Girls Who Play: Women in the World of Gaming

The world of E-sports and gaming has always been dominated by men in prior years and a lot of people have always thought that gaming is a field dominated by men. Consequently, we are more familiar with the likes of Pewdiepie, Shroud and Ninja, among others.

While video games have always been culturally associated as an arena meant for men, however, today, it isn’t anymore. As a matter of fact, recent video game statistics show that almost half of the gamers in the world are females, accounting for about 46% of the total population of gamers around the globe.

Looking at the data from Statista, you’ll notice that the number of women in the video game community is actually experiencing a steady increase in growth from 38% in 2006 to 46% in 2019. And this largely contributes to the fact that women are the primary drivers of growth in the mobile gaming category in which they constitute 45% of the population of mobile gamers.

Can you believe that in Japan, more than half of the local Japanese players or specifically 66% are actually women?

Suffice it to say, that today, video games are not just for males. And females are not just all about the tea parties and Barbies. After all, video games are gender-neutral and they can be freely enjoyed by anyone regardless of age or gender.

Women in a “Man’s World”

Despite this shift in the gaming culture, there are still stereotypes and arguments that the gaming scene is still a sport for men. Hence, the place over which women must hold in the gaming sector remains a heated conflict. For one, women have either been brushed aside, misrepresented or underrepresented in video game characters or even in local and international E-sport tournaments.

And despite the increasing number of female gamers, gender bias still seems to be a common problem. A survey showed that 57% of female players have experienced harassment online after revealing their gender, whereas 26% were wrongly accused of hacking or cheating; 54% were asked to do sexual favors, and 69% just considered withdrawing from the gaming session after the incident.

What goes on behind-the-scenes is still unwelcoming for female gamers and will need a lot of reworking. Nevertheless, although this puts women at risk of being discriminated against because of their gender, the future of female gamers still appears to be very bright as more and more women get involved in gaming and not only as game contenders but also as game developers.

The Future of Female Gamers

Although the state of gender equality in the gaming industry still poses as a problem and sexism is still largely prevalent, this doesn’t stop women from excelling in their chosen field of interest. For example, a five-woman team, Team Dignitas CS:GO Fe has bagged the first place in its second straight Intel world championship earlier this year.

On the other hand, some of the top-grossing female players in professional gaming today are Scarlett, Mystik, Ricki Ortiz, Kasumi Chan, and Sarah Lou who are all breaking the male stereotypes in the world of E-sports. And although still short in terms of earnings of her male counterpart, Scarlett, also known as Sasha Hostyn, is officially the top-grossing female pro-gamer all over the globe with her earnings reaching $296,161.44, thus, landing her the 294th spot in world rankings and the 9th place in Canada. Scarlett competitively plays in Starcraft II with the username “Zerg”.

Moving to the realm of live game streaming and YouTube, 21-year old iHasCupquake, or Tiffany Garcia in real life takes the number one spot as the top female gamer on YouTube. She started her career on YouTube in 2010, but only gained attention when she started creating gameplay videos in Minecraft. Today, she has over 6 million subscribers and an estimated net worth of $2 million.

Truly, the great gender divide may still be far from over, but as the video game community continues to move and progress, there’s no doubt that there’s going to be more changes not only in in-game character modifications and plot developments, but we are also likely to see more professional female players take on the limelight.

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