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Women and Wheels Tournament to Increase eSports Participation

The competition is a new initiative from SimBin with the aim of increasing participation in the eSports scene.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:September 6, 2017, 10:55 AM IST
Women and Wheels Tournament to Increase eSports Participation
"RaceRoom Racing Experience" was released in 2013 by SimBin predecessor Sector3. (Image: Sector3 Studios)
Racing game developer SimBin UK has announced a Women and Wheels competition for Fall 2017.

The SimBin name is associated with a succession of sports car racers, starting with the "GTR" GT racing game in 2005, the World Touring Car Championship series "Race," and most recently the glossy free computer game "RaceRoom."

It's the last that could be in line to form the backbone of an inaugural Women and Wheels tournament when it debuts in Fall 2017.

The competition is a new initiative from SimBin with the aim of increasing participation in the eSports scene.

The studio's workforce is 50-50 male and female, and now the company wants to see its playing population -- and that of eSports in general -- move in the same direction, not by shedding male players but by adding female players to its ranks.

"We're acutely aware of the low female participation in eSports," SimBin said, citing a 7% figure for its own titles.

"We want to see more women enjoying the thrills and spills of the virtual track, and eSports in general... so we thought we'd try to encourage more women to compete in our competitions."

The studio has received backing from Marie-Claire Isaaman, the CEO of Women in Games, as well as Dr. Jo Twist of the UK Interactive Entertainment trade association, as well as "some well-known car manufacturers and a host of great sponsors."

Isaaman sees women-only teams, leagues and competitions as a "great way to get more women involved by building communities, confidence and skills," and "everyone could see that Women and Wheels is all about doing good while feeling good," SimBin concluded.

"It's got high-octane racing fun, it's building a supportive environment for women to develop their racing skills and confidence, and it's donating to charity too."

Around 50% of video game players are female, SimBin explained, though participation rates drop to 5% for eSports players, citing earning gaps combined with unnecessary discrimination and harassment as contributory factors.

SimBin UK is currently developing "GTR 3" for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, while Swedish forerunner SimBin Studios AB (now known as Sector3) most recently created "RaceRoom."

A game or games for the Women and Wheels tournament is yet to be officially announced, though prizes offered include a €3,000 racing simulation chair, Fanatec racing wheels and pedal sets, and a life coaching program; interested parties can register through the SimBin website.

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