In 2014, we got yet anoter new kind of scandal “gate” – this time in the form of “Gamergate,” which was described by the Washington Post that year as
an Internet culture war. On one side are independent game-makers and critics, many of them women, who advocate for greater inclusion in gaming. On the other side of the equation are a motley alliance of vitriolic naysayers: misogynists, anti-feminists, trolls, people convinced they’re being manipulated by a left-leaning and/or corrupt press, and traditionalists who just don’t want their games to change. (Dewey)
As odd as it seems that any other person would have a reason to care what kind of person is playing behind whatever screen, they do. However, as hard as they may want to keep women from playing a game, women are instead an almost equal majority, at 48% of all gamers, and show no signs of being impacted by the desire of those who are intimidated and want them to quit. In fact, the most common cliche of what a “gamer” is actually incorrect. As Drew Harwell explains, “the stereotype of a “gamer” — mostly young, mostly nerdy and most definitely male — 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 a sliver of the market, only 15 percent, according to Newzoo, a games research firm.” Now this statistic may be hard to follow, but what it means is, while the usual idea of a video game lover may be a dorky teenaged boy, in fact, twice as many women in the “adult demographic” of 18-35 play video games than boys between 10 and 25 years old.
And most importantly, on the economic front, where the bottom line really counts:
Male players still dominate some of gaming’s biggest franchises, including “League of Legends,” “Grand Theft Auto” and “World of Warcraft,” but women comprise a growing share of those markets. And analysts said the distinction between casual games with larger female audiences and “hardcore” franchises, like shooters and massive online role-playing games, has become less important for game companies, who have found ways to profit off both.
Therefore, as the market continues to take money from women, perhaps women will stop having to take as much nonsense from their fellow gamers. Keep at it, girls. We will win this game too.