'I don’t think you have to be amazing at gaming to love gaming.'

[Interviewer] Hello, could you tell us who you are and what you do?

[Chanal] My name is Chanal, and I’m a singer/songwriter in a band.

What kind of music?

We do R&B, pop and Afro beat. Whatever you want to call it, we’ll do loads of it.

So, do you game?

Yes, I game. I’m not amazing at gaming but I enjoy it. I beat everyone in my family, I beat my boyfriend, I beat my neighbour. So yeah, I do game but I’m not amazing. I don’t think you have to be amazing at gaming to love gaming.

How did you first get into gaming?

When I was young, I would always watch my dad playing games. I never really wanted to be a princess - you know what I mean? Girls when they’re young they want to be princesses. I just wanted to be like my dad, like a boy – so I just copied my dad and that’s how I got into gaming.

Do you normally game by yourself or with people?

I tend to game by myself because it’s more of an escape. I game because I don’t want to do anything else. I don’t want to wash up, I don’t want to clean my bedroom. So, I game by myself and that’s my time alone.

Have you ever gamed with Jay or Jasmine?

Yeah, we game together! We’re trying to do our own collective thing where we all game together, it kind of takes away from boys being gamers. That’s going well, I guess.

Why is this project important to you or exciting to you? What do you want to get from it?

This project is mad exciting for me because it’s like a complete representation of where I’ve come from and who I am. It means a lot because I’m not the typical girl that you’d expect to game. So, it’s quite important for me.

What’s your favourite piece in the collection?

My favourite piece in the Now Loading Drop would have to be the t-shirt with [this] design, because I created the lens with the girls.

If there was one element of the gaming world you want to see change over the next few years, what would it be?

Obviously [I’d like] it to be more diverse, but I don’t think that’s like the main thing I would want to change. Maybe, how we play games? At the moment (and I love it) playing at home is cool, but it would be good if there were more events, and ways that people could get together with other gamers. Because there isn’t a lot of that. A lot of the people I meet are from the club or through music, and it would be nice to meet more gamers.

How do you think we’d get that community of people together?

Getting that kind of community together would probably come about if we did incorporate more diversity in gaming. I do think the gaming world is becoming more diverse but there could be more to it. For example, I’ll play Apex Legends, and there’s two black females that are the characters on those, and that’s cool. But I don’t know, that’s like one game - I feel like a lot more games need to be a bit more, yes, diverse.