Everyone needs an escape sometimes. Cassandra (a.k.a. Friskk on Twitch) overcame her challenges by channeling her energy into a productive hobby– gaming. Now a popular broadcaster on Twitch, Friskk joins others on the streaming platform to help raise funds for the next generation of young women in gaming. Learn how Friskk turned gaming into a full-time job and make sure to join her and 1,000 Dreams Fund for our Streams for Dreams challenge.
How’d you get started in gaming and how did it become your job?
I’ve been gaming for as long as I can remember. My grandmother was a huge gamer and she instilled that upon me as soon as I was able to wield a controller! A friend suggested broadcasting to me a few years ago and I kind of dove in head-first.
Growing up I didn’t come from the best environment and was never given outlets to express or discover things that I might enjoy or thrive at. Being stuck indoors most of my younger years, I took solace in video games because it was the only thing I really knew and had. I knew that I had hidden potential and could be something better than what my surrounding environment was.
How have you changed since then?
I always struggled with my personal image when I was younger. I always questioned my self worth and if I could be better than what I currently was. Learning to love myself and understanding that the voyage to personal success was in fact a voyage, made the journey to the destination so much more enjoyable. I was always a very quiet person. Over the last few years I’ve evolved into a social butterfly. I’ve always had the philosophy that there is no ceiling on personal improvement. There is always room to become better and learn new things, and I try to seize that opportunity every single day.
What are some challenges you’ve faced in the online gaming community, especially as a young woman?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen women degraded and not taken seriously because they are wearing a V-cut shirt. Getting judged or labeled for our anatomy gets very tiresome. This sadly is just one of many issues. All we can really do is let our voices be heard and make strides for change one day at a time.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about female gamers?
It’s now 2018 and people still act as though seeing a female gamer is like spotting a unicorn. Some believe we are these mysterious mythical creatures and when discovered couldn’t possibly be real! I read somewhere that about 41% of gamers are in fact female. So, the common assumption that women don’t play video games is just silly. Another one of my favorites is assuming we’re all ugly. If we play video games we obviously must all resemble bridge trolls. Just because we are in fact women DOESN’T mean we are also all descendants of Shrek.
Why should more girls get into gaming?
I think gaming is a great outlet for creativity, learning and self improvement among other things. Want to learn to type faster for your desk job? There are games for that. Want to work on a better healthier you? There is a plethora of dance games to choose from. Are you just trying to relieve some stress? Your options are unlimited! They aren’t just games, they are incredible learning tools that many can benefit from.
How has gaming helped you?
Gaming helped me when I was younger and has shaped me into the person I am today. Honestly I don’t know who I would have become if I didn’t ever get into gaming. Gaming hasn’t been just about video games for me. They have been a gateway in helping myself, others and just overall in making a difference.