Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Sandra Friedrichs, Content Creator. Sandra speaks about how her personal struggles led her to understand the therapeutic, but also potentially harmful aspects of gaming, inspiring her to advocate for mental health awareness within the gaming community through her content creation. Read more about Sandra in this interview:
Hi Sandra! How did your early experiences in gaming journalism impact your overall career in the gaming industry? What important skills or lessons have you learned that help you adapt to the ever-changing nature of gaming and content creation?

Back in my early days diving into gaming journalism, I made it my mission to break out of my comfort zone. Instead of sticking to what I knew, I dove headfirst into every gaming genre out there. From strategy games to racing, I was open for any game. This willingness to explore broadened my gaming horizon. Sure, I’ll always have a soft spot for Sims and JRPGs, but I’ve learned that every genre brings its own flavor to the table. This openness helped me to adapt to the ever-evolving world of gaming and content creation. It has taught me that there’s no one-size-fits-all in gaming—each genre has its own charm waiting to be discovered. And that’s the kind of passion I want to bring to my work, spreading the joy of gaming to everyone, gamer or not.

Could you share a significant moment in your journey where your love for gaming and dedication to mental health came together, influencing your purpose as a content creator?

During my darkest times, I found solace in gaming, using it as a means of escape from my struggles. However, I soon realized that I was merely avoiding reality rather than confronting my issues. I came to understand that I couldn’t continue living vicariously through fictional characters; I needed to become the hero of my own story. This realization led me to seek therapy and confront my challenges head-on.
Through conversations with fellow gamers, I discovered that my experience wasn’t unique. Gaming, while therapeutic in some respects, also carries inherent risks when used as a sole means of escape. This realization ignited a desire within me to raise awareness about the intersection of gaming and mental health. I wanted to create content that celebrated the joy of gaming while shedding light on its potential pitfalls. By sharing my journey and advocating for mental health awareness within the gaming community, I hope to inspire others to seek help when needed and foster a more supportive gaming environment.

What advice do you have for aspiring content creators who aim to merge their passion for gaming with meaningful causes like Mental Health Awareness, based on your own journey?Awareness, based on your own journey?

Consistency and authenticity are your strongest assets. Don’t let slow growth or modest views discourage you. Stay true to your message at any time. Whether you become famous overnight or steadily build a loyal following, remember this—making a positive impact on even one person’s life is an accomplishment. Embrace your individuality, share your story authentically, and have confidence that your passion will resonate with others.

Thanks for this interview, Sandra!

Sandra’s links: LinkedIn, instagram, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter

Portrait of Sandra (© Pascal Netzer)

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Madeleine Egger