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Women game more than boys, and other facts

- April 24th, 2014
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Museum of Modern Art senior curator Paola Antonelli plays some Portal, like the grown woman she is. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images/AFP)

Most gamers are adults, and as such, more grown women play video games in America than prepubescent boys, despite what stereotypes and misguided marketing schemes would have you believe.

According to an Entertainment Software Association report,* women over 18 make up 36% of all gamers, while boys under 18 make up just 17%.

That’s not surprising considering the average gamer in the U.S. is 31-years-old, and gamers are almost evenly split among gender lines, at 48% female and 52% male.

Older women gamers are on the rise, too. The number of women over 50 who play games increased by 32% from 2012 to 2013.

Hear that, ladies? We’re not anomalies; we’re the norm! This is our turf!

But enough about my hobby horse. Here are some other non-gender related fun-facts from the ESA report:

  • 59% percent of Americans play games. That’s 181.3 million people.
  • 51% of Americans own a video game console.
  • The average gamer has been playing for 14 years.
  • 29% of gamers are under 18, and 92% rent or play under the supervision of parents.
  • 56% of parents say gaming is a positive force in their kids’ lives.
  • The best-selling console game of 2013 was, unsurprisingly, Grand Theft Auto V.
  • The best-selling computer game was Starcraft II.
  • Video game sales in the U.S. rose from $15.4 billion to $15.4 billion between 2012 and 2013, but are still down from the 2010 peak of $17.1 billion.
  • Americans spent $21.53 billion altogether on the video game industry in 2013.

* It’s important to note that any positive spin in this data should be taken with a grain of salt, as it comes from a group whose job is to lobby on behalf of the video game industry.

h/t Gamespot

 

 

Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games is here at last

- March 8th, 2013

They called her names. They threatened her. They even made a video game about punching her in the face. But the haters couldn’t stop pop-culture critic Anita Sarkeesian from producing her Kickstarter-funded video series, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.

The first episode hit the tubes today, and be warned, it goes after some of gaming’s sacred crows. But, as Sarkeesian says: “Remember that it’s both possible and even necessary to simultaneously enjoy media while being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects.”

Amen, sister.

 

 

 

Anita Sarkeesian proves Internet trolls won’t keep women away

- June 12th, 2012

There’s a certain type of dude who believes that men deserve to have things like comic books or video games all to themselves. They think their nerd culture is sacred place that feminism can’t touch. A place free of those nagging womenfolk. A safe space to indulge in misogyny, free of repercussions.

But as they spew their anonymous hatred, in-game or online, they’re faced with the increasingly obvious fact that no, they don’t get gender dibs on entire facets of pop culture. Not only will women continue to engage with nerd culture and carve out their own niches, but they will also continue to criticize its many, many flaws. There are a lot of us, our concerns are valid, and we’re not going anywhere.

That’s what the god awful commenters on blogger Anita Sarkeesian’s* Kickstarter page learned, when despite their flood of threat and insults, her bid for a Tropes vs. Women in Video Games video series earned 10 times (and counting) the funding she was seeking. See the pitch below:

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Blow off steam by abusing a female shock-collar-wearing slave

- January 6th, 2012

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When given the option, in video games, I like to be bad.

The first thing I do when I start an Elder Scrolls game is seek out and join the Thieves’ Guild and the Dark Brotherhood assassins. I love nothing more than sneaking about, taking out honest, hard-working guards one by one, as I make my way to my target, and I never feel even the teensiest bit guilty about it.

The next morning, I get up, kiss my boyfriend goodbye and head off to work where I am a productive member of society who has no lingering desires to wreak violence or steal stuff.

So I get it. Being evil in game is fun and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person in real life.

That said, the concept of having a female shock-collar wearing slave to use and abuse as you see fit in the recently released Star Wars: The Old Republic Sith Warrior is deeply unsettling.

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