There’s the age old petty argument that boys are better than girls because they can throw, they can catch, yadayada. They’re better at sports, better in business and most certainly better at gaming. I mean, you don’t see any girls siting in their mother’s basement playing World of Warcraft do you?
Of course you do.
Obviously, these are all huge stereotypes, but even still, when it comes to gaming you might be rather surprised.
A recent survey suggests that in fact, more women play games than men in a growing industry that’s soon to be worth over $100 billion. It’s a big step away from the nerdy stereotype where you’d point out a teenager on the street and be confident he loves nothing more than a heavy session of Age of Empires.
And that’s because games have broadened too. The likes of PlayStation and Xbox have expanded their genre of games while the growth of internet and mobile has opened up gaming to the likes of bingo, gambling, and of course simple to play titles such as Angry Birds and Flappy Bird.
In turn, this has diversified gamers as well, to the point where 52 percent of button bashers are now female.
Of course, gaming world is no stranger to female characters, as the likes of Lara Croft, Jill Valentine, and Princess Zelda have been fighting our battles for years, but it’s been less well known that the gamers on the end of the control have been a growing number of ladies.
This is largely down to the growth of the smartphone over the last few years. The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 changed everything with web based casino games, bingo games, and even puzzle games, opening it up to both genders and a variety of ages.
Apps such as Full Tilt Poker and Candy Crush have meant that even older generations are enjoying lengthy gaming sessions on their mobile devices, with 15 percent of gamers being in the female 21-35 age bracket – three percent more than that of teenage boys.
You only have to look at the Kim Kardashian app released in the summer to see the variety of games girls are playing. And that’s because there’s more appeal. It’s expected to make around $200 million by the end of the year and sat at the top of the App Store charts for a significant period.
So it’s no surprise that the frequency of gaming with both genders has increased tremendously. Compared to 2011, not only did the number of female gamers grow 70 percent up to 30.3 million, but more than 13 million girls play five days or more a week – 11 times as many as two years previous.
The perception of gaming has changed hugely in in recent years too. There’s less of a stigma around the industry being ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’ and it’s shown in the huge diversity in the type of players. Compared to yesteryear, it’s found its way into the cultural mainstream, and it’s most certainly here to stay. With the likes of poker and bingo apps making their way into our app stores, the mobile gaming industry alone is set to be worth more than $100billion by 2017.
Add that to the impact the next generation consoles will have over the next few years, and the battle to see which sex are the most dedicated gamers will continue to go on.
[featured image via We Heart It]