People and Society

Women and Video Games

a young woman is using a computer
Female Gamer
Gamers at Igromir 2013 by Sergey Galyonkin, Licensed with CC BY-SA 4.0 /Resized from original

 

Back in the early days when we thought of video games, an image of a nerdy guy who is dwelling in his basement and playing violent games came up in our heads, but that is not the case anymore. Video games are, by definition, any digital game which is played by humans on an electronic platform that generates visual feedback. Basically it means all games which are played on platforms like gameboys, gaming consoles, computers, laptops, television, etc.

It is important to study the relationship between women and video games/gaming as it

  • Overthrows many stereotypical judgments,
  • Gives the video game industry a clear picture of the demographics and
  • Shows the impact video games have on female and society
  • Might help to address the issues of depicting women as lowly or subjecting them to harassment in the video game industry.

Video games are prejudged to be viewed as a male activity. In reality, this is not true. As per the study of the Internet Advertising Bureau, 52% of video gamers are female and not male.  This demographic might come as a bit of a shock to you. However, it is true despite the belief of many people. 

 

International Gamer Gender Ratio Female:Male  (2012)

Region/CountryStudyRatio
(Female to Male)
AustraliaIGEA47 : 53
AustriaISFE44 : 56
BelgiumISFE46 : 54
CanadaESAC46 : 54
China1717327 : 73
Czech RepublicISFE44 : 56
DenmarkISFE42 : 58
EuropeISFE45 : 55
FinlandISFE49 : 51
FranceISFE47 : 53
GermanyISFE44 : 56
Great BritainISFE46 : 54
ItalyISFE48 : 52
Japan1717366 : 34
Korea1717337 : 63
NetherlandsISFE46 : 54
New ZealandIGEA46: 54
NorwayISFE46 : 54
PolandISFE44 : 56
PortugalISFE43 : 57
SpainISFE44 : 56
SwedenISFE47 : 53
SwitzerlandISFE44 : 56
USAESA47 : 53

Sources : European SummaryEssential Facts , Techinasia  , DNZ 14 , Digital Australia 14

A survey in India conducted by GamesBond shows that 79% of females spend their time on playing mobile games. This number is higher than 71% of males who play on mobile phones.

Gaming genres which are popular among women are arcade, puzzle and adventure. Even though females form the majority of video gamers, the participation of females in the video game industry is much lesser. There are very few women game developers and still comparatively lesser female protagonists.

As to why do women play video games?

The answer is the same as why would anyone play video games. Video games reduce the stress levels, act as a recreational activity and thus bringing the enjoyment, since most of the adult females are into organizing, puzzle, strategic and adventure games like candy crush, dinner dash, subway surf and clash of clans, it helps them to boost their logic and improve the cognitive skills , which can be considered as another benefit.

As the demographics of gamers came to the surface, game developers have started to target more females than before , but still there are some women who act like men while playing anonymously with other people because of the fear of being prejudged and being isolated.

In conclusion, video games might still be stereotyped to be a male activity, but they are nothing but unisexual. Don’t be scared of being judged if you are a girl and are playing counter strike or if you are a boy playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Just be true to yourself. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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