Although girls and women gaming has become more popular these days - it is still a fairly rare scene in the Maldives. Perhaps it is because of the gender stereotyping but the number of games in existence today is so versatile that it is illogical to say it is something that is just for men.
Aishath Shelly Shaaz, a competitive gamer girl who is just eighteen years old shares the same sentiments. Better known by her gaming pseudonym ‘Manje’ – Shelly plays a lot of games such as Call of Duty, Clash of Clans, Rocket League, PUBG Mobiles & FIFA games amongst other things. Taking things even a notch higher, Shelly has taken part in multiple gaming competitions held in the Maldives for these games – which are mostly participated by boys and men.
Even though this is such a brave and bold move – especially in this country - Shelly and her game girlfriends are told over and over again that they are inferior to the boys and men taking part in the competition – including that they cannot play as well as them or that they will not be able to defeat them. There are even times where the girls have been allocated few slots in competitions even though they were as good as their competitors.
Nevertheless, Shelly does not let this discourage her. She is aiming to become the best version of herself just like her idol and fellow gamer “SDZ Snipey’ and hopes to become a professional gamer one day. Shelly notes that no game can be ‘too difficult’ for a girl to play and excel at with practice and perseverance.