Southeast Missouri State University student publication

The Presence of Girls in Gaming

Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Graphic by Emma Kratky, created with Picrew

Did someone say girls in gaming? No? Then I will, because someone has to!

But who am I to you? I guess you could say a fellow gamer … but more formally, my name is Emma. I play games like Valorant, Overwatch and League. I’ve been playing games from a very young age and have always enjoyed the creativity and competitiveness they provide.

However, this competitiveness can lead to negative consequences for women and nonbinary folks within the gaming community. Aggression and toxicity toward these two groups can lead to harsh or threatening comments being made, or even the purposeful throwing of a match.

While this is not an easy problem to fix, I think methods of progress are still within our reach.

After moving away from home to Southeast Missouri State, I still wanted to continue playing games and enjoying the community that comes along with it. I found out about SEMO’s eSports club in the first week of school and immediately joined. Within the club, there has been great acceptance toward girls and nonbinary folk.

There is a Helping People Feel Comfortable (HPFC) Organization in the club, that allows anyone who doesn’t identify as male to come together and share their own part of the gaming community. Additionally, many girls have tried out and been accepted onto the competitive eSports teams here at SEMO.

Overall, women's presence in the competitive scene is growing more and more every year. With new teams like C9 White’s all-female Valorant team starting in 2020, many girls have hope for the future, including me.

I’ve always wanted to get into a game more competitively, and I feel like Valorant could be that game. Seeing C9 White play, as well as meeting so many friendly people — girls and boys alike — within the game has really prompted me to take it more seriously and enjoy the ranked side of the game.

I’m hoping to eventually hit Gold, although that goal is far off for now. A smaller goal of mine is to connect with other girls on campus, or even in the area, and expand the inclusivity within the gaming community.

As online gaming essentially began in Generation Z, I believe we still have the power to make it more inclusive. If we all work together to accept each other no matter what differences we hold, I believe the gaming community can truly blossom into an understanding and rewarding place.

If you’d like to play games or get in contact with me, follow me at @emmakarrow on Instagram, or message me on Discord at emma#2670.