Courtney Sayson (L) and Abby Lampa of Gamer Girls Philippines/ Courtesy of GGP
MANILA, Philippines – Noticing the lack of an all-female gaming community that caters to more than one game or platform, business partners Courtney Sayson and Abby Lampa decided to create from scratch a community for female gamers where they can freely talk shop and not be judged just because they are women.
Thus, on July 17, 2020, Gamer Girls Philippines (GGP) was born with the help of their team of moderators Camie Tafalla, Rika Guevarra, Patricia De Guia and Jasmine Tolentino.
In just less than a month, the group has reached more than 1,000 members while also establishing their own esports team — GGP eSports — that will be ready to compete in future tournaments.
“There is a market,” said co-founder Courtney Sayson about the fast rise of the group, something they did not foresee. “You can see that there are many female gamers.”
“There is an effect, some cultural aspect [to this],” explained co-founder Abby Lampa as to why women shy away from being active in gaming communities mostly dominated by men.
“The thinking that gaming is a guy’s thing and because of this, girls don’t even entertain the idea of trying or becoming interested in gaming.”
“Or they’re afraid to speak out,” added Sayson.
Safe space for women gamers
One of GGP’s main goals is to create a safe space for women gamers to enjoy plying their trade without fear of being judged, bashed or prejudiced, which they usually suffer just because they are women.
Lampa cited the prevalence of sexism in gaming, even in the local sense. She brought up the domino effect leading to why girls are not entertaining the thought that gaming could be something for them for fear of being shut down or “man-splained”.
It is something that both Lampa and Sayson want to change with GGP.
“In this group, you’ll never hear ‘Oh you’re just a girl, you’ll weigh us down.’ or ‘Why do you play this game, it’s not for girls’” emphasized Sayson.
Breaking the gender barrier
Lampa added that the rising esports industry will not slow down anytime soon. This includes an increasing number of female tournaments. There, however, the prevailing notion that female gamers are not at par with their male counterparts.
“Personally, I don’t understand [because] why do you need to divide men and women when it’s a noncontact sport.” said Sayson. “There is no physical aspect to it, why do you need to divide it? All
games are for everyone, games do not have gender.”
“There have always been good female gamers,” said Lampa. “But [as men see it], being a woman makes you a lesser skilled player instantly, which is not the case.”
“[Female gamers] aren’t given the chance to shine and prove themselves because they are dismissed once they are found out to be women. Not just in esports but in streaming as well. Why female streamers choose not to show their faces because for men, you can only be a streamer if you have the looks. For them, your game play doesn’t matter. Your looks do.” stressed Sayson.
This, among other things, is what the founders of GGP wish to address. They simply aim to give female gamers long-overdue recognition.
With people locked inside their homes due to the pandemic, gaming has taken a share of the spotlight
“Gaming is more appreciated now,” explained Lampa. “The community is more active. A lot more people are trying live-streaming, which is a good thing.”
Bigger dreams, more collaborations
With gaming’s rising appeal on social media — highlighted by the launch of Facebook Gaming — Sayson adds that the practice has become more accessible. She also stated that it brought esports to the forefront, filling in the void left by most physical sports that have either been delayed or outright cancelled.
For now, Sayson and Lampa have been working nonstop in pursuing their goals with GGP.
The group’s biggest milestone so far, being only a month old, is their collaboration with Liga Adarna, an all-female esports League. They foresee this as a source of many future events for female gamers in the country.
“For future plans,” shared Sayson, as they discuss their long-term goals for the group. “An all-girl gaming convention. One of our biggest goals, really, since no one has done that before.”
Since they started, GGP is paving a bright future for female gamers in the Philippines, there’s no stopping them.
Find out more about Gamer Girls Philippines through its Facebook Group ‘Gamer Girls Philippines’ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/gamergirlsphilippines/).
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