For anyone with even a passing interest in watching people play video games—whether it be a live stream or a prerecorded Let’s Play—the gender disparity of the hosts is nothing if not immediately apparent. Now, I’ve been a Twitch lurker for a good nine years. That pretty much encompasses the formative years of my life, beginning with my high school graduation and higher education pursuits, my first internship, and so on. It’s helped shape both the way I game and the way I look at gaming, thus, you can imagine how fiercely supportive I am of the women within it. (I’m the Cassandra of Let’s Play ladies. Fight me.)
As much as I adore the uniquely creative experience of sharing a gameplay experiences with someone else, I’ve always braced myself before choosing a stream to watch. There’s a ritual in browsing a site like Twitch: turn down your volume (or find headphones), screen the title of the stream for any offensive language, and hope for the best when you finally choose one. It’s strange that, despite considering myself a feminist, I’m all but entirely desensitized to the barrage of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, et al. garbage that—nine times out of ten—is what I hear when I open a stream. Any stream. As much as I love being reminded that half the industry wants to drive me out of their boy’s club, I could do without the casual slurs while watching a game as innocuous as Minecraft being played. Thanks, but no thanks.
That’s why I’m starting this series. It’s important not only to support visibility for women in this industry, but also to encourage them to continue creating. I want for this list to be an ongoing work, not simply a one-and-done attempt at fixing an inherent issue. For that to be a reality, I’ll need your help. Did I miss one of your favorite gaming personalities? Comment below or send an email!
In the interest of full disclosure, this list is by no means comprehensive. I asked our followers on Twitter to submit their favorite women who stream, and from there, I screened for any offensive content. Many of the women listed below are my personal favorites. You should absolutely consider following and supporting these amazing creators!