With International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day both falling in March, it is a month which has us focussing more on the female half of the world. When it comes to gaming, the media often portray it as more popular with men but there are plenty of stats available which show this isn’t necessarily the case.
The increasing usage of smartphones and other devices, plus the incredible games being released regularly means that a study in 2014 showed that over half of gamers in the UK were actually women. This is challenged by more recent stats saying that around 40% of gamers in the UK are female. But regardless of the exact number, it’s a sizeable portion. And there are plenty of pro-gamers who are female earning lots of money too!
As with anything, it is important to promote inclusivity and gaming is no different. Historically there have been some issues so it is refreshing to see that with the growing number of female players, comes a more supportive and positive environment. No one should feel uncomfortable in the fantasy world so let's keep pushing for a supportive and respectful community for all!
Games are generally created by men, for men, so we hope the future holds more for females whereby characters might have a few more clothes and a deeper skillset. After all, no one wants to fight The Boss in a restrictive corset or negotiate a complex quest with a vacuous personality!
BEST FEMALE GAMING CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME
Sometimes when a woman is created in the fantasy world, she’s a formidable character. Demanding respect and admiration, these females are enjoyable to play which is why some of the most iconic and popular games have women at the forefront. We’ve picked out a few of our favourites over the years. Take a look at who they are:
1. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
As one of the OGs, Lara had little to no competition when she first appeared on our monitors. She was inspirational to a generation of young female gamers and opened the eyes of male ones when she showed them she was just as capable as any male hero. A few issues arose in later iterations but her most recent exploits have showcased her strength of mind and determination, not to mention her ability to assassinate thus keeping her in a top spot.
2. Alyx Vance (Half Life)
Emotionally complex without any of the weakness of a secondary support figure, Alyx’s humanity and outspokenness endear her to her audience. She genuinely keeps it real, avoiding any predictable and convenient dialogue meaning she’s believable and relatable throughout any challenge.
3. Jill Valentine (Resident Evil)
A bombs expert, Jill is clever, consistent and reliable. Her slightly questionable fashion choices are forgiven since she didn’t actually choose them herself. She's also an expert in disposing of the undead and is a master in unlocking - traits not to be downplayed!
For personal reasons, we feel the need to give a special mention to Sonya Blade from Mortal Kombat. A true badass, her skills fought off many an enemy who looked physically more capable than her. Just goes to show what the right attitude can achieve!
The annual gaming industry in the UK is worth over £2 billion pounds, contributing significantly to our economic health. So well done for supporting our economy, gamers! With the sort of games being released in 2020, we can only forecast this will go up. After all, who wouldn’t want to play these amazing creations?!
Gender shouldn’t matter when it comes to the enjoyment of gaming so let’s just encourage as many people to get involved as possible. Healthy competition will help us all play better after all!
*According to Statista’s report on “Share of paying gamers in the United Kingdom as of May 2018, by gender and platform”