sweat beads>; 7 Days to Die, oddly enough, which is still in early access. I'm still trying to get a good group together to play that last one. I have yet to find the MMO that is 100% for me, as much as I love them.

VMX: Oh, those are some great ones. And on the MMO thing, I can get it. I'm relatively picky about games (I just don't have that much time to devote to them, so they need to be awesome). And it's a perfect lead-in to the next question: You're clearly investing a lot of time and love into the Chronicles of Elyria community, so what is it about this MMO, which isn't even out yet, has captured your imagination?

KB: To be perfectly blunt, the potential for roleplaying - roleplaying on a different sort of level than I've ever imagined before. As the mayor of Ah'wena, helping to lay out the world and build up a small community for my little merry band of role players and friends, I can actually influence the feel of the space and hopefully draw people in. My goal is to have a little hub for RP - a safe haven. As much as I am aware we might get smashed at some point, I'm hoping to build up such a compelling story and sense of beauty that it can be a sweet little oasis of tavern trips and visits to t’Aethalli Serea no matter one's kingdom affiliation.

VMX: You're winning my heart here, Kit. I'm a sucker for the role-play too. And at this level - beyond a single character, moving into an entire area and culture - it's both daunting and exhilarating. I really do hope that your vision can become a reality. I am hopeful that this is a game where people like you (the role-players) can work with the people who love PvP to create those places.

KB: Absolutely agreed there! I hope this game invites a different level of collaboration by all types of players than anything we've seen before.

VMX: Me too!

And before this turns into a gush-fest about all the things that I can't wait for....

One of my readers remarked that even though CoE allows child contracts between same-sex avatars, many people are not using that mechanic to min-max future heirs, rather they are often looking for a player (not just a toon) of the opposite gender with whom to make children in-game. Have you noticed the same? Do you have any comments on why that is, and if you think it will be an advantage or disadvantage?

KB: You know - I have seen this now that you ask it. I wonder if this is some reflection of some sort of cultural stigma against same-sex partnerships in the real world. Honestly, I'd be excited for the opportunity for my character to use the mechanic (based on recent roleplaying experiences, I think Kit the character might actually be a lesbian). I don't believe, based on the mechanic functionality in the game, that it really can offer any sort of advantage or disadvantage to go with an opposite gender character. How could it, really? People are probably just tripping over the idea of being different, something I've personally never shyed away from.

VMX: No, I think you're absolutely right - the mechanics will not be skewed based on sex, I'm almost certain. I'll get the team to help me fact-check.

But even if they're not, I think you've hit the nail on the head - because the perception of relationships over the mechanics may be the deciding factor. I'm excited to hear about how Kit's RP is playing out. I love the way some characters can come to life in your head and they tell you who they are.

Perhaps some people will begin to see the advantage of child contracts with same-sex avatars for desired skills. Wouldn't it be interesting if something like that ultimately eased cultural stigma?

KB: Ironic, perhaps. <Sardonic smile.> Whatever it takes for equality, right? In the end, only time will tell!

VMX: Oh, Kit, I like you.

And I absolutely agree.

All right, let's see...getting back to the really hard questions: Do you have a favorite gaming story to tell us?

KB: This story is probably not going to be nearly as funny to others as it is to me, but it is a favorite. I used to play this game called Global Agenda. It was part 3rd person shooter, part MMO (but not large scale). Really, it's kind of like an old school Warframe.

There were four-person dungeons you could run against AI mobs. Me and my three go to gaming guys at the time were running one late at night (a time I call "stupid o'clock). One guy was a best bud from Tennessee named Dewey who has this like... perfect textbook Southern accent. Naturally, everything that comes out of his mouth is just hilarious in the right context.

Me and another friend, Vallkyrion, who is still around in my settlement, were running ahead to take down some big bads when a chain series of perfectly orchestrated enemy grenades and bombs went off, launching us clear across the map. While we're soaring through the air, in sync with the initial explosion and our landing, Dewey lets out this long, perfectly delivered, "Ooooooh maaaaiii." I'm pretty sure we wiped because Vallkyrion and I were in stitches in the aftermath. RIP. Never forget.

