Over the last decade, the relationship between gender and video games has been thoroughly researched. According to data collected from around the world, nearly half of all gamers are women. The latest report from Statista (2019) mentioned that 46% of gamers in the United States are girl gamers, although figures have fluctuated between 38% and 48% over the last decade.
Similarly, data published in 2014 by the Statista Research Department showed that women accounted for 52% of the gaming audience in the United Kingdom. Why is the stereotype that games are a pastime for teenage boys still so prevalent when there are an estimated one billion female gamers in the world?
Marketing tactics used in the gaming industry
Video game marketing is strongly directed and targeted at a male audience. This goes back to the 1980s, when boys were statistically more likely to be interested in modern technologies and to buy video and computer games. Girls have always played video games, however, they were never the majority. As a result, it was obvious that video games were just for boys.
Most marketers would inform you that reaching a large audience for a marketing campaign is a poor idea because it dilutes the marketing message. People want a product that has been designed exclusively and specifically for them. Therefore, most marketers pick the audience with the highest demand, identify that audience and concentrate on securing customers with a strongly focused marketing campaign, which avoids watering down the brand.
Furthermore, since the early 1990s, first-person shooters, action games, and sports games have dominated the market. They are also some of the most visible kinds of video games, which are often front-and-centre in retail shops and plastered all over our television screens, whether it be adverts or on the news. Traditionally, these games have traditionally been played by boys, reinforcing the stereotype that video games are not for girls.
There are several games that are known as “girl’s games.” There are plenty of games which are considered as “girl’s games”. These games also receive a considerable amount of airtime but are often not thought of as “proper” games. Surprisingly, games which attract a more diverse or female-based audience are just as popular as hardcore shooting or action games but are in some way considered less legitimate and valid.