For Kate “itsafurn” Furney, Influencer Development Coordinator for OU Esports, gaming has allowed Furney to spend time doing what she loves. Furney is a creative media production major with an entrepreneurship minor and joined OU Esports in Fall 2020.
Furney remembers gaming as always being a major part of her life. She fondly remembers playing games with her sister and the first game she ever bought for herself was Mass Effect.
“I had no idea how to play the game, I had never played anything like it,” Furney said. “I didn’t even know I could switch my weapon until I was over halfway done with the story. But I remember loving it because I loved playing. By the time I was playing the second game I was in high school and it was a way for me to come home and relax at the end of the day. I love the stories that games can tell and I remember wanting to keep going.”
Furney hesitated to join the club at first, but after talking to Michael “Moog” Aguilar, the Director of Esports & Co-Curricular Innovation, she found a place within the organization where she could truly belong.
“I was a sophomore and I had just transferred to OU,” Furney said. “I knew a few people from high school and my roommates, but outside of them I didn’t know anyone. I was sitting in my intro to media class and Moog joined to talk about the Esports club. At first, I hadn’t thought of joining, since I wasn’t exactly a highly skilled Call of Duty or Halo player. But Moog had mentioned that gaming was supposed to be for everyone, and I was very interested in the stream team. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a conversation, so Moog and I talked later that day. I knew instantly it was a program I wanted to be a part of.”
Content creation and streaming became an interest of Furney’s at a young age.
“I had been watching gaming Youtubers for years, and when the pandemic happened, Twitch seemed to blow up,” Furney said. “I loved that it was a way for me to share my experiences in a more meaningful way with people. Back when I started, I had nothing but a microphone and my MacBook. It was a bit difficult, but I made it work, because I loved doing it. Now, I’m still streaming and I couldn’t be happier.”
Furney has worked on a lot of content for OU Esports during the last few years, but some of her experiences stand out over others.
“I have gotten to do a lot with OU Giving Day last year and this year, but I think my favorite moment was last year’s Stream Team stream for Giving Day”, Furney said. “We all played this game called Gartic Phone. It was hilarious and we truly had so much fun playing it. It is a really fond memory for me.”
Furney said that her time with OU Esports impacted who she is today.
“I have definitely improved my confidence,” Furney said. “I am on screen in front of people, and when you are the only one there, you have to be entertaining. There was a time in my life where I couldn’t have done what I do now. I’m also leading a group of people, and that takes a lot of confidence, so I am really proud of the person I have become because of OU Esports.”
”My time at OU Esports could only be described as impactful. OU Esports taught me so much about who I am as a person and truly helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin.