Gaming: Female players now outnumber men

There are now more women playing video games than men in the UK, according to a new study by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) Women now account for 52 per cent of all gamers, an increase from 49 per cent last year. According to the study, the increase is due to a rise in popularity of puzzle and trivia games, particularly among women aged 22-45. Despite the rise in female gamers, sexism within the gaming industry remains widespread – particularly in online multi-player games. Many women who play games online report sexual harassment as well as rape and death threats. This was recently witnessed by video game developer Zoe Quinn who became the victim of sexual harassment, stalking and revenge porn. "The graphic and specific death threats I have received have been terrifying," she told the Telegraph. "It’s really just about hurting women, which they have been quite good at." There are also notably fewer female than male voices within the gaming industry, from journalists to games developers. Writing for gaming website Polygon, Jonathan Macintosh says that there is an inherent 'male privilege' in the world of online gaming: "When I enter an online game, I can be relatively sure I won’t be attacked or harassed when and if my real-life gender is made public," Macintosh writes. However, findings such as those in the IAB's recent study could put pressure on the traditionally male-dominated gaming industry, writes the Huffington Post's Taylor Casti. "One hopes the ever-increasing numbers of female gamers will help this industry reform." For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free. Source: The Week UK