Global Media Assignment: Gender Perspective & Preferences In Video Games
Write a global media assignment presenting a well researched dissertation evaluating different video games on the basis of their gender bases preferences and how social media influences act as an external trigger to gamers.
The current global media assignment sheds light on the concept of video games. Video games have become a popular concept in the modern-day world. Specifically, the advancement of the information age has triggered a major revolution in the video game industry. Specifically, an increasing percentage of men and women continue to exhibit interest in video games. Currently, video game player is spending an increasing amount of income in their efforts to access the latest video games. The engagement in video gaming has increased significantly in both men and women (Ogletree and Drake, 2007). Various game characteristics serve as critical determinants of the engagement in video games for both genders. Previously published articles on video games have sought to establish the disparity governing the number of hours that male and female spend on video games. It emerges that men are likely to spend more hours playing video games compared to women. Gender differences exist in video gaming behaviours and the performance of men and women in these games (Hamlen, 2010). It is imperative to understand some of the factors that govern the variation in the performance of men and women in different video games. The study focuses on the gender perspective on different video games. The study seeks to evaluate different video games on the basis of their gender bases preferences and how social media influences act as an external trigger to gamers. Over the years, multiple studies have paid attention to the topic of gender-based video games and avoid focusing on the point of view of the men and women on a different game and evaluation their thinking perceptions on the different game available in the market.
Despite the emerging evidence regarding the adverse effects of video games on players, it is evident that the interest in these games has continued to increase. Both men and women have depicted interest in different types of video games (Gorbet and Sergio, 2018). The performance in video games is one of the external factors that help in understanding the differences between men and women when it comes to video games. On the other hand, the performance of players in video games is dependent on multiple factors. According to some studies, like one proposed by Hartmann and Klimmt in the year 2006, the level of engagement may determine the overall performance of male and female in different video games. Most importantly, the stereotypical perspective that men are better video game players may have a significant impact on the performance of women in video games. Different studies have fostered the popularity of this stereotype, with some evidence demonstrating that the stereotypical perspectives register an evident impact on how men and women perceive their capabilities when playing video games.
It is apparent that such stereotypes have the potential to reduce the confidence of women and adversely affect their overall performance in video games. Moreover, the patriarchal view of video games with an emphasis on masculinity and higher performance of males may also serve to reinforce an increased performance of men in video games (Holz Ivory et al., 2014). For this reason, the stereotypical perspective registers an impact on men and women. While this perspective serves as a threat to women, it boosts the confidence of men in playing video games and gives them a better platform for demonstrating dominance in video gaming. However, other factors play a role in the overall performance of men and women in video games. The fact that men spend more hours playing these games may give them a remarkable advantage when it comes to performance (Griffiths, Davies and Chappell, 2003). On the other hand, women spend fewer hours playing video games, and they may be held back by stereotypical beliefs that may hinder them from participating in some video games. As a result, these factors disadvantage women and reduce their performance in video games (Dorgan, 2018).
A critical comparison of the performance of men and women who spend a similar average number of hours playing video games can help in revealing the performance differences between men and women with the check of their liking for the game. However, the fact that multiple factors determine the drive of men and women to play video games makes it difficult to carry out a realistic comparison of the performance of men and women in video games (Shen et al., 2016). From the evidence gathered from different studies, the drive of men and women to play video games has its basis on different motivations. These motivations may also foster the performance of men in video games. The interest in understanding the gender differences in performance between men and women has resulted from the need to understand how both genders can focus on improving their achievement in video games (Dorgan, 2018). Notably, participating in video games has the potential to enhance the critical thinking skills of players while promoting problem-solving abilities. The achievement of players in video games may help in determining how much they benefit from the games. For example, the perception that men have a higher performance in video games may lead to the conclusion that they have superior problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Seeking a deeper understanding of the factors that govern the performance of men and women in video games can provide a better platform for ensuring that both genders can maximise the benefits of video games (Hartmann and Klimmt, 2006).
The impact of the media on the representation of men and women in video games also plays an important role in determining the gaming behaviours of men and women, an element that may influence overall performance. It is important to note that the gender bias defining the representation of men and women in video games has multiple implications on how women are willing to dedicate themselves and improve their skills in video gaming (Holz Ivory et al., 2014). Some studies have revealed the truth that some women have exemplary skills in a video game and surpass their male counterparts. Unfortunately, the stereotyping effect explains why it is impossible to recognise the outstanding performance of women in video games (Ochsner, 2019). A critical analysis of the notion of gender preferences may explain the differences in liking between men and women when it comes to video games. Different scholars have paid attention to the different concepts that provide a construct of understanding the factors that may influence the preferences as well as preferences of male and female in video games.
The main research question for this study will be:
- What are the factors that influence gender perspective and preferences in video games?
The main research objectives will include:
- To explore the stereotypical threat on the performance of women in video games.
- To determine the motivations of men and women in playing video games
- To examine the preferences of both the male and female video gamer in the process of selecting the game, they like to play.
- To determine whether gender-typed motivations have an impact on performance.
