Sexism in Gaming


Tactical Espionage Poster
Shadow Moses
roughly 50% of gamers are women

Puket where you see this stat I know a lot of girls and not 1 of them are gamers nor do I run into very many online

They probably count iOS games. I don't know why we ever get into political-type debates. Have you ever seen one person have an epiphany while trying to tell them something on the internet?


Evil Made Flesh
Yeah Mobile games and broweser games I suppose my momplays those. But as far as gamers like us I highly doubt women even crack the 15%.

And Ghost I know most women dont use headsets when playing but still if it was 50% I would have run into more than 2 my whole time playing. and for real I have heard 2 women playing online in 3 years


Evil Made Flesh
I diagree its good to have these debates. See now I know whos a tool and whos a moron. I fit in both camps so Im good though


Daemon Poster
And in other news...

Devs Had to Demand Female Focus Testers for The Last of Us

The Escapist : News : Devs Had to Demand Female Focus Testers for The Last of Us

Mike Wehner | 8 April 2013 2:30 pm

Naughty Dog refused to let The Last of Us be focus tested on only male players.

With the role of women in videogames coming under increasing scrutiny in recent years, it is more important now than ever before for developers to reexamine the perceived audience of their games. But while there are encouraging signs that the tide is beginning to turn - a strong-willed, sensibly rendered version of Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot, for example - there are other aspects to game development that are less visible, and thus remain stuck in the past. As we learned from an interview with Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann - which we'll be publishing more of shortly - the idea of focus testing remains firmly rooted in a "girls don't play videogames" mindset.

According to Druckmann, when the unnamed research firm that was handling the focus groups for The Last of Us began their work, the idea of polling female gamers was nowhere on the table. "Another aspect that influences how a game is promoted is focus-testing. Players are rounded up and are asked to view materials and answer some quantitative and qualitative questions about it," he explains. "My big surprise during this process is that the research group wasn't planning on focus-testing female gamers - it's something we had to specifically request. I hope this is a relic of the past that will soon go away."

Yes, you read that correctly. The research firm that was gathering opinions of a game about a man, Joel, and a teenage girl, Ellie, wasn't planning on seeing how actual living, breathing female gamers felt.

With this type of bias in place, it should come as no surprise that the marketing firm eventually decided that Ellie should be moved to the back of the box art. However, thanks to Naughty Dog, that advice fell on deaf ears and the company refused to put Ellie anywhere other than on the front where she belongs.

Kudos to Naughty Dog for standing strong for gamer equality, and refusing to let antiquated systems determine what is best for a game that is clearly designed to be thrilling for everyone, regardless of their sex.


Daemon Poster
i just skimmed this entire thing and wow

my thoughts

if i see a woman driving i aoutmatically assume she will crash into me
if i see awoman out of the kitchen i think "what if i wanted a sandwich at this moment, what is she thinking, get back in there"
and if im playing a game and i here a womans voice i think "get out of the lobby little boy this is an m rated game"

does any of this make me sexist? no, it does not, im wise and know how the world works
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Daemon Poster

1. The 50% statistic was in the original post.
2. That post used this document as a source for the 50% stat:

It's a PDF from The ESA detailing video game industry demographics. 47% of gamers are women.

Also, there's this neat little fact:

Women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (18%).

And another from

Females aged 25 and older make up the largest block of PC gamers, responsible for 54.6% of all game play minutes in December 2008. Now this Nielsen study is from 2008 or so and it's obviously an older stat, but when I was playing MMOs, easily half the people I met were women - actual, real women who were on voice chat for raids and EVERYTHING.

Full text:

"The single largest group of personal computer video game players is females ages 25 to 54, accounting for approximately 29 percent of total personal computer game players… When comparing the demographic segments percent composition to the amount of minutes the group contributed to the total minutes played, the demographic segment of females 55+ clearly stands out. The demographic break of females 55+ accounts for roughly 17 percent of the unique game players, but contribute almost 26 percent of total minutes of PC game play for December 2008."

3. Your 15% theory?

"If I look at a genre like ‘shooter' as a more hardcore classification, looking at the players in the heavy tercile demographic breaks only (top 500 demo blocks we define by education/income, etc) males are just above 360,000 players and females are just over 75,000 players. The age break that dominates for most of these players is 25 to 54."

The article helpfully points out that this turns out to be 1 in 6 players.

@Edge: Almost every woman I've known on Xbox does the same thing, unless they know the people in the group from a forum or the real world or already have some sort of pre-existing relationship with the people in their party or the people they're chatting with. It's private matches, private sessions, party chat, etc. I know one woman who will infrequently chat in Halo or COD lobbies, and then only to point out how many times she killed the dude telling her to make a sandwich.

But here's a more interesting idea - you say it's a shame that this is the world we live in. That suggests you don't like it. And you don't see it changing?

