ROCHESTER, N.Y. — With millions of gamers from across the world participating in eSports, it can take just one gamer to make all the difference.
“Being a software engineer and being a woman and being a woman of color, working in an industry that's supposed to be not really known, is amazing,” software developer of RIT Esports Club Daijya Robinson said. “It just shows how far we have come through. The first we used to have just predominantly white males, but now we're going more towards minorities. I mean, the work's not done, but there's definitely you can see the change happening. And we just need more people to just be interested in wanting to do it and not be afraid.”
Robinson says she is seeing issues firsthand of the lack of diversity in STEM.
“In my major, I've multiple times been told to do something else because I was a woman and just, oh, well, what do you know about this,” Robinson said. “It happens all the time in the field. And of course, it hurts. It really does hurt. But it's up to you to go and be like, ‘Oh, I'm not going to accept this,’ and keep pushing through.”
Robinson hopes eSports can pave the way for more representation of the gaming industry on the screen and those behind it.
“Building that community is really, really important to have all those perspectives to understand exactly like who is a part of it,” operational director of RIT Esports Club Bailey Chapman said. “We want to reach out to as many people as we can.”
Team members come together and bring all skill sets to the table.
“You can find like these stories of players that have gone through this and the different teams they've gone through and what they're known for,” Chapman said. “When you watch them through a league, the round robin tournaments, you can understand where they're coming from, what they're doing, and associate that with a person and a personality.”
The team hopes to make the growing industry of eSports game-changing for everybody to leave with a win.
“Don't ever stop because someone tells you you have to keep going,” Robinson said. “Because you're going to see change in the future and it just takes one person to do it.”