Women in Gaming

Women in Gaming header

Co-sponsored by the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences, UCI eSports and Women’s Empowerment Initiative. In partnership with AnyKey.

Thursday, February 2, 2017  at 6 p.m.
University of California, Irvine
Crystal Cove Auditorium, UCI Student Center

Register Online

About the Program:

Despite the fact that women and men play video games in approximately equal numbers, video gaming is still strongly associated with men. The exclusion of female gamers from competitive spaces has wide reaching effects. How can we improve opportunities for girls and young women to engage with the video game industry as a possible career?

The goal of this panel is to increase the visibility and representation of women in gaming, highlighting role models and fostering a dialogue of inclusive gaming.


kathy-chiang-headshotKathy Chiang
Kathy is a recent ICS Computer Game Science graduate now helping run the UCI eSports program as the Arena Coordinator. As an undergraduate, she co-founded and led one of the largest gaming clubs in the world, The Association of Gamers at UCI. Her favorite games include Final Fantasy XIV, League of Legends and Path of Exile.

rachel-seltzer-quirico-headshotRachel “Seltzer” Quirico
Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico began her career in eSports as a competitive Team Fortress 2 player for PMS Clan. She played throughout her college career at Rutgers University, earning honors in both academics and gaming tournaments. After years of competing and an appearance on the television show WCG Ultimate Gamer, Rachel put aside her controller in favor of a microphone in order to bring her love of gaming to a mainstream audience.

In 2011, she found a home at Cyber Sports Network doing both live stage hosting and offline coverage of events such as IGN Pro League, Major League Gaming, QuakeCon, DreamHack, Intel Extreme Masters, StarCraft World Championship Series, Riot’s League of Legends, and Twitch at E3 and Penny Arcade Expo, as well as weekly interviews and news shows recapping activities across esports genres. Since 2010, Rachel has published over 300 interviews with pro players across 15+ games.

She currently streams on Twitch on her own channel under Seltzer.

heidi-mcdonald-headshotHeidi McDonald
Heidi broke into games at 41 in 2011, and in that time has gone from Design Intern to Creative Director at iThrive. She worked as a narrative, features and systems designer at Schell Games in Pittsburgh, shipping eight titles including award-winning serious games. McDonald has been academically published numerous times and lectures internationally on the topic of romance in single-player RPG’s. Winner of Women in Gaming’s Rising Star Award in 2013 and an IGF Honorable Mention for Narrative Excellence in 2016 for her work on Orion Trail, she currently does client-side creative direction for iThrive, and works on several side projects.

McDonald has dedicated her career to the idea that games can be a force for positive change in human beings. She is chaotic good, a wearer of magnificent hats, a goth pirate adventuress, a shameless practical joker and singer of karaoke, and someone who seeks to fill the world with more joy, cupcakes and corgis.

lena-uszkoreit-headshotLena Uszkoreit
Lena is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She earned her BA and MA in Communication in Social and Economic Contexts from the University of the Arts in Berlin and also holds an MA in Communication from USC. Her research focuses on social interaction in online games and gaming spaces. Her recently presented research includes papers on role choices in team-based games and gender in video game live streaming. Her dissertation will examine possible effects of viewing female streamers on the perception of female gamers and eSports competitors.

Lena has dabbled in many games but some of her favorites are Portal 2, World of Warcraft, the Sims (all of them), Overwatch, Battlefield (most of them), and the Civilization series.

rumay-hafu-wang-headshotRumay “Hafu” Wang
Hafu is a former World Of WarCraft pro — and BlizzCon 3v3 champion — and also a Bloodline Champions, Dreamhack champion and League of Legends streamer who picked up Hearthstone during the beta and quickly became the foremost female name in the scene. Hafu is now a full-time Twitch streamer with over 400,000 followers.

View an article about her from NBC News.


amanda-cullen-headshotAmanda Cullen
Amanda is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Informatics. Her previous degrees are a bachelor’s and a master’s in cultural anthropology (University of West Florida) and a master’s in public service (University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service). Her research interests include digital cultures, digital media, fandom, sexuality, and gender. Amanda is currently conducting research on fandom activity around Overwatch.