About Time: We Asked Why More Women Enjoy Online GamingBy Angelica Malin
When it comes to gaming many people are still surprised to hear that the gender divide is pretty much a 50/50 split, with 50% of men claiming to be gamers and 48% of women saying the same. Gaming is no longer frowned upon, it has become a more accepted form of entertainment after a long day at work that more and more women are turning to.
It’s not just the health benefits that encourage people to game – if you didn’t know about these then read about them here – there’s a sense of community when one plays online that is hard to find beyond the gaming scene. Whether you live stream on Twitch and interact with those watching in the comment section, join up with a group to conquer a heist on a game or simply jump online and interact with other players fighting on a map, gaming has a great social element.
It’s not just Call of Duty or League of Legends encouraging the social aspects of gaming though, bingo sites also are encouraging this social aspect of gaming, with chat sections for players to interact with each other on while some are even moving into the dating element – allowing likeminded gamers to meet and get to know each other better. Of course, you need the best gaming pc to play.
Of course, you will continue to hear about the negative aspects of women gaming, with sexism and abuse being thrown their way if someone realises it’s a woman behind the screen name but this is becoming less of an issue and women are pushing back on it more and more. Take Julia Hardy, for example, who wittily responds to sexist trolls when gaming and posts these on her blog Misogyny Monday, or Jezzeka Duma who contacts the mothers of young boys who send her rape threats online.
Smartphones are one device encouraging more women to game, gaming doesn’t just apply to shoot-em-ups and immersive storylines – Candy Crush is still a game and those who play it regularly can still be considered gamers, much to the dismay of the hardcore male fans in the industry. In fact, in the UK, 70% of the country now games due to mobile devices and as well as women older people are also getting in on the action, with 27% of the 33.5 million Britons gaming of the age 44 years old or more.
However, women aren’t just playing trivia or puzzle games on their smartphones, while waiting for the bus or in the hairdressers as that small minority of misogynistic male gamers would have you believe. In a poll conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau, 47% of women taking part confirmed that they had played a ‘disc based game in the last six months and 68% had played an online game.’
The concept of what a game is has changed greatly over the past couple of years; Kim Kardashian’s app based game for example would cause many turned up noses at traditional gaming conventions but she has apparently raked in $100million since the game launched in 2014. Gaming is becoming more exclusive, more appealing to everyone of all race, age and gender – Kim’s game is actually one of very few that allows you to choose your gender and sexual preference when creating your character – and therefore encouraging more women to play.