Escapist Podcast: 136: ESA Survey Reveals That Half Of Gamers Are Female

136: ESA Survey Reveals That Half Of Gamers Are Female

This week, the podcast crew discusses Gamestop's recent store closures, the ESA's recent survey on the gender breakdown of American gamers, and the craziness that is the Omni VR Treadmill. There's also much talk about sports.

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Can't wait to load this one on my iPod! But before I do...

I saw that typo.
You fixed it fast, but I see it in my mind forever now!
Bask in your shame! :>

"ESA Survey Reveals That Half Of Gamers Are Female"

That's the title you're going with? Is this 2002 or something? Because according to ESA records, that's how long about half of "gamers" (whatever their unspecified definition of the word means) have been women, so it's a little late to use that title isn't it?

Zontar:
according to ESA records, that's how long about half of "gamers" (whatever their unspecified definition of the word means) have been women

Oh good, Im not going crazy.

It was really weird listening to the guys talk about how it was nice to have hard data and that the number of women gamers was increasing when I was sure that Id been hearing about similar surveys with similar results for the last decade or more. (Apart from also being confused how we know women gamers are increasing if we havent had any data :P)

Half of the human beings in the world are female, so why shouldn't half of the gamers be female?

Zira:
Half of the human beings in the world are female, so why shouldn't half of the gamers be female?

Except that gaming, even today is generally portrayed as a male past time, so it stands to reason that the numbers wouldn't be split down the middle. Even so it's nice to know gaming's becoming a place for girls and boys.

The dominate force in the market is where the money comes from and don't forget it.

Uhuh. I said it in another thread, I'll say it here too: eliminate social games, mobile games and MMOs, then run the numbers again. I doubt it's even close to 50/50 outside of those three and perhaps the indiesphere.

I'm not saying we ought to refrain from progressive content and marketing because the figures are vague, or anything like that. I'm just saying fuck vague figures, period.

*looks down own shirt* Yep, still a woman, still a gamer. This is news how?

Candidus:
Uhuh. I said it in another thread, I'll say it here too: eliminate social games, mobile games and MMOs, then run the numbers again. I doubt it's even close to 50/50 outside of those three and perhaps the indiesphere.

I'm not saying we ought to refrain from progressive content and marketing because the figures are vague, or anything like that. I'm just saying fuck vague figures, period.

Come on now, you really think these people who use surveys really care about the truth? They just want to sell it in the way its guaranteed to make the biggest headline because the title "half of mobile, social and MMO gamers are female" isn't trendy enough and doesn't include the number of women they want under the "AAA market" demographic. I'm personally all for women finally getting real recognition within the community and always have been I just wish people would stop being dishonest about numbers and not use them to push agendas or score political points.

Candidus:
Uhuh. I said it in another thread, I'll say it here too: eliminate social games, mobile games and MMOs, then run the numbers again. I doubt it's even close to 50/50 outside of those three and perhaps the indiesphere.

Wait, I'm used to seeing people discount social games (something I understand) and perhaps mobile games in these arguments, but since when are MMOs not "real" games (because that's what these arguments are about, let's be honest)? If women were over-represented in RTS games or RPGs, would you take them out of the equation too?

I don't get it.

completely agree that it's very sad indeed to see that the game industry is ran by people that don't really cared about or get games, they are ran by people that only cared about money.

Which reminds me of a true story a few years ago, one of my classmate got a job at EA and she was responsible for marketing EA's products, the thing is: I know this person and she's the most materialistic non-idealistic person I ever met, she's the type of person that do the jobs she hate to buy the shit she don't need. I asked about some details of games she's supposed to market and she told me "they are great you should buy it".

And she is the kind of person that game industry hires. I really hope one day crowdfunding and kickstarters will kill game publishers like EA.

Eamar:

Wait, I'm used to seeing people discount social games (something I understand) and perhaps mobile games in these arguments, but since when are MMOs not "real" games (because that's what these arguments are about, let's be honest)? If women were over-represented in RTS games or RPGs, would you take them out of the equation too?

I don't get it.

I'm not sure of the exclusion of MMOs either, but it might have to do with the vast majority of them being freemium in one sense or another, and so use a very different production/distribution model than AAA titles.

