UC gamer powers up for the future
Breaking gender stereotypes in esports
In sports, teams are generally separated by gender. Esports is an exception, though.
A Forbes article reported that 41% of all gamers in the United States are women, which is on the rise.
The growing presence and participation of females in esports brings a range of industry-wide benefits as well as a sense of community. University of Cincinnati student Fiona Harrell-Duchaine, a fourth-year digital media collaborative major with a minor in information technology, shares her experiences with esports.
What interested you in gaming?
I've been gaming for as long as I can remember and got my start in esports when I was in high school. Gaming gave me a way to make friends online at a time when my social anxiety made it very hard to do so in person. Overwatch was my first introduction to gaming before picking up League of Legends, now my favorite esports title.
Why did you choose UC for your undergraduate studies?
As a Cincinnati native, UC was a perfect fit for me in terms of proximity. Also, I wouldn't be here without the support UC provided through its financial aid programs.
Can you share your experience as a student worker with esports?
I work in the UC Esports Lab where they have a broadcasting studio. It is inside the 1819 Innovation Hub and where I've learned about livestream production of esports competitions. After taking game design and game art classes, my passion lies in stream overlay design, photography and esports event planning.
Esports, at UC specifically, is a community where you really can just be yourself and connect with other students on campus. The UC Esports Club has been my home for the past four years, and I could not recommend it enough to new UC students. By far, my favorite non-academic part of attending UC.
Fiona Harrell-Duchaine UC student
Is this your first time participating as a student worker at UC?
No. Before working at the Esports Lab, I was a digital media student worker for the marketing department in the 1819 Innovation Hub. In that role, my responsibilities included graphic design, photography, videography and editing.
Was this prior to the opening of the UC Esports Lab?
Yes. I was the vice president of the Esports Club here on campus. When we learned about the Esports Lab, we couldn't wait to have our own space at the university. Last summer, I was hired full-time in the lab, and it has been a bit of a dream come true. It allowed me the opportunity to contribute to all the event planning leading up to the grand opening of the new UC Esports Lab.
What do you hope to do with a career in esports?
With the popularity of online gaming and streaming platforms like Twitch, I plan to have a career in video game design or marketing and production for a professional esports organization. Currently, I’m designing the 2023 UC Esports Fall Invitational for the marketing team, which I am excited about.
The Intel Corporation published a blog recognizing esports as a thriving industry in academia, fostering skills in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) while welcoming engagement and inclusion opportunities.
Based on your own experiences and Intel’s findings, how would you describe esports to incoming students?
Esports, at UC specifically, is a community where you really can just be yourself and connect with other students on campus. The UC Esports Club has been my home for the past four years, and I could not recommend it enough to new UC students. By far, my favorite non-academic part of attending UC. Also, career options for gamers have expanded to so many other technologies like video/audio production, livestreaming and broadcasting, to name a few.
Thank you for your candor in sharing your experiences with esports. Switching gears, would you be willing to share a fun fact about yourself?
Sure. A fun fact about myself is that my love of gaming extends into tabletop and card games. I love playing Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons when I'm not at my computer.