Reasons Behind the Rise of Girl Gamers

Gamer Girl 2-22-13

Gamer girl  numbers are on the rise worldwide.  What contributes to this number?  Are the stereotypes a thing of the past?

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Reasons behind the rise of girl gamers.

Mention the word “gamer,” and people stereotypically think of nerdy boys in thick-rimmed glasses playing an RPG in their mothers’ basements, or maybe even a group of mates hanging out on a Saturday afternoon, showing off their virtual athleticism in a friendly football match. But the notion that girls are not interested in gaming is both outdated and inaccurate. In fact, the most recent annual Gamer Study published by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) in America showed that women comprise roughly 47% of all gamers—almost an even split! A shocking statistic, isn’t it?

Of course, gaming looks a lot different than it did ten years ago, with accessibility and convenience being two key factors that are attracting the attention of female gamers. In fact, when it comes to social and Smartphone gaming, the scales may even be tipped in favour of women: a study carried out by PopCap last year showed that 55% of all social gamers are women, while a separate study by EEDAR revealed that nearly 60% of mobile gamers are women. Even more surprising is the fact that the average age of female gamers is 42. In other words, when we envision the typical gamer in the 21st century, it should be a professional woman stealing a few moments at work to keep up with gaming on Facebook, or a mum using her Smartphone to game-on-the-go when she’s waiting at the doctor’s office or going to pick her kids up from school.

Of course, since the introduction of the Wii, we’ve seen console gaming become a more family-centric activity as well, something that might be ultimately make women more comfortable with be classified as “gamers.” The ESA annual report found that nearly 40% of parents play video games with their children on a weekly basis, with games rated “E” for “Everyone” by the ESRB snagging up a good portion of the Top 20 selling video game slots in 2011. These statistics suggest that mums may view gaming in a more positive light than what they once did, so much so that they are partaking in gaming to bond with the kids and have a little fun in the process.

With gaming becoming more female-friendly, so to speak, it should come as no surprise that female gamers are starting to make a name for themselves on websites like YouTube, where they’re posting vlogs that walk subscribers through the gaming experience. And while recent data does suggest that women are more prone to mobile gaming, some of these girl gamers are defying gender stereotypes by taking on the best PC games on the market today. YouTube sensation iJustine uploads daily vblogs in which she plays first-person shooter games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II and multi-player battle arena games like League of Legends.The blonde-haired, make-up wearing gamer is just as enthusiastic as you might expect a teenage boy to be about these games, and she’s being recognised for that enthusiasm: her YouTube page attracts an impressive 294,700 subscribers and counting.

As we look toward the future, women will undoubtedly play an increasingly influential role in the gaming landscape, helping to dispel gender stereotypes and make gaming an activity that can truly be enjoyed by all.


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