On another topic, the real question these surveys should be concentrating on is how many female gamers are willing to drop $60 on a game, since the complaint is, more often than not, that these games are not being marketed/designed for women.

I'm not making a judgement call on this; I do not feel that this is either good or bad. But, the ESA is not helping anyone when they post statistics like "Women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the Game-playing population (36%) than boys age 17 or younger (17%)" (source: http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/esa_ef_2014.pdf ). The Publishers know what games most of the 17 and younger year old boys are playing (Madden, CoD, Pokemon) but do any of us know what games most of the 50+ year old women are playing? Or 40+ year old, 15+ year old?

The ESA surveys are often used to take to task publishers for not embracing a full 48% of their audience, but this does not account for what percentage of the women in this 48% will never play one of their titles, even if its marketed specifically for them.

Edited to fix link.

My first thought when seeing this title was "Oh God, the comments section". But it's been disappointingly tame and sane so far. The lack of anti-feminist rants is refreshing/encouraging/boring.

Anyway, I too would like to see the end of the "gamer". The term, not the person. Honestly a few people have brought up the TYPE of games that women / men are playing. But honestly, what does that matter to anybody except us? Would most people even consider a facebook game different to a PC FPS in any significant way? And IS it different in any significant way? What does it matter whether you're competing against your friends in Mafia Wars or in Call of Duty?

The only things I'd consider "fake games" would be the mobile cow-clickers. Now that's a whole new breed of pure evil right there. But apart from that, different people like different things and that's fine.

Candidus:
Uhuh. I said it in another thread, I'll say it here too: eliminate social games, mobile games and MMOs, then run the numbers again. I doubt it's even close to 50/50 outside of those three and perhaps the indiesphere.

I'm not saying we ought to refrain from progressive content and marketing because the figures are vague, or anything like that. I'm just saying fuck vague figures, period.

Doubt it. Even in the CoDosphere, the percentiles all remain in double digits (although not near the 50 described here). Nothing vague here, it's just not talking about the "hardcore majority" which is arguably not a demographic we should care about, since most normal people don't start playing video games with Dark Souls and Dota 2.

There will be a marketing shift, it's just not going to be for a while (at least long enough for the target demographic to shift from the 18-35 that it is now).

The other point to be made here is that even an increase in the radius of the core crowd does cause some influx of women in its userbase, even if it's not a dramatic elevation. It starts there, gets here later.

Zira:
Half of the human beings in the world are female, so why shouldn't half of the gamers be female?

Because they might not like it as much? Why are less than 20% of fans at football games female? Why are certain jobs male or female oriented? Et cetera.

image

Two days after the initial post, this typo still exists. It only shows up on the latest tab, from what I can tell -- looks like it's already been corrected elsewhere.

Blood Brain Barrier:

Zira:
Half of the human beings in the world are female, so why shouldn't half of the gamers be female?

Because they might not like it as much? Why are less than 20% of fans at football games female? Why are certain jobs male or female oriented? Et cetera.

I disagree.

Videogames aren't the kind of hobby that is more oriented towards a gender. It's what is put as the content of videogames that makes them male-oriented.

1 million people is rather generous, last time I checked we barely break 300.000.

But CCP is rather big here, it is 35% of Iceland's software income.

Jinjer:
*looks down own shirt* Yep, still a woman, still a gamer. This is news how?

Yeah I did that too, can't help but feel they are a little late to the party.

According to Christopher Titus, everyone gets a certain number of douchebag credits. The number of credits is based on that person's reputation, station, and general sphere of influence.

A basketball team owner who has a history of racism, his balance of douchebag credits is already well spent. As is any random person who may suddenly gain celebrity due to a news story. People cannot suddenly use news outlets to air political beliefs the second a camera is put in front of them - they need to earn a following first, and not simply of like-minded individuals who may or may not be armed. Low-level company employees or representatives who get caught up in one of these stories, who then speak out on their behalf, whether it be on facebook, on a forum, or whatever, have next to no D-credits and really need to watch what they put out or simply remain silent. The internet is all-seeing and even if an opinion is expressed under an assumed name, it can be traced back to the individual, who will face the repercussions of stating an unsupported opinion or bias. Moral of the story: if you think your opinion might be deemed objectionable or harmful, and your name isn't Tom Hanks, keep it to yourself.

 

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