Multiple scholars have embarked on establishing the main gender differences that govern the performance of men and women in video games. One of the critical factors that these scholars have identified is the impact of the stereotype threat. According to Kaye and Pennington (2016), the stereotype threat registers adverse effects on the gaming performance of females. The common perception of online gamers places emphasis on the aspect of being male with emphasis on their outstanding abilities in multiple games. On the other hand, the stereotypical view of women as passive video game players affects their willingness to advance their skills in video games. The stereotypical effect further explains why society considers male as more competitive and highly competent in video games (Kaye and Pennington, 2016). These perceptions have their basis on the existing gender constructs that are dependent on social norms. The emerging stereotypical representations of the various genres of video games have led to increased masculinisation (Kaye and Pennington, 2016). Therefore, society views most of the genre as more appropriate for males compared to females. Each of these perceptions serves as a threat to the performance of women in video games because it alters their gaming behaviours.
Ivory (2006) agrees that video games remain majorly for males due to the continued perspectives that emphasise the dominance of men in different genres of video games. The belief that videos games are more suited for males has its basis on the existing social constructs that consider men as having the ability to deal with the level of aggression in video games. Other studies demonstrate that video gaming has been associated with males for many years and that the media continues to play a critical role in influencing the perception of society regarding video games. Ivory (2006) pays attention to the depiction of female characters in video games, which is a major influence of social media and the popularity of the games on social platforms in changing the thinking ideologies of the gamer towards video games. Specifically, Ivory (2006, p. 105) asserts that “The implications of the rarity and negative nature of female portrayals in video games are troubling”. To explain the impact of this, Ivory (2006, p. 105) further highlights that.
In the opinion of West and Turner (2018), the Cultivation theory and expectancy of the social theory that had proposed for the long term impact on social measures can be effective in skewing the consumer’s point of view. These perspectives suggest that a video game landscape where women are represented infrequently and as passive, sexualised beings can precipitate a similar. It is evaluated that social media plays a vital role in changing the thinking perception of the gamer and thus evaluate their thinking perceptions in a well-organised manner.
Based on the views of Ivory (2006), it is apparent that the limited portrayal of women in video games has an impact on consumers and may explain why women have remained passive in video games. On the other hand, the increased consumption of this message may explain why men have higher levels of motivation when it comes to playing video games.
Wilhelm (2018) explored the influence of gender role orientations on the preferences, playing styles, and motivations of men and women when it comes to video games. In the view of this author, both femininity and masculinity register a significant impact on the motivations of women and men to play video games, respectively. The study provided empirical evidence supporting the gender-types motivations that determine the gaming behaviours, motivations, and interests of men and women. The findings from this study reveal that men and women experience a different level of motivation to demonstrate competitiveness or to embrace challenges in video games. The social role theory provides a basis for understanding how gender-types motivations may influence the performance of men and women in video games. In the view of Kirkpatrick (2017), computer gaming has become sexist over time, with a large percentage of people considering it a male practice. As a result, the exclusion of women from gaming practice has been an element of the gaming culture since the 1980s. Since then, an evident gender bias has emerged that continues to govern the gaming practice.
The reinforcement of stereotypical masculine values has led to the increased exclusion of women from the gaming industry. It is apparent that the gendering of video games has continued to disadvantage women because it denies them an equal platform to establish an increased interest in video games (Kirkpatrick, 2017). The gendering of video games also limits the exposure of women to various genres of video games. The concept of stereotyping and its impact on the perception of video games continues to emerge from most of the recent studies that have explored the gender differences of gaming behaviours (Kirkpatrick, 2017). In the end, these differences compromise the performance of women in video games.
Fox and Tang (2014) also explored the emerging sexism in online video games. In their view, the conformity to masculine norms has led to the significant dominance of men in the video game industry. As a result of this sexism, women are less likely to have equal opportunities in the gaming industry. In the view of Fox and Tang (2014, p. 314), "Despite the number of female gamers, video games have traditionally been perceived as a male space, an activity created by men and for men. Indeed, the gaming industry itself is extremely skewed, with female designers, programmers, and producers comprising only a fragment of its workers". Based on this view, women are likely to exhibit limited motivation to participate in playing video games. Consequently, their performance is less likely to be lower. Fox and Tang (2014, p. 315) continue to foreground that.
Because games are popularly perceived and reiterated as a male space, male gamers are afforded higher status and higher perceived competence than female gamers. It has been identified that women are likely to have hidden talents in the setting of the gaming environment. The revealing of the sex is not needed in the game about when the women take the initiative of revealing their sex there legitimacy is under question (Kirkpatrick, 2017, p.50).
In the views of Hopp and Fisher (2017), the preferences of the game selection also vary when judged with the perceptive of gender. It has been identified that the gamers are willing to select the game as per the comfort and mental setup. Most of the time, the external factors play a vital role in developing a strong idea about the change in the thinking that is demonstrated by the gamers. They might end up playing popular games so that they can satisfy themselves and keep themselves as per the social trend.
