The Turtle Tidings: Get that stereotype out of your head

For years, Men and boys alike have asked “How do I get my girlfriend into video games?” or “Do girl gamers exist?” The year is 2014, the gaming industry is thriving and full of promise. But what’s noteworthy about it? Here’s something, 47% of the total video game audience in Australia is comprised of females.

This information originates from a very detailed report called Digital Australia 2014 and can be seen here: http://www.igea.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Digital-Australia-2014-DA14.pdf

Playing video games is a hobby that millions around the world have. Despite this, for many years the general stereotype was that video games were for a very niche audience. This audience was males who had a strong interest in technology. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s this could have been a reasonable assumption to make, but that has clearly changed.

There is clearly an enormous market for video games and not only that, but females are jumping in on video games too. According to Digital Australia 2014 report, females only made up 38% of the total gaming population in Australia in 2005. As mentioned earlier they now make up approximately make up 47% by the end of December 2013. This is a 9% increase over the course of eight years which is incredible.

Everyone has many preferences when it comes to games. When games were first made, they were made with the intention of completing one goal. There was no explanation as to why the player was given that goal. They simply just did it. In today’s era, games have become a new medium for creativity. This brings the question, why do women play video games now?

21 year old Ms. Chan explains “I primarily played them for the stories. I’ve never been particularly skilled at playing games centred on timed button presses or reflexes.” Now that technology has advanced so far, there are various games on the market, each one completely unique. No longer are they about getting from point A to B. Some of them have very deep and engaging stories, rivaling even books. So with the rise of multiple genres over the years, many more females were able to find games that appealed to them.

One question directed Ms. Chan was if it was common to find other females that she could share her interests in video games with. Her response, “I don’t have any problems finding other women who play games. I have many female friends that get together and play video games.”

A common assumption is that women play video games very different to the male demographic. This can be true in some aspects but it does not account for all women who play video games. Ms. Chan gave a small list of what games she played “I enjoy games like Suikoden II, the Tales of franchise or Final Fantasy. I do play other games though, like the Silent Hill series”. An interesting thing to note is the games she mentioned were games that were mainly catering towards the male demographic.

Video games were once regarded as merely “games”, but with the ever growing and changing audience for video games, gaming has become an enormous and profitable industry. The industry rivals even movies and books. You could say it’s become a titan in the entertainment industry.

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