Riot Games’ head of player community, known as ‘Aureylian’ to game streaming fans, on her favorite corners of the internet
Here at Mozilla, we are the first to admit the internet isn’t perfect, but we are also quick to point out that the internet is pretty darn magical. The internet opens up doors and opportunities, allows for people to connect with others, and lets everyone find where they belong — their corners of the internet. We all have an internet story worth sharing. In My Corner Of The Internet, we talk with people about the online spaces they can’t get enough of, what we should save in Pocket to read later, and what sites and forums shaped them.
This month we chat with Erin Wayne, who’s known as “Aureylian” in the game streaming community and now the global head of player community for Riot Games. She talks about what she’s reading, how she launched a YouTube career by accident and what we can all learn from gamers.
What is your favorite corner of the internet?
I love baking, party planning, and all things crafty, so I’m a daily Pinterest and Etsy user. Right now, my mom and I are renovating a cabin built in the 1950s, so finding vintage items and inspiration to update our little piece of the world while retaining the original charm has been such a fun side project. I also find a lot of enjoyment supporting local/small business owners, and these are great ways to do that!
What is an internet deep dive that you can’t wait to jump back into?
I love history and have recently become really invested in the time period leading up to the reign of Elizabeth I of England. To me, she’s one of the most fascinating people in history, and the period leading up to her reign is something I’m really excited about learning through historical records and documentation in addition to the many intriguing movies and TV shows about her life.
What is the one tab you always regret closing?
My calendar! Between being a mom and running four global teams, I live by my calendar. I am lost without it!
What can you not stop talking about on the internet right now?
Scotland. I’m going to be in Scotland this summer and I know that it will be an absolutely once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m part Scottish by heritage, but it’s also a beautiful country, with incredible people, great food, deep history, and the most breathtaking sights. By sharing what I experience there, I hope it inspires others to go and take part in the culture.
What was the first online community you engaged with?
Though I played World of Warcraft starting in 2005, I played with local friends and at LAN parties, not truly connected to guilds or an online community. It wasn’t really until 2012 when I began reaching out to people on Twitter to join a WoW-inspired Minecraft server I helped create that I really got into online communities. That in turn accidentally launched my YouTube career and ultimately is why I’m where I am today!
What articles and videos are in your Pocket waiting to be read/watched right now?
Right now on my list, I’ve got a few lined up. As a woman in the gaming industry, I can’t wait to read “Pioneer Rediscovered: The Woman Who Brought Female Representation to Games.” I’m also a huge history lover, so I’ve saved “A History of the Smile Through Art, Culture and Etiquette”. Since our team recently onboarded about 20 new people, I’m also really interested in what the Harvard Business Review wrote regarding retaining employees, “The Key to Retaining Young Workers? Better Onboarding.”
What do you think the future of gaming will look like?
I think gaming companies are starting to finally understand that gamers, like all people, are multifaceted. We like games, but we also like music, TV, sports and fashion. The list goes on, and I’d expect gaming companies to start diversifying how they engage with their players to continue serving them in all of these places. That’s why I joined Riot. I believe Riot is at the forefront of innovating what it means to be a community-driven, player-focused game company that doesn’t just provide meaningful gaming experiences for players, but also serves them with countless opportunities to engage with its [intellectual property] across different lifestyles.
Generally speaking, I also expect games to continue focusing on the community aspect in-product to drive connection between people. Coming out of the pandemic, I hope industries outside of gaming start to understand what gamers always have: that connecting with each other in valuable and meaningful ways can, and does, happen digitally. I met my husband and best friends through social media/gaming and even my dad has found ways to move his tabletop games online to stay in touch with his lifelong friends during the pandemic. It’s one of the most personal and meaningful connections we have, free from the overwhelming nature of social media’s likes, comments, shares and virality to let us get back to the fundamentals of purely connecting with each other.
If you could create your own corner of the internet what would it look like?
Probably a lot like my Pinterest boards (lol). It’s a great way to share what I’m working on or projects I want to start, the things I’ve been cooking (honestly, I wish Pinterest would put more effort into the “tried it” feature), places I want to travel, and funny or inspiring images, memes, and graphic design I’ve loved. Also, lots of Leslie Knope and Ted Lasso quotes.
Erin “Aureylian” Wayne is the global head of player community for Riot Games, overseeing community engagement across all of Riot’s titles including League of Legends, one of the most-played competitive video games in the world. She also leads the development of strategies and programming for Riot’s interactions with players across the globe related to community, editorial, influencer management and social media. Prior to Riot, Erin spent seven years at Twitch, where she created and led their community and creator marketing teams, which focused on engaging, exciting, and educating Twitch users.