Gaming for All of Us

Last year, we looked at the real-world benefits of playing video games. There are plenty of positives, from relieving stress to boosting self-esteem. That blog post was quite enlightening, showing that boys and girls can benefit from gaming.

I used to think that most video games were geared towards boys. After all, the majority of gamers (nearly 60%) are male, according to a recent study by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). That certainly rang true in my household, with our sons playing far more video games than our now-adult daughter. However, the amount of girl gamers has increased in recent years. Per the ESA study, there are nearly twice as many adult female gamers than males under age 19. Some believe this is due to the prevalence of games on mobile devices. Titles such as Candy Crush, Flappy Bird, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood are potentially responsible for this trend.

The amount of games designed specifically for women and those played by women isn’t necessarily equal. A 2017 poll of more than 270,000 gamers revealed very interesting information about the relationship between genres and genders. According to the poll, nearly 70% of Match 3 and Family/Farm Sim games are played by women—not men. Those are the only categories that skew overwhelmingly towards women. The next most-popular genres for females—Casual Puzzle, Atmospheric Exploration, Interactive Drama, and MMOs—only range between 42% and 36% female. Every other genre is considered strongly male-skewed, with Sports, Racing, and Shooting titles being the most popular for guys.

The aforementioned stats indicate recent trends, but they do not necessarily represent the future. 98% of today’s sports gamers are male. Next year, that number could (and arguably should) be lower. Surely, far more than 2% of athletes are female. Why should the gaming population be any different? Regardless, if you’re looking for games specifically geared towards females, there are many available. The collection of girl games on Poki is filled with a multitude of different titles. There are educational games, like the Sara’s Cooking Class series and How to Be a Cute Vet. Younger girls can give makeovers to their favorite Disney princesses in dress-up games. There are also entire series dedicated to working in the fashion world.

Those aren’t the only options. There are heaps of games designed for both genders. Many of these games put players in the same arena, so they can team up and/or compete against one another. Over the past two years, .io games have become some of the most popular titles on the Internet. These free multiplayer games often feature a simple premise and basic controls, so that anyone can learn to play in seconds.

Our boys have spent a lot of their recent free time playing Brutal.io, which is a highly competitive multiplayer game. Interestingly enough, I decided to play and became quite hooked! In Brutal.io, everyone competes to gather energy and grow. The game combines physics and quick action to much success. If we’ve learned anything today, it’s that a game like Brutal.io is perfect for males and females.

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Linda Manns Linneman

My grandchildren love playing these types of games. I really learned alot from your article. Thank you so much for sharing