Lately, there have been a lot of people #madonline about female Twitch streamers having seemingly stricter regulations set on them as far as what is deemed inappropriate. Twitch is an online service where gamers can stream themselves playing the games they love. Twitch has the following guidelines set in place for its users:
Keep It Gaming-centric
Basically, keep your clothes on, focus on gaming. This is an improvement to Twitch’s former policies which were a bit more specific (and unprofessional):
The problem users are finding with the new, more vague policies is that a guy can get away with wearing next to nothing while pretty much anything beyond a low-cut v-neck on a girl is deemed “sexual content”. Twitch isn’t blind, the company is well aware that sex sells. Guess what? The rules are on purpose.
The top 4 games watched on Twitch in November were: League of Legends, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, Dota 2, and Fortnite. So, two MOBAs and two shooter games. Of all of the players in all of the lands, only 10% of MOBA players (not even streamers, just players) are women. For shooters, there’s only 7% women (per Quantic Foundry’s study from January 2017). This study was done before PUBG and Fortnite were released, so there wasn’t a specific category for battle royale shooter games. In theory, the 7% could be slightly lower than current numbers would tell.
Female Streamers Are Valuable
Let’s assume, for this article’s purpose, that the 10% of MOBA players and the 7% of shooter players do not ever play the other style of gaming, meaning that 17% of the top viewed games on Twitch are played by women. That’s not a lot. Even fewer are out there streaming their play. This makes females on Twitch very valuable.
Guys want to watch girls. Guys also want to watch girls doing what guys love. Girls want to watch girls playing games because they can relate to the way a female approaches gaming. Girls want to watch girls gaming to learn how to get attention from boys. Add this all together and that makes for inflated viewership for female streamers.
I can get on Twitch, after not streaming for 5 months, and pull more average viewers per hour streaming the same game as my friend who is infinitely higher ranked than I am and streams every day. Am I more skilled? Definitely not. Am I more entertaining? No. Do I have boobs and pouty lips? Yes. Badabing, I have the viewers’ attention.
Is It Fair?
Now, that example was me, fully clothed, just existing. Meanwhile, my buddy is attractive and wearing a muscle tank top and flexing every five seconds. I still win. I have access to that other 83% of non-female gamers in my genre. Imagine I was allowed to wear anything from the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and stream. Is that fair?
No, of course it isn’t.
Until the balance of gamers is more equal, Twitch’s regulations make the playing field as level as they can. Female gamers can whine all they want that guys dominate the industry and make more money. It’s true, guys do. But they got there with skill and entertainment, not wiggling their weenies or flexing their abs on stream. Adapt and overcome, ladies. I’m right there with you.
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