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Creative Class 2020

Source: iOne Creative / other

Honoree: Erin Ashley Simon

The Grind: Gaming Expert

Find Her: @ErinASimon

If you ever thought that a career in e-sports was easy, chances are you aren’t actually in the gaming industry. In an industry where 6% of gamers are women, 11% of gamers identify as Black, and 24% of game developers are women, Erin Ashley is an anomaly. The Black and Latin host and journalist has come to represent the intersection of culture and video games and it’s a position that she carries with pride and dedication.

Erin Ashley is a true student of the game. From consoles to countries to customs, she can engage with any subset within the e-sports industry. A self-described nerd, she believes in listening more than talking and investing the effort to learn how to communicate with people she may not immediately identify with, a habit spurred off of the need for reciprocity when people interact with the Black and Latinx communities. “I’m open and candid about how certain opportunities aren’t always pleasant opportunities for women and people of color in this space, or how there is a socioeconomic disparity and technology disparity as well in this industry,” she explains. She’s also very cognizant of the strides the industry has made in correcting past allowances “I’ve also met some of the most amazing caring, compassionate individuals in the gaming space.”

From journalist, to producer and host with Revolt and Cheddar, to a career in gaming, Erin Ashley has a creative’s dream toolbox and resume. Both serve as a foundation to ask for what she deserves- greater opportunities, equity in companies, higher compensation- without hesitation. More than that, Simon is constantly adapting her style and skills to suit the work, but never wavering in her character. She credits enforcing boundaries, being kind, and reading people’s characters as skills that aid in her growth.

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