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Women of Gaming

Taking Aim with Archanaa Kariyakar

October 5, 2015 — by Nachiket "therapist" Mhatre0

24-year-old, Chennai based Archanaa Kariyakar has been gaming over the years that developed further into a hobby.

Archanaa Karyikar - 250px x 250px24-year-old, Chennai based Archanaa Kariyakar has been gaming over the years that developed further into a hobby. She has been playing videogames, starting with Tetris or the handheld Brick game, Then followed Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Road Rash and Claw on the PC. Everything turned on its head after 2008, when she transformed her individual cafe gaming sessions into group ones. She then went ahead participating in game launches and game tests. Cosplaying for events is what she loved and took it further by working with NODWIN Gaming as a community manager and cosplayer. She has also been featured on the cover of an international magazine Charisma +2.

Favourite videogame.
Silent hill 1, 2 and 3. I like the story and I love the soundtrack in particular.

Favourite videogame character.
Favorite videogame character changes from time to time. Currently it would be Heather from Silent Hill 3, because I just replayed the game.

Favourite cosplay.
Favorite cosplay would be pretty much anyone from the Final Fantasy series. Can’t really pick one because so many of their character designs are beautifully done, elaborate costumes and weapons and such.

Sony or Microsoft? Jade Raymond or Anita Sarkeesian? Describe gamergate in one line?
Gamergate? Sony or Microsoft? Jade Raymond or Anita Sarkeesian? You know what? I really don’t concern myself with all that. I just play my games wherever they are, I surround myself with nice people and stay happy.

Do you think gaming is friendly/inclusive to women?
In my experience, I was fortunate enough to find myself people and communities who were friendly and welcoming to women. There was no nerd-shaming or any of that, in fact, they are happy to engage and educate.

Have you had any bad gaming experiences/harassment due to your gender?
Well, I wouldn’t say harassment, but there’s one thing I’d like to share:
I understand one’s elation upon finding women who game, but the moment one brings gender into it, and needlessly comparing, that’s not very nice. No one did that when we were playing Mario, why do that now with DOTA and the likes?

If there’s one thing you could fix about videogames and/or the gaming culture what would it be.
One thing I could do would be to make people just to do away with the pointless nerd-shaming of women in the gaming community. If we enjoy games and express ourselves in a way they don’t personally approve of they try to shame us out of their little club. You can’t say nasty things and then with the same breath complain “Why are there no women who game around here?”.

Why do you think there aren’t as many videogames with female lead characters?
Videogames are catered to a predominantly male audience, I guess it’s more relatable to them if the protagonist is a guy. Additionally, I read that unfortunately, games which feature strong female protagonists just don’t seem to do well financially. However, almost every game which features a female lead has grown a cult-like fanbase around it. Recent games like Mirror’s Edge, Bayonetta to name a couple.

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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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