I never understood the hype around gaming. But like everyone else, I found myself living the same day on repeat during lockdown. I put my best foot forward as I baked cakes, knitted clothes and downloaded and played mobile and computer games such as Valorant, League of Legends and Call of Duty Mobile.
Then, it hit me. Anticipating each new update and gaming with friends over Discord gave me something to look forward to as each mundane day passed. Each level-up and upgrade brought a sense of achievement and fulfillment; a promise that today’s game play will be better than yesterday’s.
I loved playing because of the thrill that I felt, but there was one comment I heard all the time: the assumption that girl gamers weren’t as skilled as the boys. As we played, my friends shared stories wherein they witnessed firsthand girl gamers being looked down upon in the community and were even subject to misogynistic remarks the moment they turned on their microphones and spoke.
To me, gaming and streaming to my community, it’s like a treasure to me, it’s like your online family. Parang win-win situation, you inspire them and they will also inspire you in a way na you keep doing what you do.
As I searched the web, I came across Filipina girl gamers and was inspired by Suzzysaur. Her high-spirited aura and her bright purple hair that matched her cute and aesthetic gaming set-up made me wonder about her story. Despite all these things I heard about girl gamers, I was curious to know what has kept her going in the gaming and streaming industry for five years now.
Young STAR caught up with Suzzane, also known as Suzzysaur, and talked about all things gaming: what got her into it, the misconceptions she overcame, and her high hopes for the Philippine gaming industry.
Young STAR: So what got you into gaming?
SUZZYSAUR: Nung bata pa ako, nakikita ko yung mga nasa paligid ko na naglalaro. Especially my family, ang pinaka-gamer sa family namin is papa ko and yung kapatid ko. Yung brother ko talaga yung gamer, until yung League of Legends na yung nilaro niya, doon na ako nagkaroon ng interest na mag-try ng online games. For me, gaming is another kind of bond for friends and family. Yung pinakanakaka-inspire is yung mga people who make the video games. Ang galing paano nila naisip na yan yung itsura ng dragon? Ganyan yung itsura ng character na ‘to out of nowhere?
What do you love about streaming to your community?
Ang sarap tingnan when your fans become friends because of you. I really treasure them. It’s so nice to have people around you that you have something in common with. To me, gaming and streaming to my community, it’s like a treasure to me, it’s like your online family. Parang win-win situation, you inspire them and they will also inspire you in a way na you keep doing what you do.
Di ko in-expect na magkaroon ng good influence yung name ko in terms of gaming and schooling. Nakakatuwa kasi ang daming positive feedback about it and nakatapos na ako ng school! So ngayon, kung ano yung naipon ko from streaming is binibigay ko for my future and for my family.
What misconceptions about gaming did you face?
Nakakatuwa lang na yung gaming nowadays nabibigyan na siya ng tamang pansin. Hindi lang just because you’re a gamer, nagpapabaya ka na. Madali na maintindihan ng parents mo na you can become a good influence kahit gamer ka. So that’s what I love about streaming and gaming. What I earn from streaming, ginagastos ko for my schooling. Di ko in-expect na magkaroon ng good influence yung name ko in terms of gaming and schooling. Nakakatuwa kasi ang daming positive feedback about it and nakatapos na ako ng school! And graduate na ako sa last two years. So ngayon, kung ano yung naipon ko from streaming is binibigay ko for my future and for my family.
How has being involved in a male-dominated industry empowered you?
Actually, ang tagal na nitong issue na ‘to: girl gamers vs. guy gamers. To me personally, hindi ko siya iniisip na may gender sa paglalaro. We are all gamers, we should treat each other equally. Lahat naman tayo puwede tayo magkaroon ng PC, puwede magkaroon ng ability to play, why not treat each other equally?
Sa ibang tao, they see na pag gamer ka na girl, you don’t have skills, by default yun na yung sinasabi ng iba. Sa iba naman, yung ibang lalaki, nahirapan daw sila maging sikat na streamer or influencer kasi hindi daw sila babae.
Pag natatalo yung team namin, sinasabi nila “Grabe kayo sa babae!” Pero for me, walang babae babae dito sabi ko sa kanila. Lahat tayo nag-eenjoy lang, happy lang.
Pero marami ring girl gamers in terms of community, marami ring pro-players na girls. Pero yung sinasabi ng guys na mas madaling sumikat ang girl gamers, that’s not true. Ang minamahal ng tao sa streamers is yung personality.
What struggles have you faced in the gaming community as a woman?
Lagi nilang sinasabi na may limitation ang woman, hanggang diyan ka lang parang ganun. Pero may taong nagsasabi din na when you are a woman, mabilis ka mag-boom. So yun yung struggle, ang easy nila mag-judge, lalo na internet kasi ‘to. In the internet world it’s easier for people to judge even if di ka nila kilala.
What do you want people outside the gaming community to know?
It is a place where you can belong. It’s a place you can call your second home. To me, gaming, isa siya sa mga athlete games din. Yun na yung ginawa ko sa sarili ko. At the back of my mind, pro players are, like, equal to athletes. So parang naging bagong term lang yung pro-gamers kasi computer kaharap nila pero they’re like athletes. Kaparehas lang ng volleyball, table tennis, billiards. Sana makita rin ng mga tao na magkaroon ng interest dun na puwede na maging home nila.
What are your hopes for the future of the gaming community and e-sports in the Philippines?
Yung scene dito sa Philippines, maging katulad sa Western. Sa Western (countries), binibigyan na nila ng importance yung gaming community. Sa schools, meron nang gaming extra-curricular, may course nga kung gusto mong i-pursue yung gaming, parang ganun. Tas yung big events, pinaghahandaan talaga. Tapos yung mga banks, partnered sila sa games. Like DOTA partner yung BDO. Pag bumili ka ng DOTA points, BDO nalang. Katulad sa Western na maging big and appreciated yung gaming scene.
What’s your message and advice to aspiring streamers, especially girl gamers?
My message and advice to girl gamers is to be strong kasi ang pinakana-experience ng girls is sexually ka na-abuse, what you wear, how you do your makeup, yung camera mo. So, keep on doing what you love and take yung sinasabi ng mga tao as opinion pero wag mo hayaan na ma-pull down ka nila. Just stick to your plan and goal and kapag na-feel down ka, it’s okay to take a break pero never stop.