These are some of the reasons that have continued to prevent women from asserting themselves in playing video games because they are afraid of the resulting social backlash. Over time, it becomes evident that women have limited levels of achievement in playing video games.
According to Klimmt et al. (2009), the performance of video game players is dependent on multiple factors. Specifically, the continued high performance of a player enhances the level of enjoyment and motivates people to become regular players. A remarkable performance in video games boosts self-esteem and makes it more enjoyable. The application of this knowledge may help in understanding why women may have a lower performance in video games. Specifically, several occasions of poor performance may adversely affect their self-esteem and consequently reduce the level of enjoyment. The long-term outcomes of these effects are that women eventually lose their grip on video games and become less competitive. The stereotype effect may contribute to the significant reduction of enjoyment, satisfaction, and, eventually, performance. Hopp and Fisher (2017) embarked on exploring the relationship between gender, performance, as well as the enjoyment of video games for first-person shooters. It emerged that men and women have different expectations regarding their performance and enjoyment as first-time shooters. Similarly, Greenberg et al. (2010) agree that gender plays a critical role in determining overall performance. Particularly, the orientation to video games is more rigorous for males compared to females.
Specifically, gender differences become clear in the way males and females exhibit interest in video games and develop dominant gaming behaviours. Based on the findings from the study, Greenberg et al. (2010, p. 254) argue that “Rather than arguing that females are less competitive or even less interested in video games, the present findings (and those likely found in commercial market research efforts) will remind the industry to design games that better fit the preferences of young females. When females play games that are more attuned to their interests, game designers can determine if the players’ motives are truly weaker and if the females are less competitive, or if those findings are artifacts of the nature of the vast majority of currently available games”. Based on their argument, it is more rational to design video games that conform to the interests of females as a way of motivating them to spend more time playing. These scholars revealed that the interests of men and women in playing video games might vary according to the genres of the games. Therefore, it is more sensible to allow each gender to participate in games that are more favourable. For instance, if males have a greater interest in games that depict physical aggression, they are likely to perform better in such games. It will be unfair to compare their performance with females who have less interest in that genre. Greenberg et al. (2010, p. 254) conclude that "Perhaps an increase in the availability of games designed for females will reduce apprehension that may be induced by the construction of game play as a male realm". Such a conclusion points to the need for paying closer attention to the performance of women in video games that they like in a bid to ascertain that they are likely to perform better.
Ochsner (2019) paid attention to the experience of women in various video games. Based on this study, it emerged that women face multiple challenges as professionals in the gaming industry. These challenges explain why women have fewer desirable experiences in the gaming industry. Recent conversations regarding this issue revealed that the lack of adequate female game creators is one of the leading reasons why women are likely to have undesirable experiences in the gaming industry (Ochsner, 2019). It is evident that the overall perception of women towards their experiences in gaming can register a significant impact on their performance. As a result, scholars need to pay attention to the varied experiences of men and women in gaming. In the view of Borgonovi (2016), the gender differences between men and women in video gaming may have their basis on the overall perception that men and women must pursue a different field of interest. Specifically, it is important to understand that females have a better performance in specific skills. Therefore, females are likely to perform better in interactive video games, while males have a better performance in video games that emphasise physical aggression. Additionally, De Castell, Larios, and Jenson (2019) conducted studies that investigated the impact of gender on playing video games. The lack of significant skills in women may alter their performance. Particularly, navigation in virtual space is easier for men, an element that explains why men may perform better in games that test competencies regarding virtual skills. It is important to understand that the varying spatial abilities are a key contributor to the low performance of women in video games.
Hamlen (2010) explored the dominant gender differences in playing video games. The study demonstrated that the time spent on different video games changes from one gender to the other. The concept of the time dedicated to video games has been apparent in many studies. These studies have placed emphasis on the impact of time on the performance and competence of men and women in playing video games. Due to the social perspectives of video games, men are likely to spend an increased amount of time playing video games compared to women (Hartmann and Klimmt, 2006). As a result, such a variation may affect the overall performance of men and women in the games. The current generation of women may not spare adequate time for playing video games. As a result, it is unlikely that women will perform well in video games. Other factors determining the performance of men and women in video games may include the preference for aggression (Shen et al., 2016). Overall, men are likely to exhibit an increased desire to participate in aggressive video games because they conform to their masculine perspectives. On the other hand, women lack such an advantage, and they are likely to perform poorly in specific categories of video games.
Recent studies have demonstrated that the type of game is a critical determinant of the number of players that are likely to exhibit interest in playing. In this context, violent games are a preference for men, while women associate with different characters in video games (Hopp and Fisher, 2017). Accounting for these differences is of critical significance in categorising the hindrances that prevent women from having an evident advantage in video games. While women have higher chances of associating with popular female characters, they have more empathy that may hinder their perception regarding specific games. The biological differences between men and women may help in establishing a better platform for understanding why men are more comfortable spending time playing video games while women have different experiences in this field (Dorgan, 2018). The current gaming culture has obligated women to keep their skills under wraps because society is less receptive to their abilities. Therefore, women are likely to perform poorly when compared to men that can bring out their full potential in video gaming. The studies mentioned have highlighted that a combination of these factors has an impact on how men and women will perform in video games.
