@O1Zeldagirl, 19 – FUNDED

One of @O1Zeldagirl‘s dreams is to stream frequently and share fun moments with her community. Most importantly, this JBL Quantum Grant winner wants to provide a safe place for anyone and everyone. You can also find her on Instagram.

What is your dream in gaming and/or esports? 

My dream is to be a game designer who can advocate for differently abled gamers. I want to increase accessibility as well as representation for people of color and the LGBTQ community.

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

I currently attend college as an Interactive Media and Game Design major and this grant will greatly help with my educational expenses.

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

It means the world to me. Being recognized and rewarded for my passion and dedication in games, regardless of the bumps along the way, is a huge honor and I couldn’t be more grateful.

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

I think we should include more women in esports marketing campaigns and have more realistic and less sexualized women characters in games. I also think we need stricter regulations against harassment of women in this industry.

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

As a woman in gaming, I have faced a lot of gender-related challenges. Growing up as a “girl gamer,” I constantly faced harassment and bullying — both in online games as well as in school. In high school, I began pursuing programming and I was often the only woman in the classes, which was often disheartening.

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

Never give up and believe in yourself. For the foreseeable future, there will be a lot of hate thrown in women’s direction. But if you are truly passionate, love gaming, and want to dedicate yourself to games, you shouldn’t let anything stop you. Keep pursuing your dreams and let your accomplishments spite the ones who didn’t believe in you.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals? 

I watch other successful women in gaming. Seeing women thrive — despite the challenges they have faced and continue to face — is extremely inspiring to me and it drives me to keep creating and do what I love.