The idea that video games are exclusively for men is somewhat commonplace. Despite this, as with so many other things today, video games aren’t limited to men anymore.
Gaming has conventionally been perceived as male-dominated, and as with other stereotypes, this is going to take effort and time to change. However, there are many signs that the narrative is changing.
Nearly 45% of American gamers are women in 2021. As time passes, the number of female gamers is only increasing. In fact, more and more female players are indulging in playing online slots Canada. Not only are these gamers playing slots, but they are also playing other games like blackjack, baccarat, or roulette. Several women have come out as poker winners in online casinos. Even this is a sphere that is not dominated by men anymore. Casino gaming has traditionally been dominated by men, but with the rise in casino gaming on mobile devices, women are starting to catch up with their male counterparts. Online casino games offer a level of anonymity and convenience that is not available at physical casinos. And while some people still think it’s an exclusively male game, women make more than half the market for online gambling in the US.
The question that arises, however, is whether the gaming industry is structured properly to cater to its growing customer base. Many organizations are calling for a restructuring and reimagination of the gaming industry in order to remove gender discrimination from the workforce and restructure the gaming industry.
Eighty-four percent of executives in the video gaming industry are men, according to a study of the top fourteen global game companies. Other than the executive ranks, just 24% of the working industry belongs to women.
There is still a lack of representation for women in this industry. There is a tendency for people who already work in this industry to be discriminated against based on their gender. About 45% of women in the United Kingdom said that their gender is one of the factors limiting their career advancement, according to a Guardian survey. According to the same survey, 33% of the participants have experienced direct bullying or harassment because of their gender.
In 2014, the Gamergate controversy revealed the extent of systematized online harassment among its supporters, most of whom were women. Is there any evidence that the player community has since become more inclusive?
Well, a recent survey on female gamers by Bryter has shown that online discrimination and abuse against female gamers continues. Even though both males and females experience abuse, female gamers tend to experience more sexual abuse.
Things are also unbalanced when it comes to the representation of female characters in video games. Just 5% of the video games showcase female characters as the lead. Many studies have shown that gender stereotypes still prevail when it comes to video games with female characters usually hypersexualized or objectified. Often, female characters are depicted as needy damsels in distress who wait for a male character to rescue them.
But things are changing. In 2020, 18% of the video games that have been launched featured female characters. In fact, it is a new trend to include female protagonists.
A primary reason, as per the industry insider, for the increasing number of women in the gaming industry is the ease of access. Physical gaming opportunities have been limited for women in earlier times. But now, the playing field is moving to a digital domain. This is leading to a rise in participation.
As monetization and gaming skills are brought to the female gamers, they are being given a chance to be financially independent and augment their income.
The increasing count of female gamers is not limited to only first-tier cities. Gaming platforms these days see several women audiences and players from the second-tier and third-tier cities, too.
Mobile gaming is growing big time. So, gaming, in general, is also moving from being just a metro-centred entertainment activity. The user base of several games comes from all over the world, including cities, towns, and rural areas.
Several people from inside the gaming industry are working to make it more inclusive. Some designers, players, activists, and voice actors are trying to reshape the culture in their own way.
The program Women in Games Ambassador has 446 individual and 12 corporate ambassadors across the world who work to support girls and women who understand games better. They aim to double the number of female gamers over a decade.
Many big gaming companies, such as Ubisoft, have announced their appointment of senior leaders in inclusion and diversity roles for increasing their cultural shift.
Nevertheless, there is yet a long way to go. The industry insiders also accept this fact. However, developing the communities and initiatives of practice is often the first step to acknowledging and supporting female gamers.