In today's Influencer Adda episode, Aparna Shukla shares her journey and talks about future of gaming in India
- In today’s episode of
Influencer Adda, we will be talking to one of the biggest names among women gaming creators, Aparna Shuklaabout her journey and future of gaming in India.
- She found her true calling while playing games with her brother and today she has over 2.45 million followers on Facebook.
- So if you are a gaming enthusiast, Aparna’s story is for you.
As India established itself as a gaming market that cannot be ignored anymore, its women haven’t stopped challenging age-old conventions either. Gaming was a male-dominated industry for the longest time but women gamers have grown exponentially since the onset of the pandemic due to increasing smartphone penetration and as a result, the profile of a ‘typical gamer’ has changed. As per InMobi, women constitute over 43% of smartphone gamers in India.
Facebook’s Aparna Shukla aka Rog Stream was one of the first women gaming creators on the platform and she has grown leaps and bounds in the past four years. Based in Kanpur, Aparna was preparing for competitive entrance exams to join the banking sector before her brother introduced her to the world of online gaming.
She looked at the medium primarily as a channel of relaxation and as a way to keep herself entertained through the day. She started by playing Candy Crush to relieve stress and her younger brother told her about PUBG. What started as a side-hustle, has become her passion now. Today, Aparna has 2.45 million followers on Facebook.
“I was given very limited options like any other young woman gets in a small town: I could ‘choose’ between becoming a teacher or a doctor or a banker. I did go down that lane but life had a different plan for me. I chose an unconventional path: gaming. When I look back at those days now, I laugh. For a long time, my father thought gaming was just a hobby. But over the years, it has grown into a serious career option and he realised its power when I started making money out of it. He borrowed some money and bought a gaming PC for me as a ‘toy’. And just like that, I started streaming my games out of the comfort of my home,” shares Aparna.
Aparna and her younger brother danced dorkily in her living room as she found her first monetisation opportunity. This excitement of hitting new milestones, she says, later turned into love.
“It usually takes a month or two to find a monetisation avenue and once I found my break, I started religiously streaming my games. Before that, I didn’t have a schedule. I would stream for an hour whenever I would get the chance. Later, that turned into 9 hours and I would find myself playing at night too,” recalls Aparna.
With more people joining the gaming pool, brands are shifting their focus on marketing themselves through these young creators. Aparna thinks that gaming creators offer direct access to GenZ and Millennials and that’s why brands are beelining to advertise themselves in gaming apps.
From her experience of working with brands, she has one piece of advice for them. “Brands should communicate directly with creators and try to understand their audience from their perspective: find out more about the audience’s expectations and behaviour patterns. I’ve noticed that my audience is very curious. If I add a logo onto my game stream, they wouldn’t talk about my performance that day but definitely bring up the logo. So, with this high-engagement that we offer, brands should maintain a dialogue with creators during their partnership,” says Aparna.
For someone who is looking to dip their feet into the gaming world, Aparna suggests using the powerful gaming console that fits right in the palm of your hands: your smartphones! You can start your gaming career with Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) or Free Fire. “If you want to become a successful gamer, there’s no mantra for that. Just keep gaming, maintain continuity but try to find your niche and bring that in your content,” Aparna signs off.