59 per cent of women concealed their gender while playing online video games to avoid harassment: Report

Unlike previous times when the gaming sector was only populated with male gamers, today the number of female gamers are on the rise. The numbers may not be at par with the number of male gamers but it is definitely growing rapidly in the past few years. 

In 2020, women accounted for nearly 41 per cent of all gamers in the United States. And in Asia, which accounts for 48 per cent of the world’s total gaming revenue, women now make up to 40-45 per cent of the Asian gaming population, according to Google and Niko Partners. However, despite the rise in the number of female gamers, 59 per cent of women have used a non-gendered/male identity gender while playing online video games over harassment concerns according to a Reach3 Insights recent report, in collaboration with Lenovo. The research study has been conducted to understand the experience of women players in the gaming industry and how companies can create a more inclusive space for women gamers.

“Reach3’s unique mobile insights tool helped us capture candid feedback from women gamers to better understand the important topic of diversity and inclusion in gaming, which will help Lenovo and the industry together to build a more inclusive culture and safer space for women in gaming,” said Lenovo senior customer insights manager for intelligent devices group Emily Hoppes.

“Despite still being mostly associated with men, gaming is on the rise with women. We were thrilled to work with Lenovo on this study as we hope it will help companies create a more inclusive gaming environment for women gamers and lead to long-term change in the industry,” said Reach3 Insights senior vice president Leigh Admirand. 

Here  are the key findings:

  •  Women are playing the same games as men. 88 per cent of women gamers surveyed are playing competition-style games, 75 per cent said they are playing action/survival-style games and 66 per cent play shooters.
  • 77 per cent of women responded dealing with at least some sort of frustration when gaming because of their gender. Judgements of skills, (70 per cent), gatekeeping (65 per cent) and patronizing comments (50 per cent) were the most reported types of comments women gamers said they received while gaming online. In addition, 44 per cent of women gamer respondents have received unsolicited relationship requests while gaming.
  • 59 per cent of women surveyed use either a non-gendered or male identity when playing games online to avoid conflict.
  • 71 per cent of participants said that companies can foster more inclusive behaviours in gaming by having a greater presence of different groups in gaming ads.
  • When asked which brands are doing a good job supporting women, the top brand was selected by only 39 per cent of women, so there’s room for improvement across the board.
  • 80 per cent of women gamers are happy with the representation of women characters in major blockbuster (AAA) games.
  • 91 per cent of women gamers are happy with the representation of women characters in indie games,
  • Women are less satisfied with the way characters may look or appear.  Only 61 per cent of women gamers say skins are OK, good, or great; whereas 85 per cent of men say the same.
  • 42 per cent of women gamers want companies to encourage more women to be included on pro esports teams.
  • 34 per cent of women gamers want companies to highlight women who are on pro esports teams.
  • 61 per cent of women gamers want to see gaming brands develop all-women esports teams competing at the highest levels.