It's not going to change on its own. It's not going to change until people of good character and conscience say that enough is enough. This has nothing to do with being a white knight, and everything to do with leveling the playing field and making sure that everyone gets a chance to play in a harassment-free environment.

I'm not saying that we need to embark upon some grand crusade - we'd probably all get wiped out by a rather annoyed bunny if we tried - but it does mean telling the dude or dudes insulting women that their behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable, and if they're really so dumb that they need a woman to make them a sandwich then they should probably take five minutes off from the game and go read an eHow article on how to put stuff between two slices of bread.

And honestly, that's all I'm saying here. Take a cue from Scooter and just say, "Uncool, bro, uncool."

Things don't change unless and until people start making them change, and that change begins with people who say "enough."

The sad part is that gaming - as a whole - is NOT a breeding ground for idiots. Read that ESA report - it's recent, from 2012. The average age of a game buyer is 35 years old.

We aren't talking about 12-year-olds, although I'm sure part of those purchases are parents buying games for kids - we're talking about adults here. Supporting that is the age of the average game player, which is 30, and keeps trending older as time goes on. And just to hammer it home, nearly 40% of gamers are over the age of 36 (old farts represent!).

Would you accept it if you were out to dinner with your girlfriend and a 36-year-old man said something rude or inappropriate to her or you, or would you tell him that he's acting inappropriately (perhaps using words inappropriate for this forum ;))?

We dismiss this stuff as coming from kids, and in many cases it is, but what do they learn from our silence on the issue? What do boys learn when men remain silent in the face of their inappropriate behavior?

Right now, it happens because no one is calling them out. Bullies bully until one of their victims finally beats the holy hell out of them. Remember Zangief kid? ;) If more and more people start saying, "Dude, you're a douche," perhaps those dudes would stop being douches or, more realistically, keep it to themselves more frequently.

Finally, social norms aren't norms. They're socially constructed.

How many times have you heard a parent tell a girl that they shouldn't want X because X is for boys? I've lost count.

On the flip side, and this stems from a really bad weekend when I was exposed to a lot of bad parenting, I heard a dad tell his son not to get a wussy game - the kid wanted Epic Mickey or some such game, I can't recall specifically - and his dad pushed him into getting Call Of Duty. At Toys R Us, on the same day, another dad tried to steer his son away from Lego games and into COD, Dishonored and Lollipop Chainsaw. The kid was MAYBE 12.

And the history of social norms isn't a particularly good one. It wasn't normal for women to vote. Or want to work outside the house. Or want to be paid the same. It wasn't normal for black people to be freedmen, to get educations, to eat at the same lunch counter or drink from the same water fountain, to ride at the front of the bus, or to go to school with white people.

These aren't things that happen naturally. These are things that we - and I'm speaking about us as a species, not us personally - decided were normal, and enshrined in law as normal, and eventually realized were not normal.

Now, just to head off the extreme counter-example, I'm not someone who thinks that raising a kid in a gender neutral way or artificially manufacturing and trying to force people to use gender-neutral English words is somehow desirable (I have a small background in linguistics, and language speakers often spontaneously recognize and correct problems in the language, like the grade school students back east who spontaneously started using yo as a gender-neutral third-person pronoun).

All I did as a parent was pay attention to what my little girl showed interest in. She was fascinated with my comics, so I started buying her comics. She was spazzing out to Napalm Death, so I started playing grindcore and metal and such for her. She was really curious about video games, so we started gaming together. I don't discourage her from being interested in something, I just offer encouragement and support when she gets interested.


I'm not raising this stuff here to start fights or arguments. I raise it here because everyone here is usually a reasonable person. Most of the comments in this thread ultimately fall along the lines of "Yeah, it sucks, but what can you do? Idiots are idiots."

What we can do is start pointing out not that these people are idiots, but that their behavior is idiotic.

We don't need to ride in like white knights because women are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, but as a number of commentators point out, some dudes will only listen to dudes. Most of us are dudes, and we think what's going on is stupid, so that kinda means it falls to us. Sure, other people may do it, but some folks need to get it started.

So here's a thought. Talk to your gfs/wives about it. If your daughters are old enough, talk to them about it. Explain the situation if you have to. Ask them how they feel about it. Listen.

And at the very least, when you hear someone mouthing off like this, file a formal report with Xbox for abuse and harassment. It doesn't matter that it isn't happening to you because you witnessed it. While this may have as much effect as micturating in the Atlantic to change the sea temperature, it's something.


Evil Made Flesh
My question is when it says pc gaming are we talking solitaire or like Daiblo. My mom plays candy crush on the pc at night so does that put her in that percentage. What I would like to know is what the % of "hard core" women gamers that play and enjoy games that us guys on the forum here enjoy you know rpg's,fps.3ps stuff like that not bedazzled and farmville or even Plants v Zombies.

I am not saying women shouldnt game at all though. Heck I think more women gamers or if those stats are real a more vocal group of women gamers. I would love to meet any women that dig the games I do but alas I have met none
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