Video gaming, esports, and streaming services have exploded in popularity in the last few decades. That growth is fueling the breakdown of old stereotypes, like this one: Gaming is mainly for men. At Freeletics, we love busting myths. So, we asked gaming and lifestyle influencer Gnu (aka Jasmin) to educate us all with her unique perspective on gaming, how fitness plays a major role in winning, and where her industry is headed in the future.
Let’s get into it.
You have mentioned before that you enjoy working out and are passionate about building muscle and feeling strong. Where does this mindset & motivation come from?
Gnu: I used to be very fond of sports and also very fit. Lately, even small amounts of movement have been exhausting for me. I just wanted to get out of that hole. Besides, working out is a great way for me to balance work and stress.
Do you see any parallels between gaming and physical fitness activities?
Gnu: In games, you always have to hold out until the end and stay on the ball. It's the same with physical things. Because of gaming, I spend a lot of time sitting in front of my PlayStation, which makes it super important to keep fit through sports and exercise, to take care of my body and to create a good balance.
What has surprised you the most about being a gamer?
Gnu: In fact, my favorite thing about gaming is how many great and different people you meet. For many, gaming is considered an anti-social hobby, but I always find myself in a different world with different people. I love that.
What are the biggest stereotypes or barriers you have encountered as a female gamer?
Gnu: Again and again I have to hear that, at the end of the day, I'm just a woman and that I can't game. Especially at events or even when I made it to one million subscribers on YouTube, I was told again and again that I didn't make it alone and that my success was only down to my appearance. With men, you don’t hear these accusations being made.
Which female game characters do you think have inspired change in the industry or in yourself? Do you have any gaming “heroines”?
Gnu: For me, both the transformation from the old to the new Lara Croft, Ellie and Abby from the Last of Us Part 2 and Aloy from Horizon Forbidden West are the best female game characters. There’s no short or revealing clothing, they are simply themselves - strong and female. Especially in the case of Aloy, a lot of people on the internet have discussed her appearance and performance. Many have taken away from this how silly and stupid such discussions are and that women don't always have to be these skimpily-dressed characters with a perfect body.
When you look back at the Jasmin before your gaming career - how have you changed?
Gnu: I have become way more self-confident, trust myself much more, do what I want and can simply be myself.
In your opinion, what does the future of the gaming industry hold?
Gnu: Hopefully in the future there will be no more discussions around the gender and appearance of game characters. Women won't just be labeled and will be able to just be themselves.
What do you wish more people knew about gamers or gaming?
Gnu: There are significantly more gamers than you think. The hobby "gaming" shouldn’t really be considered a specialty today. More and more find themselves in these great worlds and also find a balance in it. What's wrong with that?
Fill in the blank: Being a female gamer makes me feel ____
Gnu: happy just to be myself and to be able to entertain others with what I enjoy.
Gnu (@saftigesgnu on Instagram) is a gaming and lifestyle influencer who is supporting the Freeletics x PlayStation partnership with content and challenges on her YouTube channel. Follow along as she trains like Aloy from Horizon Forbidden West and defeats each machine along the way.