Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has revealed that he doesn’t “play with female gamers” out of respect for his wife.
The US gamer and husband of fellow streamer Jessica “JGhosty” Blevins has suggested that it could lead to rumours regarding him and the women he’s playing with.
He says “the only way to avoid that is to not play with them at all”.
Ninja is famous for playing Fortnite and is the first Twitch streamer to reach 10 million followers.
However fame has come at a price: He says that he now has to be mindful of who he’s playing with.
“If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another, and even if there’s a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever,” he told Polygon in an interview.
The streamer recently celebrated his one-year anniversary with his wife and manager, Jessica Blevins.
Ninja says it was his decision, not his wife’s, to limit his streaming partners to men only.
“That was not even her. She had nothing to do with it. That was me being, ‘I love our relationship’,” he said.
“I honestly think that… it’s just kind of like a respect thing.”
Despite excluding a whole group of players, Ninja says he hasn’t faced a backlash from the gaming community.
Twitch streamer Rage Darling isn’t particularly offended by Ninja’s comments.
But she says he’s “indirectly reinforcing the stereotype that a lot of female gamers are Twitch thots”.
The 20-year-old gamer says a Twitch thot is something that many women on the site are labelled as:
“It’s basically someone, particularly female, that uses her sexual identity to get more views or more money. Someone that is quite promiscuous”.
“I think that if people were more relaxed about playing with female gamers, which a lot of people are, it would break the boundary of; ‘if you’re playing with a female gamer you’re probably dating them’,” she adds.
“It’s a difficult one because when you’re streaming on Twitch and you’re a female gamer you are sort of ultimately ridiculed.
“But I don’t think he’s purposefully trying to encourage it.”
Ninja’s decision has encouraged debates around gender with members of the gaming community.
Some agree with his viewpoint.
Whereas others view it as a form of “segregation.”
Ninja later addressed the “discussion” around his comments, saying: “The issue I’m addressing is online harassment.”
He added that he looks “forward to the opportunity to meet and play with all kinds of Fortnite players in future tournaments and events”.
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