‘Gaymers’ Are Taking Brazil by Storm

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during a live streamWith an LGBTQ+ flag in the background, blue hair, and pop songs promoting her moves, 29-year-old Alcides Farlin shoos away her enemies. Brazilian engineer and streamer describes himself As a “stupid boy, an acid drag” and tries to create content that merges the gay and gaming communities.

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This approach is becoming a trend among a subset of Brazilian streamers—call them entertainers, performers, performers, or laymen. Gamers.

Their streams have many things in common: witty captions, lively backgrounds, silly rules that lead to live chat, and sometimes childish, sometimes extravagant, looks with colorful wigs and expressive makeup. Seeing them for the first time feels strangely familiar, like hearing your best friends talk about everyday life, drama, crushes… and games.

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“Broadly speaking, a homosexual is someone who identifies as LGBTQ+ and actively participates in the gaming community,” explains Lucas Goulart, a social psychology therapist at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Goulart specializes in the intersection between queer culture and video games, and according to him, homosexuals can also be viewed as opposite worlds. “It’s hard because sometimes they don’t see themselves in any community at all,” he tells Wired.

Primarily, Goulart says, there are stereotypes surrounding homosexuals, that a gay man who is into fashion and partying may not be a “geek gamer” who only thinks about video games, as he calls it. Is. But Brazilian gay people are moving ahead, leaving behind these stereotypes to create something new. And since many of his livestreams have over 10,000 active viewers, it’s safe to say that his audience puts personality above dichotomy.

Furlin knows that people adore her drag queen persona, Lola DeVille. “People respond to transparency,” he says. “I need to be smart about how I look at things because I’m not talking native gamers, but I’m committed to showing the truth, whether that means getting eye-shadow just right.” Accepting the difficulties in doing or being honest about having a hard time passing the levels in a game.”

His awareness pays off. With over 8,000 followers on Twitch, Lola is part of several LGBTQ+ gaming initiatives, such as the International stream queens and brazilian Project Fierce, Both operate as streaming communities and show a wide variety of content produced by gays. And in addition to participating in collective projects, Lola’s personal calendar is full. She livestreams anywhere from two to 10 hours five days a week, doing everything from playing League of Legends To offer beauty tutorials.

Twitch in Brazil

Twitch saw explosive growth during pandemic – hitting the mark 18.6 billion hours of watched content in 2020. In Brazil, as of July last year, Twitch New rates for membership: Now it costs just R$7.90 ($1.50 US) – 65 percent less than the base rate in the country.

The move is part of a global initiative that aims to provide greater reach in areas where the platform is popular. And popularity in this sport comes with a price. For some time now, Brazilian Twitch has been seen as a good indicator of political tension and change.

In May, Jair Rennan, the son of President Jair Bolsonaro, was banned from the platform after spreading Covid-19 misinformation and encouraging gamers to break social distancing. His father is also finding it difficult to communicate with the gaming crowd.-Once a solid base among its voters.

Talking about politics, Lola says, “Anyone who sees homosexuals immediately knows which side we stand on.” She emphasizes that her audience should be critical and well-versed and debate the subject with a lot of charisma. It’s hard to imagine that she comes across like a seasoned pro as she is new to streaming – when the pandemic started her channels in Brazil.

godmother of brazilian gamers

Sameera Close One of those seasoned professionals. She is the drag personality of Venison Pereira da Silva, a 27-year-old man from northeastern Brazil who worked as a seamstress and telemarketing operator before becoming a streamer.

The son of a single and evangelical mother, Veneson never considered streaming as a career while growing up. He lacked the financial means to invest in equipment for gaming, which was only a hobby at the time. At first, he participated in streams of friends. Over time, followers started commenting on how funny and spontaneous he was and asked if he would consider creating his own channel. “Why not?” He wondered as he discovered solutions to pay electricity and internet bills.

