Gaming’s No Longer the Boys’ Club it was once perceived to be
Looking back over the history of popular video games, it’s clear to see why women would be put off. Not only are many of the protagonists brave males, but the women in the games are often unrealistically created to pander to fantasies. But those days are fading into the past, with developers realising the huge audience of women who want to play games when the right ones come along.
Both video games and more traditional games have been exploring ways in which they can reach the female audience, resulting in the current climate where games are much more popular among women. So, let’s explore how developers have embraced the female gaming community, making it a form of entertainment that's for everyone in the modern-day.
From consoles to mobile
Console gaming, on the likes of the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC platforms like Steam, has long been considered a male-dominated pastime. With this, many expected the primary audience for the growing world of eSports to be male. This is the case according to reports, but women make up a much larger portion of the audience than many predicted, accounting for 31 per cent of viewers. However, while women are growing in numbers on the platform more traditionally associated with gaming, on mobile, females have taken over the gaming scene.
Mobile gaming is an absolutely massive global industry that is closing in on accounting for half of the market. In 2014, it was found that thanks to the rise of mobile gaming, women had become the dominant force in UK gaming, rising from being just under half of the audience in 2011 to being the majority 52 percent in 2014, according to The Guardian. Would-be gamers who may have been put off by the tropes and stigma of console gaming in the past find that mobile gaming is much more accessible due to many of the games being free to download and often very intuitive.
From halls to online
One of the biggest gaming transformations of modern times has been the move of gambling games from halls to the online space. The industry is huge in the UK, with the remote sector revitalising formerly condemned games, such as that of bingo. The decline of bingo has been well-publicised across the country, with many brands blaming changes in taxation on bingo’s struggles. Clubs were dropping like flies with the game becoming far less convenient for its player base - which was predominantly female - to access.
But the online space has given bingo a new lease of life, with the range provided by digital creations enabling developers to diversify the popular British pastime while also making it far more accessible. Now, anyone who used to play at clubs can play bingo online with PP for £0.01, £0.03, £0.05, £0.10, or even £1 per ticket whenever they want to enjoy some gaming. Available on laptops or through mobile phones, this is a sign that it is once again becoming easy for bingo’s biggest audience, women – who make up 88 per cent of the audience, per Which – to immerse themselves in it.
The old stereotype of games being for lonely males has been throw out of the window in recent years, with the female audience growing in size and influence.