In celebration of International Women’s Day, Femme Gaming held a “Ladies Power Hour” event to create in collaboration with Women in Games International (WIGI) to have a conversation around women in esports. Hosted by Greden Camacho of OfficialChika Gaming. The topics ranged from work being done in online safety, accessibility on all competitive levels, and how we can encourage more conversations and create better spaces to help players in the long term. As women and nonbinary founders in a space dominated by men, these women are paving the way and laying the foundations down on being a CEO of their own businesses in the esports space. These are women working hard to being more accessibility to esports athletics, not just at the collegiate level, also before, and beyond.
The panel featured Joanie Kraut of WIGI, Crystal Mills founder of Ritual Motion, Alex Hutchi creator of The 5 Minute Gamer Podcast, Sabrina Wong of Evil Geniuses, and Maria Oliveira Tammellini founder of GamerSafer. A big topic of the hour and half long conversation centered around educating parents on esports, specifically when it comes to the safety of their kids online.
Many parents in Clubhouse, an app on iOS changing the game on access to industry members, often ask industry pros how to get their kids into gaming in a safe way that fits both the parents need for understanding, and the kids access to opportunities. As women are forced to choose between holding on to their careers and keeping their kids educations thriving, many women are also turning to their love for gaming to find new opportunities in the industry.
Jessica Medeiros, founder of Femme Gaming, understands the different needs of women in terms of environment, and safety, striving hard to open up the conversations surrounding women in the esports industry. She started working in video games and noticed a lack of companions who understood her personal struggles within those jobs. So, she did as many women are doing now, creating a space that she wish existed for her. In doing so she has helped others find their path in gaming, rekindle their love for their craft, and created a space for them to be themselves without fear of judgement. Her passion for her work really showed in this Ladies Power Hour as this room full of women talked about their experiences, and what needed to change.
While all the women had amazing insight into how we can create a better esports industry, Maria’s passion for creating a system of accountability in online spaces hit me in the feels. Every gamer outside of the stereotype has felt the stings of harassment for their existence in an online lobby. Every woman I know has a story where they didn’t feel welcome or wanted in a space they felt called to, and had their cries fall onto deaf ears. GamerSafer is working on creating actual accountability in online lobbies and game spaces, starting with Minecraft. Her work in the world is greatly appreciated and I’m excited to see how her genius will elevate the industry to what we know it can be.
With the rise of esports, more collegiate teams are forming creating more opportunities for those that they may otherwise not have. It’s creating a space for parents to connect with their children in a hobby that could also benefit their future. The conversations surrounding what it means to bein the gaming industry is shifting towards more inclusion and accessibility, and even if you’re not a gamer, there are plenty of jobs available for women, and many of them do not require a degree.
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