Though the gaming industry has made some impressive progress in becoming more diverse and inclusive, there’s still a long way to go. With more and more women and female-identifying individuals turning to gaming as an outlet, it’s important to find ways to promote equality throughout different video gaming fandoms.
That’s why it’s never been a better time to be a female gamer. With more and more dedicated communities that emphasize inclusivity and up-and-coming female streamers, there are plenty of individuals out there who are trying to show that, oftentimes, women can lead the industry and encourage diverse, exciting narratives within our games. Here’s what you need to know.
The female gaming population is incredibly diverse.
While many people turn to gaming as a way to pass a few odd hours here and there, others turn to video games to build a sense of community, maintain social relationships, or for achievement. Gameplay interests may differ across genders, but many gaming enthusiasts are often willing to try unique genres, indie gems, or new esports games. This is especially true for many women. A recent study shows that women are more likely to play a wide variety of different games. From first-person survival games to popular mobile titles, this offers up significant gaming variety.
Whether it’s League of Legends, Dota 2, Team Fortress, or Warcraft III Reforged, there are so many games out there that it’s good to remain open-minded and give new styles a try now and then. Some women also trend towards popular online games, which helps explain why mobile games and battle royales host many women players. On top of all of this, many women are willing to experiment with different genres, unique gameplay mechanics, and multiple devices. By not limiting themselves to one particular console, tournament style, or game mod, many women can sometimes experience the rich narratives and complex game designs that the industry has to offer.
The industry still needs to catch up.
Whether you want to stream League of Legends in your favorite Dota-Allstars robes or you want to create a YouTube channel, there are ways that women and allies worldwide can push the video game industry to continue growing. Whether this means equal tournament prize pools for all participants or more inclusive messaging within any promotional communication, the video game industry must continue to find ways to uplift and empower women while continuing to share important female-centric stories.
Even today, relatively few video games feature female protagonists. Even games that have character creator features often feature male-presenting characters on their covers. If the way you purchase products is tantamount to reinforcement learning for gaming companies, you must find ways to support projects and video games promoting inclusivity and equality. This also means that the industry can do more to uplift professional players who are female and female-presenting. From streamers to channels all the way to collaborators, women must be able to purchase products that they know will represent them, highlight female stories, and treat female characters as complex, unique identities instead of as damsels in distress or other stereotypes.
The future looks bright.
Whether you’re hopping into a game’s matchmaking system to play a few rounds against the enemy team, or you’re working on custom game modes, you want to ensure that there are spaces for you within the gaming industry. Everyone wants to feel welcome and be able to enjoy their favorite games. It doesn’t matter if it’s Starcraft, Dota, League, or another game. There’s room for every woman in gaming. Though the industry has space to grow, the future is looking better than ever.