According to a report by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) into the gaming and online habits of 4,000 people in the UK this year, 52 per cent of the UK’s gamers are female. Yes, it appears that there are now more female gamers than male!
Another report by the Entertainment Software Association in the US seemed to back up this information, revealing that the US gaming population of 59 million had an almost even split – with 48% of the gamers being female. The report also suggested that adult women represented over a third of the gaming population (36%) while males under 18 accounted for only 17%.
What the surveys don’t tell us, and what’s difficult to identify exactly, is what games women are playing. It’s difficult to judge, as a survey is only a representative sample and only catalogues the responses of those people that take part in them. However, it’s pretty likely that this increase in the number of female gamers is connected to the increased use of online gaming at sites such as bgo and fabulous as well as on social media sites such as Facebook.
We all have time for a few minutes gaming now and then – and that’s exactly what mobile games and online games offer us when many other video games demand more of our time. There are lots of people who aren’t willing to devote time to sit and play a pc or console game, but will log in and out of different online sites to play instead.
Another big advantage of playing online is that you can find a huge variety of games in one place. For instance, if you log in to play free bingo you’ll also find that you can play slots, or casino games such as roulette and blackjack. Whatever kind of gaming in which you want to dip in or out, it’s all available online, with no need to load up a particular piece of software.
Reports, such as that by the IAB mentioned above and a report by Spil Games in 2013, also comment on the fact that there are now older women gaming. Spil’s report said that the number of women aged 35 or more surpassed the number of men in the same age grouping. Part of the appeal of playing online bingo, casino and social media games, as well as mobile puzzlers, such as Cut The Rope, lies in the fact that there’s nothing to learn before you can play. As there’s no learning curve, you can get playing straightaway. For people who have never played video games, you’d think this is the kind of game they’d start out with.
It’s very unfair to make the assumption that the women who are now termed as gamers are more likely to be playing online and mobile games rather than sitting down to play a game like Assassin’s Creed. However, that assumption is probably true!
Whatever games people are playing, one thing is certain; the gamer is becoming a universally applicable description and those old stereotypes no longer apply.