To say that gaming has undergone something of a change in the last couple of decades would be a rather massive understatement. The classic stereotype of a loner sat in front of a console in their bedroom has been wiped out with games such as Pokemon Go not only encouraging social activity but also demanding that players get out and about.
But that’s not the only old-school idea on gaming which is now, frankly, a little bit outdated. The idea of gaming being purely a male pastime has been blown out of the water, with research in recent years indicating that 52 per cent – yes, the majority – of gamers are now in fact women. The huge growth seen in mobile gaming is thought to have been a factor behind this, yet focusing on that does not tell the whole story of how females are embracing all different types of gaming.
But while there is a definite acceptance now that women are playing games, which titles are they spending the most time on? A report from Quantic Foundry released earlier this year analysed this area and found that the most popular games among the female audience tend to be match 3-type games like Bejeweled or farm/family sim titles. Following close behind were casual puzzle games, atmospheric exploration and interactive, while MMOs were also popular with 23 per cent of World of Warcraft gamers being women. Among the least popular were sports-related titles, tactical shooters and racing games.
Looking at online gambling – or iGaming as it is now commonly known – a study by Optimove has revealed that around a third of registered players are female, something which is increasingly reflected in the range of games now on offer. For example, there is now an online slot based on the hit wedding comedy Bridesmaids, while this Golden Princess Review highlights how that slot game from Microgaming has been designed for all genders and should be a hit with “a king, queen, princess or any other blue-blooded player”. The Aztec-themed slot which is based around gambling with bitcoin is a slot with a retro feel in which players can win up to 625,000 credits.
However, just because females don’t play titles with a classic sports feel as often as men, it does not mean that they lack a competitive edge. The world of eSports has grown massively in the last decade and women are very much part and parcel of that world. Furthermore, a new documentary being created by Agustin Gonzalez and Nicole “Wulf” Maldonado is set to examine what it is like being a female competitive gamer.
With a working title of Fight Like A Girl, the film follows the journey of three female Super Smash Bros players including Victoria “VikkiKitty” Perez and will no doubt provide a fascinating insight into how it feels to be a woman in a male-dominated area and the issues they currently tend to face.
So it is clear that despite enduring stereotypes related to who is playing games, girls and the gaming world tend to go together pretty well. The world is undoubtedly changing and we can only hope that it is just a matter of time until female gamers finally get the recognition and respect they undoubtedly deserve.