Women in gaming. It seems like it shouldn’t be an issue or a problem. But it is.
Last week, the Twittersphere was on fire over the issue of women in PvP and gaming in general. A female Battler who goes by SophToph wrote a beautiful answer to the whole conversation. I’m linking it here because if you somehow missed it, it’s worth a read.
I’ve written and rewritten this a million times. The main thing I want to convey is that creating an environment where people who are completely new to battling, to feel comfortable trying it, is very important. This means talking to new faces when in-person events are back. It means offering to scrim, even with people whose skill level is far below yours. It also means not making fun of people for playing Pokémon that you think “take no skill to use.” All of this is even more important when you run across people who might not see anyone else like themselves reflected in the community. Make them feel welcome, and others will follow.
To make a more welcoming environment for women in PvP, two streams scheduled special events. NeedforSpeedy ran an 8-hour charity session on Twitch to showcase female battlers on Monday, May 31st. One of the most interesting parts of this stream was watching a less experienced Battler be coached through her GBL sets. This kind of coaching is very important, in my opinion, for less skilled Battlers to hear the thought process behind when to shield, when to swap, when to bait, and so much more.
Not to be outdone, TeamRocketPvP immediately offered to turn over this week’s Friday Night Fights to 2 teams of women from the GirlsThatPvP server. 10 battlers formed 2 teams, and women stepped up to claim the shoutcaster’s mic. The hope is not just to prove that women have the skills to provide high-level, entertaining battles, but to let women who are struggling or intimidated to see the other women out there.
I highly recommend that you watch this special edition of Friday Night Fights this week. Show the women in the community that you are glad they’re here. Show them that even if you don’t fully understand the issues they face, you are willing to listen and do what you can to mitigate those issues.
Here are the rules for Friday Night Fights. Each team selects 5 battlers. Those 5 battlers confer to determine 5 Pokémon that they do not want anyone to use in the battles. Team composition is basically done like a draft tournament. Within each team, only 1 battler can use any given Pokémon; there can be no duplicates. Each battler will face one battler on the opposing team. The pair of battlers will play 3 matches. Every win earns 1 point for their team. The team with the most points after all 15 matches have been played wins the Friday Night Fight event.
Still, have questions? Drop them in the comments section or in the Twitch chat.
No member of either team can select one of the banned Pokémon for their battle party.
Nidoqueens of the Stone Age
HurricaneKaz v H3artofMyst1c
NHoff v AllaFlutter
Evielee v LilyR
FinalBossAJ v ConsuelaBunny
Shadowin04 v Sushi
Where and When to Watch the Battles Friday
The broadcast for this GirlsThatPvP showcase will feature pre-recorded battles with live shoutcasting on TeamRocketPvP. Tune in to the Twitch channel on Friday, Jun 4th at 7 pm PST to catch the action.
A few days after the event has already been broadcast, you can find the video on TeamRocketAcademy’s YouTube channel, along with other Friday Night Fights and PvP content.
Have fun. Fight fair. And as my Uncle Jimmy used to tell his kids, “No pulling hair!”