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Asiaelle gave us this quick bio on herself before we got into questions about her network of WOC streamers; Thumbstick Mafia:

Black. Woman. Gamer.
I love books, games, music and Jalapeno Cheetos.  When I’m not reading or gaming, I’m live tweeting Anime and reminding you that women are multidimensional.
I Need Diverse Games: What got you into gaming?

Asiaelle: My boyfriend, now Husband – challenged me to try a video game aft. The first game was Dead or Alive on Playstation, next came Soul Cal and Amplitude but it’s not till I found Halo 2, that I “got” it

INDG: What are your favorite types of games?

Asiaelle:: FPS games.

INDG: Best and worst parts of being a streamer?

Asiaelle:: Best parts: finding more women who have gaming in common. This seems like a small thing, but it really helps.

Worst parts: being a woman and black – being constantly scrutinized.

INDG: Streaming goals for yourself?

Asiaelle: I hope to become known for having a good community and for empowering other minority women in streaming and game content creation

INDG: So what led you to creating Thumbstick Mafia?

Asiaelle: I started to fall out of love with gaming – or so I thought – Destiny was starting to get a bit old then I started connecting with women in the blerd community – I fell in love with the gaming subculture all over again.  It can be really difficult to constantly explain or express issues to folks who will never really understand your position in gaming.

INDG: How has the response been to the group?

Asiaelle: I’ve mostly had positive responses – the issue is always groups that feel like they are being left out or othered. It’s a difficult position to take when you say “This is for black and minority women” – folks automatically categorize you as militant or racist as if racism outside of games doesn’t exist and this isn’t a partial response to it.

Bonus: Listen to @asiaelle, @Sharkyshood, @SupadupaCurl and @TokenPscyho on an ExtraFif Podcast to talk about Thumbstick Mafia with @LJay90!

INDG: What are some of your goals for 2016?

Asiaelle: I’m hoping to have a ThumbstickMafia meetup in NY – where the ladies can meet up and have an open forum as well as help facilitate more attendance at other local events.

INDG: What are some of the difficulties you think face streamers of color?
Asiaelle: Other than the fear of abuse and the lack of support, I think the issues are the same. Finding what’s a right fit for you and building your community sans racism is difficult – especially if you take a strong stance against it.

INDG: Do you have any advice for women of color who want to get into streaming?

Asiaelle offered up this advice:

  • Don’t get discouraged. You’ll have great days and terrible days as a streamer – don’t let the terrible days decide if your future.
  • Find and network with other streamers – this requires you using Twitch as a social media app.
  • Socialize with your followers and show them the entire person, not just the gamer.
  • Head over to @thumbstickmafia and check out the awesome streamers featured there, we will also feature you.

INDG: How can people support your work in raising up women streamers of color?
Asiaelle: Invest in these women – whether it’s your clicks, time or money. We need the support.

INDG: Where is Thumbstick Mafia online?
Asiaelle: You can find us on twitter: @thumbstickmafia and at our website: thumbstickmafia.com

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