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Women in Gaming

Kristen Michaela (kittyplays) on Being a Pro Female Gamer

At what age did you start playing and what has your journey been like since?

I started playing games when I was three or four with my dad. I used to love watching him play over his shoulder and had to get in on it myself. I used to play console a lot more, but when I went to university, I left my consoles at home so I’d focus. Instead, I became really good at PC gaming on desktop. Gaming for me has always been about having fun and getting to do something I love!

What’s the best part about playing against male opponents? What’s the best part about playing against female opponents?

I don’t think there is a difference for me when it comes to gender, I just love playing (and winning)! I have played games against all different types of people and have been able to practice and learn from them. The best part is being able to see how my skills and strategy can help me be victorious in a fun setting. 

What’s the greatest memory you have about gaming? How has it shaped the person you are today?

I think the most prevalent memory I have involving gaming is winning the Korea Open. It was such a rush to win in such a large and competitive space. I also love that experience because growing up as a female gamer there weren’t many people to look up to; so, for other young girls to see my success and think, “I can do that too,” means everything to me. I would love to see more girls and women succeed in gaming.

What’s something you think all girls and women should know or keep in mind when entering the world of gaming, or looking to get involved?

I would say that as women it is important not to pit ourselves against one another — because it happens in so many industries, not just gaming. In male-dominated spaces we shouldn’t feel threatened or afraid to lift each other up and celebrate each other as women. There may seem like there is a mold you have to fit as a woman in gaming, but if we can celebrate the differences we have as women it will make gaming a better space for everyone.

Being that you’ve seen this space evolve in so many ways, what do you think the future of female gamers and gaming will look like?

I think gaming is beginning to get the attention of mainstream audiences and companies, so I only see it becoming more popular with more people getting excited to play. For female gamers, I think it will become more and more normal for women to love gaming and to succed at it just as much as anyone else. I am excited for the day when I see more women who stopped listening to their peers saying it is weird and living the life that makes them happy.

Who inspired you to be the gamer you are today? Did/do you have a female role model in your life — one who motivates and empowers you to be the best?

LegendaryLea, ItsHafu, and Ducksauce were the streamers who really inspired me to take the leap and start my Twitch channel. My mom has definitely inspired my positive outlook on life, but truthfully I have always been my biggest motivator. Everyone finds success differently, and the only person who really knows what it is I am trying to accomplish and reach is me.

What are some of your lifelong and personal goals and dreams?

My life goal is to empower my audience to live the absolute best life possible! My personal goal is to be able to retire by the time I’m 30 and then pursue my passion for helping launch  businesses.

I often feel like a lot of people don’t know much about female gamers in this space. What do you think we can or should do as a society to help raise awareness and keep people knowledgeable about gaming, and female gaming in particular?

I think that people are coming around and getting on the wave. People love gaming because it is interactive, adventurous, and you can build a great community; things are changing, and mainstream audiences and companies are seeing the value of gaming. Personally, I try to help educate others on how they can get involved and support this space, and female gamers are included in that because there is a ton of talented women.

Why is being such a well-known gamer so important to you? Essentially, why do you play? What about the game do you love so much and the ways it makes you feel?

I love being a well-known gamer because I get to inspire young girls to experience gaming and how much fun it can be. I’ve always played because I simply love games! I love to have fun and anything that doesn’t bring me joy I try to stay away from.

With this campaign, what do you think the most important message here should be?

I think the most important message is always that you are loved, you are valued, and you can create the world you want to live in by simply taking the first step today!

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