Video games started gaining popularity in 1970s and 1980s and not long after that, the marketing strategies have made a step forward in making them “boys exclusive”. Targeting a general audience is always a bad idea if you ask marketing experts and regarding games, they have decided to narrow the target group to males. This almost came as no surprise, since they were likely to be associated with new technology, maths and sciences. Shortly after, girls playing games were commonly regarded as a minority.
However, as we live in the age were prejudice and stereotypes are gradually breaking down, the ratio of female to male gamers is rather balanced. According to the latest report from Statista (2020), 41% of US gamers are female. If we take into account the fact that all around the globe there are approximately 2.7 billion gamers, about 1.1 billion are female.
Isn’t This enough for marketing strategists to reconsider their previously selected target group?
Despite the gender ratio being close to equal, with female players accounting for around half of all gamers, there are considerably more issues to resolve.
Efforts to include women in video game culture always come across the several difficulties such as gendered advertising, stereotyping, sexism, sexual harassment and last but not least, the lack of female game developers and creators. In this article, we will try to cover the most common issues female gamers may face on a daily basis. Here are the things you should know if you are a female gamer, have a daughter, girlfriend, sister or a friend who is a gaming enthusiast. In spite of this article being written for female readers you should still be familiar with these problems. If you have somebody close to you that is a gaming enthusiast and want to keep up or you want to make sure that the person you care about is safe and secure online you will find all of the necessary information in this text.
Game Type Preference
There are noticeable differences between male and female gamers in terms of what kind of games they are keen on. Male players prefer action-packed, dynamic and fast-paced games usually involving combat and weapons. On the other hand, female ones tend to have notably lower preference for shooter, sports and racing games. Gender ratio differences are more than obviously showed in all of the statistics you can find.
What is important for you is to make your own choice, despite your gender. You don’t have to let others decide on what is it that you prefer. There are numerous game genres and you are free to explore them and find the types that you enjoy. Also, different players have different motivations and expectations from a game. You may put more value on exploring, collecting things, team play, background story and so on. To sum up, different motivation for playing can be meaningful in finding out which game genre suits you. You can easily find your next favourite games by doing A Gamer Motivation Profile.
As you are probably aware of, many women that are part of the online gaming industry have already experienced sexist abuse due to their gender. Females are more likely to be victims of toxic behaviour. It is a problem especially hard to avoid while playing online multi-player games. This is the reason that many of them prefer not to pick their gender, play incognito or event stay complete silent during games with voice or text chat. Some of them feel comfortable only while playing games in other female gamers and others always play with friends to avoid this.
By implementing awards for team work and a good reporting system, many developers have successfully solved this issue. On the other hand, much more still want to believe that this kind of abuse is simply an integral part of the gaming industry. Furthermore, Common Sense Security is something to always keep in mind. Anytime you set up an online account here is what you have to remember to prevent scams, identity theft and deal with potential abusers:
- Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to ignore inappropriate comments. When you pay no attention to same stupid comments there is a chance that a person will realize that their words have no effect and are irrelevant.
- If somebody bothers you, simply block them. Fortunately, you have this option in the majority of online games.
- You need to learn how to use report and mute button as soon as you dive into the online gaming word. Reporting abusers will no only help you, but your future female companions as well.
- If somebody seriously makes you worry about your immediate safety don’t hesitate calling your local police. Whether somebody is threatening you, being abusive, is making sexual comments or your personal safety is threatened in any other way you should do something about it right away.
- You should always take screenshots as evidence. Whether you are contacting the police or game-developers, make sure to have a proof.
- You should never share a password. Also, make sure your kids are not sharing theirs with friends.
- You should try to make your password as strong as possible and you will do this by using a unique password for every account and, if applicable, use symbols, numbers, spaces or some capital letters in it.
- Never share any personal information online, especially not with strangers. You have to be aware that even the avatar you make represents you and makes a certain kind of reputation for you in the community. While chatting, be careful not to reveal information such as your e-mail, phone number or address.
- Learn more about identity theft online. Scams are common in this industry so it is better if you are familiar with them. You can find plenty of information on eSafety Commisioner.
