If you don’t already know who Avori is, she’s a well known and respected name in the PUBG community. Among live streaming daily on Twitch she also makes YouTube content featuring her streams, game recaps, funny moments, and even a life & travel vlog every now and then. She’s worked hard to make a name for herself in the online gaming community and she’s done so while remaining poised and tactful- A difficult feat if you’ve ever stopped by any woman’s live stream and lurked the comments for a couple minutes.

It’s been a hot topic for years now- Women gamers are controversial in the eyes of many. As a woman who games and also live streams myself I can tell you first hand that the verbal abuse is there and it’s tough to overcome. It can easily scare away the weak of heart and if you get caught in it, well, it can be devastating. You go from loving a game to never touching it again and let's be real: Video games are an escape, a hobby, and even a passion for some. No one sits down at their platform of choice and says I really want to be berated today.

That’s where Avori comes in. She’s here as an advocate and a voice for all the women of the gaming community: We’re here, we’re not going anywhere, and man-  We just want to play our favorite games in peace, ok?

I sat down to talk with Avori this week to discuss her views on a couple of subjects surrounding the gaming industry and her journey through fighting the trolls. She had a lot of wisdom and encouragement and Wildcard couldn’t be more proud of her! Check out the interview below.

What age did you start playing video games? What was the first game you picked up?
I only started just a short year and a half ago, actually. My first game was PUBG on PC and as soon as I played my first game I became a gamer. I remember going to sleep that night and I had a dream that I was playing the game. I’ve never been so passionate about getting good at something! I competed in pageants for years and that gave me a big rush, but nothing like I felt when I got a kill in PUBG.

Are there any specific women in the gaming industry that inspire you?
Yes, I really look up to all women who have made it into the professional scene! As a streamer it’s important to handle myself with class in all situations and I think Danucd does that very well so I’ve always looked up to her in that aspect. She’s also got skill in the games she plays, I admire that too.

What are your goals for women in the gaming industry? What are you doing to help that ideal?
My goal is to be an inspiration to female gamers. I want them to feel comfortable being themselves and embracing their inner nerdy gamer girl despite the sexism and internet trolls who will try to bring them down. I’ve actually started my own females PUBG tournament that raises money for charity! Every few months the ladies gather together, and compete all while raising money for Fred Hutch. It’s a really great feeling to be able to do what you love and also know that you are helping people at the same time.

What do you struggle with the most in the industry?
It pains me to say this, but no matter what I do, what I wear, or how good I am at the game- I am always running into people who like to talk down to me for being a woman. I don’t understand this as it’s 2019, but the behaviors I’ve experienced are disgusting and I just don’t want other females to experience this and be discouraged to be themselves. The other thing that happens is all the sexual comments and being called names that just aren’t becoming. Coming from a girl who used to model and compete in pageants, womanhood was celebrated in those industries. Now it’s a bad thing that I’m a female... It’s a hard and drastic change for me but I am getting stronger every day to prove the haters wrong.

For some taking negative comments from viewers and peers can be hard. How do you handle the toxicity that comes with being a female gamer?
I think the most powerful tool you can have as a streamer is to learn to ignore. Most trolls just want attention so ignoring them just takes away their stage. It’s so hard though when you want to stand up for yourself.

How do you feel about the names that get put on women who game? (I.E. Gamer girl, EGirl)
I actually like the term gamer girl because I’ve always used that one with a positive connotation. The other names will never stop as long as the internet exists, though. I think it’s just important to remember who you are as a person and as a gamer and remember why you stream. It’s not for the haters, the haters would never support you anyway! You have to focus on the hundreds and thousands of people who look up to you and love you for being yourself.

If you could give women who aspire to game or stream their favorite games any advice, what would it be?
My advice would be to have a goal and let that goal motivate you through all the tough times. When internet trolls arise, you have to have some sort of motivation to overcome it. For me, that’s setting an example for women to overcome adversity in the gaming industry. Make sure you don’t just start a stream for no reason- Goals will motivate you through the toughest of times

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