Female gamers, anonymous games and the future of industry
In today’s highly competitive market, manufacturers devote a lot of time to studying gamers and those who could potentially become them. The most progressively growing audience is girls. Surprisingly, over the past 4 years, the number of girls who enjoy video games has grown to 45% and continues to increase. Of course, depending on the region, the numbers differ, but anyway, girls love games and spend a lot of their time on them, although 10 years ago meeting a gamer girl was something unusual.
In this article, we decided to analyze the history of how the girls gradually began to play, and what the developers did for this.
SEGA takes the first step
Since the inception of the gaming industry and the first video games, only men have been gamers. The developers didn’t pay attention to the female audience at all and did not even try to make their projects interesting for the opposite gender. Yes, there were consoles that positioned themselves as entertainment for the whole family, but PC games were always created for guys. It shows well by the game genres of those years, obviously that killing monsters in Doom or swinging your hero in Ultima will be slightly interesting for girls.
First steps to attract a female audience began when Christine Risley, who had previously worked at Marvel, joined SEGA. She set out to completely change the mindset of developers and marketers at the company, who had not yet seen girls as consumers of their product. In addition, Risley launched Sega’s Girls Task Force, which began making games for women, and advertised on TV that girls could play as well as boys.
Under Risley’s direction, SEGA is launching games such as The Berenstain Bears, Crystal’s Pony Tale and Baby Boom. All of them were focused exclusively on girls. From that moment on, the entire gaming industry begins to look closely at the beautiful half of humanity and create games for them. Without a doubt, the work that was done by Christine Risley, can be called the first step towards future gamers.
The Era of The Sims
SEGA set off a chain reaction after releasing several games for girls. The most serious step in this direction was taken by Maxis, which released the first part of The Sims in 2000. The project attracted a large female audience and demonstrated that girls also play and enjoy video games.
After the advent of The Sims, more and more studios began to make their projects more versatile. That is, they added gameplay elements that would appeal to both men and women. From that time, research was already in full swing in order to understand exactly what girls like about games. Experts have come to the conclusion that the female is attracted to research, the development of relationships between characters, and the passage of the main storyline in games. And also anonymity during the game is very important. Another interesting fact is that girls want to stay anonymous. It is on these components that the emphasis has begun in AAA projects since 2000.
The main characters are women
In addition to the many problems in the gaming industry related to consumer gender differences, we shouldn’t forget that the whole amount of players in the early days of video games was slight. At that time, everyone who bought a gaming console was labeled “geek”, and then it was almost synonymous with the word “loser”. Because of this, the main characters were brutal, pumped-up men who can do everything and save the world with one left hand. This was done so that players could feel like cool guys, at least in the digital world.
At the same time girls in games were always in the background and looked just stunning. This was also done primarily to attract a male audience. For a long time, women in games were sweet helpers and sexy partners, but such games weren’t interesting for girls. They needed strong and independent women in the lead roles, and gradually they got this.
The developers began to actively introduce “serious” girls into the games who saved the worlds and came out safe and sound from any troubles. So, sexy Rain from Bloodrayne and Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, who was created 100% for a male audience, turned into less depraved characters like Captain Shepard from Mass Effect or the humble journalist from Beyond Good & Evil.
At some point, too beautiful images were done away with, and the developers began to make strong girls who didn’t with a usual appearance. These games include Control, Gears 5, Darksiders III, Syberia 3, and many other projects. Such changes naturally attracted female audiences to video games. It has become much larger than before.
8 Best games with impressive female protagonists:
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- Half-Life: Alyx
- Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
- The Last of Us
- Tomb Raider
Increasing anonymity of the game
We have already said that the attitude towards video games in society is not very loyal (from those who do not play). Yes, everything changes over time, but this is not an instantaneous phenomenon, and so far in most countries, the attitude towards fans of video games is negative (China and other Asian countries are rather an exception). Most people around the world think that being addicted to video games is something stupid. For these reasons, the game’s anonymity is highly important, especially for girls, and that is why they prefer to play at anonymous bitcoin casinos and similar types of entertainment sites.
If you play online a lot and meet female gamers, I think you’ve noticed that they are almost never called by their name. Even if the name is indicated in the nickname, most likely is fake. It’s not worth talking about the date of birth. Girls are much more shy and modest by nature, so anonymity is especially important for them.
The developers also began to pay much more attention to this than before. Even special divisions in large corporations are being created to create a safe and anonymous game. Smaller companies resort to outsourcing.
Even though the female audience has managed to win back a part of the gaming industry for themselves, this is only the beginning of the confrontation. The fact is that it is impossible even in 20 years to change the society, which has long been accustomed to the fact that video games are for guys. A huge number of people consider games to be an activity that only men can do, and to this day they are surprised when they hear from a girl that she spends evenings with a gamepad.
Unfortunately, this mindset has been formed since childhood, because everyone has their own perception of video games. When a child is playing, he can easily form an opinion about a game based on his gender. That is why, a boy, under the influence of modern society, can divide video games into those for guys and those for girls. After that, phrases appear in the gamer’s slang: “I’m not a girl to play this” or “I do not lose, like some girl.”
At the same time, if we talk about girls who play from early childhood, then they calmly tell the public about their hobby. They do not in any way drag men into the fact that some kind of game is made for them, and only a guy can pass a specific project. There is no such thing, and this is confirmed by numerous studies that were carried out on the basis of tests on gamers of different genders and ages. In addition, such studies have shown that girls who have played since childhood and continue to do so as they grow up devote as much time to games as men.
Today, video games have finally become a universal form of entertainment that both men and girls enjoy with pleasure. Unfortunately, this has happened literally over the past 5 years. But unfortunately, in order for the whole society to get used to and admit the video games, it takes much more time.
It would be great to play games that will be equally liked by everyone without being tied to a specific gender, but it seems that this won’t happen soon.