In news that will definitely be well-received by the corners of the Internet that are terrified of video games being taken over by man-hating stormtroopers who want to ruin their fun by making it less sexist (how dare they?!), more adult women are apparently playing games now than teenage boys. As far as stereotypes go, that’s a little like someone officially declaring that the crust is the best part of a pizza, but a new study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association says it’s true. Not only that, but the study also says that more adult women play games than any demographic other than men in general. In other words, the stereotypical gamer guy—with his pitcher of Mountain Dew and his Doritos-smudged controller—has become a minority.
Now, a study is only as good as its sample size, so let’s establish that before anyone gets too eager to argue with this. The ESA says it surveyed “more than 2,200 nationally representative households,” which might not be enough for some people, but it claims that the study involved “the most in-depth and targeted survey of its kind.” All of this surveying determined that 52 percent of the whole game-playing population that was surveyed is male, but women who are over the age of 18 make up 36 percent of it all on their own. That’s significantly higher than teenage boys (17 percent) and just a hair higher than adult men (35 percent).
Before anyone pins this on Kim Kardashian: Hollywood or whatever, the study also says the average adult woman has played games for 13 years, so it’s not like they just popped up out of nowhere. In fact, the number of women over 50 who play games increased by 32 percent from 2012 to 2013. All of this information suggests that more and more women are playing video games, and they’re going to keep playing video games for the foreseeable future. For an industry plagued by problems with female representation—as evidenced by the Tropes Vs. Women In Video Games series and the death threats its creator has gotten in response to it—that can only be a good thing.
The study has a lot more information that isn’t related to tearing down sexist stereotypes, but it’s still worth taking a look at for anyone interested in gaming-related pie charts and other fun facts. For example, 84 percent of parents surveyed play games with their kids because they’re asked to, but only 47 percent enjoy it as much as their kids. Be they women or men, there are a lot of bored parents out there pretending to be interested in Skylanders. Check out the full study for yourself here.
[h/t The Daily Dot]