According to a 2021 study, 59% of women hide their gender while playing video games online to avoid harassment. At the same time, 77% of the 900 women said they had experienced gender-specific discrimination while gaming, whether it was about their skills and even relationship proposals.
March 8 is celebrated annually as International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is called “DigitALL” with focus on innovation and technology for gender equality. Indiatimes had the chance to speak with gamers playing on Nostra, a mobile gaming platform with 47% female gamers – Kalyani (Tokyoo Gaming), Ananya (Ananya Plays) and Nadira (Sherni).
On what it takes
“I am from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh and started gaming in 2020 [when] I used to stream Freefire on Facebook… It was only after 3 months that the income started coming in. I was in a dilemma whether to do this full time or not. In the end, I went with my heart and bought my first PC, and that has been the best decision of my life,” 21-year-old Ananya Sadhak, known as Ananya Plays, told her gamer family.
Kalyani Yadav, also known as Tokyoo Gaming, was the first female gamer on Nostra. “I started gaming more than 7 years ago when I was in high school and spent a lot of time playing arcade games on my Playstation. I never really thought about it as a career option. But when streaming took off in India, I started following Xyaa and Manasvivi who are among the first Indian female streamers and their journey has been nothing short of inspiring… [and] that’s how the idea of streaming came to me.”
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Nadira Nesha, also known as Sherni, had something similar to say. “I am from Haldia, a small town in West Bengal. In fact, I am the first gamer from here.” She also started gaming in high school and started playing esports in 2019 and then streaming on YouTube and later Nostra. “It wasn’t a smooth ride… and in the early days I faced online bullying and gender bias in tournaments. But consistency and determination helped me overcome these challenges.”
About long-awaited changes
Kalyani believes there is a “big shift” happening in the gaming ecosystem, with more female creators using different digital platforms to showcase their talent. “We are now an integral part of the ecosystem; we are no longer passive participants but active shapers of the future of gaming… it is important for relevant stakeholders to take note of this shift and take the right actions to address it. support,” she said.
Similarly, Ananya has also noticed changes in the gaming industry and how women are perceived. “The perception that gaming is male-dominated is slowly changing, but there needs to be consistent efforts from players in the ecosystem to make this shift permanent… There was a Valorant LAN tournament, the first ever in India for women to really has boosted the ecosystem for us.”
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Nadira believes that more “women only tournaments, game boot camps” can provide opportunities for women, helping them find a platform so they can eventually compete in bigger tournaments.
Kalyani echoed the same sentiment, saying, “There are very limited boot camps for female gamers in India. This limits opportunities to create content in real-time with fellow gamers, affecting overall professional growth and popularity.”
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“Also, there are very few women-only tournaments. This needs to change so that women have more opportunities to participate, boost their confidence and rise up the ranks in the gaming world,” added Kalyani. “There should be equal pay for both male and female gamers. Currently there is a huge difference – as a male creator ₹ 100, a female makes alone ₹ 60. This needs to change for the ecosystem to develop more meaningfully.”
A message for female gamers
“If you have what it takes to pursue a career in gaming, just do it. Understand the ecosystem, follow and learn from fellow gamers. Implement those lessons sincerely and practice every day. Sooner or later you will be noticed with all the right opportunities. Just keep following the path with passion and perseverance,” said Nadira, aka Sherni.
“The sky is your limit!” said Kalyani, also known as Tokyoo Gaming. Ananya Plays urged potential gamers to “believe in themselves, set a goal and work towards it with passion”.
Do you think the gaming landscape for women has changed? Let us know in the comments below. For more in the world of technology And sciencekeep reading India times. com.