A girl game for the challenge
Article from the Sun daily by Jason Lim (posted on 24 Oct 2019)
EXACTLY how serious is Natasha Hashim when it comes to gaming? Well, for starters, the 28-year-old is so committed to the sport that she even built her PC from scratch!
Natasha – alternatively known by her alias TashBunny – is a professional gamer who mainly competes in League of Legends tournaments, and currently creates gaming and lifestyle content for a local tech blog.
However, in the seemingly male-dominated gaming scene, she often receives a slew of inappropriate comments and criticisms from those unwilling to look beyond her gender.
Regardless of the uphill battle, Natasha is helping redefine gamer culture, and continues to encourage more women to join tech and gaming.
When did you realise that gaming could be more than a hobby?
“There wasn’t really a moment when I felt that gaming could be more than leisure to me. But when I decided to pursue it as a full-time career, I found myself so unhappy, and growing sick of video games. Every game became just content to me ... I was burnt out.
“I took a long hiatus and when I came back, I only allowed myself a couple of streaming sessions per week instead of every day.
“I love gaming still, but I can’t see myself doing it full-time. I don’t ever want to lose the feeling of loving video games.”
What does gaming mean to you?
“Gaming means everything to me. I used to be bullied for liking video games, but now it’s considered ‘cool’ – and I absolutely love that. I love that I can talk about video games with so many people and connect with others.
“Speaking of connecting with others, I met my boyfriend while streaming a video game on Twitch. Now, we play games together almost every day.
“Being a girl in the gaming world can be tough ... which is why I think the best thing to do is to show them that they’re wrong.”
What is the public perception of female gamers?
“Cyberbullying is extremely rampant in the gaming community. There’s flaming against other players ... and even against the game developers themselves.
“I, too, had my fair share of harassment while gaming. I’ve met gamers who treat girls badly at gaming events due to their own superiority complexes.
“I wouldn’t say that it has changed for the better in recent years, but it’s so much better now.
“I’d even go as far as to say that the term ‘female gamers’ isn’t needed any more. We’re all equal gamers.”
Are female gamers often challenged to prove themselves?
“I wouldn’t say we’re challenged to prove ourselves. Sure, a majority of the top scorers for any game are guys but there are some talented girls out there.
“For instance, South Korean professional Overwatch player Geguri managed to make it to the global scene. Unfortunately, she also had her fair share of harassment from both players and viewers alike, which is disgusting.
“This might just be the reason why it’s so scary for girls to participate. However, I do see that many girls are eager to join in all-female tournaments, as there is probably less pressure.”
How do you put up with haters?
“I just ignore them. I used to let those comments get to me. Then I asked myself: ‘Why do I care about these people whom I’ve never met?’ They don’t define me.
“That being said, you can’t just completely discredit some of the comments. It’s better to take what they say with some salt, but never let it get to you.”
Do you think PC gamers are more superior or skilful than console players?
“The age-old question! I hope I don’t get flamed for this but yes, PC gaming requires more skill than console gaming, due to consoles having aim assist.
“On PC, you have to be faster which is why most PC gamers love upgrading their rig to give them that slight edge over others.
“Don’t get me wrong, console players do still require skill but not as much as PC gamers.”
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