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Here at Death Blossoms our members are familiar with the welcoming, safe space that our founders and staff have created. As an all-female gaming community, we have members from all over the world and from all walks of life. But what exactly goes into running a group like this? In today’s blog post you will have a special opportunity to learn about what goes on behind the scenes of this lively community, as well as get to know our Death Blossoms staff better. The first officers we will speak with will be our very own admins, Amna and Demi! So grab a drink, get comfortable, and enjoy!

Did you know Amna used to rock climb often?

Both Amna and Demi have been members of our special community from the early days of Death Blossoms and joined in late December 2016. These ladies have known each other and worked together for well over a year in their staff roles, but during our interview they discovered that they both found Death Blossoms through the same YouTube video posted by founder MelonieMac. This particular video was posted in December 2016 on her official channel as a collaborative effort between herself and her fellow founder, Esper. The original call was for an all-female PC Overwatch team. She discussed game nights and called for potential players to fill out their application for invitation to the discord.

Amna found this video via a google search after experiencing toxicity while playing Overwatch in the early months of the game. Demi, however, was told about the video by a friend who knew she played the game. She was also involved in an all-female clan while playing Call of Duty called “Ladies2Die4” that she loved, so was excited at the opportunity presented by MelonieMac and Esper. Both ladies applied and were accepted around the same time. After a strong turnout from the call for team applicants, Death Blossoms the community bloomed.

Overwatch was not the first game either of our admins played and enjoyed – Amna has gravitated towards FPS games since her days of playing the original Borderlands game with her then boyfriend, now husband. She was then introduced to other games such as WoW, Rift, Dirty Bomb, and Global Agenda. The latter is where her competitive PVP spirit truly developed, as she experienced the team-based aspect of FPS games for the first time. Demi, a long-time video game player, is always open to trying new games. Her first real experience in all-female gaming was Call of Duty, as we now know, and “Ladies2Die4” changed the gaming experience in FPS games for her drastically. After seeing first-hand how much fun she had in an environment where she felt fully welcome and supported, the idea of joining a female centric Overwatch team was right up her alley.

Demi meets some of the ladies of Team Aris!

Demi with her sweet dog, Moki!

Those of us who have had the pleasure of playing with, or watching, Amna and Demi play Overwatch can think of the heroes we see them excel at. I met Amna through a community called Scrub Cup, and she helped me to hone my skill on Mercy over the few months she acted as my coach. I’ve known her to be an excellent support player since that time – a year and a half ago – so when I asked her who she considers to be her main hero I was only slightly surprised when she said Moira. (Truthfully, I expected Ana, but it was a pleasant surprise!) Amna is calculated in her thinking and actions, ever watchful of her allies without being afraid or passive. Moira I think is a good representation of her – she can give, but she isn’t afraid to take away, either. Demi, as my team captain on Aris and more importantly as a dear friend, has always been the aggressive Dva main she described herself as during our talk. She shared that in the early days of Overwatch she desired to be a Pharah main, but fell in love with the tanky, but mobile Dva. I was once again surprised when Demi then mentioned that she feels herself gravitating towards Brigitte, one of the newer heroes in the Overwatch cast. But Brigitte provides the chance for Demi to still be aggressive, just in another way. Instead of zoning enemy players and often being on her own in dangerous situations for the sake of the team, she’s on the front line and in their face, ready to crush dreams with a single bash. When asked if either lady had a weak spot in their hero pool both readily responded “Doomfist!”. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself some because that’s the hero I, too, would call my weakest link.

Our admins are avid gamers and have their own niches within the community and with teams, but as staff members they are 100% part of the larger team that helps Death Blossoms run smoothly. It is all thanks to them that our community remains a safe place for women to come together and enjoy games amongst friends. Both admins agree that being an officer in Death Blossoms brings them great satisfaction and happiness. The officers depend on each other greatly to keep things working smoothly and keeping the members happy. In the beginning, the structure and officer positions most of us are familiar with did not exist. Amna along with her admin team worked hard to recruit officers and implement rules that would keep all members in the safe space they had grown to love. Demi was one of the early officers, going from Team Captain of Aris to Recruiting Officer and then Event Organizer over approximately 6 months. Demi was then invited by Amna to work alongside the new admin team to keep Death Blossoms alive and well.

Amna shows her skills as a rock climber

“I love working with a team of amazing women that provide this community space for us, and how as a team we have moved several steps closer to my original vision of becoming a face for women in gaming.” – Amna

But being a staff member means spending much of your personal time in the background moderating chat, answering questions, and resolving issues. On a laid back, easy week Amna and Demi spend anywhere from 10-15 hours in Death Blossoms. They read the chats, they participate and get to know the members, and answer questions that pop up. While working on setting up Death Blossoms for success with officer roles and writing the rules of the community, Amna remembers spending anywhere from 6-8 hours a day in the discord. In recent times, neither can give a ballpark range of how much time they spend in the discord on busy, stressful weeks. It all just blends together and during the toughest times they sometimes only talk to one another as they work through the issues at hand. For our faithful admins, all of the time and energy put into our beautiful community is completely worth it. They both have no stronger desire for Death Blossoms than to see it thrive and grow. They find happiness, joy, and satisfaction in seeing how this once small community has blossomed.

Demi at PAX East

“If someone comes at me in a disrespectful manner, I hold myself to a higher standard. I am very aware of my words and actions because I don’t want anything to negatively reflect on Death Blossoms.” – Demi

Despite all of the time put in to running this incredible space, both Amna and Demi make sure to find the time to enjoy outside interests in their lives. Both love being outside and enjoy hiking. Amna enjoys mountain biking and used to be a serious rock climber. She raises chickens and holds a deep appreciation for nature. Demi loves camping with her boyfriend and her dog, Moki. She has patio plants she tends to, and somehow finds time to work in a restaurant. She also enjoys kayaking, the beach, and food – cooking and eating out alike.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about our admin team as much as I did! Death Blossoms is a labor of love, and this is just the first of a multi-part series where we will learn how these staff members keep our blooming community running smoothly. Check back soon to read about the interview I have with our resident Recruiting Officers, Sublein and Trippid!

Amna and Demi, I feel I can speak for everyone when I say thank you for making Death Blossoms an amazing place to be. We appreciate all you do for each of us and are grateful for both of you.

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