The arena of video gaming, on the surface, is anathema to something like getting in shape; after all, sitting down on your butt, endlessly wiggling your fingers back and forth doesn’t appear to be anything worthwhile.
But there’s a parallel between athletes and gamers if you look deep enough- they both train, and it appears to be a youngling’s game. But the video gaming industry is a massive one. It’s even bigger than movies now. What’s more, there are numerous offshoots of this industry that are proving lucrative to the underdog.
With sites like Twitch providing a platform for skilled gamers and making minor celebrities of them, it seems there’s never been a better time to be a gamer. But, what about the industry itself?
The culture has been considered to be a masculine domain. But, it is changing and including women on numerous levels. With this in mind, if you are one of those that want to break into gaming, what is the best way to do it?
Market Your Individuality
You’ve got to have some sort of business mindset. Look at the VRgal website; it is someone who has carved out their own identity as a woman in a male-dominated tech industry. Having that business acumen, and marketing your individuality is crucial. By doing this, you will blaze a trail, and help other women gamers to come out of the woodwork. The great thing about being a gamer is that you have instant access to a fan base on sites like Twitch or YouTube, as well as the numerous other platforms out there.
Research The Industry
Crafting your own niche in the video game industry is difficult. It is hyper-competitive, and with the numerous competitions out there, it is on an Olympic scale now. As such, you’ve got to work hard at crafting your own ascent. Making a splash is harder than ever. But this is why people set up their own Twitch accounts and gather that fan base. It’s not an overnight sensation becoming a popular gamer. But if you can find a gap in the market, again, by using business acumen, you can find a way in that few people have done.
Train Your Gaming Muscles
Being a gamer takes practice, and lots of it! If you are hell-bent on making an impact, you’ve got to put in the hours. Have you heard of the 10,000 hour rule? To become an expert at something you have got to put in that many hours. While there are those that argue the contrary, if you are determined to make a big impact, you’ve got to structure your time as an athlete would. Training, realising your strengths and weaknesses at any point, gaming drills, and just heightening your senses so that you are more skilled, takes a long time. There are numerous cognitive benefits of gaming, and it’s not just about sitting in front of a computer screen all day, every day. You can find ways to tweak your brain accordingly so that you are hyper-aware. Perhaps something like a meditation machine can help you, or using binaural beats? These things can help to retrain your brain to an extent, so you have additional focus, better working memory, and all of these things that can give you the edge over a competitor. It’s not just about working hard; it’s about working smart in this respect as well.
It’s Not What You Know…
It’s always about who you know. Working to make an impact in any industry is about showing up to the big events and getting your face out there. Networking is one of those things that can be intimidating, especially in gaming circles, but if you strike the right balance between self-effacing and friendliness, you can find yourself with the right people. A good idea, prior to an event, would be to connect with specific influencers, either by social media sites like Instagram or getting in contact with them on LinkedIn. Becoming a female gamer is as much a career trajectory as being an accountant. It’s always about who you know, being in the right circles, and developing your chops within the industry.
Look Beyond Being Just A Gamer
In any creative industry, you’ve got to add new strings to your bow. The same applies to those that work hard at being an athlete. There comes a point when they start to get too old, and the younger competitors rise through the ranks and put them out to pasture. In the sporting industry, people go into coaching and so forth. Think about what your career options are beyond the gaming realms. Providing coaching, or going into developing are worthwhile options. But the gaming tree comprises of so many different roles, from programming to artists and animators, scriptwriters to producers. If you are serious about a career in the gaming industry, you need to get as many skills as humanly possible. Being in the industry naturally exposes you to numerous approaches, but if you are focused on just one aspect of gaming, this might not make you an indispensable entity. You’ve got to have the smarts to navigate an industry that is chopping and changing. And while being a woman can give you a certain advantage, it’s important to keep yourself open to various opportunities. Being a gamer is something you can do early on in your career progression, but there will be a point when you have to look elsewhere
It’s Never Too Late To Start
Being a female gamer is capturing the zeitgeist right now. This gives you the perfect opportunity to strike while the iron is hot. This means that if you work hard and plan your ascent carefully, you can make an instant splash in an industry that is densely populated. Gaming is ultra-competitive, but so many of us make career changes throughout our lives, and being a female gamer is the perfect way to infiltrate the mainstream from a left-field approach. The gaming industry is still dominated by men in some areas, but this is changing.