Video games have long been considered a male domain. However, research has revealed this stereotype is being overcome by female gamers and developers.
Like the rest of the IT industry, video games – both in their creation and consumption – have been viewed as a medium dominated by males.
However, this appears to be more of an illusion than a fact, with research discovering that women are avid consumers of video games, which could help to grow their interest in pursuing IT jobs.
There are plenty of reasons for the rise in female gamers. Along with a range of new platforms that have made gaming more accessible – mobile devices and Facebook games – various stereotypes have also been withdrawn, promoting a more inclusive environment.
How many women play video games?
According to research firm Populus, more women play games than men, a fact likely to surprise long-time gamers. The company’s research discovered that 52 per cent of all people who play video games in the UK are women. This is an increase on the results of the 2011 survey, where women were just short of the majority (49 per cent).
Part of this is due to the fact gaming is no longer a niche hobby, and can now be considered part of mainstream culture. The same survey revealed that more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of the British population play video games, including everyone from children to seniors.
The role that mobile gaming has played in this revolution was also confirmed by video game research firm EEDAR. According to its Deconstructing Mobile and Tablet Gaming report, women make up the majority of gamers, with 56 per cent playing regularly.
What job opportunities are there?
Not only are women playing more games, they’re working in the industry more as well. A report from the International Game Developers Association found that the number of video game-related jobs nearly doubled between 2009 and 2014, with the proportion rising from 11.5 to 22 per cent.
Despite this increase, men still hold the majority across the industry, but trends are at least moving in the right direction.
There are also a number of women in the industry that have been setting an example for women interested in approaching these jobs. Amy Hennig, for example, was the writer and director for all three games in Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series of video games, selling more than 17 million copies worldwide.
Ms Hennig’s impressive CV shows that women can do more than just work in the video games industry, they can lead multi-million dollar projects as well.