Exploring New Horizons

An Exclusive Interview
With Cindy Bowens, Former Community Manager for Sigil Games Online

by Kat "Lady Sirse" Spink

Back in February 2006, many of us were surprised when the
Vanguard development team announced that Cindy Bowens had left her
position as Community Manager for Sigil Games Online. Also known as
Abigale Seashadow, Cindy is known throughout the gaming industry as the
creator of the Fan Faire when she started the program back when
Everquest was the popular kid on the block. Without her, countless days
of gaming fun and meeting other hopelessly addicted fans would have
been just a dream.

Kat “Lady Sirse” Spink, recently had a
nice chat with Cindy about her experience as a Community Manager in
this ever growing and changing industry, her new ventures, and her take
on what happened with Sigil Games.

href="http://tth.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album299&id=Cindy_Pic&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php"> src="http://media.tentonhammer.com/tth/gallery/albums/album299/Cindy_Pic.thumb.jpg"
alt="Cindy Bowens, Founder of Seashadow Consulting"
title="Cindy Bowens, Founder of Seashadow Consulting"
name="photo_j" border="0" height="150" width="98">
alt="" height="1" width="1">
Cindy Bowens, Founder of Seashadow Consulting

Recently, you wrote an article that was published at MMO Gamer where
you compared the growth of the gaming industry to the growth of movies
and Hollywood. Many of us were surprised to see your name in print
again; it’s been so long. This is the first we've heard from
you in quite a while: Where have you been hiding?

style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">Cindy style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">: I left Sigil on February of
'06, just as they were entering Beta. I thought I was taking off for a
few weeks to recover from surgery, but I had some complications and was
very ill for some time. So ill, in fact, that I moved back to my home
town to be near my family. I have been spending the past year
recuperating and getting my strength back. Finally, I am doing well and
I’m more than ready to get back to work. It's been a long
year but I am really looking forward to the future.

I'm sure that I speak for everyone when I say, “Welcome back,
we missed you!” That said, long illnesses can be difficult.
Now that you've recovered and are looking towards the future can you
share with us what is next for you?

style="font-weight: bold;">Cindy: I have had
some opportunities arise working with some game companies on a contract
basis. I am working with them on things like starting their own player
events and helping them build or repair their current communities.
I’ve started my href="http://www.seashadowconsulting.com/index.htm">own
consulting business, and if I am able to
make a living doing consulting, I may enjoy that more than being
attached to a single project. It's an exciting time for me.

style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">I have also started the
Professionals Guild
, a group for people working in the online
game community services area. I am hoping to build a community there to
offer resources and support for people working in this field.

That sounds really exciting! I don't recall ever seeing anything like
the  href="http://seashadowconsulting.com/forums/">Community
Professionals Guild before. Would you tell us a bit more
about it?

style="font-weight: bold;">Cindy: Well,
sometimes I have felt a little frustrated working in this field. We are
a small group with very specialized sets of skills and experiences.
There has not been a lot out there for us in the way of support and
training. So I decided to use my site to offer a forum where people who
work or worked in the game industry in the community relations field
will be able to come together to pool our resources and support each

also welcome people who are hoping to get into this field to come visit
my site and ask questions and learn what they can from those of us that
have been doing it for awhile. While the guild is only for people who
have been employed in the game industry, the public part of my forum
will be there for anyone who works in community management in any
capacity. I am particularly interested in networking with those that
run fan and guild sites. I think we all have a lot we can learn from
each other.

href="http://eq2.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?set_albumName=Fan-Faire-2006-Photos&id=DSC00358_001&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php"> src="http://eq2.tentonhammer.com/files/gallery/albums/Fan-Faire-2006-Photos/DSC00358_001.thumb.jpg"
alt="The Live Quest Crowd Begins Their Journey"
title="The Live Quest Crowd Begins Their Journey" name="photo_j"
border="0" height="113" width="150">
alt="" height="1" width="1">
Bowens created the first Everquest Fan Faire, an
event  which is still running to this day.

Yet again, you've come up with something new for the growing online
gaming community. As mentioned before, you were the creator of the Fan
Faires for EverQuest. Fan Faire like events even followed you to Sigil
Games Online, where you held two very fun-filled Fanguards! Will we see
you leading a multi-game Faire in the future?

style="font-weight: bold;">Cindy: That sounds
like fun, but not really something I would be trying in the near
future. Right now I am just slowly dipping my foot back into the
industry after being gone for so long. So we'll have to see how it
goes. *smiles*

Fair enough (pun intended)! You mentioned that you've worked with a few
game companies recently. Can you tell us anything about the projects?

style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">Cindy style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">: No, not yet. As things come
together and plans are made firm, we'll make public announcements.
Things are just in very early stages right now. But I will say most of
my inquiries have been about doing live events.

I'm sure the community will be keeping an eye out for those
announcements! Speaking of events, will there be an Abigale sighting at
the upcoming Fan Faire in Las Vegas?

style="font-weight: bold;">Cindy: I hadn't
planned on attending but now that you mention it, it would be fun to
go. I'd love to see a lot of the old friends I know will be there. I'll
have to think about that. *smiles*

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016