Samira Close was born in 2014, and the longest she has been offline since then is 10 days. Sameera now reaches nearly 900,000 followers from her shiny working station, who are eager to interact with her godmotherNickname coined by his fans.

Sameera’s livestreams range from five to 10 hours a day and, at its peak, gather over 15,000 concurrent viewers. She plays a variety of sports: free fire To resident EvilDepends on what mood he’s in.

Sameera’s aura is usually very excited. She talks enthusiastically – as if she is always on the Nerdshala of a joke. She has a permanent, almost sarcastic, smile in her mouth, and she uses her beard as a statement. “When I decided not to shave, I wanted people to understand that I was not meant to be a woman, that was not the point. It was exactly what I wanted to look like and it aligned with my message Gone was that ‘whatever you can be and whatever you do, you don’t have to set any expectations, even the drag ones,’ she says.

Looking back, Sameera says that she didn’t recognize herself among the gaming streamers she had seen before starting her channel – not just in terms of appearance but also in terms of her gestures, her humour, the topics she talked about. had chosen. The only thing they had in common was their love for sports.

But sometimes a shared interest is not enough for a community to come together. “When I started, other gamers didn’t take me seriously. They cursed me, they made fun of me, I felt so hated, ”she recalls.

Isolation within the gaming community

Seventy-four percent of adults who play online games have experienced some form of harassment or embarrassment Anti-Defamation League Report From July 2019. When talking specifically about LGBTQ+ players, 35 percent reported being upset because of their identity. “We’re living something I like to call GamerGate after,” explains social psychology therapist Goulart.

Gamergate (GG) had a year-long online harassment campaign It began in 2014, with members coordinating a series of misogynistic and violent attacks against female gamers and developers. According to Goulart, the GG members declared what could be seen as a culture war led to, primarily, two things: the diversification of gamer identity and increased social criticism, such as those about race, gender, and diversity within video games. Discussion.

“If we look closely, GamerGate was really a laboratory for the American right, a lot of their values ​​found resonance there,” Goulart says. The movement was guided by the idea that its members, driven by notions of superiority and extremism, refused to see in video games the things they would have rejected in real life.

Despite the discomfort she felt, Sameera says that the initial threats she received from other gamers and streamers fueled her further. “I saw it as an added incentive to occupy this online space, there was so much to change and change.”

Sameera felt responsible for taking the lead for homosexuals. For him, humor is important because it makes things light and easy to digest. And when it comes to offering tips for those thinking of streaming themselves, he only has two rules. “The first thing I say: ‘Don’t compare your beginnings to anyone’s middle.’ And the other thing is to have fun. Because when you have fun, people feel it and have fun with you,” she says.

Sameera has got a lot of success with this attitude. She has appeared on TV, released a single, and is a reference within the Brazilian gaming community. “When you drag, a lot happens that you get stuck in character. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved through Samira, but sometimes I feel like there are things Veneson wants to conquer,” she says.

Fortunately, the road has been paved, with many gays streaming after Samira. “I’m happy because the LGBTQ+ community loves so many different things, so it’s not just about visibility, it’s also about diversity in content,” says Sameera.

Gamers for all audiences

rebecca One of those streamers who knows how to shake things up. Friends with Samira, she is the drag of 23-year-old Alexandre Paulo dos Santos. Dos Santos identified as non-binary and started streaming three years ago while he was still working in a beauty salon.

Rebecca began her streaming career like Samira, participating in other people’s streams until viewers really liked her and donated a computer so she could produce her own content.

Today, Rebecca has over 200,000 followers and sometimes streams for over 10 hours a day. she likes these kind of games overwatch And fortnite, but focuses on sharing her lifestyle. “The main purpose of my life was never the gameplay, it was always the exchanges, the conversations, the place where the humor would flow naturally,” she says.

Rebecca remembers that her favorite livestream was actually Karaoke Night With Other Brazilian Streamers, “The girls know each other, and we have a lot of fun…

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