To Be @ EGD: Kenny Niles
Written By: Mary Joaquin & Andray Smith
Edited By: Max Mitchelson
EGD is more than just an organization. It is a group of passionate individuals working together to make the games industry a better place.
To highlight the individual work of our dedicated volunteers, members, and staff, we give them a chance to speak about their time here at EGD and what it means to them.
This week we interviewed Kenny Niles, a longtime member and a caster at the 2021 Waffle Games
Kenny Niles: I’m Kenny Niles, otherwise known as MLWeegee. I’m a computer science major and a math minor. I joined the club around three and a half years ago, and I played predominantly for the Overwatch team.
Andray Smith: And you were a student, right? What was your first experience with the EGD like?
Kenny: I was a freshman, and I tried to join EGD because I was looking to join more [activities]. I went, and I had this Yu-Gi-Oh duel with [another member], and he beat me on Turn 1. I was so embarrassed I never came back.
Andray: In line with that, do you have any memorable experiences on the other side of the spectrum?
Kenny: I made the only friends I have at Hunter through this club. That's the only time I ever talked to people at Hunter. During freshman [year], I would come to Hunter in the morning and leave really early just to get out of the city.
Then I got a job working as a technician at Memorial Sloan Kettering. So I would go to work at 7:30 in the morning and then leave at 4:30 p.m. to go to classes. And I would have classes until 11 at night, and I’d just leave.
I know you guys always have the Friday events, and I never stayed for any of it because I was just so tired from work. When I saw the EGD needed Overwatch players, I went to the tryouts and got on the team. I had so much fun with all those people from the Overwatch team, who I’m really good friends with now, and they've really helped me get through school.
Andray: Yeah, everyone wants to have that kind of positive experience in their college career, especially when they join a gaming-centric club.
Kenny: It was great. Just having any sense of community was nice. It's sad because I'm graduating in a month and a half. So it sucks because I only just started getting involved in the club, and I wish I was involved in the club more.
Andray: You can always volunteer. But, along with the community and the sense of fitting in, is there anything else you've taken away from your time?
Kenny: I've improved my communication skills, like being able to open myself up, so that was nice. The e-sports team was very, very good for getting me to open up because you have to be very vocal.
You have to understand who you're playing with and you have to know those people very well. It forced me into a situation where I had to go out and make friends, whereas I just didn't before because I didn't have time—just with work and everything.
I did wish that I did more in the video game design aspect because I am a computer scientist, and that would have been nice to try.
Andray: That would be cool, especially in college, there are always these regrets, and it's important that you look at those regrets and still try and do stuff.
So if you could sum up your time to just one word or two words—a quick phrase—what would it be for you?
Kenny: The first word that comes into mind in just college, in general, is stress, but stress and fun. I know that doesn't make sense, but when I think about college, I think about all the stuff I had to do and then all the stuff I did, like being on the team and getting whatever projects I got done.
Those are the things I'm actually proud of, and they were fun but doing it was stressful.
Andray: After your time here, where do you see yourself in the future. Adjacent to gaming communities such as this?
Kenny: I really want to continue to be involved regarding things like my major, but I honestly don't know. I want to work in the video game industry. I want to make games. I want to work with engines and work with software regarding gaming.
I don't know how that's going to be, but I have a lot of experience in the tech world now for years, so I'm not particularly worried. I’m just confused about what I'm going to do, and it's a hard time in general. Even thinking a week from now is always difficult, especially with what everybody is going through. So we will see.
Andray: And for Waffle Games, you volunteered as a caster?
Kenny: I had so much fun. I was joking around to my friends that ESPN was going to be knocking on my door. They didn't. But I did have a lot of fun.
I've always wanted to do casting. My dream job would be like working as a caster or as a voice actor. But I had always been pushed by my parents to do an 'actual' major. So casting had always been one of the top things that I always wanted to do.
To keep up with everything EGD, follow the EGD Collective on social media to get updates on our upcoming events and workshops (Twitter / Instagram / Facebook). We encourage you, the community on the EGD Discord server, to meet some new friends and gain access to our wide array of services and resources!
Finally, consider joining our membership program! Benefits of registering for our membership tiers include access to student support services, fellowship programs, and more. You can find more information on our website here.