Guess Which Gender Accounts For The Majority Of The Gaming Audience Today?

female-gamer

If you were following any of the gamergate saga, you’d be familiar with the way a handful of female game developers were treated by online haters who wanted to make them feel like they were unwelcome in this seemingly exclusive boys club. The online harassment, hate and bullying they received dominated news headlines, and exposed a rather dark and serious side to the gender wars in the gaming world.

But what should also be making news, which in turn may start to silence critics, is that there aren’t just a handful of women playing and developing games today.

Women have made huge inroads into the gaming industry once dominated by men. According to a study carried out by the Internet Advertising Bureau in 2014, women now account for 52% of the entire gaming audience. Although this may seem surprising, it is worth noting that the same figure stood at 49% in 2011.

With the massive adoption of mobile devices has also spurred huge growth in number of women who play Royal Canada mobile games which are amongst the best in the market and are gaining popularity monthly. Majority of women gamers love games that incorporate social interactions in their story lines. This is in addition to games that do not involve a lot of violence, allow game environment exploration, and are humorous. Researchers involved in the Super Data study reckon game developers must take these insights seriously.

Popular Mobile Games among Women

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Another study carried out by SuperData in 2014 found that 53.6% of women prefer Role Playing Games (RPGs) compared to 46.5% of men. In addition, women tend to gravitate towards games that allow in app purchases, according to data from online research firm Flurry. Data from Flurry shows that women outspend men on gaming platforms and apps by 31%.

During a presentation at Final Gamercamp Festival in Toronto in 2014, Child of Light lead programmer Brie Code (a female developer) shed more light on the games women love when she said she prefers playing games that are shareable with hardcore and non-hardcore gamer friends. To be precise, games that involve social interactions, focus on characters, allow game environment exploration, allow players to express themselves, and are humorous.

On the other hand, Brie said she does not like games that have too much violence or are timing-based. At the same event, a female member of the audience said that she does not like playing games that put too much emphasis on the sexuality of female characters or always deploy female characters into secondary roles. In particular, she felt she had assumed the role of a straight, white anti-heroine until it had become tiring and uninspiring.

Brie singled out World of Warcraft as a game she loves playing because of its emphasis on social interactions. In addition, it allows her to “build really pretty towns”. Other games that she listed as favorites include Gone Home, Kim Kardashian Hollywood, Colonel’s Bequest, and Morrowind. It is fair to say these insights give an accurate portrayal of the games that women love playing. In fact, research carried out by the Entertainment Software Association came to more or less the same conclusion. It found that more women are playing social games on mobile devices and casual games on PCs.

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The Future of Women Gamers

Given the rising popularity of women-centric games, such as ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’, it is likely women will continue to dominate the gaming landscape for years. At the same time, stereotypes are breaking fast across the gaming industry. For instance, 37% of women fall into the category of hardcore gamers who are comfortable playing games using consoles. Moreover, the number of women 50 years and older playing mobile games increased by 32% between 2012 and 2013, according to the same study carried out by the Entertainment Software Association.

It’s safe to say we can no longer use the term “male-dominated” when it comes to gaming, especially considering how much the gaming world has changed with the introduction of a variety of popular platforms, which in turn has fragmented and changed the audience. This is a good thing and hopefully it will continue in order to show any critics or naysayers still out there that gaming and technology should have no gender barriers.

female-gamer

One Comment

  1. Pingback: These Five Women Are Destroying Gender Stereotypes In The Gaming World - GirlTalkHQ

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