How the world of video games has adapted to welcome more female players

There’s no doubting it: more and more women are playing games via their mobile phone, PC or console of choice.

Research has found that about 72% of females surveyed had played a game of some kind in the first half of 2022, with mobiles outnumbering computers as their preferred medium in stark contrast to male gamers.

Interestingly, the term ‘gamer’ is not one that females identify with as just 35% would class themselves as a gamer. This is in contrast with the 72% that have played a game of some kind this year.

So, while there’s still a lack of comfortability in labeling themselves as a gamer, more women than ever before are playing games as a leisure hobby.

It’s interesting too that approximately 75% of women play their games in single-player mode, which is not in line with the increasing popularity of multiplayer and co-op gaming throughout the industry. For now, at least, it seems as if female gamers prefer to go it alone. 

Target market

As if to cash in on the changing demographics of gaming, a number of development firms have released hugely popular games that can be described as non-gender-specific, and some of these have proven to be incredibly popular with female gamers, such as Candy Crush Saga and Farming Simulator.

So, making games that have more appeal to female players is a no-brainer as far as reactions go, and other niches within the sector have also adopted this approach. Online bingo platforms have proven incredibly popular in the past decade or so, and they have acted as a gateway for women to explore other online casino NJ games, such as blackjack, roulette and poker.

It’s noteworthy too that many of the leading slot games, such as Starburst and Rainbow Riches, are also gender neutral, so more and more game development firms of all types are tapping into this ever-growing captive audience. 

Getting it right

However, there’s evidently still work to be done. The research study mentioned earlier in this article found that roughly 54% of women surveyed did not feel ‘represented’ in the games they play, and around 57% responded that gaming did not give them a sense of belonging, which suggests that more can be done to improve the inclusivity of gamers beyond the 18- to 30-year-old male stereotype.

Game companies could make a huge difference if they were to develop titles with strong female lead characters. This would be in contrast to the nubile Lara Croft assassin adventurers and focus on women that have some basis in reality.

It has been heavily rumored that GTA VI, the latest iteration of the record-breaking Grand Theft Auto series, will feature a female protagonist for the first time. However, the world these characters inhabit – and the scrapes they get into – are hardly representative of the real world for most of us.

But if one of the best-selling game franchises on the planet is introducing playable female characters, it could usher in the next generation of female gamers or, should that be, appeal to women that like playing games anyway.