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DJEDDAH: E-gamers are on the rise in the Kingdom, and Saudi female gamers are matching their male counterparts with their skill and tenacity.

The attention of e-gaming is growing among girls, especially with the emergence of platforms such as Twitch. Saudi female players are entering strongly on this platform, reaching high ranks and attracting huge numbers of viewers.

Twitch is an American platform that focuses on the live streaming of video games, including the broadcast of esports competitions, and began to gain popularity in the Kingdom in 2017.

Arab News spoke to several Saudi women about their experiences on the platform. Catspawgirl is an avid gamer who has been streaming live five hours a day and playing games such as Apex Legends and Overwatch since 2019.

“Twitch is the best full-time platform in Saudi Arabia, especially if you’re a fan of a certain game and want to watch people play it,” she said.

Pikaloli, another Saudi streamer, said there is no set monthly amount of money to be made on Twitch; it depends on the interaction of people and visits to the stream.

Catspawgirl explained that to open an account on Twitch, you must first have a PC or a console, and a desire to stream: “The first year will be very difficult. There won’t be a lot of followers and support, and maybe that’s why people are losing interest in this hobby.

Pikaloli said: “Before creating a Twitch account, it is best to prepare your screen design and remember to introduce yourself and the games you want to stream to attract new subscribers.”

GAME FACTS

• Mobile gaming is the leader with 19.3 million players.

• Console games come second with 13.9 million users.

• PC gaming comes third – not far behind consoles – with 13.4 million players.

• Laptop games increased by 57% in Saudi Arabia and 49% in the United Arab Emirates in 2020.

• In fact, 57% of the UAE and 55% of Saudi Arabia would consider buying a laptop for gaming by mid-2021.

• Console games grew 63% in Saudi Arabia and 55% in the United Arab Emirates in 2020.

Catspawgirl spoke of attracting audiences by having a unique appeal. “I like to change my look every stream so that the audience will come back to see what I’m going to wear, and I usually change my hair color and have different makeup every day.”

She advised girls who want to enter the world of Twitch to connect with their audience and not be silent – “just be spontaneous, get enthusiastic, and communicate.”

Pikaloli has another way of attracting an audience – as the first Saudi Vtuber, which means she uses a virtual avatar using computer graphics and motion capture software technology.

“I don’t want to show my face and as a content creator I always try to be exceptional, so I decided to appear as a virtual character who simulates my movements and facial expressions.”

Meshael MR, another Saudi Twitch streamer, said: “The streamer needs to have a plan for the future, enjoy every moment of the stream, find a unique feature in it and try as much as possible to stay away from problems. and dramas. “

It started broadcasting in 2018 and has over 145,000 subscribers. She supported other players and helped them learn more skills.

“I really want to see the Saudi player community grow. I know getting started can be difficult due to the social challenges, but acceptance is easier now, ”said Mashael.

Even with the added support of their communities, players said social media can be a difficult platform to enter and exit as well. There can be bullying, harassment, inappropriate comments, unhappy in the wide world of social media.

SAUDI ARABIA MARKET

• KSA is the 19th largest games market in the world.

• Its gaming market grew 1% year-over-year.

• There are over 21.1 million players in the Kingdom.

• It is expected to generate $ 1.09 billion in 2021.

“Social issues are inevitable, especially as a girl who plays and enjoys communicating, laughing and talking a lot with her followers. Sometimes I get hassled and face a lot of bullying, but with the click of a button we can hide all the bullies and get back to our game, ”Catspawgirl said.

Pikaloli added: “I consider myself lucky that my biggest fans are from Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Sometimes I get cyber-intimidated by boys who say girls have a place in the kitchen, but funny enough, they end up following me after watching me play.

Saudi player Bador Alhtheill said streamers crave success and have what it takes to be the best in the world.

Sami Al-Alwani, another Twitch player, said, “Girls are excited to create unique content for the gaming world, and their numbers are remarkably competitive compared to international streamers. They have a huge following of all ages and they influence a lot of people. “

GCON, the Girl Gamers and Development community in Saudi Arabia, organizes events and tournaments in the electronic games industry and supports the female gaming community.

“We launched our forum in 2012 supporting women gamers. We have created and organized many events. GCON stated in its mission statement. “We have 13 streamers on the forum, and we have many projects in the development and production of games, esports, and entertainment.”

GCON encourages female gamers to join Twitch, because unlike YouTube, streamers don’t need to have editing skills.

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