The psychological absorption into video games is also a critical determinant of the performance of men and women in video games. Specifically, the ability of players to exhibit consciousness when playing video games is significantly different (Holz Ivory et al., 2014). Men are likely to demonstrate a higher state of consciousness compared to women. The variation in consciousness determines the overall performance of an individual in video games. Since psychological absorption varies among men and women, it is important to focus on exploring the impact of this factor on overall performance (Gorbet and Sergio, 2018). The engagement levels may also be dependent on gender, an element that affects the overall performance. Different scholars agree that social bias is the main reason attributable to the gender differences between men and women when it comes to video games. It is difficult to control the factors that lead to the social bias that is evident in modern society. The inability to control such factors serves as an explanation for the significant variations in the long-term performance of men and women in video games (Hamlen, 2010). However, other studies have revealed that if men and women play video games in a similar environment with the same levels of exposure and dedication of adequate time to the games, they are likely to exhibit advancement at the same rate. If women receive mentorship, proper orientation, and have more motivation to play video games, then it is evident that they will excel in video games.
Studies that create a simulated environment to measure the performance of men and women are likely to observe specific similarities if the factors governing the learning process remain constant for both men and women. Based on the available evidence, the social dynamics between men and women subconsciously affect their performance in the games (Ochsner, 2019). Particularly, the need to foster gender equality leads to an observed improvement in playing video games. Similarly, games that promote gender inequality are likely to give one gender a specific role, an element that may eventually alter the overall performance. It is possible to grant men and women equal opportunities in playing video games by allowing them to experience higher levels of satisfaction and enjoyment (Ivory, 2006). If the industry focuses on providing women with more suitable video games, it will be easier to assess the level of improvement in performance. Currently, the gender stereotypes governing video games require a proactive approach that will allow both men and women to maintain their focus in playing the games without paying attention to the stereotypes (Poels, De Cock and Malliet, 2012). If women dedicate themselves to becoming exemplary players in various video games, they can achieve such a feat over time. It is also possible for them to embrace the gaming culture and its rules as the initial step towards the creation of a male and female audience for video games (Holz Ivory et al., 2014). Despite the dominance of the stereotype effect on issues related to video games, it is possible to create a more inclusive environment that offers men and women significant opportunities for growth.
The research papers will be using primary data to evaluate the gender-based preferences for the games. The collection of the qualitative data will be done so that the study can investigate the mindset of the gamer’s incoherent manner. The use of the positive researcher philosophy will be taken into consideration for the highlighting of the true existing facts of the society (Dubrow and Tomescu-Dubrow, 2016). It has been profound to identification that the perception of the gamer on the different video games are determined to be different and are strongly influenced by social media. The use of the deductive research approach will be implicated within the study. It will be helpful in developing a strong idea about the essential factors. The unwanted or irrelevant information’s will be rejected from the study. The research paper will be focusing on the execution of exploratory research design (Tobi and Kampen, 2018). It will be effective in developing a better idea about the approaches of gender towards a different type of video games. The use of the opened ended questions will be used. The questionnaire will be framed to evaluating the thinking perception of the male and female gamers and thus execute norms to fetch proper idea about the influencing factors. The role of the social made in changing their gaming preferences will be judged in this manner.
The implication of the simple random sampling will be taken into consideration, and the level of biasness of the research study will be mitigated (Fletcher, 2017). The research papers will be at the same time using secondary information as supporting evidence to analysis the collecting first-hand information. It will be beneficial in developing a better idea about the respondents and thus ensures that the study is able to fetch proper light on the thinking measures and the genders perspective on different video games. The use of proper ethical consideration will be taken into account. The questionnaire framed will be flexible, and the respondents will be allowed to leave the question unanswered.
- What comes to your mind when you hear the word video games? Which game interests you the most?
- Do you think that the game needs to be distinguished on the basis of genders? Why and why not?
- Do you ever download a game after seeing its social media popularity?
- Do you think that the preferences for a game demand on the genders of the gamers? Why and Why not?
- What are the criteria that you check before downloading any kind of videogames? Do your genders guide you while selecting the video game?
This section of the dissertation will be focused on extracting appropriate information relevant to the research question formulated at the start of the dissertation i.e. what are the factors that influence gender perspective and preferences in video games?
As per the view of Romrell, (2014) most researchers have agreed the stereotypical player in a video game is a white, young, and heterosexual male. According to Greenberg et al (2010) taking into consideration the topic of gaming and gender, the key question that arises is whether the stereotypical idea of players in video games is accurate or not. Every year, ESA "entertainment software association" issues a report which consists of statistics on demographics of video game player. The statistics indicated that even though women tend to play more video games than women, the rate of a woman playing video games is gradually increasing.
