Girl gamers have been considered a niche audience for a long time, but it’s time to stop treating them as a minority in the industry. There are more women behind controllers across the world than you think.
When most of us think of female gamers, we think they only play games based on Barbie, My Little Pony, or the collection of titles that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen made before they quit the entertainment industry. That is quite stereotypical, since it’s been proven that they might be that one who regularly beats you in Halo, much like Kaley Cuoco’s character did on The Big Bang Theory.
They’re playing games we previously considered “men’s turf” and loving it.
Some aren’t loving it so much though, as video games become more and more of a mainstream form of entertainment. Most video game heroes are still men, a fact which Ubisoft has recently been attacked for, along with allegations of racism. With Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4 both lacking a playable major female role, and the upcoming Tom Clancy’s The Division featuring a female hostage in a game of virtual tug-of-war, sexism has become a rather unfortunate standard.
According to a report recently published by the Entertainment Software Association, girl gamers in the U.S. now account for 48 percent of the gaming population. This isn’t just in the “cute” titles either, this is across all genres. A survey by Nielsen Holdings revealed that the female gamers do tend to have general preferences toward the PC and portable consoles, and Nintendo’s Wii was one of the most popular consoles. Apple devices are among the most even ground for both genders.
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) August 20, 2014
Women don’t always play console games, but when they do, a Ubisoft analyst revealed, it’s usually a multiplayer game they play with their significant other. Alain Corre, a Ubisoft executive, stated:
“We’ve done some studies on this and, interestingly, we notice that many couples seem to be playing games like Assassin’s Creed together. So while a game like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed is predominantly purchased by males, it isn’t necessarily played [just] by guys.”
This could easily be part of what caused them to remove competitive multiplayer from AC: Unity and focus on the cooperative alternative. It could also be coincidence.
If female gamers are playing games like Assassin’s Creed, you can bet they’re also climbing the ranks in the more brutal titles like Mortal Kombat and Call of Duty as they show their male counterparts how formidable they can be. Now accounting for almost half of the gaming population, it’s time we all started taking the girl gamers more seriously.
[image via Lazy Gamer]