If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll know that video game streamers are big business.
What was once the domain of spotty teenage boys has now exploded into a multi-billion-dollar business, with streamers from all kinds of backgrounds gracing the likes of Twitch and YouTube.
What is video game streaming?
The success of YouTube led to a wide range of channels catering to every possible taste, from movies to ten-pin bowling, so it was no surprise that video gaming experts started to attract large audiences in the early 2000s. They shared gaming recommendations, tips on how to play them, and, later, broadcasting their game-playing live so that fans could see how they did it.
Seeing a huge opportunity, San Francisco-based Justin.tv launched Twitch in 2011, a platform dedicated to video-game streaming, including eSports. Within a year, the site had acquired 20 million followers, with Twitchers, as the streamers came to be known, offering advice on all things game-related.
Yet things are changing. While the streaming scene tended to be male-dominated at the beginning, 2021 sees a wide range of female influencers who are changing the face of the industry and inspiring other women to take up gaming as a pastime.
Here are some of the video game streamers making waves in 2021.
Tianna used to be an ambulance care assistant, which explains the video game streamer’s calm approach to the battle games she excels in. Her thousands of YouTube and Twitch followers are treated to regular streams where she guides them through some of the trickiest combat scenes.
The London-based gamer has some advice for any females seeking to start up their own channel: ‘just go for it!’. While Tianna herself received criticism when she began streaming, she relishes the chance to prove her haters wrong, and she hopes more women can do the same.
Fortnite is one of the most successful games in history, breaking every kind of gaming record, so it makes sense that there’s a mini industry of streamers dedicating their time to mastering the battle game.
With 1.5 million Twitch followers, Loeya is one of the leading stars. She streams every day at the same time (9am CET) where she chats to viewers and talks them through her tactics.
Her success has earned her mini-celebrity status in her native Sweden, where she’s appeared on TV and radio, and her loyal following means Twitch signed her up to an exclusivity deal recently.
Black Girl Gamers
When Jay-Ann Lopez set up Black Girl Gamers in 2015, she was tapping into a much-neglected area of the gaming industry, which had previously been dominated by white males.
Now, six years and 50,000 community members later, BGG is one of the most influential online gaming groups and is making huge strides in the gaming industry.
Its Twitch channel showcases a variety of brilliant talent every day on games as diverse as The Sims 4 and The Evil Within 2, so there’s something for everyone. However, even more importantly, the group organizes regular gaming events and charity endeavors to raise money for good causes.
Lopez and her team of video game streamers have appeared on BBC, ITV, and Sky as they seek to raise awareness, and have inspired many women to take up gaming as a pastime.
FalseSymmetry, or False as she’s also known, has gained over half a million followers across her two channels with her friendly, playful presenting style. She’s a Minecraft expert, building her False Towers structure on the Hermitcraft server like so many other Minecrafters.
Her video game streaming channels are super family-friendly and engaging as she regularly interacts with her fans and answers questions on how to solve Minecraft’s tricky tasks. False is also famous for her pranks, which she often plays on unsuspecting fellow players, and are sure to raise a smile!
With fellow Minecrafters LDShadowLady and Emzberri, she’s leading the way in the game’s female streamer scene.
Rainbow Arcade is an inclusive community dedicated to LBTQ+ content creators which focuses on empowerment and positivity. As well as a diverse group of members, its wide range of games appeals to a huge audience from BiggusBennus’s relaxing approach to the high-octane fun of gay couple ZoeyProaSheck.
The RA website is beautifully designed and features a portfolio of all their charity work and an invitation for new members to join.
Gaming is much more diverse than many people realize, despite its male-dominated reputation, so the good work of the above video game streamers is helping to shine a light on the different groups involved.
Slowly but surely, the face of the video game industry is changing, bringing diversity to its fore and more talent to the likes of Twitch and YouTube, so watch this space!