The video game industry has often been synonymous with men. Remember the Game Boy? The console was literally named after the audience Nintendo was hoping would use their device. But both men and women are fans and players of video games! As more women are becoming self-professed gamers, that doesn’t come without its own challenges.
We at SolitaireBliss surveyed over 900 females who game to learn about their experiences in the gaming world. Overwhelmingly, many feel female gamers are playing a bigger part in the industry. While some are forging deeper friendships, there are those who report negative experiences within the male-heavy gaming world
Nearly all (96%) female gamers feel women are getting more involved in the gaming world. In fact, more than 1 in 5 surveyed admits they’re addicted to gaming! On average, female gamers play video games 3 hours a day and watch streams 3 hours a week.
Nearly 1 in 3 women started playing video games when they were 5 years old or younger. Most were introduced to the gaming world because of their fathers (30%) and brothers (27%), and some were introduced through their mothers (17%) and sisters (11%). However, 1 in 5 say they became interested in gaming all on their own.
66% of women like gaming because it’s something they can do without leaving their homes. The majority of female gamers feel the hobby is part of their self-care, and 49% said they play because they’re big fans of series like Pokemon or Call of Duty.
However, while more than half (52%) of female gamers feel accepted in the gaming world, 48% say they do not feel accepted.
The majority (82%) of women feel supported by their fellow female gamers, but they do not feel the same way about men. More than 1 in 2 (52%) say they do not feel supported by male gamers.
Meanwhile, many female gamers feel other people in their lives are not supportive of their hobby. 64% have felt judged for gaming. Specifically, 44% have felt judged by both men and women, and nearly 1 in 6 have felt judged solely by men.
Female gamers also feel like most video games are not made with their demographic in mind. Nearly 4 in 5 (79%) feel video games are geared toward men, and 74% do not feel like there are enough female protagonists. Additionally, 83% of female gamers feel women are oversexualized in video games.
The gaming world is not always a welcoming place for female gamers. More than 1 in 2 have been harassed or abused by male gamers. Of those who have been harassed, 92% say they were verbally harassed, and 76% were sent inappropriate messages or content. More than 1 in 10 say they’ve been stalked.
A very small minority said they’d been doxxed by other gamers. This is when personal information like an address, phone number, or legal name is leaked online for the purposes of harassment.
Nearly half (46%) of female gamers avoid playing online games due to fear of abuse or harassment from male gamers. Of those who play games online, 56% hide their gender. 48% said they face more harassment from male gamers when they lose a game, and 34% have stopped playing a game because of harassment.
Many female gamers have found community in the gaming world. More than 2 in 5 (43%) like to game for the social aspect, and 35% prefer playing games with others.
Although many gamers like to be social, many prefer to do it in the comfort of their own home. 2 in 3 women prefer to play games with others virtually, while 34% like to adventure together in person.
Not all female gamers have negative relationships with men in the gaming community. 60% of female gamers say gaming has helped them make close friends with men, and 56% have formed bonds with women.
However, many gamers play for their own enjoyment, rather than for the communal experience. 65% of women prefer to play video games solo, and 70% enjoy the hobby because they self-identify as introverts.
The top types of games women are drawn to are action-adventure, simulators, shooting, online board games/puzzles (like solitaire!), and strategy games.
The gaming industry is continually evolving, but it’s safe to say it’s not a field only for men. As more people are drawn to it, we encourage everyone to be welcoming and make it a place where people can have fun, grow, and learn!
In December 2022, we surveyed 948 women who play video games. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 85 with an average age of 33.
When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing solitairebliss.com