Play like a girl: How Facebook’s biggest video game designer, Aparna Shukla, found her place in a male-dominated industry
- In today’s episode of
Adda Influencer, we’ll talk to one of the biggest names among female video game designers, Aparna Chouklaon his journey and the future of gambling in india.
- She found her true calling playing games with her brother and today she has over 2.45 million Facebook followers.
- So, if you are a gaming enthusiast, Aparna’s story is for you.
After the pandemic, gaming and esports platforms experienced massive growth and became big advertisers. Online gaming experienced its tipping point in 2020, with consumption and engagement at an all-time high and is now competing with traditional forms of entertainment. According to Sensor Tower, India led the world as the largest gaming app download market in the first quarter of 2021, recording an astonishing 28% year-over-year growth.
While India has established itself as a go-to gambling market, its women haven’t stopped defying age-old convention either. Gaming has long been a male-dominated industry, but female gamers have grown exponentially since the start of the pandemic due to the increasing penetration of smartphones and as a result the profile of a “typical gamer” has changed. . According to InMobi, women make up over 43% of smartphone gamers in India.
Facebook’s Aparna Shukla, aka Rog Stream, was one of the first female video game creators on the platform and she’s made leaps and bounds in the past four years. Based in Kanpur, Aparna was preparing for entrance exams to enter the banking sector before her brother introduced her to the world of online games.
She viewed the medium primarily as a channel for relaxation and as a way to be entertained throughout the day. She started out playing Candy Crush to relieve stress and her younger brother introduced her to PUBG. What started as a side hustle has now become her passion. Today, Aparna has 2.45 million followers on Facebook.
“I was given very limited options like any other young woman in a small town: I could ‘choose’ between becoming a teacher, a doctor or a banker. I went this route, but life had a different plan for me. I chose an unconventional path: gaming. When I think back to those days now, I laugh. For a long time, my father thought gambling was just a hobby. But over the years it became a serious career option and it realized its power when I started making money from it. He borrowed some money and bought me a gaming PC as a “toy”. And just like that, I started streaming my games from the comfort of my home,” Aparna shares.
Aparna and her younger brother danced in her living room as she found her first monetization opportunity. That excitement of taking new steps, she says, then turned into love.
“It usually takes a month or two to find an avenue for monetization and once I found my break I started religiously streaming my games. Before that I had no schedule. an hour whenever I had the chance. Later it turned into 9 hours and I found myself playing at night too,” Aparna recalls.
With more and more people joining the game pool, brands are focusing on their marketing through these young creators. Aparna believes that game creators provide direct access to GenZ and Millennials and that’s why brands are rushing to get exposure in game apps.
From her experience working with brands, she has some advice for them. “Brands need to communicate directly with creators and try to understand their audience from their point of view: learn more about audience expectations and behaviors. I’ve noticed that my audience is very curious. If I add a logo on my game stream, they won’t talk about my performance that day, but they will definitely show the logo, so with this strong engagement we offer, brands need to maintain a dialogue with creators during their partnership” , says Aparna.
For someone looking to dip their feet into the world of gaming, Aparna suggests using the powerful game console that fits in the palm of your hands: your smartphones! You can start your gaming career with Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) or Free Fire. “If you want to become a successful gamer, there is no mantra for it. Just keep playing, maintain continuity, but try to find your niche and work it into your content,” Aparna concludes.