Conference One presented a preview show for the*gameHERs award show. The award show aims to highlight some of the top females in esports and promote female participation in esports. Verta Maloney, the co-Founder of *gameHERs, who has over 20 years of experience as a school educator, leader and leadership coach, joined the show to discuss the wondrous things that the*gameHERs are doing and what to look for in the awards show. Host Greg Mescall joined Verta Maloney to start the show. On November 18th at 7 pm eastern, you can watch the*gameHERs awards live on their Twitch channel. The*gameHERs awards show is the only awards show in gaming and content created by women, for women, making it a special event for female industry experts.
Verta Maloney was not alone on the panel. Ahman Green, Lakeland esports Coach and former Green Bay Packers player who was inducted into their Hall of Fame, was also present on the show. Ahman Green talked about how he transitioned from Football to esports and talked about his passion for both growing up. He took over the job of Lakeland's Coach right before the pandemic and has finally started to gain normalcy in the role. He and Verta Maloney created a star-studded panel to discuss the awards.
Verta discussed how the*gameHERs started up. She and co-Founder Heather looked around the room at an esports event and realized that men were the most represented by a large margin. They made it their mission to give a voice for women in the industry. They want to show young people that they are represented at the highest level in the industry.
"We talked to hundreds of thousands of women who game and basically asked 'What do you want?' and the awards were one of those things where we were like 'Wait, how does this not already exist?'"-Verta Maloney
The creation of these awards is so important to the industry as well. Verta Malony also discusses the purpose of the awards to give recognition to those who are doing just as much for the industry but are not talked about in the same frequency. Verta Maloney also explains that the point of the awards is also to combat the toxicity that women face in the industry. Women tend to hear vulgarity towards them while playing games, which can discourage them from taking the next steps in the industry. Verta Maloney discusses this important dialogue as her puppy Murphy listens on and wants to join in.
To go hand and hand with what Verta Maloney discussed, Ahman Green discusses another major dilemma in esports, Mental Health. Esports not having the budget of a high-level football program can lead to fewer resources. One thing Ahman wanted to do was bring the mental side to the forefront. Ahman Green talks about the discussions he has with his players to shake off the butterflies and work on that anxiety they may have, which could be so important for all esports programs to adopt until they have the funds to hire a psychologist for the team.
"I didn't realize until my freshman year that I had anxiety about watching myself play, good or bad, and we have a team psychologist who was able to bring that out in me and let me recognize it"- Ahman Green.
Verta Maloney was able to expand on the point Ahman Green made. Women need to overcome an even bigger mental obstacle in the industry due to the lack of representation so far. The*gameHERs awards fight to combat that by showing the representation that should be shown, hopefully taking down that aspect of the mental barrier that could be prevalent.
"Though there is anxiety about playing this really tough team, on top of it there is this other level, and that's not just for the women to overcome that but for teams to create inclusive spaces"-Verta Maloney.
Verta Maloney was very excited to talk about the awards handed out at the actual award ceremony. One award that stood out was the Content Creator award, which has received over 60 thousand votes. The others that were very interesting to her were Streamer of the Year and Rising Streamer of the Year. The latter is a way to give notice to a newcomer in this industry.
"Awards give you an incentive to work hard again for something you already worked hard for. It motivates you to get that incentive again"-Ahman Green.
Anthony Gaud, an Emmy-Award-winning Entrepreneur, joined the panel in gaming and technology who is the Co-Founder of G3 esports. After giving some kind and true words to Verta Maloney, he talked about how he got involved with the*gameHERs. He is running the Conference One esports program and helping with Garden State esports for the high school level; he wanted to help improve the representation of girls in the industry as he's seen it first hand.
"Men may look at women as an object, and we won't tolerate it. We had one event happen in Conference One that led to multiple suspensions, and we want to get rid of it as a whole." -Anthony Gaud.
There is no better time to start talking about the problems in esports, as the industry will be taking off very soon. Anthony Gaud discussed the impact of esports in other countries like South Korea, and as it gets larger here, it is important to set the foundation early for representation for all. Ahman Green even discussed the representation for the LGBTQIA+ in the industry as he currently has a transgender player on his Lakeland roster. Though the*gameHERs is about creating spaces for women in this industry, Verta Maloney also talks about the need for representation for all.
"We are going to do whatever we can to make you stop doing what's immoral. All people get into business to make money, but you also get an opportunity to do the right thing for morality as well. You have to do what you think is right"-Anthony Gaud.
There is no better thing to be tuning into than the*gameHERs awards, taking place Thursday, November 18th at 7 pm eastern. Join the stream via the*gameHERs twitch and be a part of something special and hopefully representative of the future of esports.