I am no gamer, but it can’t be easy for woman to make her mark in the male-dominated esports domain. Still, passionate women gamers have been pushing through for years.
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According to the Gaming India Report 2022 – For the Game by Dentsu, 46% of the gamers in India are females. Payal Dhare a.k.a Payal Gaming, a well-renowned creator of 8Bit Creatives believes that women bring unique perspectives, ideas, and creativity to the industry which helps to drive innovation and progress. Women’s contribution to the gaming industry has been proven to be instrumental in bringing in a new audience and increasing revenue., she says.
The push for greater diversity and inclusion in the gaming industry is not only important for women, but for the industry as a wholeKrutika Ojha a.k.a Krutika Plays
Concurring with Payal’s point of view, Krutika Ojha a.k.a Krutika Plays, another creator of 8Bit Creatives says, “Embracing diversity and inclusion in the gaming industry is a goal that we are constantly striving towards. The gaming industry can tap into a wider pool of talent, ideas, and perspectives, and create games that appeal to a more diverse audience. This not only helps to drive the growth of the industry, but it also helps to break down barriers and stereotypes associated with gaming. The push for greater diversity and inclusion in the gaming industry is not only important for women, but for the industry as a whole.”
An esports career girl
Not just gamers, women are entering the esports ecosystem in various capacities.
Making great strides in the industry as video game designers, programmers, animators, video game testers, game writers, and audio engineers, women are chasing their dreams by taking up a career in this exciting industry. There are also a few notable gaming creators like Kaashvi Hiranandani a.k.a Kaash Plays, who have left their financially secure jobs to pursue a career in gaming. Working as a financial consultant, she started streaming video games on YouTube at the age of 25 but later left her job to become a full-time streamer.
When I started, there were hardly any women players but glad that things have changed in a really short span of timeKaashvi Hiranandani a.k.a Kaash Plays
“It was a tough choice for sure, especially being a woman getting into a male-dominated industry, but I followed my passion and have never regretted it. When I started, there were hardly any women players but glad that things have changed in a really short span of time. It’s encouraging to see that perceptions are changing and that women are becoming more confident in taking risks and pursuing their passions,” she says.
Kaashvi further adds that there is a lot of scope for youngsters to get into the business of Esports like as a video game writer who pens down the stories and dialogues, a video game producer who manages the development of video games from concept to completion while virtual reality is another space anyone can explore and benefit out of.
Women leaders in esports
The prominence of women in gaming is not just limited to Esports athletes or streamers as they are also making their presence felt in the sector by establishing their own startups. Richa Singh, the co-founder, and CEO of FanClash, Asia’s largest fantasy Esports platform has debunked the widespread stereotypical notions and proved that women can lead in the business of gaming and become among the key industry players.
Women are an active part of the gaming community, working to bridge the gap between themselves and their male counterpartsRicha Singh, the co-founder, and CEO of FanClash
“In recent years, there has been a huge shift in the gaming industry, with a remarkable stride towards gender equality as women showed their ability to compete with male gamers on an equal footing. Women are an active part of the gaming community, working to bridge the gap between themselves and their male counterparts. The priority should be crafting safe spaces for leadership identity where women should be able to focus on the job, not overthink regarding invisible barriers, and to create jobs for those women who are passionate about gaming and want to make a career out of it, from game designers and developers to content creators and influencers,” says Singh.
More female gamers = more female viewers
Women entering esports has proven lucrative for esports organisations as well. For instance, Loco, an independent esports and live-streaming platform, witnessed 2X growth for its female users in 2022 (YoY). During this period, the platform also saw a massive 10X spike in the viewership of female streamers and a 3X increase in female Daily Active Users in 2022 (YoY).
Female gamers have been finding their groove in online gaming, consistently ranking amongst the most popular streamers and building their own audience. This has attracted more female viewership to the platform, which will encourage more female creators and lead to more inclusivity in the online gaming ecosystem. In the first quarter of 2022, the number of female streamers on Loco increased by 10X, and the same period also saw a 7X increase in the number of female viewers on the platform.
Some of the most popular games viewed by female users included Valorant, Free Fire Max, and GTA 5. Female streamers on Loco are present from various geographies and regions across various tiers. In 2022, the female Monthly Active Users (MAU) saw a steady 3X growth on the platform, with strong growth from tier 2 and 3 markets in viewership, and content creation.
As a female gamer, I am proud to see the progress the esports sector has made toward inclusivityKanika Bisht A.K.A Kani Gaming
“As a female gamer, I am proud to see the progress the esports sector has made toward inclusivity. Women today are breaking gender stereotypes and setting themselves up for success fuelled by their passion. As a female gamer, it is encouraging to see platforms like Loco provide women gamers with the right tools and resources to launch and grow their career to help shape this ecosystem admiringly,” Loco streamer, Kanika Bisht A.K.A Kani Gaming, says.
Women are no longer shackled by gender bias and are able to follow their passion with enthusiasmThe Bella a.k.a Anjali Atheya
Another Loco streamer, The Bella a.k.a Anjali Atheya, adds, “It is delightful to witness the Indian esports industry progressing toward embracing inclusivity. Women are no longer shackled by gender bias and are able to follow their passion with enthusiasm.”
Why women play
One of the reasons for the rise in female gamers is burgeoning affordability of smartphones and high-speed Internet paired with the rise of new role models on platforms like Loco.
Loco also found that one of the most critical items for retaining female viewership and streamers was quality of comments and safety on the platform. This is why the platform rolled out its ML-driven moderation suite and a layer of manual moderation tools to streamers, which enable female creators to maintain a safe stream environment and build a clean community around their content.
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Not only are women breaking stereotypes in the gaming ecosystem but they are proving that they belong in the industry and changing the narrative. It is vital to continue pushing for inclusivity and diversity in gaming to ensure that everyone feels welcome and represented in this rapidly growing industry.