Amid Controversy, More Women Playing Games

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Amid Controversy, More Women Playing Games

It's easily been one of the biggest issues in gaming in the last few months, the issues of gender inclusiveness and gaming. But while some are calling for more inclusiveness, and others are saying that gaming is just more of a male-centered culture, one thing is becoming quite clear: more women are gaming than ever before, and a recent study showed that, recently, it was actually a majority of the ladies that turned to gaming in the last six months.

A report from the Populous research agency, titled the Gaming Revolution report, showed that 52 percent of people who had played a game in the last six months were actually female. That number is up slightly from three years ago, but represents something particularly noteworthy: the achieving of a simple majority. The number three years ago was 49 percent, almost a majority, but not quite. The study noted that the United Kingdom's gaming audience overall was 33.5 million Brits, around 69 percent of the total population, and the biggest boost to the female gamer population came from an increasing number of 25 to 44 year olds with a penchant for puzzle and trivia games. The ladies are also represented well in role playing games, particularly massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) as the characters are easier to identify with.

Essentially, such titles provided just what the ladies were after in such an experience; an easy group activity that could be easily handled. The industry, as a result, was becoming more open and less hard-core; as Kate Russell, an expert in both games and technology, noted, “It's a myth that girls don't game and there's a real mistake being made for us to still be hung up on these old ideas of gender.”

Though it's difficult to draw conclusions from this, there are still conclusions to be had. We know that there have always been outliers, ladies who enjoy the hard core game just as much as the guys do. Some ladies are actually quite skilled on this front. Yet it would seem that the industry is changing, indeed. Anyone noticing the comparative dearth of console releasing across all consoles lately? How many games got shoved back to 2015? How few games actually got released in 2014? Moreover, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have both been in play for nearly the last year now, but how many titles have emerged?

Many gamers do seem to have shifted to the mobile platform, and that's a development that needs to be accommodated when it comes to studios and what games are put together. The inclusive experience seems to be taken quite well, and given that even consoles these days can handle the inclusive—just look at “Defiance” for all the evidence that's needed, and go well beyond into the PC market—bringing out the inclusive experience is a good way to get every gamer to the table. That's a development few can easily pass up, and this is likely to mean a few changes to come as this round of the console wars carries on.

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