Its the age of women. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there are girls who play video games too. Its no longer just a hobby for boys. Girls and women in India are also getting into video games casually and professionally, which makes me very happy personally. I am a gamer too, and people don’t even believe me when I tell them!

Discrimination exists. People either don’t believe I’m a girl or they assume I’d be bad at gaming just because of my gender, which I find extremely annoying – Zara

Women gamers are few compared to the men. So when a boy finds out that a girl is a gamer, he is usually really impressed by her. He wouldn’t have the same reaction if he met another man who plays games. So, why do women get such special treatment in gaming?

There is a darker side to being female gamers. If you play online, there is a lot of abuse you face if somehow they find out you’re a woman. They either won’t believe you, or start judging the way you play, its really quite disturbing. So I keep my identity under wraps when playing online, and keep the in-game chat to a minimal.

Zara Rebello, a gamer and cosplayer from Nasik // Pic credits: Purple Shrimp Cosplay Facebook
Zara Rebello, a gamer and cosplayer from Nashik // Pic credits: Purple Shrimp Cosplay Facebook

Zara Rebello, a gamer and cosplayer from Nashik echoes my thoughts, “Dota 2 is my main game and I usually play with a mic. As soon as I talk and my teammates figure out I’m female, I’m either the butt of sexist jokes, such as ‘go make me a sandwich’ or they are extremely nice to me, which is really pretentious”. Why is there such a prejudice when it comes to girl gamers? She says, “Discrimination exists. People either don’t believe I’m a girl or they assume I’d be bad at gaming just because of my gender, which I find extremely annoying.”

I’m either the butt of sexist jokes, such as ‘go make me a sandwich’ or they are extremely nice to me, which is really pretentious

Video games are played by men, yes, but that doesn’t mean that women can’t pick it up or be good at them. Since there is no physical challenge, both genders can be equally good at a video game – which requires quick reflexes and hand-eye coordination. However, it isn’t all gloomy, video games are awesome, and the international communities are a lot more accepting of women gamers. This is why some Indian women prefer to play on US or European servers – which puts them in touch with people from the western countries.

Aorin Shariyari, a gamer and cosplayer from Delhi. // Pic credits: Manish Lenswork
Aorin Shariyari, a gamer and cosplayer from Delhi. // Pic credits: Manish Lenswork

Some women are also lucky enough to find good friends online through gaming, and some just work for gaming companies and are a core part of the gaming scene. Aorin Shariyari, a gamer from Delhi, works with a gaming company called Nodwin Gaming. She tells us how she loves to be a part of the community. “I get to be actively involved (in gaming) and I see it from the front row seats. Regular gamers might pick on a female gamer but I get a sort of comfort of being part of a well known company”.

It’s an unfair world out there, but when has that stopped us from doing anything? Gaming is becoming a passion for many women, especially in India. It is wonderful to see women embracing and doing what they want to do and it is a change I am very happy to see.

Pic credits: BroadbandNow

Also Read: Meet Zerah Gonsalves, Shout Caster and Gamer