So you’re a girl and you’re thinking about streaming.  Good news: you’re not the only girl streaming (even if it feels like you’re alone)…which means there are tips and tricks you can do right from the start to avoid the pitfalls and headaches of learning it yourself.  Doing research about the gaming industry and researching what other girl streamers are doing is the best way to get a grip on how to start.  After that, its just a matter of doing it yourself and learning what works best for you.

Know The Stats

First lets take a look at some facts.  According to the 2014 Sales, Demographic, and Usage Data which was collected by the Entertainment Software Association, 59% of Americans play some form of video game either on a console, computer or smartphone.  This is important to remember especially if you’re anything like me and are surrounded by people who don’t understand gaming in general.  Throw streaming on top of that and it’s just so bizarre to them.  Once I realized that playing games actually puts you in the majority, I felt less like a weirdo.  The next thing that helped me was knowing the average age of a gamer is 31 years old! 31!!!  Being 33 years young myself, I remember being very self conscious of my age.  In fact, I was so self conscious I felt I had to be sneaky about my age on my Twitch page so I wouldn’t be made fun of.  I was worried because from what little research I did on female streamers initially, most were in their early 20’s.

Now lets get to the good part! Of the 59% of Americans playing games, women make up 48%!  OMG, this is fantastic!  Here is a direct quote from the ESA report;  “Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (36%) than boys age 18 or younger (17%).”  My hope is after reading about these statistics, you’re starting to feel better about streaming and gaming in general.

Where to Start

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Figuring out where to start is the hardest part to overcome.  I was so lost when trying to figure out what to put on that Twitch page and how to brand myself.  Start by finding your niche.  What is it about you that stands out and really speaks to the person you are and your personality.  Are you a bubbly personality who likes bright colors or are you dark and mysterious?  Find what makes you memorable and use that to stand out among the rest of the girl streamers.  This will be your inspiration when creating your logos, overlay and overall design of your page.  The point I am making here is this; It is easy to look at other streamers and say “I am going to do exactly what she is doing so I can be just as successful”.  No, be you!  Don’t try to BECOME someone you’re not.  Trying to act or look like someone else because they have a lot of followers isn’t going to cut it.  Research other girl streamers and take note of what works for you and what doesn’t, then use that as starting point for crafting your own streaming persona.

Get the Right Kind of Attention

Now lets get into strategy.  How you carry yourself and act while streaming is an important part in creating a good quality stream.  This topic was a big one for me because from the beginning I felt pressure to be “sexy” while streaming.  I think that pressure came from a combination of wanting to be “liked” and a desire to have a large following.  That was just silly of me.  Don’t get me wrong, showing off your assets is a strategy that WILL get you a large following, however those kinds of people will most likely be there for one reason: to see those assets.  They won’t be paying attention to your gaming nor will they care about anything you are talking about.

The way you dress and act determines the type of people you attract

The way you dress and act determines the type of people you attract

If only being something sexy to be looked at doesn’t bother you, then go for it.  There are girl streamers who use that strategy for monetary gain and it works…but if you’re a gamer and want to stream for the social aspect of it, then its best to stay away from that strategy.  This doesn’t mean you can’t be cute and look good while streaming, it just means there is a difference between you (the person) being the focus and your assets being the focus.  There is a fine line between the two, but the difference is night and day when it comes to the kind of experience you will have while streaming.

Handling Trolls

This brings me to my next point: how to take care for yourself during a stream.  Trolls are everywhere.  They bother both men and women and come in many forms such as the gamer troll, the sexist troll, the racist troll, the bully troll and my favorite – the riot trolls (the ones that spam your chat with stupid things like, put your shoe on your head or else).  As a girl streamer, you will come across the sexist troll the most.  There are a number of strategies in dealing with a troll and no one way is always the best or right way.  I find using a combination of strategies on a case-by-case basis works for me.  The key here is to be prepared for what you will do when a troll comes to hang out in your stream.  I was not prepared when I dealt with my first troll experience and it kind of sucked.

First lets talk about what every streamer should have, no matter what gender: a bot and a moderator.  You can program bots to block messages that contain too many ascii symbols, dirty words and unwanted links.  Giving Mod status to people you trust in your stream allows them to block messages, put people in time out or ban a person from your stream all together.  Having both a bot and Mod is recommended while streaming.

The most important part of dealing with trolls is how you will react to them.  Will you ignore them, curse them out, argue with them, or allow them to bring you down?  Now, I truly believe this is a preference thing as well as a case by case thing.  However, it is good to have a plan in advance on how you will handle this.  Reason being, this reflects your stream personality and it will be one of things people will remember when they finish watching your stream.  I personally have done all of the things above because I didn’t think about a strategy before I started streaming; some of which worked out better than others.  There is no way for me to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do without making this article 10 pages long, so I will leave some links at the bottom on how others dealt with trolls.  Reading articles how other dealt with trolls and thinking about how you would approach the situations is all you need to do to be prepared for when it finally happens to you while you’re streaming live with and audience.

I hope this article has helped answer some of the questions you may have had that you couldn’t find answers to.  If you have any other questions please leave a comment below and I will do my best to assist you.  If you’re a girl streamer and have tips you want to add, please leave them in the comments as well for others to read!

Resources and Research

Entertainment Software Association Gaming Statistics

Video: How one woman dealt with threats of rape

Video: Watch how she treats the troll

Video: the troll’s point of view

Article: Don’t give trolls attention

Article: That’s one way to combat a troll

 

Madam_Scarlet on Twitter
What's happening Gamers! The name is Bonnie and I stream all the way from the West Coast, California. I mostly prefer RPG games but the gamut of games I play is a little more wide spread. I enjoy gaming as a hobby so I like to keep things simple. I appreciate games in the simplest of ways, thus my perspective comes more from an experimental stand point rather than the technical. So if you're ever in the mood for some good friendly chat while laughing with me while I play/botch a game, then I'm your girl!! And just in case you were wondering, my other hobbies are crafting/building things and photography. Check me out at http://twitter.com/Madam_Scarlet

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