Gamers come in all shape and sizes. Some play for fun, while others play for the competitive thrill and bragging rights. Then, they’re those that play on a large-scale, winning huge prize money and turning their once beloved hobby into a full-time career. However, when you take look at the e-sports landscape, there’s one thing that’s abundantly clear, female pro gamers aren’t as prominent in the scene as they should be.
The world of gaming is a diverse one, according to ESA (Entertainment Software Association), adult women represent a greater portion of the video game-playing population (31 percent) than boys under age 18 (18 percent). It’s also been documented that women make up for more that half the number of gamers on record. So it’s quite puzzling that we don’t see nearly half of the number as we do with men attending e-sport events.
There are a numbers of factors that I think that are at play here which is hindering these women from playing at a level, equivalent to their male counterparts. I’ll focus on the main one that I think is the cause of this and what we should be focusing on addressing if we hope to see change in the future.
On a normal level, when a guy speaks about gaming or shows off his skills, no one questions his authenticity as a gamer. However, when it comes a girl showing off her skills or talking about games, most of us begin to drill her with question, doubt her love for gaming and/or see her as just eye-candy (most of the time). Now take that mindset and scale it up to the big leagues and you can see how that could have an effect on pro gamers who are females.
A perfect example of this is an Korean gamer named, Geguri, who had to livestream to her accusers that her skill with Zarya was legit. You also have people who believe in the notion that girls and boys can’t be in the same team in fear of dealing with harassment of any sort. It’s true, people are prone to making false accusations but that shouldn’t that should stop professionals from challenging the current esports climate.
Like I said, I feel like it all stems from the mindset of people (mostly guys) who don’t see or take women who play games seriously which is ironic when you think about it. Guys love girls who play games, you see it in comment sections of videos and tweets of how they white knight these girls but come taking them seriously and giving them the respect and attention they deserve, they switch up on them.
I feel like if we can address this with the younger generation, maybe we might see some positive change in the competitive environment. Otherwise, we’ll be stuck in endless circle for a long time.
I just wanted to share my thoughts on it and see what you guys think. I think it’s time we changed things up.