Everyone knows the stereotype of the teenage boy who stays up till 5am playing computer games and never leaves the house because he’ll miss his games console too much, right? Well a new study by the Internet Advertising Bureau has confirmed that 52% of the gaming audience is actually made up of women. This shouldn’t really be too much of a shock because three years ago that figure was 49% yet the stereotype that gaming is a man’s world is still a persistent one that sways companies’ target demographics and marketing strategies.
Glued to Your Phone
The surge in gaming among certain areas of the population is largely due to the internet and the smartphone. Whereas in the past you had to have an expensive gaming console first and then buy the games you wanted (usually expensive too), now playing a game can be as easy as downloading an app to your phone. Mobile puzzle games such as trivia and word games have appeared as the most genre overall, ahead of shooters and traditional action adventure games, with 56% of female interviewees saying they played these types of games the most. Additionally, 54% of people interviewed said their favourite gaming platform was their smartphone. The most common place people play games is on the couch or as a passenger on public transport and another survey found that 34% play on the toilet, now that would be difficult to do on a laptop!
Women Taking Up Gambling
With the rise of online gaming has also come the rise of online gambling especially with online casino sites like Crazy Winners becoming even more accessible through smartphones or tablets. Research shows that a high proportion of people using these sites are women. Many are professional women with demanding careers who want to escape at the end of the day without having to go into work the next day with a hangover, therefore gambling becomes the safer option. And with these sites offering numerous choices of fun games including bingo and scratch cards it’s no wonder they provide the perfect stress-relief after a hard and tiring day’s work.
Women Play the Easy Games
It’s true that the video game world is one ripe with gender discrimination. The biggest stereotype often believed to be true in the gaming world is that men are better gamers than women. Stereotypes suggest that female gamers are only good at mobile puzzle and social games which aren’t considered “proper games” in the gaming community. Maybe fewer women play blockbuster videogames because they are discouraged from it in the first place by being repeatedly told that “proper games” aren’t for them.
Fortunately, there are still women out there who are determined to prove these stereotypes wrong and the fact that hundreds, if not thousands, turn up to the gaming conventions speaks volumes. In an industry which is constantly vying for a foothold in mainstream culture it seems an obvious route for developers and publishers to acknowledge that the majority of the gaming audience is female and make an effort to be more representative of its audience.