I have ZERO idea if that's funny.

VMX: It gave me a chuckle, I'm sure people will love it. Okay, next question: There can be lots of controversial discussion surrounding the topic of women in gaming. What’s your take on what it’s like to be a female gamer in what is often called a ‘man’s market’?

KB: It can be hard. Like, really hard. A lot of times, men don't take women as seriously in the game world: they might see women as a threat in a traditionally "male space," might be under the false impression that women are gaming to impress them, or that by being in the gaming space, women are "asking for harassment." Wrong on all counts.

You see fewer leadership positions held by women in the gaming world, fewer women playing tank roles, and fewer women being outspoken. I don't think it's for lack of interest either; I think it’s the manifestation, as I was saying earlier, of some real world cultural norms. I see sexist remarks in gaming chat channels on the daily, and I've even spoken out against them. What do I get? Often backlash for sticking up for other ladies. The world doesn't seem ready for us. What we really need is male gamers willing to speak up when they see someone being derogatory toward women or shutting them down based on their interests. When in a room full of men, one says something terrible and all others stay silent, that means they're all essentially agreeing to whatever mistreatment has happened. I personally hate when I see guys objectifying Vye on the CoE channel. Where is the brigade to step in and say, "Well, you're never getting invited to our gaming circle again!"?

That's why I've still got Vallkyrion around. Back in my Global Agenda days, I was the only girl in voice chat on a FPS. I experienced all kinds of verbal harassment. Vall was the one to say, "Knock it off, guys - not cool." Only then did they stop. We've been close gaming friends since then, and he respects me for me, regardless of gender. I want to see more men like that in the gaming world - then I bet we'll really see a lot more excited female gamers.


So, what do you do about this when it becomes too much for you to deal with? Does that happen?

KB: Generally speaking, I excuse myself to a community where women are more respected. You can't fight back against people who are unwilling to listen and expect them to hear you. Sometimes, you just have to go where you can be heard, valued, and appreciated. There is another reason I'm in the community I am in Bordweall now, but that's a whole other story.

The other way to deal with it? Become the leader myself. There is a reason my settlement works so well together: the leadership, myself and Caine, all agree on equality and a shared voice. My citizens respect our action. My partner Caine, is a vocal, passionate protector of his tribe (and a wonderful intersectional feminist to boot).

VMX: Some excellent advice - thank you!

KB: If you don't have anything worth sticking around for, don't make yourself.

VMX: Absolutely agreed.

And with that - I think it can be easy to focus on the negatives of being a woman gamer, certainly many other articles go that route, but I wonder if you can tell me a positive story, or what you think is the most positive thing about being a woman in gaming?

KB: Hmm. Good question. I think that I'm inspired most when I see other women enjoying gaming and settling into a place they love. Finding the instant bond, the shared experience, the comradery. It's rare for me to find a woman I don't get along with in the gaming. It's like an instant squad. In Bordweall, we've got a crew called the BBB - the Bad Bitches of Bordweall. Our coming together was instant (<3 you, Katie).

VMX: That’s excellent – I love it! We're getting to my final questions here, up next:

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my Constant Readers that we haven’t already covered? Here’s the place for shameless self-promotion or recruitment if you like.

KB: Shameless self-promotion, you say? HERE I GO!

I'm hands down here to help anyone workshop their roleplaying whether they're an old vet or completely new. I've met some of my favorite RP buddies this way, so please never hesitate to reach out! I am hoping to get involved in the RP community here in CoE more and more on a macro scale to help shape this game to be a go to place for role players. If done right, we can attract a huge crowd of people looking for an immersive experience. Plus, I love to write lore. The Kingdom of Bordweall has allowed me to help make projects like this one possible: Here’s King Dleatherus reading my story The Tale of the Bloodoak aloud. I hope your readers enjoy it.