Figure: increasing women players in video game
(Source: BBC News.2021)
Though these statistics are looked upon, it is significant to acknowledge that ESA makes use of an extremely expanded version of the definition of what makes a video game. Any type of digital game is added in this statistic which includes games that are played on handheld devices, tablets, or smart phones (cbsnews.com 2021). Contrastingly, as viewed by Shaw, (2012) women often are less likely to self-identify as gamers as compared to men. In addition to this, women are also more likely to under represent themselves when it comes to stating the time they spend playing games.
In the views of Hilgard, Engelhardt, and Bartholow, (2013) in these recent years, there has been rapid growth in the interest of gender and gaming. A key issue when it comes to the topic of video games is the absenteeism of women from a gaming scene dominated by males. Traditionally, video games are viewed as "boy's toys". Since the era of video games introduction, male teenagers were looked like the major target by the gaming industry and it has continued to be until recently (Vermeulen et al 2011). In the initial years of video games, arcades were packed with shoot-'em-ups science fiction, and games related to sports attracting mainly the male teenage population. This tradition seemed to have continued with the first-ever gaming consoles with titles like "doom" and "mortal combat" which furthermore shaped the reputation of the medium. A big-scale quantitative study done by the PIP project "pew internet and American life project" discovered that 94% of female participants play video games which are nearly as many as the male participants with 99%. Similarly, a study from the research department of BBC stated that the split in gender i.e. 55% females versus 45% females can be found in every age group. However, according to PIP 2008, boys tend to play games in great frequency 39% of boys indicated playing the game daily compared to 22% of girls and for long period 34% boys versus 18% girls (Vermeulen et al 2011). As the explanation for this difference, the ELSPA "European leisure software publishers association" commented that usually female genre tends to consume less time and demands less commitment. Furthermore, women often prefer short, easy-to-master, and short games for instance Tetris and online games like CityVille, while on the other hand men are more likely to be inclined towards “core genres” (Fullerton et al 2008).
Figure: men identifying themselves as gamers
(Source: pewresearch.org 2021)
But this view cannot be taken as an ultimate truth because not every female prefers easy games, for example, Scarlett one of the top female players in the world has expertise in action games. She is the highest-paid female player in the world. Competitively she has been playing starcraft II. After doing a profound research on this game, the researcher has found that starcraft II is an extremely competitive game and Scarlett has been dominating the game whenever she competes and she has won in South Korea, certainly, it is the most remarkable accomplishment not because she is a female but as a gamer (gamedesigning.org 2021).
In the context of understanding the factors influencing gender perspective and preferences in video games, Sharma, and Pathak-Shelat, (2017) holds a view that children from a very young age experience various processes of society. It is discovered that socialization is a "gendered process”. As argued by Simone De Beauvoir “one is not born but rather becomes, a woman”. The author here is talking about the attached binaries with masculinity and femininity constructed by society. The "gendered process" that takes place in socialization strictly categorizes youngsters into the masculinity and femininity binaries and they are taught relations and gender roles that are formulated via their own constant repetitive gender performance. Thus, this socialization of gender does not offer youngsters the element of flexibilities to move past the binaries of females and males or let them stay at the intersections of various genders. From the aspect of social processes, it can be understood that society also plays an important role in influencing the perspective of an individual towards video games and their individual preferences. As viewed by Phanet al (2012) Gerbner in 1986 developed the theory of cultivation and indicated that television largely cultivates social reality concepts. For instance, the constant television views tend to become the most important ways of getting information and they are often strongly affected by the way television moulds their view about the world. Contrastingly, often the light viewers look for information from other sources and tend to hold diverse kind of views. This context is not only limited to television but video games as well. For instance, children who are heavy players of video games might hold a view that men are "powerful, dominant and assertive" as male characters in video games often reflect these qualities. Additionally, the effect of cultivation also has its base on the cultural philosophies of desirable characters and tends to affect an individual's perspective towards another gender. The feeling of a male protagonist in a video game can influence men in thinking women are weaker than them not only in terms of playing games but in reality as well (Gestos, Smith-Merry, and Campbell, 2018).
Figure: game genre preferences and statistics
Some researcher finally noted that females might regard present video games even those games which are dominated by males as "sites for the participation of females and resistance towards societal roles of gender and conceptions of femininity and masculinity" (Hartmann, and Klimmt, 2006)
The researcher in this section will focus on conducting an online survey with the use of simple random sampling. The reason for choosing the online survey is due to the ongoing COVID 19 situation, to ensure complete safety online survey will help the researcher in gaining relevant information yet maintaining a social distancing. The questionnaires that have been formulated are small in number yet but it is in the open-ended form to extract as much information as possible. To conduct an online survey, a researcher focused on the online gaming community called Gamespot which is an extremely active community of gamers consisting of a passionate and teeming population. Since simple random sampling was used, the participants were chosen randomly. A total of 100 respondents were interested in participating in a survey with 49 male and 51 female members. In the following section respondent’s answer will be provided to answer the research question formulated in the first section.
Questionnaire 1: what comes to your mind when you hear the word video games? Which game interests you the most?
