Welcome to a special women’s edition of the ZED RUNdown!
With March being Women’s History Month and this past week marking International Women’s Day, we thought this week's RUNdown provided a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on the wonderful women of ZED RUN. Without the incredible women that help bring the game to life every day and those who lead in our community, none of this would be possible.
This one is for the ladies!
Humans of VHS: Leone Winterstein
The latest entry in our Humans of VHS people profile series was published to the Virtually Human Studio blog this past week, with Customer Support Lead Leone Winterstein the latest team member to receive the spotlight. If you missed it, head over to Medium and get to know a massive part of our team!
Content Creators: Women of ZED RUN
ZED RUN is full of diverse people from every walk of life and Women of ZED is a wonderful representation of this. What is Women of ZED? A group of ladies leading the way in the ZED RUN community, and a shining example for women looking to get in on the fun!
We had a chat with some of the ladies to learn about their experiences in ZED RUN from the early days to now, and why the Women of ZED group is an important faction of the greater community.
Women of ZED are made up of vital members of the ZED RUN community. What has being a part of the group meant to you?
@RacingGlue: The most enjoyable part of being in the ZED community has been helping people. As a nurse, it's my nature to want to help people, whether it's onboarding, answering questions, or giving away a random horse to a new user. Women of ZED is meant to be a safe space for women to ask any question they want to other women who can relate on many levels.
I like to say I'm one of ZED's biggest cheerleaders. Not because I'm a woman, but because it's evident that the company culture at Virtually Human Studio embraces and empowers women -- something I'm very passionate about -- in a space dominated by men.
The Women of ZED group is made up of stables that are quite dominant on the racetrack. Is there a particular memory or a moment that sticks out as your proudest as a member of the Women of ZED crew?
@MrsRoidRager: I was so proud of winning the first-ever Women of ZED Tournament! The #WoZ group is always encouraging, supporting, and lifting each other up!
These women are a rarity like diamonds. So hard to find, but extremely valuable when you have them!
The Women of ZED community is full of content creators that have come together to enjoy ZED RUN. In your view, what makes the Women of ZED community so tight-knit?
@BotLady4: I think the Women of ZED group is close because we are friends first, and we support each other, talk about our real lives, and we share a similar hobby and/or passion. What community is really about is friends playing the game together is what makes it fun for us.
What has made Web3 platforms -- such as ZED RUN -- a place where females, such as Women of ZED, can thrive? What would you say to ladies looking to join?
@krazykatalberta: I don't know about other Web3 platforms, but what I do know is that ZED RUN is a place where women are thriving. We gals from all walks of life and parts of the world have been uniting, building relationships, and supporting each other.
The Women of ZED group always has its doors open to new ladies coming in, with or without gaming or blockchain experience. There is always someone willing to step up and help make it fun. The girls are growing in numbers while building powerhouse stables that are taking down a lot of the boys in the game. Look out, guys!
With the Women of ZED group leading the way, what makes you most bullish on ZED RUN as a place where women can find an entry point into NFTs in the future?
@DecoDiva4: ZED RUN stands out from other NFT projects by the active role you get to have with your asset. You get to name it, watch it run in 3D, test it in various races, and breed it. There’s an emotional connection that other NFTs lack that makes it very appealing for me personally.
The ZED community is welcoming and I feel everyone has a place. There’s so much opportunity for female-oriented branding with skin lines and other partnerships, while other NFT projects tend to cater to male-centric interests. Imagine designer brand skins in the future! On my personal wishlist is a unicorn skin.
New ZED RUN racetrack, who dis'?
Aqua Luna IX -- not to be confused with popular actress, Awkwafina -- is now available for your underwater digital horse racing needs. Let's all just take a moment to read that last sentence and fully recognize that in the Year 2022, you read those words and didn't think twice.
What a time to be alive, folks!
Meet the ZED RUN Team: Ivy Lao
This week on Meet the Team, we're thrilled to introduce Ivy Lao, a vital part of the UX team at ZED RUN, and a bonafide badass when it comes to product design. If you've noticed pieces of the ZED RUN onboarding experience looking much sleeker and user-friendly over the past few months, Ivy had a hand in making that happen.
Hey, Ivy! Tell us more about your role at VHS and what has excited you most about being a part of the team?
I’m a product designer, helping shape the user experience in ZED RUN for first-time players. The most exciting aspect of my role is helping the team discover the biggest possible in-game economy we can build for our community.
With it being Women’s History Month, who is one famous woman from the history books, or currently influential, that you’d like to have dinner with?
If you could say one thing to a younger you, what would it be?
My first tech job helped me realise that artists want people to understand them, but designers want to understand people. Once that clicked, I sought out founders, product leaders, and engineers. My career opportunities have never stopped growing since then.
As Web3 ideologies have become increasingly adopted by the mainstream, incredibly talented women have been given platforms to shine. In what ways do you see women poised to lead the way as Web3 changes the world around us?
For a long time, the world has insisted they’re ready for women to lead the way, but they really only wanted us to do so within predetermined templates. I can’t tell you how many design briefs I’ve seen asking for pink, swirly letters and flowers. Since then, women have really developed their own voices. My own thinking and approach to design is actually a remix of my experience with people, early startups, and venture capital. Now, I get to apply these skills here at VHS in ZED RUN.
Outside of the office, what makes you happiest?
One of the perks of remote working is that I’ve been living in Mexico for two months now. So at the moment, I’m really enjoying that beach bum life!
Roadmap and UX Update
With so many exciting roadmap items and product improvements already delivered this year, it was perfect timing for our fortnightly Product and UX Roundup blog here. Below is a brief summary of some of the topics covered:
- A new tournaments page has arrived, allowing you to view previous and current tournament results and progress since February 2022.
- An auto-gate selector option will soon be available when entering free races.
- The planned launch of surface preferences has been pushed back as our team works to improve the race scheduling experience.
- We've updated the Safety & Security section of the ZED RUN Guide. Please remember that ZED RUN will never ask for your seed phrase. Please take your time to inspect every instance in which you connect your MetaMask to an outside third-party.
Tournament Tracker: Class 1 Premier
The highly-anticipated Class 1 Premier tournament kicked off this week, with a total prize pool of $150,000 on the line. This massive tournament is just the first planned event focused on delivering utility to the best racehorses ZED RUN has to offer.
The Class 1 Premier concludes on March 24th, but it's far from too late to get in on the action. For a full breakdown of the details and how to qualify, visit the ZED RUN Guide. A special thanks to our friends over at Know Your Horses for hosting the official Class 1 leaderboard, which is available here.
ZED RUN Team Appearances
To ensure we're keeping you updated with the latest information, the team has plans to ramp up communications and guest appearances with our content creators in the coming weeks. This past week kicked off that initiative with two sitdowns you don't want to miss.
Creative Director Chris Ebeling chatted with ZED Gazette about the creative side of ZED RUN, as well as some broader subjects related to the future of the game. If you missed it, have a listen here.
Joining Pony Zook earlier in the week to talk about the Class 1 Premier tournament was Jaret White, a vital part of a team dedicated to helping coordinate community activations that address the most glaring community needs. If you missed Jaret's Class 1 Premier chat with Pony Zook, give it a listen here!