The gaming world is infamously unwelcoming towards female gamers, but it turns out that rampant misogyny in video-game culture hasn’t kept women away from their consoles. A new study shows that women over 18 constitute 36% of the gaming population, while adult men come in at 35%.
So, contrary to what you might expect, adult women are not quite the minorities in the gaming world that they’re seen as — in fact, they dramatically outnumber teenage boys, the demographic most people associate with video-game use. In actuality, teenage boys account for a mere 17% of gamers. (We should take into account that there are a lot more adults than adolescents in the population at large.)
Another misperception that the study dispels is that older women don’t game. It turns out that there’s been a huge increase in the number of women over 50 gaming — their numbers soared by 33% between 2012 and 2013.
The Daily Dot reports that the study shows more people are playing more games across a variety of platforms, with the number of social games on mobile devices and “casual games” on PCs on the upswing.
As for what type of games women are playing, casual computer games top the list, followed by online mobile puzzle games, board games, trivia games and card games.
But The Daily Dot is quick to note that “stereotypes are breaking fast in the gaming industry, particularly the longheld stereotype of the adult woman as an outlier who sticks to mobile games and ‘social’ games on Facebook while the more hardcore gamer, the ‘serious’ (male) gamer, goes for console games.” Females purchase 50% of computer and video games.
For more perspective on sexism in the gaming industry, check out Shannon Sun-Higginson’s SXSW documentary “GTFO: Get the F#$% Out,” an investigation of the harassment and abuse female gamers are frequently subject to, especially when they speak out for gender equality.
[via The Daily Dot]