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Changemakers, an online event about women’s experiences in gaming and streaming, is a collaboration between JBL and the 1,000 Dreams Fund. The event will feature content creators Brooke “BrookeAB” Bond, Jayla “Ninjayla” Thornton and Amanda “AvaGG” Myddleton as panelists.
Women in gaming and beyond
These content creators will lead a panel discussion on Twitch on Sept. 15. The panel will begin at 8 p.m. ET on the front page of Twitch. BrookeAB, Ninjayla and AvaGG will talk about how they overcame obstacles within the gaming and esports industries.
The event itself will be hosted by JBL and the 1,000 Dreams Fund. While JBL is an audio company, the 1,000 Dreams Fund is a non-profit organization that empowers women. The recipients of the JBL Quantum Grant will be provided with a $1,500 microgrant, a gaming headset and the opportunity to join a virtual mentorship.
Extremely proud and humbled to be the first female cover athlete in the history of @NBA2K
I’m honored to work with a company that’s investing in women and betting on us to succeed. I’m hopeful there will be many more badass females to follow 💪🏽💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/WJan4YE7Qt
— Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker) July 14, 2021
For those who cannot tune in live for the women in gaming broadcast, they can watch the event later on the JBL YouTube channel.
Challenges to safety
“Safety isn’t focused on enough,” 100 Thieves streamer BrookeAB said in context to why she thought about quitting streaming in the past. “One of my biggest challenges has been the amount of stalking, threats, and name-calling that I have experienced. I was totally not prepared for how much of that I’ve received. I hope over time these sites that we’re on can help provide us with tools to keep us safe.”
BrookeAB recalled that last year, she had to get the FBI involved to help with the stalking incidents. She said that they dealt with a good portion of the stalkers, and she took time off to prioritize her mental health. She added that during that time off, she realized how much she missed streaming and loved doing it as her job.
Representation in gaming
Complexity content creator and Apex Legends streamer Ninjayla also shared her thoughts on representation.
“There aren’t a lot of Black women signed to organizations, especially tier one organizations, so that’s a goal I have been working on for a few years [to join an organization like Complexity],” she said.
Ninjayla explained that one of her goals is to create that representation and inspire others like her to start gaming. “There’s a lot of people who grew up viewing games as a space where men could only exist comfortably.”
To Ninjayla, it’s important that she’s working toward a day without online harassment for anyone. “And that no matter what your ethnicity is you can get on and stream and choose content creation careers without being judged or harassed,” she added.
The future of esports
As for AvaGG, she is a member of gaming lifestyle company Queens Gaming Collective and a streamer who enjoys multiplayer shooter games. She noted that it’s still rare to see women in esports.
“It feels like one woman for every 30 guys is trying to make it in esports,” AvaGG explained.
“Think of how competitive it is for one man to succeed at the top, to be on that team organization, to compete; and how many don’t make it. When you think of the pool of women that are even trying, because of society’s expectations on us, that pool is so much less.”
AvaGG added that the pool of women in esports is increasing, and she sees more people trying to compete every year. She said she’s excited about the future of esports because people will get to see women win and at the top one day.
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!