The general consensus is that more and more women are playing video games – they just tend to shut up about it because dudes on the internet can, and frequently are, patriarchal jackasses who not only refuse to believe that women play video games, but believe that those who do are automatically inferior to men who play videogames.
According to the ESA, there is a significant gender split in those who label themselves as gamers; 56 percent of respondents who identified as gamers were men, while 44 percent were women. The ESA’s sample includes those in broad age categories – from children to the aged. Close(ish!) to half of the people who play games are women.
According to a new study by the Pew (pew pew?) Research Centre (via SegmentNext) , more women than men own consoles in the USA. 40 percent of Americans have a game console in their households. Interestingly 42 percent of respondents said they owned videogame systems “like Xboxes and PlayStations” are women. Just 37 percent were men. Pew’s research specifically focused on those over the age of 18. Statistically, the sample size here, two groups of around 950 people is relevant, giving a margin of error of around 3%.
The automatic assumption is that these women are buying consoles for their kids – but that’s a strange assumption, when the same could be said for the men who responded. I really do believe that there are many, many women who play video games, and that the idea of the medium existing as a boys club is flawed. That however, is the perception, and it’s something that needs changing. Women play games – they’re just less likely to chat about them on forums and websites. Seeing the sorts of comments that get bandied about, I can’t say I blame them. There’s a big difference between somebody who plays games, and somebody who’s a video game enthusiast.
If you were wondering why there’s such a big deal about representation in games at the moment, this is a big reason – and it’s probably prudent that game publishers do make their games more representative, or they risk cutting out half of their potential market.
Last Updated: November 5, 2015