Why did girls start to like video games?

 

Why did girls start to like video games?


In recent years, a huge amount of research has been carried out in order to understand who is playing games. Surprisingly, back in 2017, the number of girls who enjoy video games grew to 45% and continues to increase to this day. Naturally, the numbers differ depending on the region, but one thing is for sure - girls love games and spend a lot of their time on them, although 10 years ago meeting a gamer girl was something like seeing a polar bear in the Sahara.


In this article, we decided to analyze the history of how girls gradually began to play, and what the developers did for this.



SEGA takes the first step


SEGA takes the first step


Since the inception of the gaming industry and the first video games, only men have been gamers. The developers did not pay attention to the female audience at all and did not even try to make their games interesting for the opposite sex. Yes, there were consoles that positioned themselves as entertainment for the whole family, but PC games were always created for tough guys. So that you come from the factory, wash your hands of fuel oil and sit down to kill monsters in Doom or swing your hero in Ultima.

Only in 1993, at least some steps began to be taken towards a female audience. It began with the arrival of Christine Risley, who had previously worked at Marvel , at SEGA.... She set out to completely change the mindset of developers and marketers at the company, who had not yet seen girls as consumers of their product. In addition, Risley launched Sega's Girls Task Force, which began to make games for women, and advertisements began to run on TV, which said that girls can also play, and not worse than boys.

Under Risley's direction, SEGA is launching games such as The Berenstain Bears, Crystal's Pony Tale and Baby Boom. All of them were focused exclusively on girls. From that moment on, the entire gaming industry begins to look closely at the beautiful half of humanity and changes its games. Accordingly, the work done by Christine Risley can, without a doubt, be called the first step towards future gamers.


Era of The Sims

Era of The Sims


Company SEGA could start a chain reaction after being released several games for girls. As a result, the 90s can rightfully be considered the women's decade in the gaming industry. At the same time, feminist movements began to flourish around the world, so game studios were forced to support their colleagues' course towards gamers and create more games that could interest girls.

The most significant step in this direction was taken by Maxis, which released the first part of The Sims in 2000. The game attracted a large female audience and demonstrated that girls also play and enjoy video games. Although before the release of The Sims, heads of other game studios around the world were 100% sure that girls were simply not interested in video games.

After The Sims appeared, more and more studios began to make their games more versatile. That is, they added gameplay elements that would appeal to both men and women. Most studios did not dare to release games only for one floor. Until that time, research was already in full swing to understand what exactly girls like about games. Experts have come to the conclusion that the female sex is attracted to research, the development of relationships between characters and the passage of the main storyline in games. It is on these components that the emphasis in AAA games has begun since 2000.


The main characters are women

The main characters are women


In addition to the many problems in the gaming industry that have been related to gender differences in consumers, it should not be forgotten that very few people have played video games since the early 90s. At that time, everyone who bought a set-top box was labeled "geek", and then it was almost synonymous with the word "loser". Because of this, the protagonists of the games made brutal, pumped up men who can do everything and save the world with one hand. This was done so that players could feel like tough guys, at least in the virtual world.

Girls in games have always been in the background and looked just stunning. The developers in every possible way tried to increase the sirloin parts of the female characters and, with the help of clothes or other techniques, focus on them, and not on intellectual abilities or strength. For a long time, women in games were sweet helpers and sexy partners, but the fair half of the sex did not want to play such a game. They needed strong and independent women in the lead roles, and gradually they achieved this.

The developers began to actively introduce serious girls into the games, who saved the worlds and came out safe and sound from any troubles. So, sexy Rain from Bloodrayne and Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, who were created 100% for a male audience, turned into less depraved characters like the female version of Captain Shepard from Mass Effect or the humble journalist from Beyond Good & Evil.

At some point, too beautiful images were done away with, and the developers began to make strong girls who did not attract attention at all due to their appearance. These games include Control, Gears 5, Darksiders III, Syberia 3 and many other games. Such changes naturally attracted female audiences to video games. It has become much more than before.


Social injustice

Social injustice


Even though the female audience has managed to win back a part of the gaming industry for themselves, this is only the beginning of the confrontation. The fact is that it is impossible, even in 20 years, to change a society that has long been accustomed to the fact that video games are for guys. A huge number of people consider games to be an activity that only men can do, and to this day they are surprised when they hear from a girl that she spends evenings in her hands with a gamepad.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking has been formed since childhood, because everyone has their own perception of video games. When a child is playing, he can easily form an opinion about play and play in general based on his gender role in the world. That is, a boy, under the influence of modern society, can divide video games into those for guys and those for girls. After that, phrases appear in the spirit: "I'm not a girl to play this" or "I do not lose, like some girl." Agree, we hear such phrases more often than when a person says: “I just don't like this game” or “I am so good at this game that I don’t lose at all”.

At the same time, if we talk about girls who play from early childhood, they calmly tell the public about their hobby. They do not in any way drag men into the fact that some game is made for them, and only a guy can pass a specific game. There is no such thing, and this is confirmed by numerous studies that were conducted on the basis of tests on gamers of different sex and age. In addition, such studies have shown that girls who have played since childhood and continue to do so when they grow up devote as much time to games as men.

Today, video games have finally become a universal form of entertainment that both men and girls enjoy with pleasure. Unfortunately, this has happened literally over the past 5 years, and before that virtual worlds were considered a closed club for men. On the one hand, games that are made with girls in mind give you the opportunity to play not yourself, but, for example, with your soul mate and have fun together. On the other hand, some developers lobby the interests of women so strongly in their games that men are no longer interested in playing them.

I would like to receive games that will be equally liked by everyone without reference to a specific gender, but it seems that this will not happen soon.

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