Over the years, it was clear that all things related to gaming have been developed by men, with men in mind.
Aside from certain games, such as “Sims,” for example, most games featured strong male characters involved in some sort of battle.
As the industry evolved, so did the games. The gaming industry started targeting the female population, as well. This is only natural since, according to research studies conducted in 2020, nearly 47% of all gamers are women.
Now that we are in the year 2023, we imagine that this number is now even greater. In a short time, the world has gone through some significant changes.
Despite that, we can still see the lack of women in this originally male-dominated industry. This text will try to go over these changes and shed a bit of light on why women are important in the gaming industry.
Portrayal of Women in Games
The first change when it comes to women in gaming is definitely their portrayal in games. For a long time, if a certain game does feature a female character, she is usually a beautiful, young, scantily clad woman who is in some sort of distress.
And the only one who can save her is naturally the strong, capable hero of the game.
However, this narrative has started to change. There seems to be a now-found respect for women, so now, more than ever we see strong female leads in video games, powerful in their own way. They are no longer damsels in distress in need of their own hero to save them; rather, they are making their own way through their own strength and powers.
Although there are still significant issues regarding the depiction of women in gameplay, things are looking up. There is no doubt that more female protagonists and characters will only improve the quality of games while creating a more inclusive gaming community.
Women in the Business of Gaming
We cannot talk about the portrayal of women in games without talking about who is behind the development of the said games. Sure, we have seen a gender shift when it comes to consumers, but what is going on behind the curtain?
Although the business side of gaming still remains largely male-dominated, recently, women have managed to break through and occupy positions as game developers, as well.
According to another research looking into behind the scenes of games and their development, up until 2021, the video game industry is composed of 30% of women.
This number might not seem significant. However, there are now more than ever women in leadership positions in game design, development, user experience, and even publishing companies. Women are marking their way across the space, and as a result, we get more products targeted to female players as well.
Why Are Women Important in the Gaming Industry?
The portrayal of women in media and entertainment is important since it represents gender roles and the way men and women co-exist.
The inclusion of female protagonists in video games is the first step that can help change and prevent certain patterns. When we look into the results, it has been proven that female representation in games brought only positive responses from the public.
Not too long ago, it was believed that women did not care about games, and luckily such opinion has started to shift, offering women more opportunities.
Whatever way we approach this subject, it is clear that women have much to offer to game companies. Their power as consumers, as well as their insights as developers, are the driving force that pushes the industry forward.
For example, if a developing team consists of men and women, there is more chance of coming up with fresh and exciting ideas. Companies that employ more women behind the scenes result in developers designing and creating games that will not only target the evolving market of female gamers but also truly connect with them.
The Future of Women in Gaming
As we witness women’s roles in all spheres of gaming being more valued – behind the scenes, in gameplay, in marketing, the industry can only improve and grow. We have seen on many occasions how diversity and inclusion have the potential to transform business performance. And this industry is certainly not an exception.
We have already mentioned that there are more and more women playing games across all gaming platforms.
From PC games, console games, mobile games, and even online slot games, women have become more and more engaged in the gaming industry. Things are changing, and women are shaping the industry for future generations of female players and developers.
Of course, there is still a long way to go, but making changes is the first step in the right directions.
It is important to keep empowering women in the industry, creating safe spaces where they can learn, grow, and develop their abilities.