A quick scroll through social media will quickly remind you that today is International Women’s Day. I’ve been contemplating for a while the best way to pay tribute to women in gaming in a way that isn’t just the cut and paste “Celebrating Women in Gaming” post or article. I had thought that perhaps summarizing some of the influential women in the history of gaming would be interesting. But while it’s important to honor those who have helped women move ahead, I want to focus on some of the women who are helping the gaming industry diversify today and will continue to pave the way in the future.
Men have long dominated the gaming world, but according to a survey conducted last year in the United States over 41% of all gamers are women. Women continue to excel in esports tournaments and in online streaming and no discussion would be complete without mentioning Sasha Hostyn. Hostyn is a professional esports player, participating in over 190 tournaments in the last ten years. In 2018 she became the first woman to win a major StarCraft II tournament. She goes by her username Scarlett in tournaments and currently plays for Newbee. Hostyn will continue to be a household name in the StarCraft II world, inspiring countless women to take that next step into esports.
Women have become influential at all levels of competitive play. Kim Phan is one of the top thinkers in the esports world. She worked for Blizzard as the company’s director of esports, overseeing the programs for top games such as Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and of course StarCraft II. Nowadays, she works for 160over90 in their esports marketing strategy division. Michele Morrow is an esports commentator, having hosted BlizzCon, ELEAGUE, and Estream. As a top representative for esports, she has been an advocate for female gamers and a positive voice for diversity in the field.
These are just a few of the women paving the way in the gaming industry. 2020 was a groundbreaking year for women and 2021 is beginning to look similarly optimistic. As more women flood into the gaming industry they will be looking to people like Scarlett, Kim Phan, and Michele Morrow as examples of success. In the next few years we will continue to see prominent women influencing the field.