The success of YouTube is mainly due to the fact that it is a platform where thousands of users can access free content in order to learn something new, be entertained and find out information of interest to them.
However, in recent years the content of ‘gaming’ has increased and is currently positioned as one of the key content of this platform, which has more than 2,000 million registered users and more than a billion daily views, according to a press release sent to Europa Press.
Between October 2019 and September 2020, YouTube registered 40 million active ‘gaming’ channels and last year up to 100,000 million hours of content broadcasting. Spain is one of the European countries that generates them the most and consumes them the most, to the point that the percentage of channels with revenues of five figures or more has increased by 35 percent from June 2020 to the same month of 2021.
Despite the fact that there has been a significant increase in ‘gamers’ and users subscribed to its channels, the presence of women in this field is very small, since it has been a sector traditionally associated with the masculine.
To review the situation of female gamers, YouTube has organized a virtual event called ‘YouTube Gaming Women’, in which three representatives of this universe have participated, Guinea pigsGamer, Rumorestation and HelenaGamerStudios, winners of YouTube NextUp, a talent contest whose prize is destined to the learning and improvement of their audiovisual projects on the platform.
For all of them, this school has managed to clarify what their possibilities are as content creators and what is the editorial line with which they feel most identified. “It has helped me to know what I want to do on YouTube,” said Rumorestation, and CobayasGamer has subscribed to it: “Now I have a global vision of the platform. The image of the gaming world is totally distorted. This project gives vision to minority groups such as women ‘gamers’ “.
These content creators have taken advantage of this talk to comment on their history and what experiences they have had to face as ‘gamers’ as women. All of them have agreed that the videos they have made for YouTube are born from the need to express themselves and tell something new.
“With the large channels, which are practically all Spanish, I thought about doing ‘gaming’ and changing the format to animation to monetize it. I have achieved more than 80,000 subscribers,” said HelenaGamerStudios, the youngest of the group, who with only 17 years old receives more than 5,000 visits to his profile.
Rumorestation, for its part, has recognized that its beginnings, back in 2013, “were very unstable” and that it was not until 2015 when it began to take content creation seriously as something professional. “I started making live videos and, although my channel is small, any subscription is cause for celebration,” he commented.
MORE MALE THAN FEMALE PUBLIC
In addition to highlighting that fewer women have emerged as ‘gamers’, during the talk it was emphasized that they are also the ones that appear in a lower proportion than men as consumers.
In this regard, each one has nuanced how their audiences are made up. While HelenaGamerStudio has ensured that its ‘gaming’ content is exclusively male, Rumorestation has revealed that the same thing happens on its channel, except when it shares videos of The Sims 4. For its part, CobayasGamer has admitted that its audience is made up “of a 50 percent women and another fifty percent men. “
Despite the fact that more of them consume this type of content, the players have insisted that there is no content made for men or women, but that it depends mainly on the tastes of both the ‘gamers’ and the subscribers.
Guinea pigs, for example, lately has focused on Animal Crossing, which by its theme could seem to be intended for women. “There are more men than women creators of this game. I play what I like, such as games like Fortnite, Valorant or LoL,” he said.
For its part, Rumorestation has indicated that, more than because of the theme, there is discrimination by who is in charge of transmitting that content, since the public tends to trust a male youtuber more: “The general idea is that you have to go to a man’s channel, even if he is not known, because it will teach you something better than a woman”; to which HelenaGamerStudio has added: “The platform does not discriminate, users do”.
DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SEX
The players have also told how they feel during live shows and when they play in multiplayer mode, when they must choose the character that represents them on the screen and offer a specific ‘skin’. In these circumstances they also speak of deficiencies in what refers to the representation of the female figure.
“The times when I played with other men, I chose male ‘skins’, because the characters always have a strong appearance and they are characterized by having little clothes. When I have chosen female ‘skins’, sometimes I have received insults”, has noted HelenasGamerStudio.
For Rumorstation, this discrimination has been exacerbated by being a mother: “If they hear you speak or if you do not arrive in time for assistance, they do hear comments related to my status as a woman. As I have children, I have also heard criticism related to me maternity”.
Violence has been precisely another aspect that has been discussed in this meeting, since it is increasingly common for players to react aggressively when they lose games. “Children can see it and it should not be normalized [ese tipo de comportamiento] neither in men nor in women “, according to HelenaGamerStudio.
“When a man does it, it is very cool, when a woman does it, she is hysterical. A man is not judged the same as a woman by their attitude“, has pointed out CobayasGamer, who has pointed out that a large part of the public is very young and” should not receive that example. “
FUTURE AND NEW GENERATIONS
Despite the circumstances, the players have been hopeful about the future as creators of YouTube content, and hope that little by little that glass ceiling will be broken.
For this reason, they have encouraged gamers to make their hobby their profession and to believe in their ability to become experts. However, they have pointed out that the reality is that there are very few youtubers who manage to achieve recognition similar to that of Ibai Llanos or AuronPlay.
“One thing is that, as a woman, you want to expose yourself and generate ‘gaming’ content and another is that you think that you are going to succeed. If I could talk to my 20-year-old ‘me’ right now, I would tell him not to be afraid of exposing himself in this way. Do it with head and take into account what can happen “, has admitted CobayasGamer.
Meanwhile, Rumorestation has reiterated that the important thing is to do something they like because, otherwise, they will be unable to “hook the public.” Finally, HelenaGamerStudio has assumed that “There will always be sexist comments, in all places” and what should be done is “ignore or make those mediocre voices shut up or learn not to have such a class mind.”