With more than 3.2 billion gamers in the world (2021), an increasing number of people are turning to game activities. Apart from gaming, many gaming conventions are being held globally, including meet-ups and eSports events. Gaming forms the heart of the global popular culture, and it is no longer considered a niche market in the present world. Many women are also taking up gaming. In the United States, women make up 45% of the gaming population in 2020, while in Asia, the percentage was found to be around 40-45%. Let us take a close look at the subject of inclusivity in the gaming industry.
Women in gaming
The recent years have seen a consistent rise in female players. While some women are looking to challenge themselves, others play games for social reasons or for passing the time. Female gamers play different types of games, ranging from a wide variety of genres on different platforms. Many women players are also turning to online casino games. Initially, gaming was an activity that was largely dominated by men. However, lately, many online casinos have begun to acknowledge the need for targeting female players. This is why many online casino sites are gradually getting rid of biased themes and are slowly becoming more inclusive.
The female gaming population has a rich complexity. In the United States, the percentage of women gamers grew from 41% last year to 45% in 2021. However, the question still stands whether the structure of the gaming industry is inclusive or not. Is the gaming industry incorporating changes to cater to this growing segment? There are many organizations around the world that have been vocal advocates for a restructuring of the gaming industry. The video game industry needs to be free from gender discrimination, and this needs to be addressed from multiple angles.
Restructuring gaming industry from a workforce perspective
When we consider the workforce in the gaming industry, it has been found that the majority of the executive positions are occupied by men. Besides, women make up only 24% of the workforce in this industry. This indicates the problem of female representation and the gender balance in this industry. Many women working in the gaming industry have reported that they feel that their gender forms an obstacle in their careers. Besides this, many other women have also reported experiencing bullying and harassment in the workplace.
Restructuring gaming industry from a player community perspective
There is a need to make the gaming culture more inclusive. The first step in doing that is addressing the issue of online harassment the women face in player communities. Many surveys have highlighted that online discrimination continues to take place against women in online communities. Many women are also excluded from the game.
Restructuring gaming industry from the perspective of products
When we look at any video game, it is quite evident that there is a lack of female character representation. It has been found that only 5 percent of video games feature female protagonists. In addition to this, many video games propagate problematic gender stereotypes. Many a time, the female character is represented as a love interest or someone who needs to be rescued by a male character.
Is gaming moving towards inclusivity?
Although there is much that needs to be done, many people in the gaming industry are working towards making it a more inclusive space. Companies are being encouraged to make the workforce more inclusive. Many gaming companies have also appointed women in top leadership positions to make a positive move in this direction.