Women in the gaming industry aren’t as rare as you think. We’re not only playing games, but we’re creating them too.
For decades, female gamers have been brushed aside or not taken as seriously as their male counterparts. The relationship between gender and video games has been analyzed countless times to conclude that video games often depict women in a negative light.
Video games have had a history of depicting sexism, including sexual harassment and both misrepresentation and underrepresentation of women characters. In a study published by American behavioral scientist and virtual reality (VR) tech expert Jessica Outlaw, results found that almost 50% of women who have engaged with VR have been sexually harassed, Marie Claire reported.
Over the last few years, with more female gamers developing and advocating for equal representation, the gender gap between female and male gamers has decreased.
As a gamer myself, I wasn’t taken seriously until someone actually played against me. When talking to my peers about games, they would assume I only knew about them because I grew up with two brothers. I would often surprise people on Xbox Live when they heard my voice. Sounding like a “typical” girl, people would assume I was just holding the headset for someone else. I felt like I had to consistently prove myself as a legitimate gamer to my male peers and found it difficult to relate to many gamers I found online.
Eventually, due to lack of time, I stopped playing games and ended my search for gamers to relate to. Clearly, I gave up too soon. Had I not lost hope, I could’ve stumbled upon the rising gamers on YouTube and Twitch who identify as women and are breaking barriers throughout the gaming world.
First off, we can’t forget the incredibly epic Immasamurai. She and her Twitch community are so warm and welcoming, she always finds time to chat with her viewers and get to know them, and she’s such a fun streamer to watch (especially playing Fortnite) and easily one of the sweetest streamers on Twitch.
Popular for her twitch page, Anne Munition is a full-time video game streamer. According to her website, when she was seven years old she played on her first gaming console, the Super Nintendo. Overtime spending her after school hours playing Super Mario World, she began to game more. She considers her Nintendo 64 to be her “gateway drug.” The gamer came across Twitch after browsing at work and quickly had the idea of starting her own channel. Her favorite games are The Witcher 3, Overwatch, The Last of Us, the Uncharted series, Rainbow Six: Siege and the Elder Scrolls series.
Describing herself as a “true geek at heart”, Tiffany Garcia not only plays video games but create desserts with gaming themes in mind, like Minecraft cookies! She began her YouTube channel in 2010 and currently has over 6.5 million subscribers. She began her career with a series of League of Legends and World of Warcraft videos, but she became an American YouTube favorite after playing Minecraft. In 2018 she held the record for most video views by a female game broadcaster on YouTube.
Known as one of Britain’s top gamers, LDShadowLady’s YouTube bio says it all. ‘Minecraft is love. Minecraft is life.’ Known for her Minecraft and Sims 4 videos, LDShadowLady or Lizzie first started uploading videos in 2010 playing Call of Duty. She now has 4.5 million subscribers and has developed her own games within the Minecraft universe which has attracted millions of viewers.
With almost 2 million subscribers, Stacy Hinojosa is a YouTuber from Salt Lake City, with over 300 episodes of her Dogcraft series. The Minecraft enthusiast began her channel in 2013 and became widely popular because of her passionate commentary. She is best known for referring to her fans as “Potato Flakes” and including fanart in her series. Hinojosa posts videos every other day and does a wide range of collaborations with other gamers.
Jennifer Flagg, who goes by Jen, is known as one of the most popular American YouTube gamers. Her husband, Patrick from PopularMMO often comes in top gamer lists with her. The gaming couple has become popular from their Minecraft and vlog videos. Flagg’s channel is famous for its “feminist perspective” and unique content in the gaming community. She currently has over 4.8 million subscribers and often appears in gaming videos with her husband. Together they are both working on the Roblox series that is hosted on her channel.
Also known for her passion for Minecraft. Aphmau or Jess is known for Minecraft roleplay videos in which she acts out different scenarios. Her most popular series is ‘The Minecraft Diaries,” her original series include many others like “Mermaid Tales,” “MyStreet” and “Phoenix Drop High.” She started her channel in 2012 and has posted a new video almost every day. Jess currently has 4.4 million subscribers.
The images and roles of female characters in video games send a powerful message that can influence those playing. While the gaming world is slowly moving away from its history of sexism, it still has a long way to go. It’s inspiring and refreshing to see women game and live stream their experiences because it brings a different perspective to the gaming world. Women have the power to change the gaming world by continuing to create content and fearlessly play despite being told we’re “not meant to.”
Here’s to all the badass female gamers breaking glass ceilings, may we be those who play, know who those play and encourage those who create.