I am JaneyLaney and I am an avid Minecraft player and gaming content creator.
What does being a woman in gaming mean to you?
Being a woman in gaming means being myself. I have chosen to game simply because I love it and have loved it since I was two years old. Regardless of all of the derogatory and negative comments, I still game because it is apart of what makes me, me.
What’s your favourite game to play on Xbox and why?
Minecraft is my favourite Xbox game! I think I fell in love with it because there are so many ASMR like sounds and you play any type of way you feel like. If you feel like slaughtering mobs all day, you can. If you just want to build, you can. If you even just want to farm and resource collect all day, you can. There are education properties too. Kids can learn while playing and I really enjoy games that allow children of all learning strengths to work together and have fun.
What challenges have you experienced as a woman who plays games?
I have been sexually harassed MANY times both in games and in messages. I know that this would be the normally expected answer, but it has concerned me given the number of people who have also threatened to dox me. It doesn’t help either when they know that I am also a Black woman. We are often targetted for terrorizing. I have been told several times to appear offline or not use a profile picture, but I should NOT have to do that in order to be respected. There are also times when boys and men have decided that I was not “smart enough” to play a game because “games are not for girls”. It gets very frustrating because no matter how many female gaming content creators people have seen, this is STILL the stigma in most gaming communities except the “cute” cooking or farming games.
Are there any positives to being a gamer? If so what are they?
One of the most positive things about being a gamer is having the ability to still utilize my imagination even as an adult. I really think that getting sucked into video games, understanding the lore, and really becoming passionate, takes a good level of imagination…and I have achieved that. Another positive is the way that gaming bridges people together regardless of their country both on and off the game. I have met several people from all over the world in gaming lobbies, but then just having discussions on my favourite games, I have been able to meet all types of people on Twitter and Reddit.
What do you think needs to happen for women to feel more empowered and belong in the gaming industry? Is there anything we can do now to enact change?
I think that highlighting more women gaming devs would be a great start. If people could see all the women who have worked on gaming hardware and games more often, there would be a better level of respect. I think that men in the gaming industry and content creation space need to start RECOGNIZING women publically who they know have been in these spaces for years working hard. They also need to be ready to speak up when they witness harassment or unfair treatment towards women.
Is there anything that you’ve done in gaming that you’d like to share? Have you achieved anything special or done anything in the gaming industry that we should know about?
I was a Mixer Partner and now a Facebook Gaming Partner. In 2020, I was featured on Minecraft’s Meet A Minecrafter Series for my work creating #BlackMinecraft, which is an initiative to spreading cultural diversity and disability awareness. I have been making culturally diverse Minecraft skins online.