Out of 100 respondents, the majority of men i.e. 45 out of 49 men stated that they feel a sense of reward when they play video games. The remaining 4 men answered by saying they do not feel any kind of reward type of feeling when they hear the word video games unless they are winning. Comparatively, female respondents stating the feeling of reward was less out of 51 only 20 commented that they feel a sense of reward when they are playing video games. 31 female stated that only if they win they tend to feel excited otherwise they just play for the sake of passing their time.
When asked about the type of game they preferred, all the 49 male participants said they like action and aggressive types of games. But surprisingly there were the majority of female gamers who preferred aggressive games. Out of 51 respondents, 40 of them said they always ted to play games that are competitive and gives them an adrenaline rush. The remaining 11 female respondents preferred games that are subtle and easy. Not only this, it was amusing to know that females had an even win rate with the male participants. The myth of men are good at video games seemed to be daunting as the survey indicated that females too are good players. The motor skills in both the genders were equal but it was observed that men tend to learn the skills and controls faster than females as stated by some of the female participants. Also, males added to the answer saying that playing video games makes them happier and it improves their mood and increases their level of energy. Compared to this, female respondents were more towards playing video games in their free time rather than spending hours and hours in video games.
Analysis: from the above responses it can be said that men tend to feel more excited while playing video games as compared to women. Females only feel excited if they are winning but males tend to feel happier and they feel a boost of energy when it comes to video games. It is to be noted that females preferred aggressive games and the stereotypes about females preferring easy games need to be stopped. Men do spend more time on video games as compared to women.
Questionnaire 2: do you think that the game needs to be distinguished based on genders? Why and why not?
This questionnaire was formulated to get an opinion from the female and male about their viewpoint of whether the game should be gendered or not. Out of 51 female respondents, 40 said that no, the game should not be based on genders as not every woman prefers those simple games. Women in the gaming industry are gradually increasing and distinguishing games based on genders just does not feel right. The remaining 11 female participants commented that yes, developers need to come up with new ideas and create games that would be specifically made for women but those games have to be intense and competitive and not those typical girly games which used to be created in the past era. On the other hand, the majority of male respondents stated that yes; video games need to be developed based on gender preferences as women are less skilled than men in terms of games. Out of 49 respondents, 40 said yes, the remaining 9 were more open-minded towards the question and stated that video games should be gender-neutral and everyone can play it whether the game is aggressive or simple. Aggressive games can be played by women and at the same time, simple games can be played by males. It is all about one's choice and it should not be based on genders.
Analysis: from the above responses, it can be understood that females oppose the idea of a game being distinguished based on the genders. But the case was different in the case of male participants as the majority of them believed that games should be based be on gender. Though out of these male respondents, there were respondents who stated that games need to be gender-neutral.
Questionnaire 3: do you ever download a game after seeing its social media popularity?
Most females agreed to this question as they answered by saying "yes when I see everyone playing that specific game I get the urge to downloading it and giving it try". Out of 51 females, 45 agreed to this view and the remaining 6 said that they prefer playing games which they have been playing for ages. Trends do not influence them in downloading games. Furthermore, out of 49 males, 45 respondents had a similar answer that indicated the same response i.e they do go with the trending games as they want to stay competitive in a gaming community. They want to learn every game that is trending and does not look like a newbie. The remaining 4 held a view that they prefer the games they are playing currently, the trending games do not influence them in downloading a certain game as they feel like it is a waste of time and downloading new game each time will not let them be an expert in the one they are currently playing.
Analysis: females tend to download trendy games and males also had the same response. Though some of the males preferred playing the games which they have been playing for a long time they want to be an expert in that specific game.
Questionnaire 4: Do you think that the preferences for a game demand on the genders of the Gamers? Why and Why not?
All the male respondents agreed to question number 4 as they held the view the preference of the demand of the game does depict the gamers’ genders. Some respondents justified their answer by saying that the graphics of the game, the aggressiveness, and the long-duration demand of certain games might not fit in the role of women. The reason for this is, women tend to be calmer while playing video playing and they are often seen playing games that require less time consumption and games that are less aggressive. Also, some respondents stated that the stereotypes of gamers towards female gamers tend to degrade their potentiality of becoming great gamers as they are often seen as less competitive than the male players.
On the other hand, females held different opinions that the preferences of the game do not demand the genders of the game. Though not the whole participants had this view majority of the participants stated that they tend to look for games that are rather competitive and gives them an adrenaline rush while when they win a game. They have not even played a game that is specifically made for females like those role-playing games or the home maker's type of games. One of the respondents stated that "I do not like how the creators of the game tend to differentiate the game type according to gender, intense games are specifically made for men where characters are male and we have to look for the female characters to choose from. Though not every intense game is biased like this but the majority of which I had downloaded depicted this type of biasness". From the statement, it can be understood that the creators of the game need to be open-minded when creating a game and also the stereotypes about men being superior in video games need to be eliminated.
The remaining female participants preferred playing simple games which is why they did not have any problem with the game being based on gender roles.
