Many gamers know that inclusivity in the gaming community has been an issue, with many female gamers not feeling included, represented or taken seriously in the competitive scene. There are very few on-screen female casters and interviewers, as well as behind-the-scenes staff, and even fewer female players. Therefore, this is an incredibly welcome move by the BEA.
According to a report by Interpret, around 30% of esports viewers at the end of 2018 were female, which is a pretty big chunk of an audience. The BEA believes that there is a rise in interest in competitive gaming for a range of games, shown through the number of women who join university or college esports teams.
It’s important to remember that this stereotype is only perpetuated by a vocal minority in the gaming community, which can discourage girls from enjoying a game.
Unfortunately, there is an incredibly outdated stereotype surrounding women in games. This includes the notion that women are all support players or healers because we’re ‘trash’, or we’ve been boosted by another male player, or that we are just generally bad at games because we are female. It’s important to remember that this stereotype is only perpetuated by a vocal minority in the gaming community, which can discourage girls from enjoying a game.
This makes it all the more refreshing to see another organisation attempt to tackle this stigma and encourage more women to join esports on a grassroots level.
The campaign hopes to promote inclusivity in gaming through interviews, social media posts and Twitch streams. The first of hopefully many interviews is with Natacha Jones from NUEL (National University Esports League, of which Newcastle is a part of). You can also use the hashtag #WomenInEsports to discuss the initiative online.