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Women of Gaming

Headshots With Mahima Srivastav

September 10, 2015 — by Nachiket "therapist" Mhatre0

Born and brought up in Hyderabad, 25 year old Mahima Srivastav is an avid cosplayer. She has been gaming since she was 5 and her first game was Super Contra

Mahima-SrivastavBorn and brought up in Hyderabad, 25 year old Mahima Srivastav is an avid cosplayer. She has been gaming since she was 5, and the first game she got her hand on was Super Contra. When she isn’t busy playing characters such as Ada Wong, Corpse Bride and Minnie Mouse, she is a gamer who has dabbled with both the PC and consoles. However, after spending time with the PlayStation 2 and then the Xbox 360, Mahima has switched loyalties to consoles. Ever since she has been gaming with her friends, they have never ever differentiated between her and the rest or even dared to criticise this gaming lover woman. Given below are the answers to a few of our questions:

Favourite video game character?
Lee Everett from The Walking Dead. He’s not your typical hero, just a regular character who has to choose between the options given to him, usually ending up making at least one person unhappy.

Jade Raymond or Anita Sarkeesian?
Sarkeesian. It’s tragic that we are still fighting for equality in 2015.

Describe Gamergate in one line 
Gaming is a man’s world and Gamergate ensures that.

Do you think gaming is friendly/inclusive to women?
Although it has taken some time, gaming is now becoming more inclusive to women. My friends neither put me down, nor do they put me on a pedestal for being a girl gamer. I’m just a person who loves to play video games.

Have you had any bad gaming experiences due to your gender?
Usually, when you express that you are a gamer and you like certain games, some people test your knowledge by asking a thousand questions about the video game industry. Then they also try to shame you just because you don’t like to play a certain popular game.

If there’s one thing you could fix about video games and/or the gaming culture what would it be?
There is a gender gap because most games depict attractive female characters solely as sexual objects or eye candy. This gender gap can be fixed by normalising the gender traits within games. When that gap reduces, so will the shame that female gamers experience within the space.

Why are female video game protagonists in short supply?
Social conditioning has led us to believe that a female lead character should resort to emotions or manipulation instead of muscle power. Most games are about muscle power. That, combined with the fact that sex sells, leads the video game developers to prefer male lead characters with women acting as sexual objects or femme fatales.

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Nachiket "therapist" Mhatre

Nachiket has been obsessed with computers and videogames since the 8086 days. But don't you go asking him about his earliest gaming memory. Not unless you are fine with being subjected to an interminable monologue romanticising the warm monochrome glow of early DOS games and how the medium has since lost its soul at the turn of the millennium. When he isn't being a corporate slave at MySmartPrice.com, Nachiket spends his free time tinkering with hobby grade R/C, practicing archery, or just sharpening his knives for relaxation.

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