She Got Game
In a male-dominated hobby, Stephanie Barrajas makes her mark in the gaming community
March 9, 2015
At the age of three, Stephanie Barajas was first introduced to the world of video gaming when her mother purchased her very first gaming consoles, the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64. At that, she grew up in a gaming environment and her passion for gaming was born.
“My mom would tell me that when I was two, I would always be on the computer playing the PC games she would buy,” Barajas said. “I was always into gaming.”
In December, Barajas,16, created an Instagram account after she was encouraged by her friends. Barajas went under the username “Coddess,” which blended her favorite video game series, Call of Duty, and goddess. Since then, “Coddess” has attracted more than 35,500 followers on Instagram and is relatively well-known for posting Call of Duty and Skyrim memes, and also self-portraits of herself.
“It was all just for fun,” said Barajas. “I never expected to have so many followers.”
According to Barajas, the number of followers increase by the day.
“I get at least a hundred [followers] a day,” Barajas said.
Barajas has also created a YouTube account under the same Coddess name, when she was inspired by watching other YouTuber’s videos. The account was created two months ago, with only three videos posted so far and more than 4,405 subscribers.
“I’ve always wanted to [become a YouTuber],” Barajas said.
But being a woman in the gaming world is difficult, according to Barajas, who has received hate comments, death threats, and even rape threats on her Instagram posts. Barajas believes this is because of people’s belief that she buys her followers, and posts solely for the purpose of attention because of her gender.
“I think at first she wasn’t used to [the comments],” said Sharlyn McClendon, 16, a friend of Barajas. “But now she just brushes it off because these people talking about her don’t even know her.”
Barajas feels that also because of her gender it’s hard fitting in with other gamers.
“They find it harder to believe that I’m a gamer,” Barajas said. “They question it more.”
Because of the apparent prejudice against females being gamers, Barajas feels that they should not be discouraged by the hate that comes with it.
“Gaming is just like any other hobby, so [girls] should do it if they enjoy it,”Barajas said. “You shouldn’t expect to be hated or loved by anyone in the community.”