Words by Chechiwa Nyangu
In 2021, it is safe to say that many people have experienced video games in some way and that you are likely one of these people. It could be that you played Tetris or Snake on the mobile phones from the 2000s, visited an arcade as a child or played Super Mario Bros or Contra on a console connected to your family’s TV.
Of course, gaming has evolved tremendously. But while we are in these modern times, gaming is still something that is largely associated with children – mostly boys – or with men. You may have had to hide your phone from a bright-eyed child who approached you to inevitably ask for games to play. Or perhaps you know a nerdy teenage boy or young man who enjoys playing fantasy or fighting games. Or the man who hosts all-nighter FIFA sessions with the bros on weekends. It is very easy for most people to think of someone they know who falls into at least one of these categories.
What many don’t realise is that there are a large number of girls and women who not only enjoy playing games, but actively take part in the gaming industry. Women have roles in designing and developing games, reviewing games, or entire online careers through game streaming.
The games industry is a large and highly profitable industry that is constantly growing, and yet when the average person thinks about gaming, it is unlikely that the image of a woman will come to mind; and certainly not that of an African woman. This is quite sad because there are many talented, young African women who are doing big things in the industry, and their image should be put out there more.
Let’s say that you do know that women and girls can and should be passionate about gaming. “What exactly is being done about it?” you may ask. Here is a video that gives one part to that answer.
Watch as Johana Riquier, a champion for promoting and representing minorities in the digital and gaming space, interviews Sithe Ncube, founder and director at Prosearium.net.
Prosearium.net is an initiative to document 1000 African women of all backgrounds and their experience contributing to the games industry. The video is from Johana’s youtube channel “The Johana Riquier Show”, where she provides a platform for diverse experiences in the gaming industry through thought-provoking interview segments.
Watch more videos from The Johana Riquier Show here: