Do girls and boys play games differently?

With well over one billion people playing video games across the world, there is little doubt that we’re all turning into a planet of avid gamers.

But despite the undeniable popularity of video games, there’s little doubt that it is often portrayed as being largely a male activity. With ugly incidents like GamerGate losing none of their relevancy even three years after the main event, it seems as though even something as simple as playing games is still gendered.

Boy gaming

Much of this can be seen in the way that video games largely feature male protagonists with female characters oversexualised like Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft, or reduced to misogynist bit parts like the extras in the Grand Theft Auto series.

Despite admirable efforts from the likes of Overwatch to introduce more strong female characters in their games, it seems as though there is still a vacuum in the gaming world for female-focused entertainment.

Girls playing

But rather than giving up and downloading the vapid Kim Kardashian: Hollywood gaming app, a few female gamers are showing that they can take the boys on at their own game. Individuals like Steph Harvey have managed to overcome a torrent of online abuse to become eSports stars as a result of their prowess at many top gaming tournaments.

And whilst the creation of female-only eSports tournaments has helped the likes Team Secret to become the most successful female eSports team of all-time, it’s clear that the gender division won’t be overcome until all gamers feel equally welcome in the gaming realm.

This is why Overwatch has been pivotal in bridging the gap between the genders thanks to the success of many female players in top level competitions. And it’s something that will need to be addressed if eSports is to successfully evolve into mainstream entertainment.

Other gaming realms like online gambling have managed to evolved successfully as has been described at the New Jersey Online Casinos blog thanks to being made equally open to all players regardless of their background.

So whilst there is lots of so-called statically proven data about how males are more disposed towards playing RPG titles, and that women are more likely to want to play puzzle games, it seems that the best thing is to let everyone play freely and fairly without any abuse.

And whether that means online gambling or an Overwatch battle, it will undoubtedly improve the enjoyment for everybody involved.

Photographs by JESHOOTS / Libelul / PepaLove