Entertainment Do women and men play games differently?

Do women and men play games differently?


Despite the fact that we’re well into the 21st century, it still seems that there are still many differences between the genders that permeate our society.

And whilst it might not be quite as important as the pay gap between men and women, it seems that even something as simple as playing a video game can throw up some interesting differences.

Video gaming has become big business in just a handful of decades, and it’s remarkable how this new activity has cultivated something of a divide between the genders.

Most of us will be aware of how games like Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider feature fairly disappointing portrayals of women, and it’s thought that this has helped cultivate a gendered gaming landscape.


A recent report suggested that men prefer to play ‘action’ games, whereas women are more likely pursue puzzle or social casino options. Whilst this study could be viewed as being perhaps a little simplistic, it’s important to look into how such surprising results could have been achieved.

Certainly the overwhelming trend for action games is to feature a predominately male protagonist. And with the majority of first-person shooters like Half-Life, Call of Duty, and Counter:Strike featuring mostly male characters, it’s no real surprise to find that women prefer to play other, less gendered games.

This would account for why women seem to prefer playing puzzle games as they don’t feature a gendered protagonist, and similarly the majority of the Royal Vegas casino games also offer the gamer some simple entertainments without any unwanted misogyny.

Although there is an undeniable divide in playing habits between the genders, it seems as though this gap is starting to close. Much of this is thanks to the gradual efforts of game developers to try and meet the needs of female gamers.

For example, after receiving plenty of bad press for not including any female protagonists in Assassin’s Creed: Unity, the software house, Ubisoft, were quick to include a female playing option in the following edition of the gaming franchise.

And it’s a trend that’s been followed by Blizzard, who made sure that last year’s hit, Overwatch, featured a large cast of characters that included plenty of female protagonists to ensure that the game became a big success amongst all genders.

So that whether it’s a simple slots game or a first-person shooter, we should hopefully see much less of a difference between the gaming activity of women and men in the future.