- Work on your self-confidence. You should not take something for serious when it is coming from a person who doesn’t even know you. Some of the players just don’t know how to lose and will try to take it out on you. Also, you can’t affect the sexualization’s of female characters in the game, but you should be aware, whether you are female or not, that this is not a realistic representation of reality.
Girls don’t have to play only Candy Crush Saga, Diner Dash or Farm Ville, but when females try playing so-called “real games” they are often seen as outcasts who push themselves into male-dominated world. Have you heard of Julia Kreuzer, Bonnie Ross, Tanya DePass, Hannah Rutherford, Keisha Howard, etc? There are just some of the best female gamers to prove you that girls can play! It is hight time for online video gaming industry to level up the digital playing filed and face the issues preventing females from joining it. And guys, if a girl is a gamer, she probably doesn’t want to talk about how cool or weird that is to you. She probably wants to talk about video games.
50+ Useful Resources And Links For Female Gamers
Admit it; being a female gamer is one hectic experience. You’d have to constantly deal with negative interactions from male counterparts, misogyny, frequent sexism, and harassment.
From a virtual standpoint, 48% of gamers in the US identify as women. Yet the marginalization from male gamers is frighteningly widespread.
While there are several campaigns set up to end these ills in the gaming community, you have a role to play, too; protecting your mental space and having an excellent gaming experience.
Below are useful and exciting resources you can enjoy. Let’s jump in.
This is subreddit platform for female gamers to discuss gaming and to vent. Topics bordering on women in geek culture are also discussed here.
This is a research piece that discusses the statistics of women in the gaming world and how much inclusion can be achieved.
A YouTube episode that chronicles the story of the infamous Ladies of Fire N Ice, an all-female esports team that plays other teams in Gear of War.
Watch Professional Gamer, Cheyenne Ewulu talk about representation and diversity in gaming.
This is a creative platform from Google Play to support, encourage and empower female gamers and developers.
This is a high-quality resource that explores about the need for inclusion of black female gamers in the gaming world.
This is an organization set up to advocate and support diversity in e-gaming.
This article explores the role of women in mobile gaming and why every lady shouldn’t feel left out.
Launched in 2013, Code Liberation Foundation is set to teach women in general to program and develop games. One of its major objective is to address the underrepresentation of women in gaming.
This is a community of influential people using their voices to pursue a world where everyone can participate in gaming without prejudice or sexism.
This is a game development company set up by women and non-binary people who develops games that is safe for women.
This is a project led by expert researchers to address gender inequalities pertaining to gaming.
This is a gaming platform that is focused on inclusiveness within the gaming world
This is a web series launched by FeministFrequency to explore the stereotypes and tropes commonly used to represent women in gaming.
A nonprofit organization tasked with providing monthly workshops and mentorship programs for female gamers.
This is a platform that provides a guide to protecting yourself from harassment, sexism, and threats online.
This is a non-profit organization set up to mitigate online abuse against women.
This is a website set up to tackle violence against women in the gaming community.
This is a 2015 documentary that addresses misogyny, sexism and violence against women in the video gaming world.
This is a website platform that provides resources for distressed gamers generally.
This is nonprofit organization that offers mental healthcare for gamers.
A book authored by Dan Golding and Leena Van Deventer that reinforces inclusiveness, equal opportunities and representation in the gaming world.
This is an article that reveals the experiences of video gamers in the US.
A literature review that highlights important aspect of women within the gaming community.
This organization, like the name suggests, is set up to support the inclusiveness of women in esports.
This website promotes Latino representation in games and related contents.
An NGO set up to organize events and programs for women gamers in Toronto, Canada.
This is a mobile game filled with intense graphics and hilarious sounds. Your job is to help the Angry Birds get revenge on the pigs that stole their eggs.
This first-person shooter video game follows the story of a CIA agent who teams up with British forces to save Urzikstan from enemy invasion. You can play on your PC, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4.
This PC puzzle-solving game takes in a universe filled with fantasy and adventure. You can take control of several characters to explore different choices and outcomes.
Florence is a mobile interactive game where players navigate the character Florence through her daily routine and her love life with Krish.
The action-packed adventure video game chronicles the life of Link who battle mystical creatures in a bid to save the fictional kingdom of Hyrule.
League of Legends is an online multiplayer game where you team up with others to battle magical creatures and score massive points.
