Mar 14, 2022
Women's History Month
The month of March is dedicated to Women’s History Month, and here at the NJCAAE we are commemorating all women in gaming who contribute to the rise of esports. Shoutout to all of you!
As we all know, esports differs from traditional sports because it is more inclusive and made for everyone. It does not matter what you look like, who you are or where you come from. If you have a passion for esports, you’re in.
According to Forbes Magazine, in 2020, about 40% of gamers in the United States were women. While that number may be high, there is still room for growth in representation. Many video games have been lacking women representation for decades and continue to do so. Oftentimes women are only represented in the games as hyper sexualized characters, love interests, or needed to be rescued. But that is not what women represent! Equal representation in video games is a hot topic and we hope to see more of it as time goes on.
In the game Assassin's Creed Syndicate, we see a great representation of a woman protagonist. Evie, the older sister of Jacob Fyre, is a British assassin during the Victorian Era. Hopefully, more games will follow the lead of Syndicate and include some awesome female protagonists.
All of that being said, the representation of women in esports has gone up over the years with a special thanks to one of our partners, the*gameHERs. the*gameHERs is a women-led community dedicated to amplifying and centering the voices of women. “This is a sexist-free space for the casual players, the hardcore gamers, the techies, the streamers, the designers, the cosplayers, the developers, and programmers,” said the*gameHers.
Danielle Peyton, People and DEI Leader of the*gameHERs, has been with the organization for about a year now and had a lot to say about women in gaming.
“I definitely think women are underrepresented. And from my perspective, and what I've been told, it's still a space where women are not necessarily welcome, which is so unfortunate. A lot of the people in our community tell me they have to turn off their microphone or turn off the camera because they don't want to be identified as a woman because it can be toxic and could also just distract the players from the game,” said Peyton, “My background is in education where there's more women than men. So I've never encountered a space like this, where it's male dominated and women are excluded quite overtly.”
Since working at the*gameHERs and in the esports space, have you seen much change in representation?
“In the past year, I haven't actually seen that much of a change in representation,” said Peyton, “In terms of how the women are being perceived and treated in esports, I have seen a concerted effort by leaders in esports to either make tournaments for women or make spaces to highlight women, or just really break down the barriers and say, I want to have women on my team. It's like, they're just an awesome gamer, and they deserve a spot no matter what gender they are.”
If you or anyone you know may be interested in joining or learning more about the*gameHERs it is very easy to get involved.
“Come on in, we welcome everyone!” said Peyton, “You don't have to identify as a woman, we are a very open community. We have women, feminine identifying people, and even men in our community. We would love to chat with you, just go to our website. There's a collegiate button right at the top and you'll be connected to the discord.”
The NJCAAE is celebrating women in esports not only the month of March, but always, and hopes to see the rise of women representation continue to grow.