Cosplay and Gaming: A match made in heaven… just ask GamerGrrl Shellanin. What was once thought of as only a fun past time, gaming is now estimated to be a $230 billion industry by 2022 in the US alone. Let’s face it, gaming is a platform that can be considered mainstream.
Gaming tournaments are now broadcast on ESPN, and the rise of platforms like Twitch and YouTube makes gaming even more accessible. Despite all this, there’s still a stigma of “girl gamers” in certain circles. The gaming sphere is still largely thought of being as predominantly male. Just being a woman in gaming (much less a woman of color) can be challenging. To bring attention to that, our GamerGrrl series aims to highlight some of those struggles and talk about games that people enjoy.
To start things off, we got the chance to talk with Shellanin, an incredibly talented cosplayer with a penchant for voice acting. She’s known for reimagining characters and transforming her cosplays by giving them Afro/curly hair textures. She’s also an avid gamer and often streams on her Twitch. GamerGrrl Shellanin joined us to talk a bit about her love for gaming started as well as what game she’s loving now!
— Shell 🐚✨ #CurlyCosplay 💞 (@Shellanin) July 12, 2018
1. Who are you and why do you consider yourself a GamerGrrl?
My name is Shell and I also go by Shellanin! I’ve been gaming for as long as I can remember. Gaming always has been a HUGE part of my life and was something that always brought my family together when I was a kid. I honestly can’t see my life not involving gaming. It gives me so much joy.
2. How long have you been gaming?
My cousins had NO mercy so I’ve been learning how to hold my own in Smash Bros since I was five or six. After I gamed a bunch with family, I asked my dad for my own N64 and started gaming on my own and I’ve never stopped since. I’ve been gaming for at least 20 years now.
3. Have you ever struggled with your identity as a gamer?
I’ve always known I was a gamer since I’m someone that spends most of their time playing video games.
Of course, there are people that will doubt my identity based on my gender and looks, but that never made me question who I obviously am and who I will always be.
4. You’re stranded on a desert island with only one console and one game – what do you pick and why?
Ah, this is so hard. I’m going to have to go with my PS4 and Persona 5. A huge part of me wants to say my 3DS and Animal Crossing since it’s a game that literally goes on forever and is always changing… but Persona 5 is my favorite game and I love it way too much to leave it behind. Plus it has A LOT of hours of gameplay. Maybe someone will save me before I can platinum it again!
5. What is your proudest gamer moment?
Other than Persona 5, Undertale is one of my FAVORITE games. I won’t say who the final boss of the Neutral Route is because *spoilers* but I beat them first try while streaming on Twitch! My chat was super proud of me and it felt really good.
6. What advice do you have for other Gamer Grrls?
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about what you play. Whether it’s League or Style Savvy, play what makes YOU happy. Your happiness is what matters most.
7. What game do you recommend for newbie Gamer Grrls?
Right now, Fire Emblem: Three Houses for the Nintendo Switch is my obsession. It’s a really great game with amazing (and hot) characters and great strategic gameplay. If you’re into bonding with characters for MANY hours alongside a nice Grid-Based RPG I’d definitely recommend checking it out.
8. What are some of the highlights of this game? What are some things to watch out for?
Like I mentioned, this game has REALLY great characters that you can bond with which is definitely a highlight. But you need to be careful because these characters can die… permanently. It is a war game after all. If you’re not into this risk I would suggest playing on Casual mode instead of Classic. If you play on Casual mode, there are still chances that one of your units can die if you don’t complete their prologue by a certain time so be careful with that as well.
6. Did you have any moments that stood out to you while playing?
I know it’s silly, but you can have tea time with all of the characters. I really enjoyed winding down for battle and having a cup of tea with the members of my team.
7. How does this game align with some of your own experiences?
There are some conflicts between characters that I totally understand. A lot of characters have to push through their own feelings to do what’s best for the people around them and that’s a great lesson for all of us to learn in real life.
8. Out of 10, what would you rate this game?
I’d give it a 9. It’s REALLY fun but it gets kind of repetitive with each (in-game) month of play. I still enjoy the game a lot and have spent over 200 hours on it so far!