Twitch Talks Women Gamers at Esports and Sports Streaming Summit
Esports are big businesses, and it's not just a boys' club.
It's less than one month until the Esports and Sports Streaming Summit (part of Streaming Media West 2019), and one of the highlights will be Twitch's discussion on women in gaming. Twitch vice president Katherine Bowe will talk with Brooke Thorne, known to fans as "Dodger," one of the internet's most influential gamers.
To give a preview of their discussion and sketch out the current state of gaming for women, Bowe answered a few questions for us.
What is the environment right now for women in gaming? What are the misconceptions?
While I was at IGN, we launched a website for women called Green Pixels, and it failed. I believe this was because women gamers did not want to be spoken to differently than male gamers, and I still believe this feeling prevails today. Half of the video game audience is female, but there is still a misconception that women make up a minority. Another misconception is that women only find interest in gaming via male partners, friends, and family. In fact, in the early days of gaming, the biggest areas where women gamers congregated were in women-focused guilds, where they built a strong sense of belonging and respect for one another. Then and now, women have made their place in gaming through building supportive communities, and Twitch is a prime location for that.
Are female gamers getting the same reception from sponsors as male gamers? What should brands know?
I believe gaming has become more inclusive now than it has ever been. Communities are losing their tolerance for inappropriate behavior, especially on Twitch. Esports organization FaZe Clan just signed a female Fortnite player who is also deaf. With this comes women gamers gaining as strong a following as their male counterparts in terms of concurrent viewership and brand opportunities. One thing brands should know is that women streamers do not have exclusively female audiences, nor do male streamers have overwhelmingly male audiences. Twitch is a diverse community and we strive to be the place where diversity and creativity thrive.
What do you want people to learn from your upcoming Esports and Sports Streaming Summit interview?
There is an enormous opportunity in investing in female gamers and content creators. In our session, we will show brands how to leverage the talent of women to align with KPIs, told through one success story, and prove that recognition of women in games has reached the mainstream.
For this and much more, please attend Streaming Media West 2019 and the Esports and Sports Streaming Summit, taking place November 19 and 20 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: A gamer streams live from TwitchCon 2019 in San Diego, California.
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