Although the gaming industry remains dominated by male players, there has been a consistent rise in the number of female gamers in this space. In this article, we will provide insights into female gamers and their gaming preferences. Keep reading until the end, as we will go over what the future holds for women players. Let’s get started!
Analytical Insights into Female Gamers
According to Consumer Insights, 72% of women have played games in the past six months, with 35% of them identifying as female gamers. This is a promising statistic, suggesting a steady growth in the number of female players in an industry dominated by men.
Unlike male players who prefer computer gaming, female gamers sign up to play games on mobile devices. In a recent Gamer Sentiment Study by Newzoo, 39% of British and 48% of American female gamers stated that playing games gave them a sense of belonging.
Interestingly, female gamers prefer playing single-player games, unlike men who enjoy co-op games due to their competitive nature.
Although competitive gaming is often dominated by men, the gaming industry has started to include female gamers in their tournaments. Universal Pin, for example, held the UniPin Ladies Series Southeast Asia Championship (USC).
The USC tournament is for female players in Southeast Asia who like to play “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.” Currently, there are very few communities that provide female gamers with a platform to learn and grow. In fact, most countries do not nurture women to participate in the world of e-sports.
Over the last decade, the gap between the number of female and male gamers has narrowed in the United States. This has led many to question their motivation and behavior when gaming.
There have been several studies on the differences in the predictors of playing games between male and female gamers. According to the results, male players in France play video games to alleviate stress, while female gamers play to challenge themselves.
However, the results of the studies are completely different when it comes to the United States. Female players in the US like to play games to become socially involved and form relationships with other gamers.
The Gaming Industry Has a Long Way to Go!
Despite the growing number of players in this space, the gaming industry often underestimates female gamers. A gaming community by the name of “Good Girl: Game On!” highlighted this issue, revealing in a press statement that the industry is far from being gender-friendly.
What’s shocking is that around 65% of female gamers have faced rejections when they attempted to join gaming communities across the world. This suggests a lack of acceptance in the industry.
That’s not even the concerning part. 77% of the female gamers in the gaming industry have attested to facing sexual harassment and gender discrimination. They’re often the subject of derogatory comments, which can be demoralizing and rude.
In 2022, Luna Nera, a professional gaming community for female gamers, revealed a disturbing incident. It stated that a male player verbally harassed one of the community’s members, prompting the community to conduct a quick survey. The shocking results indicated that 72.5% of Luna Nera’s members had experienced online harassment.
A study conducted by Reach3 Insights revealed that 59% of 900 female gamers from the United States, China, and Germany chose to conceal their identities while gaming.
Why would a woman shield her identity in an industry that is slowly seeing an increase in female players? Many experts believe that the pervasive threat of sexual harassment plagues the real world and also discourages female gamers in the virtual space.
Female Gamers Are Often Underrepresented in Video Games
Not only are female gamers underrepresented in the gaming industry, but they are often subjected to discrimination in the games as well.
There is a scarcity of “leading” female characters in video games. The EDHEC Business School interviewed 31 gamers in 2022 on the impact of gender-specific storytelling on the perceptions of gender stereotypes in video games. The interview focused on games such as “Assassin’s Creed” and “The Witcher.”
According to the findings of the interviews, there is a huge gap between male and female characters in “Assassin’s Creed.” 87.1% of the characters in the game are male, while the remaining are females.
What’s even more astonishing is that male characters take about 90% of the speaking time in the video game, leaving female characters underrepresented. You’ll see similar trends in “The Witcher” as well!
However, there is still a glimmer of hope. The upcoming 2024 game “Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA)” has introduced a female player for the first time since its 1997 debut. This is a significant development and highly encouraging for women gamers across the world.
If you study gender representation equality in recent years, you’ll find that there has been a positive shift in the trends. The female character Lara Croft in the “Tomb Raider” game was often sexualized by male gamers.
However, the series has remodeled the character, giving Croft a more modest look. This has positively influenced perceptions of the role of women in gaming.
Whether it is Black Jack by Mascot or Tomb Raider, game publishers are acknowledging a social responsibility to educate their audience about the principles of gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. This signifies a step forward in fostering a more inclusive and equitable gaming environment.
Final Thoughts – What Does the Future Look Like for Female Gamers in a Male-dominated Industry?
According to Statista, 38% of the game developers in 2021 were women, marking a significant rise from the 27% recorded in the previous five years.
The presence of more women within the industry offers several advantages to aspiring young girls across the world. It empowers developers to craft games that not only cater to the expanding demographic of female streamers and gamers but also foster genuine connections with them.
While there are challenges in how the gaming industry depicts women, especially in the games, including more playable female protagonists is a crucial step toward enhancing the overall quality of games and creating a more inclusive gaming community.
With an increased female representation in the games, it can not only encourage more female gamers to pick up a controller but also address the issues that they face in real life.