Online games and the world of Esports have been on the rise in recent times, garnering all sorts of new audiences who previously had not been all that engaged with button bashing and joystick waggling. This has largely been driven by the very idea of online entertainment changing. Streaming and cloud platforms are now commonplace, and the traditional lines separating the gamer, broadcaster, and fan become harder to define.
One section of society that has not been as quick as others to join the online gaming revolution is that of women, who have for a long time been shunned by both games publishers, as well as by the games development houses themselves, who have employed predominantly men.
All that is now beginning to change, thanks to initiatives launched by trailblazing women within the industry, and because certain market trends have begun to dictate to reticent industry players that women being included in the online gaming sphere is necessary for any business to succeed.
Industry Initiatives to Get More Women Involved
They say that everything starts from the top, and therefore if the people designing and coding the smash hit games of tomorrow are all men, then there is very little chance of such games ever becoming the well-rounded titles they deserve to be. Thankfully, there are now groups such as Women in Games and Women Who Code who not only hope to open the eyes of industry insiders to the merits of having more female involvement in their respective companies, but also run campaigns to go about inspiring women to excel in technology careers.
As more and more businesses connected to online gaming put their weight behind campaigns like these, it seems only a matter of time before some sort of parity between the sexes is achieved in the industry at large.
People Love Female Protagonists and Storylines
Part of the reason that not enough women either appear in video games or work behind the scenes at creating them, is that there are common misconceptions still floating around, such as the idea that female-led games are unpopular. It does not take a gaming aficionado to debunk such a notion. There have been a slew of women video game protagonists who have helped to shift more copies of games than most of their male counterparts. Some great examples of such digital heroines included Lara Croft of Tomb Raider, Alice of Resident Evil, and of course the latest female gaming sensation, Ellie from the wildly popular The Last of Us.
The more female writers, coders, and designers that there are on the teams who make such games, the more likelihood there is of such protagonists being well-rounded and plausible characters that gamers can buy into.
More Women are Gaming Than Ever Before
Another very clear reason as to why more women are needed in the online gaming industry, is that it is becoming increasingly obvious that more and more women are deciding to ditch their own prejudices and join the online gaming revolution in their droves. This trend is evidenced by a report that took place as early as 2013, in which it was shown that women make up 48% of all gamers.
What often gives people in the industry the wrong idea about the percentage of women who play online games is that women tend to play different games from their male counterparts. Indeed, according to GameSpot, women are more likely to play mobile puzzle games like Candy Crush Saga or SIM games like The Sims, whereas men are more likely to engage with first person shooters like Call of Duty or sports games such as EA FIFA or NFL Madden.
Men and women may show different tastes when it comes to the genres of games they play, but women now account for close to half of the market. As more developers enter the industry, games appealing to women will continue to hit the shelves, perpetuating the revolution in gaming.