Girls Are Infiltrating The Ranks Of Video Game Players

In its annual report, the Entertainment Software Association found 45% of all gamers are female.

Though video games have been traditionally dominated by boys, girl gamers now make up close to half of all players.

According to the Entertainment Software Association's annual report, 45% of all gamers are female. Boys who are 17 years old or younger, traditionally thought to have a stronghold on the industry, only make up 17% of the video-gaming population. In contrast, adult women make up a greater share at 31%. Overall, adults account for 68% of gamers, with the average age of players being 30 years old.

Despite the rising number of women within gaming ranks, some still encounter misogyny. Kitty Germein, an 18-year-old female gamer, told Australia's news.com.au that "if you beat someone and they find out you're a girl, they say: 'Get back in the kitchen' or 'Make me a sandwich' … it's quite unhealthy and a bit disturbing that it's 2013 and there's still such gender inequality."

While it's rare for larger studios in America to feature female protagonists, some are noticing "more strong female characters from new games, and that's primarily coming from Japan," William Chappell, owner of video game store Shin Tokyo, told the outlet.

[Image: Flickr user Spielbrick Films]

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7 Comments

  • Letsmocha

    Additionally, Alice - why "infiltrating" in the title?  Are girl gamers encroaching on "enemy" territory?  Maybe no bad intent there but how we talk about gender in this context also obviously frames the issue.  

  • Kit Love

    ITT: people try to justify being sexist idiots.  ::sigh:: I'm almost 30 and have been gaming since I was old enough to figure out how to do it.  The older I get the more sexism and BS I have to deal with from kids.  I've only seen it get worse.

  • Girl Gamer since the 90s

    Here is the truth: Girls are people. Boys are people. They can like the same stuff. The end.

  • Kit Love

    I donno... I'd argue about that Adam guy falling under people!  He certainly isn't acting like one.

  • Sander Seed

    It is nice to have the numbers, but I gotta say, I feel like this sum up is missing some pieces of the puzzle. fe. it has been stated that the game World of Warcraft had up to 40% female players. It's was for a long time the the unreachable king of online games (and in a lot of ways it still is) with more than 10 million subscribers, so that means that there were sizable chunks of women playing video games (or at least the game World of Warcraft) even back then. While it is true that there seems to be a really neat concious effort being made by Japanese developers like Nintendo or Square Enix to create better female characters (and under different presumptions than just 'we like looking at pretty girls'. a design philosophy that is not unknown in the West either), I think it shouldn't be ignored that Western games, especially in the PC realm, have had a longer history of "make up your own main character, including their gender", especially when it comes to RPGs (like Skyrim). 

  • nap12

    The misogyny is there, but it's no different than your 16 yr old friend calling you the worst things in the world possible while playing a game, in hopes it will throw you off.....but not really meaning it. It's a game. At the end of the day, we all embrace gamer girls, it brings more competition and better gaming. You will always have dumb gamer kids shouting things like "get in the kitchen" because they watched too many south park episodes. Sooner than later the so called "misogyny" will only leave a smile/wink and a boost in confidence as a female player.  Men have been called lazy nerds and geeks for years by hot girls because of being a gamer. Now hot girls are becoming gamers by the dozen. It's all apart of the game. 

  • DS Wadeson

    This is such a big issue, I'm a bit disappointed you guys have glossed over it by claiming 'some still encounter misogyny'. It's not that a few online girl-gamers encounter it, it's completely ingrained in the entire, parochial industry to the extent there were non-ironic rape jokes made at the XBone unveil at E3. 

    To let it be inferred that the problem is somehow on its way to being solved by 45% of 'gamers' now being female is myopic at best and wilfully ignorant at worst. 

    I love Fast Company, and find 99% the articles are thoughtful and non-partisan, but unless you simply don't understand (in which case I'll be happy to write you a feature on how severe this problem is) then this little news piece is irresponsible reporting.  Either way there's really no excuse.