Analysis: from the above information it can be said that preferences of a game do demand gamer's gender. Though, the researcher could see a big difference between male and female's viewpoints as male respondents held a view that intense game naturally attracts men as compared to women. In contrast, the majority of the female participants stated that they do not look whether the game demands gender roles or not until and unless the game is good.
Questionnaire 5: What are the criteria that you check before downloading any kind of Video Games? Do your genders guide you while selecting the video game?
This was the final questionnaire of the research where participants very well expressed their views. Out of 51 female participants, 49 had a similar answer which highlighted that before downloading a game they tend to look at the rating the game has got, the graphics, and whether it is in trend or not. One of the participants commented, "before downloading a game the most important thing for me is graphic and the rating, if the graphic does not appeal to me then I don’t download the game even if the rating is good and I do not care whether the game is about men saving the city or men killing zombies, I will download that game if it is of good quality”. From this, it can be understood that gender does not play a vital role in downloading a specific game. The remaining two responded by saying that they tend to look whether the game requires extreme time investment or not, if it does then they do not download the games. Also, they prefer simple games which are specifically made for females like fantasy games, role-playing, etc.
On the other hand, males were highly inclined towards games that were made for intense gaming and fierceness. One respondent commented “I always look at the genre before downloading the game as I prefer intense action games. Simple games do not excite me rather games that are filled with actions and killings are what I look for. I think those simple games are played by women as they are less competitive in video games compared to men".
From the above statement, it can be understood that at present also there is a stereotype in the minds of people regarding which game should be played by which gender. Out of 49 males, 40 had the same answer highlighting they prefer action games and they look for that category only. Apart from the type of game, they also look for the graphics and the ratings.
Analysis: from the final question, it can be said that ratings and graphics play an important role in influencing people in selecting a game. But the fact that genders do play a crucial role in the selection of game cannot be denied. Men at a majority level are influenced by the gender role as they tend to look for games that are specifically made for actions and violence. Females mostly focused on graphics and rating and less on the gender aspects.
This section will be focused on critically analyzing the findings of the data analysis done above. With the use of the exploratory design of research, the researcher has been able to extract the information relevant to the topic. It has provided the researcher with the flexibility of adapting to the potential changes during the development of the research (Swedberg, 2020). From the responses provided by the participants, it was understood that females of the present era are more inclined towards action and intense games as compared to the gamers of the past. As viewed by Blackburn, and Scharrer, (2019) they do not look for games that do not require any form of strategy or intense gaming skills rather they prefer to play action games that demand an investment of time and skills. Gone were the days when females were more inclined towards those typical girly games but from the above data analysis it was understood that the video game industry has evolved mainly in terms of game preferences of men and women. Female participants were also indicated that they tend to be excited to play action games and they do not look for simple games as thought by the majority of people in the society. Furthermore, it can be said that men tend to have more of a stereotypical mindset about a woman playing intense games as the majority of men had a view that games should be based on the genders. Only a few men were open-minded towards women playing aggressive games.
The information that was gathered from the secondary sources stated that men tend to be more immersed in video games than women and this statement seems to be correct. This can be known from the responses given in questionnaire 1 where men were found to feel more energetic and happy while playing video games as compared to women. The engagement thus seemed higher in men than women (Ivory, 2006).
Factors like social media popularity also played an important role in deciding whether to download a game or not. Females were more engaged in downloading a popular game as compared to men. Men also downloaded trendy games but their reason for downloading the game was different than those of women. On one hand, women stated that when they see trendy games, they get an urge of downloading them but on the other hand, men focused more on trying every game so that they do not feel left out among other gamers. Factors like graphics and ratings played a crucial role in the selection of a specific game. And men focused more on gender aspects while choosing a game as compared to women.
As viewed by Eden, Maloney, and Bowman, (2010) men looked at games that give them the feeling of toughness thus they tend to look at games that require intense gaming skills and actions. But the gender aspects were comparatively lower in women as they chose games, not on the basis of which gender the game depicts but rather they focused on the quality of the game. Overall, it can be said that the stereotypes about women preferring simple games are not the whole truth.
As discovered by Roach, (2014) women enjoy and play video games but unlike men, they do not play much. Several researchers have tried to explain the differences in women's and men's play habits by investigating social and cognitive factors i.e. analytical and motor skills that may encourage these habits. According to Melzer, (2019) some studies have suggested that cognitive differences between women and men cannot be considered as a core factor if both women and men are provided the opportunity of a similar time to play a game. In this context, it can be said that the cognitive factor is not the core element determining the playing habits of women and men. This can be said from the research analysis done above where men were found investing more time on video games as compared to women.
