3 tips from the women leading gaming in 2023

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Gamer and YouTuber Niki Nihachu offers prospective gamers advice for starting out in a more competitive and taxing industry than many anticipate.

Why do games transcend language, geography and gender? And how can someone become a successful professional gamer? It’s a numbers thing.

“It’s diverse, it’s inclusive, and it can go beyond languages.” So said PlayMob founder Jude Ower when talking about the gaming industry. Gaming, Jude explained, is enjoyed by 3.2 billion people all over the world, making it bigger than the film and music industries combined.

And, unlike other leisure activities, gaming prominently features as many women – as professional players, social media personalities and entrepreneurs – as it does men.

Jude noted that the split between men and women gamers is around 50:50 currently, and that there is little difference in the long-term opportunities in gaming for these two groups.

Advice from a gaming pro

Niki Nihachu – a gamer and YouTuber with four million subscribers across multiple digital platforms – is a great example of a modern gamer.

Niki games across all consoles and PC, and plays a variety of titles. She brings a unique personality to her play, and started out playing and recording herself as a hobby before realising she could make a living from it.

At Web Summit 2022, Niki offered prospective gamers three pieces of advice for starting out, which you can read in the column to the right.

1) Take a leap of faith

Niki wasn’t sure if she could make it as a professional until she fully committed to it: “When I got my first paycheck from Twitch and I could afford groceries, I thought ‘this can be a job’ and went for it.”

It’s a good time to get started in gaming, with large audiences – and new digital platforms and means of monetisation – making it a less risky venture than in years gone by.

2) Watch out for burnout

“Sometimes I would be live for 10 hours a day, while I still had to edit, be on social media, engage with followers… Yeah, I burned out.”

This was Niki’s major warning to potential gamers. Building a brand and digital audience isn’t easy, so she advises treating the venture as a business and getting help with the managing operations as early on as possible.

3) Don’t follow the crowd

One of the worst things that you can do as a gamer is to create a following around the biggest game of the day. “You should build [your business] on your personality, because the biggest game out there changes all the time,” said Niki.

By bringing your unique personality to your digital channel, as Niki did, and playing what you love, the right audience will find you.

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