I don’t really get to play video games with women very often, so my personal knowledge on this subject is very limited. I will be looking at women and video games from a different perspective (an old guy).
The only time I do play video games with a female is when my twentyish-year-old granddaughter, Sierra, comes to visit at the holidays. My wife, Cindy, very rarely plays with me even though I bought her own controller. Cindy will only play certain games.
Most discussions about video gaming focus on males. This is only half the population. Women obliviously play and buy video games. How many women young and old play video games? What kind of games are women playing? Also, why are women playing video?
Women and video games is a new subject for me and probably a lot of others as well. Let’s explore this together.
Who are the Female Gamers? I bet you know one!!!
The usual stereotype of a so-called “gamer” is mostly young, mostly nerdy and most definitely male. This has never been further from the truth.
In the United States, twice as many adult women play video games as do boys, according to the Entertainment Software Association, the industry’s top trade group. Male gamers between ages 10 and 25 represent just a sliver of the market, only 15 percent, according to Newzoo, a games research firm.
48 percent of gamers in America today are women from a wide range of ages.
1. Who was Gaming in 2011?
The Washington Post reported about 30 million males and 18 million females played video games on Sony and Microsoft’s big consoles (Xbox and PlayStation). About 1.2 million girls and women said they played five days a week or more.
2. Look who’s gaming now!
Just three years later, the Post reports the number of female gamers grew 70 percent (to 30.3 million), while male gamers grew 45 percent (to 43.3 million). More than 5 million girls and women said they play five days or more a week — four times as many as in 2011.
When I first read these statistics, I was surprised at the least. I don’t think video gaming is just a bunch of nerdy teenagers boys locked in their rooms anymore. Young girls and adult females like video games too, the stats prove it.
Video gaming is a 190 million dollar a year industry. They are not going to just focus on how to get guys to buy their products. They want the other half of the population, females, to participate as well. The more people including women buying, the more profit in their pockets.
The different varieties and themes of gaming are also changing due to more women playing. Let’s be honest, in the past a lot, if not most video game designs catered toward the guys. Fighting games, war themes, and sporting games have dominated the gaming landscape and still do to a certain extent. Let’s face it, they still make money.
The addition of strong female characters in video games also attracts women. They don’t just want to play some overly-aggressive male figure. Women like to “kick-butt” too.
Games like “Tomb Raider: Lara Croft” are excellent games for anyone, not just the ladies. I love playing this. And remember I am an old sixty-one-year grandpa. I don’t have a problem getting in touch with my feminine side when I am saving the world from space invaders or exploring for lost treasures.
Guys give her the controller or buy her one!!!
What kind of games do women enjoy? Whatever they want! It’s their choice, not the industry. They may chart the stats on what people play or buy, but it is up to each and every individual, whether female or male. Play what you enjoy.
Let’s take a brief look at what women/girls tend to gravitate to in their gaming choices:
- Just Dance or Dance Central: Ladies, I know this is not the same as ballroom dancing. But if most guys are like me, I can’t dance very well anyway. Maybe this is the kind of game where you can get your husband or boyfriend off the couch. Oh yeah, have him make you a nice dinner while you are getting ready to boogie the night away.
- Candy Crush or Minecraft: These games are fun and easy to play no matter what the gender. They can be appealing to women who are just busy with life. They can be played on most mobile phones or devices. So while the kids are taking a shower after soccer practice, a mom can relax and crush some candy.
- The Sims/ Sim City: In simulation games, you can be set in the cockpit of a jet or the seat of a race car. However, in the Sims games, you are creating and controlling a family called the Sims. You get to make the choices. Sometimes in our real families, we don’t have much say so in our lives. In the Sims virtual reality, you make the decisions.
- World of Warcraft: It gets real fun in these types of games. You are not just controlling and building a virtual family. You are building empires, controlling governments, waging wars, or just being the queen of your dynasty.
- Sporting or Exercising Video Games: I am not just talking about football, basketball, or baseball. I am talking about games where you do something, like running, jumping, swinging your arms, fishing, or playing ping-pong. All the major consoles today have the ability where you can interact with the games (Ex. Xbox Kinect and others). You are not just sitting, you move the furniture out of the way and get moving.
As a whole, women are more worried about the health of her family and herself than the rest of the family. So these games are great ways to work up a sweat and get the whole family involved. For me. it sure beats walking on a treadmill watching the sweat drip off my nose.
- Halo/ Call of Duty/ Assassin’s Creed: Action/ Adventure Games, these are some of my favorites. I love the stories, the graphics, and the gameplay. I love being the conquering warrior, the valiant knight, or the cunning villain who causes chaos where ever he journeys. I am sure there are a lot of ladies out there who would like to do the same.
They want to be the heroine of a story as well, like “Joan of Arc” and not just the caretaker of the family. Even if it is just for a little while. To escape the pressures of our daily lives.
The more Female Characters in Games: The better!!!
With women and video games, more female characters are coming on to the arena every day and it is exciting to see where this is going to go. Here are just a few:
- Rikku “The Final Fantasy series”.
- Jilly Valentine “Resident Evil”.
- Clementine “The Walking Dead”. A very popular TV series today.
- Cortana “Halo”.
- Lara Croft “Tomb Raider series”. One of my favorites.
- Chun-Li “Street Fighter”. Kicking butt and taking names.
- Sonya Blade “Mortal Kombat”. Another lady I wouldn’t want to mess with.
- Princess Zelda “The Legend of Zelda”. A classic for young and old, female or male.
- Harly Quinn “Batman Series”. The bad girl who whoops up on Batman.
- Catwoman “Batman”. Another nemesis of the Dark Knight.
Why do Women Play Video Games: Because they can!!!
- They are FUN.
- They are entertaining.
- They are challenging.
- They can be helpful, informative, insightful, educational, and healthy (If used correctly).
- They can increase social interaction, at home with the family or across the globe with new found friends.
- They can be a stress reliever, especially after a long day at work or running errands all day.
Issues for women and video games are the same issues for guys as well. They don’t define who or what we are, neither does the sports we play, the TV shows we watch, the books we read, or the websites we visit.
We are all unique and different. So should the games we chose to play. The varieties of video games are endless and will grow more and more in the future.
Ladies, the next time the kids or the husband grabs their controllers to play the next version of “Halo Wars”, you just say, “It’s my turn to go first this time, you just watch”.