On the other hand, researchers have also focused on social factors like violence tolerance in games, female characters' sexualisation, and stigma regarding women's lack of capability of playing games. All these factors were found to be affecting women's preferences in video games. Although this finding from the secondary sources cannot be completely accepted as the findings done by the researcher indicated that women are increasingly playing violent games and gender-based games do not affect their choices. Only a few amounts of female participants stated that they tend to look for those typical girly games. From the research, it was understood that men comprised more stigma towards women being weaker than men in relation to video games. This can be said from the fact that many men participants had a view that women should be playing games that do not require aggressiveness and they should be playing games that do not require many skills. All these statements indicated that there is still a presence of stereotype thinking among people regarding women preferring non-action games. A study conducted on the spending of credit cards by college students revealed that women tend to spend money on apparel and on the other hand, men tend to spend their finances on eating out, electronics, and entertainment (Hayes, 2006). This view is supported by Dittmar, and Beattie, (1998) with their discovery that women do spend their finances on clothing items but men spend mostly on leisure items. This provides a reason as to why women are not a core target in the gaming industry. Even though women's games exist but they are not among the registered customers.
Overall, the societal processes seem to be the main reason for the preferences of games. From a very young age, children are taught binary terms like men and women and what their preferences should be. Men are always thought to be strong and into violent games and women are told to be a "lady-like" figure and play games that suit their persona but the present generation is not like this. At least the majority of females have been playing games that are filled with actions and even earning from it like the world-renowned player Scarlett.
It can be concluded that women these days have different preferences in terms of games compared to the women of the past. It is therefore, a wrong notion that only men are interested in video games. The research suggests that the video games industry is dominated by both male and females. The women of the present times are no more interested in doll houses. They rather play exciting video games. The response of the female participants of the research also indicates that the females like playing those video games that require intense planning, gaming skills and strategies. They like to invest their skill and time in the games they play. Most of the people, who acknowledge that females are also into video games, think that they only prefer simple games. However, this is not true. The females are equally passionate about video games as men. The stereotypical thoughts that females will not prefer playing intense video games is again a wrong idea perceived by many males about females. The research has explored and gathered adequate data from secondary sources on the research topic. The research findings prove that the men are more engrossed or immersed while playing a video game compared to women. The first questionnaire has proved this correct because the men felt happy and energetic while playing the video games, while women did not show similar level of excitement. This suggests that the women are less engaged in the game as compared to men.
The research has also found that most of the people download the games based on their popularity on social media. The females as the research concludes are more inclined towards downloading games that are popular than men. The men usually depict a tendency of downloading and playing all sorts of games so that they can remain relevant among other games. Women on the other hand are more interested in downloading popular and trendy games. The study also infers that men are more gender biased while choosing a game. The video games which men feel is meant for males, they download and play more of such games. Thus, men prove to be more gender-based when it comes to game selection while women have other factors for selecting a game beyond gender perspective. The reason for men to play intense video games is that they want to prove themselves as tough. They want to display their strategic thinking and gaming skills while playing tough video games. Women on the other hand, select games on the basis of its content, graphics and quality. They seemed to be less gender conscious while selecting or playing a game compared to men. The choice of women regarding video games can in no situation be generalized and assumed to be simple.
Women play video games for the same purpose as men, i.e., they wish to enjoy while playing the games. However, women are less addicted to video games and spend lesser time playing the games compared to men. The reason behind the difference in gaming habits between men and women accrues to the cognitive and social factors. The motor skills and analytical mindset of the men and women is different. This affects their gaming pattern or habit. As the study shows the men seem to spend more time in playing the video games as compared to women.
There is a lot being discussed about the content of the video games. It is often seen that in the video games there is violence, sexualisation of characters, etc. towards which women might be intolerant. There is also a stigma attached to women not having the adequate potential to play video games. These contents affect the preference of a woman towards a video game. However, this is a probable case but cannot be concluded as the core determinant in choice of games. The research has found out from its secondary sources that women are quite interested in violent games and also play games that are gender biased. The most significant finding of the research is that the men have the stigma or stereotypical idea that women are less competent when it comes to video games. The men thought they dominate or rule the video game industry. However, the gender perspective should not be attached to the role of men and women in playing video games. The research has concluded with sufficient evidence that there is no reason to consider women less interested, less involved or less skilled in video games compared to men. Though most of the people have the idea that women should be playing non-action or non-aggressive games, the reality is quite different.
The research on global media assignment has also found a significant outcome that women are not targeted as the core customers of video games because they tend to spend more on leisure and apparels over games. There are some women’s games and the women are also customers of the video game industry. However, as gaming is not a priority for women, the industry also does not register them as target customers. The preference of video games is to a great extent impacted by the societal processes. The gender roles are defined from a very tender age and so people grow up with such ideas. The society is distinguished into males and females and their expected gender roles are also determined. This prevents men and women to think beyond the binary gender-assigned roles. It is instilled in the minds of males that they are expected to be tougher than their female counterparts. They should play rough and aggressive games while females are expected to play with dolls and soft toys. It is also a stereotypical idea that women will not be playing aggressive or violent games. There are many women who spend hours in gaming, playing violent action-based games and earning from them. The research is a significant work on the influence of gender perspective and preferences in video games. The research has successfully explored the stigmas or stereotypical threats attached to the performance of women in video games. The study further determined the aspects of a game that attracts men and women towards selection of a specific game. The research concludes that the gender roles assigned by the society on men and women have significant impact on the role of women in the video game industry.
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