Woman Using Vr Goggles

When you imagine the typical gamer
it’s all too easy to slip into the traditional stereotype. The image that
probably comes to mind is of a male player, aged in his 20s, whose only human
interaction is spending time with other, identical, players in their own rooms
doing exactly the same thing. But the reality is that this is a view that’s as
out-dated as girls liking to play with dolls while boys play with toy soldiers.

That’s because video gaming and its
various off shoots are now almost as popular with women players as they are
with men. So now might be a good time to reassess many assumptions about gaming
in general – and this is almost certainly something that games developers will
have firmly in their sights if they want to grow the market. The causes of this
increased female participation in games are many and various and, together,
they have created the perfect storm in which more and more women are becoming
involved.

While some have reasoned that a key
driver behind this has been the sheer ubiquity of gaming devices, the reality is rather more nuanced
than this.

The mobile takeover

Woman Wearing Purple Shirt Holding Smartphone White Sitting on Chair

As far back as 2018 the use of games consoles and PCs for video gaming was being overtaken by mobile devices. Faster broadband speeds, ever more powerful cell phones and tablets and an increasing number of games available, generally for free, were the key drivers behind this. The fact that mobile games started to be generally available to download for free proved to be the biggest draw for new players, especially as console games grew more and more expensive with their developers trying to claw back the high production costs involved in creating ever-more sophisticated games.

Whereas playing the old-style
console games needed to be scheduled into a day’s activity, the mobile games
that were emerging tended to be quicker and easier to play. Best of all, they
could be played whenever and wherever there was a wireless network. The speed
and convenience steadily started to attract more women to play, starting to
take gaming away from what had been a strictly male domain.

A further motivation that may also
have started to attract women’s interest in games, and particularly those with
children, may have been the moral panic that was growing about the younger
generation’s gaming habits. For many, it may have been a question of trying to
learn about the appeal of gaming so they could better understand why their
children are so keen to play them for so long and so often.

Branching out

As well as video games, other sites
that started to attract more and more women players were online casinos. These,
too, had previously been a male-dominated activity but now so many started to
be available via mobile devices it opened them up to a far wider group of
players.

It’s taken another technological
breakthrough to make these even more popular with women and that has been the
advent of live casino games. And it’s easy to see why, 777 Casino offer players
the chance to live stream games to their device, making it the ideal gaming
option for those with a busy lifestyle. There’s no doubting that the stylish
tables, the ability to play while relaxing and the interactive nature of these live casino games has dramatically increased the
number of female gamers.

Where the old-style casinos were
effectively playing against a computer and software designed to replicate the
randomness of a roulette wheel or the dealing of cards, the live casino does
this for real. Real time games are played out with dealers whose actions are
streamed live with the information about the game being digitized as it
happens. The fact that it’s a much more “human” experience than the automated
alternative makes it a far more female-friendly, as does the fact that you can also
chat online to the dealer and other players as the action unfolds.

The most common games that can be
played in the live online casino are also some of the biggest favourites in the
standard version, namely roulette, blackjack and baccarat, with a number of
sites also offering three card poker. It’s in the card games in particular that
the interaction is the greatest as players compete directly against the dealer.

A different kind of game

Person Holding Microsoft Xbox One Controller

The general groundswell of female
interest in gaming, and mobile gaming in particular, is also having an effect
on the sorts of mobile games that are starting to appear. Every year a huge
number are launched with distinctly female themes which are far removed from
the shoot-em-up nature of Call of Duty or the even more dubious examples of
sexual politics demonstrated in the GTA series.

Often, these have stronger and more
subtly constructed narratives to them which perhaps need a greater depth of
imagination to fully appreciate than simply the desire to kill zombies before
they kill you. One only has to look at a list of typical titles like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and The
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
to appreciate
the differences that they encompass.

That’s not to say that the games for women are all soft and fluffy. That quintessential powerful role model Lara Croft has also undergone something of a character change from the original version. In Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition she has returned, stronger and more empowered than before, in much the same way the film franchise of the same name has moved with the times.

And, while mobile is very much the favoured form of play for women,
they are making great strides in the field of console-based
esports
too. Female representation is high on many of the leading teams and
a number of women are starting to make some pretty serious money in competition
with the men.

What’s next?

Looking to the future, we can expect to see more and more women
being drawn into the world of gaming and working hard to break through the
glass ceiling of professional gaming too. It’s also reassuring to know that
within the games companies themselves there are increasing numbers of female
developers, creative directors and even CEOs. So, it would very much seem that,
at long last, girl power has come to gaming.

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