@lorielamont9, 19 – Funded

“In my own gaming community, I am always so happy to see the few women in my group and especially in my classes,” says lorielamont9, who is a full-time student at City College of New York and a senior artist and membership manager for EGD Collective. “It always lights up my world whenever I encounter new faces of women who are interested in pursuing a similar career path within the games industry. Other people can get that same feeling if we have the education and the spaces to prove that it is possible and women in games are seen,” added this JBL Quantum Grant winner, who has big dreams for the future.

What is your dream in gaming and/or esports? 

My dream is to be a concept artist in the games industry and use my influence to encourage other underrepresented groups to do the same. Even if I’m not a concept artist, I would love to find my own place in the games industry to spread that same awareness that anyone can do it to other aspiring creators in my current position!

How will this award from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? 

This award will help me purchase a powerful laptop to create detailed 3D models and environments. Having a laptop for creative use will help immensely in removing my time restrictions as a working college student. I often find it difficult to complete digital creative projects without access to my desktop when I’m rarely home.

What does being a 1,000 Dreams Fund – JBL Quantum Grant recipient mean to you? 

It is so special to me because it proves that I am moving one step forward in my goal to make an impact on others. People can look at me and it may provide inspiration for those who are looking for some source of encouragement to pursue their dreams in the games industry or as an artist.

Women are underrepresented in gaming and esports. What can we do to change this?

Honestly, I think opening more games-related spaces for women to express themselves and engage in a welcoming community might help us further branch out into the gaming and esports scene — along with accessible education in the games industry. Part of the problem has always been that women don’t feel like they have a place in gaming and in esports with the discrimination that we face and the lack of representation that we see.

When we aren’t educated on how to jump into games or esports as a hobby — or how an interest in working in the games industry can lead to an attainable career path — we lose the potential for some to engage in these spaces. I cannot stress how essential these communities are to closing the gap in representation of gender in games.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

As a student heavily involved in learning how to navigate the games industry, I’ve found myself doubting my ability to achieve a spot. There are days when it just seems impossible to break into the industry. With how small the industry is, the lack of people like me, and harmful practices like crunch and layoffs make me question my security in the industry. I mean, who wouldn’t?!

What advice do you have for women who want to work in the gaming or esports industry? 

Do it and put all of yourself into it. Talk to people in the games industry; make friends who have similar interests and career goals as you; and just make it happen. Make sure you get your support system and your own community right behind you for you to fall back on when you need help.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals? 

Genuinely, it’s just me looking back at my friends who are there to support me and seeing how everyone around me is working on projects and are just doing it. My peers and my professors push me to just do the thing. I’m so grateful for the people who I’m around. That, in addition to my drive to make a change, constantly keeps me on track with trying to achieve my dream.