This is a popular game where you build your own virtual world. You can team up with others too.
Developed by Zynga, FarmVille is a sensation amongst female gamers. Here, you manage a virtual farm, rearing crops and animals and displaying them at the market.
This multiplayer role-playing game is set in the mystical world of Azeroth. In this game, you can create a customized avatar, gain power-ups and skills, and team up with someone to fight an opposing team.
This adventure role-playing follows the story of the Light Warriors as the battle against evil mystical creatures. It’s set in a world where humans, mermaid, dwarves, robots, and dragons co-exist.
Designed by HerInteractive, this video game chronicles the adventure of a fictional detective of the same name. Walk her through virtual walks, question suspects, and discover clues that will help her in solving crimes.
Journey is an intense online game that is considered by many as one of the greatest video games of its time. Here, you guide a faceless sojourner to a destination point. Along the way, you’d learn more about the intricacies of the game and meet other players.
This is an adventure one game that is very intoxicating. Here, you select a customized avatar that you’d lead to fight mythical beasts and gain points.
This is a free multiplayer online game where you take on the personas of goddesses, gods, and other mystical creatures to battle against other divine creatures on different battlegrounds.
The Witcher is a game packed with several action sequences. Here, you take control of the fictional warrior who journeys across different villages to rescue a child from the baddies.
Skyrim features a massive fantasy world where your character explores and fights dragons to move to the next quest. This game is bound to keep you glued to your screen.
If you’re a GOT fan, you’d totally enjoy playing this game. You take the persona of a professor-cum-warrior going through the habit of educating your students and going on different adventures.
This is a worldwide sensation, currently played by millions of players. This puzzle game is a modern variation of Candy Crush and contains millions of levels waiting to be unlocked.
Published by Square ENIX, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a global favorite amongst female gamers. This adventure-driven game tells the story of Lara Croft, filled with a quest to discover antiques and hidden treasures.
If you’re for gore and bloodbath, then Bayonetta is your best bet. In this game, you play Bayonetta—a witch blessed with too many assault skills for her own good.
Published by Electronic Arts, this intense role-playing game is the sequel to Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II. This video game reveals the life of the Inquisitor as he takes different adventures to quell the storm in the fictional continent of Thedas.
This is a free online role-playing game set in a fantasy world, filled with adventure, magic, and everything in between. This game is also available on iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a single/multiplayer RPG filled with a truckload of action, intrigue, and adventure. This game follows the thrilling adventure of Chloe and Nadine as they journey in search of the mythical tusk of Ganesh.
Gone Home is an exciting RPG that places you in the persona of Katie who returns home to unravel the intricacies that led to her parent’s disappearance.
Released by Ninja Theory, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is an adventure that follows a Pict fighter who must battle mythical creatures in a bid to release the ghost of her lover from an evil goddess.
This is a sequel to the action-packed game, Dishonored released by Bethesda Softworks. In this game, you take the persona of Emily or her father Corvo as they battle their way to reclaim their throne now occupied by a witch.
This is a hotline set up to address harassment, abuse, and threats in the gaming world.
This action-thriller game, developed by Ubisoft, is set in Victorian-era London and follows the story of Jacob and Evie Frye who tries to take the city from the forceful control of the Templars.
Released by Sony, this adventure role-playing game puts you in the persona of Aloy, a hunter who goes on different quests to discover her pasts.
Based on the comic books and TV spinoffs, The Walking Dead reveals the story of Lee and Clementine as they zombie-infested Georgia. Counter Strike
This a multiplayer shooter game where two opposing teams battle themselves to fulfill different objectives and earn points.
Even the Ocean is a single-player adventure game that follows the story of Aliph as she unravels a plot to destroy her world and goes on a quest to save it.
Developed by DICE, Mirror’s Edge is an adventure-packed game where you control Faith Connor as she navigates her city and getting past opponents through her impressive acrobatic skills.
Set in 1912, BioShock Infinite reveals the story of Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth as they battle against different factions and uncover dark secrets about their city.
This is a platform game where you must control Madeline as she sets out to a mountain while avoiding different obstacles.
This is a single/multiplayer game where players select a warrior who hacks and slashes enemy forces and garner points.
An action RPG where players take on android warriors to battle enemy forces. If you love hack and slash games, you will love this one.