The days when kids played outside until the street lights came on seem long gone. If kids are told to go play with their friends, they’re somehow in front of the television or a computer screen setting up their game system.
It’s not entirely an act of defiance, though. They’re playing with people near and far thanks to gaming’s online component.
If it wasn’t evident by the headset and impenetrable concentration on the screen, gaming gets real. Real interactive.
Gaming ‘safe zone’
Outside of 25-year-old Autumn Frey’s bedroom door at least three times a week, you hear — in no specific order — “thanks for the like on the stream” or “good shot”.
When you walk into her second-floor bedroom, you’re immediately drawn to the bright green poster boards patched on the wall in the corner, serving as a DIY green screen.
Multiple monitors sit on two desks — one horizontal to her closet and another behind that one, creating her own gamer island, so to say. And underneath the action, sitting on a shelf behind a collection of wires running from the desks to power sources, her secret weapon for sustainability — energy powder.
Frey started streaming in July 2019 in response to a lot of toxicity she noticed surrounding the game. Kids who wanted to give it a try were immediately judged by their winning odds and other statistics.
“I’m here because I’ll play with anybody. It doesn’t matter what win percentage you have. It doesn’t matter if you lose every single game. I’ll play with anybody,” Frey said.
Frey wanted to create a “safe zone” with positive vibes for people to play and watch. And, she’s playing with people all over, including North Carolina, Canada and Ohio.
Her followers have an opportunity to play with her as long as they’re both online at the same time. Through Party Chat, she’s able to talk with her teammates using a headset and in the bottom left hand corner of streams, you can watch her as she plays.
Frey’s first console was a Playstation 2 and she played games like NASCAR and Dance, Dance Revolution with her grandpa since she doesn’t have siblings. The system is a far cry from the Playstation 4 she’s sporting now, but that’s where her love for gaming began.
She started playing NBA 2K18 with little know-how about the game. In real life, she has never even played basketball before. But, with consistency and dedication, she became extremely good, averaging at least 90 out of 99 in ranks with her players.
Frey has a player for about every basketball position on the court, but she prefers playing with the point guard.
Support as a female gamer
As a female gamer, she gets backlash from people online commenting on her gender or her weight. Gaming is very male oriented. And, for a girl who’s shooting her shot (literally) in sporting games, she’s even more susceptible to bias and negativity.
“A lot of people tell me to go back into the kitchen. A lot of people won’t respect it because they feel as if girls shouldn’t be playing sports games,” Frey said.
To mock this, Frey created a player with a tattoo that says “female gamer” on his back and “I Stream on Facebook” on his torso.
There are female gamers out there, but some are so popular, Frey says she hasn’t had the chance to chat it up with any.
The “Deluxe Dealz” Facebook page has garnered over 5,000 followers and Frey says many of them remain supportive. By day, Frey is a caregiver, and she sharesthat nurturing nature into her stream, allowing people to reach out and talk about their day or life in general.
“We’re a family…this is more than just me being a streamer and you watching,” Frey said.
One follower on her page mentioned that Frey is “consistent, friendly, and always down to run with supporters.” Another said Frey was the first female gamer he ever followed and that “the content and the way she communicates [in] her chat is amazing.”
In the future, Frey hopes to partner with Facebook and take her streaming to the next level. You can catch her stream Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 9 p.m and 10 p.m. on the “Deluxe Dealz” Facebook page.
Jasmine Vaughn-Hall is a trends reporter with the York Daily Record. She’s dishing out most-talked about topics, occasional features, and taco fandom. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-495-1789 and follow her on Twitter @jvaughn411.
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