YOU HAVE QUESTIONS(or at least can lead you to them if we don’t! Email us at email@example.com for more)
WE GOT THE ANSWERS
Q1: Where are the women when it comes to e-sports and gaming?When it comes to gaming in general there are about equal amount of women gamers as there are men gamers in the world. At least 48% of the gaming community is female! Also, according to Super Data Research, women made up $44 billion in game sales in 2016, and it is supposed to rise to $118 billion by 2019. So the women are there, but there is a difference in representation when it comes to looking at Triple-A gaming like Overwatch, League of Legends, Smash, etc. Where women still make up a much less of the market even though they are still playing these huge title games! It comes down to how these games are marketed to different genders, and how that gaming community and developers market their games. Sadly, in a lot of these online gaming communities there are less women playing.
This ultimately translates to professional women gamers in the e-sports realm. Which only has less than 5% of pro gamers that are women.
A lot of gaming sites like Interpret that track viewers has noticed girls and women account for 30% of e-sports watchers, up more than 6%
in just two years.
Q2: But if you say the gaming market has equal women and men playing then
why are the numbers for women pro players so small?
This is a huge problem! So some of the reasoning behind this found on upinfluence is:
So, what are some of the potential pitfalls and roadblocks that female gamers are experiencing?
- Gaming culture. While gaming has been slowly changing to be more inclusive it has a very long way to go. A large majority of men still believe they “own” gaming, and it is considered a “male world” most of them make it difficult for women players to enjoy the games, and push them out with questioning, and trying to demean their knowledge of games. Furthermore, many women characters lack the depth that their male counterparts have, and are often created for the male gaze with unrealistic body types, armor, and side roles. This is not to say that all women feel unwelcome and uncomfortable when they encounter all male gamers but gaming culture does require some work before it can be seen as something for both male and female gamers to enjoy equaliy.
- Trolls and Harrassment. There has been a huge rise in twitch women streamers for them to make a name for themselves, show off the games they are playing, and make money on the side! Unfortunately, being in front of a camera tends to open women up to a lot of online harassment. There’s also the issue of professional gaming teams that have been said to hire female gamers based on looks alone, with some Chinese teams even training models to be gamers so that they have an attractive team member. Furthermore, this translates to when women gamers play online group games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, Rocket League, etc. Where women are faced with trolling, harrassment, on mic and through messaging. This makes women not want to talk online, and participate in these gaming areas. In addition, some women professional gamers are accused of cheating, or playing for attention from men which makes it seem like women gamers are not taken as seriously as their male counterparts.
While these issues are not preventing women from joining professional teams and participating in tournaments, there are significant issues to still overcome for women gamers to have equality.
Q3: What can I do to help?
Women in Games, a non-profit organization that supports women in gaming, recently released a report with some suggestions on how we can improve gender diversity in the e-sports space.
According to their report, it all begins with creating more awareness. A small 23% of women who were surveyed actually knew about e-sports, which perhaps speaks to the reason why so many men are convinced that women are not interested in e-sports.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Instead of it being seen as a byproduct of men’s e-sports, women’s e-sports should be positioned as a product on its own.
- More should be done by market leaders to work with existing women’s groups and organizations to provide information and encourage growth in women’s e-sports.
- Analytics should be added to tournament software to track gender statistics and tournament sign-ups and results.
- More should be invested in e-sports marketing to reach a wider audience and highlight the success of female gamers.
- There should be a significant increase in the number of female e-sports tournaments and leagues to offer women new opportunities to work behind the scenes as well as in people-facing roles.
- Along with arranging additional tournaments, there should also be an increase in prize money and sponsorship to inspire women to form e-sports teams.
REPRESENTATION MATTERS! It’s great to see more brands starting to use female streamers and gamers in their marketing campaigns which can ultimately help promote growth with women being interested in gaming! If you see someone who looks like you, sounds like you, in something chances are you’re going to want to join or look into it!
So get involved, look into the women, or groups of people who you connect with who are in the industry, and try and do the same with others who are interested. Spread positivity, and remember that gaming is a place for everyone.
Q4: How do I approach someone who is harassing someone online?
Report the user first-hand! I know this might seem like a roundabout way of doing so, but there are systems in play to try and counteract these moments, even if they are not perfect. Be descriptive of the incident when reporting to that way it is accurate and the company can be up to date!
Politely stand up for yourself or the person who is being targeted. The worst thing that can happen is nothing. By standing up for this person you are showing them that you care about their presence in this space. Even if it is on mic during a game. Positivity, compliments, and reaching out help a person know they belong in the game even if there are the small few who think they don‘t.
Q5: How can I join or support Less Shaming More Gaming?
Since we are still relatively new we ask that you be patient as we add more! For now how to stay connected is by
Starting your own chapter!
Reach out to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to assist in starting anything! Especially if you have any ideas to expand on Less Shaming More Gaming.
If you have anyone that wants to team up with us this can be gaming systems or spaces for our events, speakers, food and drinks etc. Please reach out to us again at email@example.com
We are still setting everything up so please keep checking back as we add Instagram, Twitter, and other social media, but please keep coming back here as we add more great stuff.