Gaming is one of the most important staples of YouTube culture. (Just ask PewDiePie, the zany Swedish vlogger who made $7 million last year.) By and large, the YouTube gaming community is a male-dominated scene: The most viewed, most famous and most well paid gamers are male. Sexism is not just alive and well, but having a seething public crisis in the gaming world. So you might not have realized that some of the funniest, most insightful and most influential work is done by women YouTubers.
Here's a selection of the most prolific and talented female "LPers" — broadcasters in the "Let's Play" genre of gaming videos, who narrate the process as they play video games at length, often showing themselves on camera and playing with others.
Here come a flood of links. Open them up and start subscribing.
Tiffany Michelle Herrera, or "Cupquake," is one of YouTube's favorite female gamers. Herrera is best known for her Minecraft Machinima, collaborations with her husband and some short films. She also has a cooking show, called, aptly, Quake n' Bake.
Aureylian is a super-saccharine Minecrafter and Sims 4 aficionado. She was one of the first and still few female LPers to break 300,000 subscribers, and keeps up a mostly reliable output of two videos every day — which sometimes adds up to an hour of video.
She invokes actress and geek icon Felicia Day, if Day had an awesome daughter to make the occasional LP cameo.
On her channel, PressHeartToContinue, Dodger puts out a regular show for gaming news. She's not an LPer as much as she is a commentator, but Dodger manages to pull in 100,000+ views on even lengthy talking-head diatribes.
At a time when it's nearly impossible to make straight news anchoring work on the Internet — or anywhere, really — the fact that she holds such a wide audience embarrasses the online video presence of even major news organizations.
4. Ms. Spyte
Though not technically a Let's Play-style YouTuber, Ms. Spyte is a notorious Starcraft II player who's part of the professional gaming team ROOT. Though her YouTube presence isn't nearly as strong as her live broadcasting, her Twitch stream manages to pull in millions of people eager to watch one of the most visible female esports contenders.
5. Tara Babcock
Tara Babcock was a model first, but she's built up a sizable following for her YouTube channel thanks to a prolific output, frank presentation and quality production. She vlogs about everything from unboxing to Mortal Kombat to oral sex.
Naturally, Babcock's videos often draw a slew of dreadful comments. But she combats the trolls by staying brazenly open about her sexuality and takes on haters and hecklers right in the comments.
The 19-year-old League of Legends player, who refers to her followers as "cupcakes," has racked up nearly 50 million YouTube views in just a year and a half. She's also half of a gaming power couple: Jaynee's engaged to LoL streamer Keyori, who often plays backseat driver to her broadcasts.
Lizzie, or "LDShadowLady," is a pink-haired 22-year-old Minecraft-er. She only recently joined the ranks of the few LPers who have made it into a million subscribers:
Lizzie also brings in a rotating cast of friends and confidantes who, when paired with her mainstream sheen, make her a mix of LPer and traditional teen-centric YouTube star.
Mitty is a breezy-voiced Minecraft-er with heavy shoujo influences. Aside from vlogging Sims 4 and maintaining a hypnotic devotion to cotton-candy color schemes, Mitty runs a DIY project side-hustle on her YouTube channel. There are Pac-Man-themed soaps, a Minecraft mousepad and more; she's like a kawaii version of Bethenny Frankel — you know, the Real Housewife with a trillion endorsements and partnerships.
Firefoxx is a rockstar. She's the only one on this list who is a competitive esports gamer, a regular and dynamic LPer and edging on a million views. Her channel is one of the most diverse, too, teeming with one-off experiments, esports live-streaming and a slew of blockbuster LPs.
Minx has been in the LP game for nearly four years. She's a highly recommended LPer who's done collabs with other top gaming YouTubers, like Cryatonic and, of course, PewDiePie. She's also one of the few LPers out there who never streams her own face; to this day, nobody's really sure of her real identity or what she looks like.
While she has an enormous regular following and over a million regular subscribers, her most popular videos are of her, well, rapping.
Sasha, or "Vixella," depending on which of her multiple channels she's using, may have a smaller following than some of the titans on this list, but her production value is pristine. Like LDShadowLady, she has the mainstream glam of a traditional YouTube star. Not to mention she's one of the best Sims 4 LPers around — an incredibly popular genre among young female gamers.
And of course, she's one of the few LPers out there with a truly fire Instagram.