At Autumn’s beckoning, I took a weekend off and went to London. I met up with my best friend, Honey, who I have known for six years. Together we competed in NUEL’s Women Tournaments on League of Legends in 2021, she was also the first person who got me into gaming. Honey is currently a student at King’s College London and the Designer Officer of KCL Gaming and Esports Society. She opened a twitch account (HoHoHoney) and started streaming. In the short span of only 3 months, she has reached 1.4K followers.
Under the soft light of a fine October morning, I asked when she discovered her interest in streaming.
“I have always been a big fan of streamers since I was a kid.” She looks up to Offline TV but also female streamers including Lilypichu, 39 Daph, Tokibbi, and Ploo. “It was a long-term drive, but the immediate spark was when my sister bought me streaming equipment on my birthday.”
Her silver mic sat on her desk and next to it laid her Razer laptop. She said she was getting a PC to complete the setup because it would be better for her to look at twitch chats on her laptop while she plays more graphically demanding games. Her first stream was on the 6th of July, 2021. She streams Valorant and League of Legends. It was during summer she decided to commit to twitch streaming, how does she stream and game on top of her studies now?
“It’s my first week in university,” she chuckled, “It’s been fine. But I stream on days without classes, so I treat it like a part-time job and try to find a balance between work and study. It’s nothing too difficult.”
On average she streams 3 to 4 times a week, which is a decent schedule for her to complete her weekly university work and continue her passion for streaming. She could have streamed on Youtube but she chose to stream on Twitch because she thinks it is the biggest and the most consistent platform for gamers. The platform does not discriminate against her because of her gender, and she is treated fairly among male streamers. However, she has encountered inappropriate comments from people, and she often has to time out and ban those who leave misogynistic and “simp” remarks.
“There are quite a lot of girl streamers and it’s a good thing we are getting recognition, but the level of harassment didn’t decrease just because there’s more of us.” She does not feel targeted herself, saying “lucky for me, this [people leaving uncomfortable comments] happens only once every five or six streams.”
According to a study conducted by Reach3, 59% of women in gaming hide their gender when they play games due to reasons such as gender harassment. In spite of this, Honey believes female gamers are more represented in the gaming community nowadays. “In general, there’s a big improvement in games like Valorant where they include all women teams.” The esports community are gradually accepting women into tournaments, Honey states it is a “work in progress”. There are more media casters, journalists, and writers reporting on female esports, hence helping to eliminate the stigma of women being part of the workforce.
After we talked about how female gamers are being represented in esports, I asked what her thoughts were of gaming companies representing women in games. “Women characters usually show a lot of skin, while male counterparts wear armor.” She considers this a dangerous image for young girls and women.
The gaming society needs to change, and “treat women better.”