Tale of the Bloodoak

(click the picture to watch the video)

Finally, if you're looking for a small, tightknit RP community or just want to stop by as a visitor when game launches, I do hope you'll come visit the peaceful town of Ah'wena. We're not looking for a fight, but we'd love to have you around to watch the stars with us, pack a pipe, and drink to the good times! We will run some player generated storylines, as well as encourage those created by Soulbound's engine.

VMX: I think I will really be missing out if Victoria doesn't come to visit, and I surely hope many others will take you up on the invitation.

KB: We would love to meet Victoria in game. We promise great hospitality, and a free meal. <Smiles.>

VMX: Sounds like a date.

So here's my final question. And it's my homage to Bradford Wilshire, from back in my Elyria Herald days:

What do you want YOUR legacy in Elyria to be?

KB: As much as I love the Bordweall Chronicles, I don't necessarily want that to be what I'm ultimately known for in Elyria. I want my name to be known for inspiring RP, whatever that ends up looking like. I want Ah'wena to stand as a roleplaying hub. I want people to help make that happen - for it to be a community effort. One night, I hope to have someone from every single kingdom on the server sitting around a table at the tavern under the shimmering stars - for people to smile and say, "We're glad Kit made this happen." Now that'd be an Elyrian Legacy worth living for.

VMX: I think so, too. And I can't think of a better woman to make it happen!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. I'm really excited for when we publish, and I know the readers are going to enjoy it as well.

KB: Absolutely. Thank you for interviewing me. It was fun. I am always down for answering questions.

There you have it, Constant Readers – a peek inside the mind of one of the hardest-working ladies I know. Elyria simply wouldn’t be as beautiful without her. So make sure to visit Ah’wena and don’t miss a single page of the Bordweall Chronicles – check out their 10th edition special if you haven’t. And as always Elyrians: If you can’t be good, then be good at it.

Read the rest of the series! Check out my interviews with:

Gammea Countess of Tarsis in the Kingdom of Nirath & co-founder of Heraldo de Elyria

Vye, Producer at Soulbound Studios

Eltanin, Countess of Dore of the Kingdom of Tryggr

10/8/2017 7:10:08 PM #1

It was an honor, GlassSpider. <3

Thank you for being such an awesome woman gamer yourself and highlighting members of the community. I hope you continue these for a long time as visibility of women in the gaming world is of the utmost importance.

Sha'harizi County - Capital City of Ah'wena - Countess Aria - Kitlandria!

10/10/2017 12:11:15 PM #2

Again, another great interview.

Thank you very much to Glass Spider for her work, and to Kitlandria for participating, Was a pleasant reading. :)

I'm so proud of our women!

10/10/2017 10:41:33 PM #3

How I didn't see this before?? ... omg, I didn't read the others too, what I am doing with my life?

Ahem... Very good reading! Kit is an adorable person and I couldn't be more proud of my friend and all her doings.

Thank you, Glass Spider, for bringing us this interview and promoting our community of powerful women =D

10/11/2017 11:14:02 AM #4

Another great read. Ah'wena sounds like a nice vacation town I will definitely be trying to get to in game.

10/11/2017 12:05:08 PM #5

Posted By Hellhound_40k at 07:14 AM - Wed Oct 11 2017

Another great read. Ah'wena sounds like a nice vacation town I will definitely be trying to get to in game.

If you enjoy psychedelics, good food, and lots of entertainment, then it will certainly be the ultimate vacation spot. ;)

Sha'harizi County - Capital City of Ah'wena - Countess Aria - Kitlandria!

10/16/2017 1:56:18 PM #6

Good to see another in this series and another RP minded lady.

Though sad to hear another that has negative experiences as a female gamer.

It does emphasize how lucky I have been and am with my current CoE home 😉

11/12/2017 8:53:15 AM #7

Very proud Kit! great interview indeed :)

11/12/2017 11:26:02 AM #8

Just stumbled on this and I’m impressed. I for one could certainly be better at being ‘that guy’ you’d like to see more of.

11/12/2017 1:28:15 PM #9

Great Interview with great women.

Count Dante Rhyne The Black Fox of Vornair


1/7/2018 3:53:08 PM #10

Badass! ;)