Did you know most people in America think gaming is a boys’ club?
According to a study from Pew Research Center in 2015, 60 percent of U.S. adults assume most people who play video games are men. But what’s even more interesting — and disappointing — about this statistic is how females themselves believe it’s true; Pew discovered 57 percent of women who game believe gamers generally tend to be men, as well. It doesn’t help the study also revealed men are twice as likely to call themselves gamers as women.
Despite this ingrained view that gamers are somehow inherently and predominantly men, quite the opposite is true. In fact, Pew’s study uncovered a telling figure: nearly the same amount of men (50 percent) and women (48 percent) said they had ever played a video game before. While studies like Pew’s only sample a portion of American citizens, the fairly equal representation of men and women who game proves the pastime is no longer just a boys’ club.
The Myth of Male Exclusivity in the Gaming Community
Girl gamers do in fact exist, and their numbers have been steadily growing over the years as they’ve picked up new consoles, downloaded popular games on their phones and started recording or streaming their gameplays on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. However, as seen from the data above, the public perception of male-to-female gamers is skewed. And this belief often extends to YouTube, as well.
Don’t believe me? Quick! List the first five YouTube gamers you can think of.
When you’re done, look at your list and answer me this: Is anyone on there a woman?
If your answer is no, don’t feel too bad. Some of the most popular and recognizable gamers on YouTube are men, including rock star names like PewDiePie, Markiplier, and VanossGaming. These creators boast millions upon millions of both subscribers and views, so at first glance, it seems natural you might think of male gamers like them instead of their female counterparts.
However, people need to stop seeing gaming as solely a boys’ club, as this is an outdated and misinformed way of thinking. One way to do this is by watching and supporting more YouTube gaming content made by girls and women. Of course, there are many top-tier female gamers on the platform, like iHasCupquake, SSSniperWolf, and LDShadowLady. The truth is, though, there are plenty of smaller creators on YouTube who boast mad gaming skills and who definitely deserve more attention than they get but are often overlooked for larger channels like those mentioned above.
To help bring more attention to women gamers on YouTube, we’ve put together a guide highlighting several up-and-coming, female-led gaming channels of less than 100,000 subscribers.
So without further ado, here are ten promising female-led YouTube channels you shouldn’t miss.
Any fans of World of Warcraft (WoW) will appreciate what HazelNuttyGames creates every week. The channel, run by a young woman unsurprisingly named Hazel, posts content a whopping six days a week, all WoW-related. Hazel covers everything from general guides to pet battle strategies to news and in-game events. HazelNuttyGames boasts just over 40,000 subscribers and 7.5 million views. And if you like baking, you can contribute to Hazel’s Patreon to support her monthly baking and cooking live streams, as well.
The woman behind YouTube channel gamermd83 has so far amassed a following of almost 52,000 subscribers and a view count of over 9.4 million. Since starting her channel in 2011, she’s risen in popularity thanks to her gameplay walkthroughs, predominantly for titles such as The Witcher, Dragon Age and The Order. Gamermd83’s channel is also unique in that she offers something many other gaming channels don’t: interviews with gaming-related celebrities. So far, gamermd83 has interviewed people such as Mark Meer, the voice of Mass Effect’s male Commander Shepard, and Rana McAnear, the face model for Mass Effect characters Samara and Morinth.
The best way to introduce this channel is via its own description: “unadulterated, personal, and comical video commentary about video games.” PushingUpRoses is well-known for her commentary and reviews of retro games and also her analysis of seemingly random topics like why video game food always looks so good and why sex scenes in games are so bad. Her knowledge about video game history provides a depth not always found on other channels. PushingUpRoses has over 82,000 subscribers who have contributed just over 8.7 million video views to her content.
AyinMaiden is run by a young woman with plenty of passion for and knowledge of massively multiplayer online role-playing games; she even notes on her YouTube about page she regularly contributes written guides to IGN wiki sites. Essentially, if you want commentary, walkthroughs or guides for titles such as Guild Wars 2, Archeage, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Elder Scrolls Online, look no further than this channel, which boasts a whopping 1,700+ videos for you to discover. With more than 28,000 subscribers, Ayin has pulled in just over 11 million views to date.
You know those famous male YouTube gamers people always think of? Well, EmSArcade works for one; however, in addition to editing videos for CinnamonToastKen, Emily runs her own channel full of video game commentary, an original song called “Other Side of the Screen” and inappropriate jokes. The female gamer plays a variety of popular and indie games, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Sims, Tube Tycoon, and Unravel. Some of her most humorous content, however, is her “Drunk on Nostalgia” series, where she drinks and then plays through old Harry Potter games. EmSArcade boasts almost 35,000 subscribers and 3.1 million views.
Also known as Annalise, this Scottish gamer provides Let’s Plays, reviews, commentary and first impression videos along with a weekly update vlog. MsCarsonelle is adamant about providing honest and unbiased impressions of games, of which she covers a random assortment of interesting title, including Night in the Woods, The Walking Dead, Dog Sled Saga and RimWorld. She was once interviewed by ebuyer.com about the drawbacks of being a girl in the gaming industry. With around 6,700 subscribers and over 400,000 views, MsCarsonelle is definitely a smaller female gamer on YouTube who has a lot of entertainment to offer those interested watching in more content from women.
This channel of just over 7,900 subscribers is run by a woman named Wanda, who also refers to her channel as Wanda Plays. She also used to be known as Jaydencats. A voice actress and video gamer, Wanda likes to create content around underrated 1990s-2000s games, survival horror titles and a variety of role-playing games. Some of her most popular videos come from playthroughs of the anime-style Persona 3 series, which have pulled in anywhere from 2000–11,000 views each. In total, Wanda has nearly 1.3 million views across all her videos.
If some people find it difficult to picture women in gaming, it can be even harder for them to picture women of color in gaming. However, they do exist; take BlackEssence, for example. An official UBISOFT Uplay ambassador, BlackEssence’s subscriber count isn’t listed, but she boasts more than 2.4 million total views. She’s a Sims enthusiast; the majority of her content is walkthroughs and Let’s Plays from these games. BlackEssence even creates her own mini-series of sorts with her Sims content, such as “Livin’ the Married Life” and more recently “Ms. Whitney’s Beauty Shop.”
Not much can be found online about this particular YouTube channel, but Brittany’s 23,000+ subscribers seem to love her content; she currently boasts over 4 million total video views, most of them stemming from her Minecraft content. Brittany specializes in building Barbie-inspired creations in Minecraft in her “Barbie Dream House” series, developing characters and homes in Sims, and playing random games related to franchises like Disney Princesses and My Little Pony.
For anything and everything Pokemon-related, Becca Faye is your go-to gal. Formerly known as Foxiify, Becca hails from Canada and provides Pokemon playthroughs, as well as some Let’s Play content for other titles such as Life is Strange and The Wolf Among Us. She’s currently working her way through Pokemon Uranium. Becca claims more than 30,000 subscribers and 3.5 million total views on her channel.
Watch and Enjoy
This list should cut down on a lot of search time for viewers who already watch content from popular female gamers but are interested in watching even more content from smaller creators. This guide might even help long-time YouTube gaming fans who’ve primarily stuck to watching content from favorite creators by introducing them to new, enjoyable channels they hadn’t heard of before. Watch, enjoy and seek out your own favorites.