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Michela Thompson, a senior public relations major at the University of Oklahoma and the current News and Media Director, has been a mainstay at the organization for the last two years, and continues to lead the News and Media team with her gentleness and encouraging personality. 

Michela got into gaming at a very early age, and it has impacted her life in many significant ways.

“Santa got me and my sister matching rose gold DS’s one year, and we played those all the time,” Thompson said. “I had so much playtime because growing up I was in and out of the hospital a lot. Once my mom told me that if I was good in the hospital, I could go to the store and pick out any game I want. That’s where this all started”

Thompson said that her journey through gaming started off with things like Nintendogs, but it has evolved. 

“It started off with those sweet little story games that I can enjoy on my own, but it’s really grown into more than that,” Thompson said. “My favorite game of all time is the Sims, because you can tell a story however you want, you can have any job you want, there’s no limitations. You can be anybody, and I’ve spent so much time there because of the freedom you get.”

When entering OU, Thompson knew she needed to get plugged into a community, so that she could enjoy her time and be successful in her endeavors.

“I joined Sooner Esports in 2019 after transferring to OU,” Thompson said. “I knew I needed to get plugged into the University or I wouldn’t be successful here, so I decided to try esports. I was nervous there would be some of the same problems with a toxicity towards women, but I’m thrilled to say that it has been the exact opposite PLUS the opportunity to actually write about gaming.”

Thompson said the OU Esports community has helped keep her at the university and make the experience and time here really significant. 

“I felt like gaming has given me these amazing friendships, it lets me come to these amazing events, it’s given me great leadership experiences, and it’s taught me how to make something work,” Thompson said.

Thompson was hesitant to call herself a gamer at first, but due to some encouragement from her husband, she fully embraces the term as her own.

“I actually started calling myself a gamer at the insistence of my now-husband, Josiah,” Thompson said.  “He said something really radical that has stuck with me. He swears that even if you play mobile games, you are a gamer and you belong in the community. That has stayed with me ever since, and given me the confidence and passion to put in the work, and share my experiences even if my personal preference when it comes to playing is games like The Sims and Stardew Valley.” 

Thompson has directly used her skills and leadership qualities she developed with OU Esports to help land her a job at Flower Moxie as their media manager, where she will be when she graduates in the spring of 2022.

“I love this community, and I am very proud of the work we do,” Thompson said. “It has always been more than just a game for me, and I can’t wait to support as a very proud alum.”

Silas Bales

Silas Bales is a freshman journalism major at the University of Oklahoma. Along with being a writer for OU Esports and the OU Daily, Silas enjoys playing games, hanging out with friends, watching movies, and Dr. Pepper. His passion for esports came from his love of the game, Super Smash Brothers, which he has been playing competitively for 2 years.

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