Enough of treating women gamers like a minority.
Gender is a hotly contested topic in gaming. There is a lot of noise and vitriol, but at its core, much of the debate revolves around the shifting demographics of gaming due to its mainstreaming. Gaming motivations among men and women seem to follow gender stereotypes; Men are primarily motivated by competition and destruction, while women are motivated by competition and fantasy. But this is only part of the story…
Although more women are playing games all over the world, female representation in the industry that creates these games is also a problem. In fact, according to the International Game Developers Association, while the number of female gamers has doubled since 2009, there is still significant male dominance in the field. Below are some myths about video games that correlate with its gender stereotypes.
Myth: There are far more men gamers than women in the US as of recently.
This is in fact not true. According to an Entertainment Software Association survey, women players in the United States increased from 40% in 2010 to 48% in 2014. In addition, today, despite the dominant perception that most gamers are men, the ratio of female to male gamers is actually balanced, representing a near equal.
Myth: There are no all women video game tournaments.
This is indeed a myth, Riot Games have had women’s only tournaments for a while now. They recently announced that Valorant (the game) Series 2 will be a women’s only event as well. One of the many notable all women teams is Cloud9 White, an all-female Volarent gaming team based in the United States that dominated the Valorant champions in 2021. In the more amateur scene, check out Paidia for women-run, women-only tournaments for games you love!
Myth: No female gamer has ever one more than 2 world championships.
On the contrary to this myth, Stephanie Harvey, also known by her in-game name missharvey, is a Canadian video game developer that won five world championships during her gaming career. There are many other female game developers nationwide that have won over 3 world championships such as FemSteph, Deb “Annialis’’, and Julia “juliano” Kiran.
Myth: Women don’t play ‘gory’ games.
Female gamers are often assumed to shy away from violent games; however, female gamers actually find just as much appeal in gory video games as male gamers do. A great example of this is Blizzard’s Overwatch which is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game. Overwatch offers a diverse cast of playable heroes and more inventive weapon choices than other games. As a result of that, women account for about 16% of its players based on recent surveys.
“The Video Game Revolution: ‘Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked’ by Henry Jenkins | PBS.” Pbs, www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html. Accessed 9 Nov. 2021.
Wirtz, Bryan. “The 20 Highest-Earning Pro Female Gamers: Meet the Girls Crushing It With Gaming.” Lake House Media, LLC, 23 Aug. 2021, www.gamedesigning.org/gaming/female-gamers. Accessed 9 Nov. 2021.