What do you think of when you hear the word ‘gamer’? Many minds may begin to wander to an image of a male gamer as often this is how gamers are represented in film, television, and the media. But as the gaming industry continues to recognize the diversity in its audience, it’s time to put that stereotype to bed.
There really is a game for everyone out there. Anywhere and everywhere from fun slots and games like Great Bear and Wild Tundra, to puzzles to word games to immersive simulations, the list is endless – and not at all gender-specific. As over 6 billion people now own a smartphone, gaming is becoming available to all people. Some games are now much more accessible to others because the rules of certain games, like slots and bingo, are easier to understand, free play is available and the games can be played in entertaining short bursts.
It is, therefore, not shocking at all that gaming on a mobile device has become more favorable than playing video games via PC/console as many games are available on both phones and PC. The convenience of playing games wherever you are, rather than restricted to a stationary computer screen, is just another instance of how the gaming world is adapting to become available to all.
A quick look at gaming figures also confirms that the number of female gamers is on a steady increase. According to Statista, women accounted for 41 percent of gamers in the United States. A year later, the percentage shot up to 45 percent and is sure to continue growing as the years continue to pass and the industry develops.
It’s also interesting to add that the number of women gamers is growing. Activision Blizzard Media reports that 77 percent of women in the US between the ages 25-54 enjoy playing video games daily, but only 46 percent actually identify themselves to be gamers. It’s no coincidence that this discussion of female gamers is happening as Women’s History Month begins this month – so this is your sign to kick back, take some quality well-deserved me-time, and play all your favorite games.
Gaming should be open to anybody. However, disabled gamers face a lot of barriers in the gaming world. But the recognition of gamers that are disabled is growing and, more importantly, extremely necessary. Acknowledgment of players with disabilities has helped technology to advance to cater to people’s different needs to ensure a fair and pleasant experience for everyone. For example, captioning on video games for deaf players has dramatically improved over the years and deaf players are able to play video games easier than in the past.
There is still a long way to go with making games user-friendly for everyone. But as the gaming industry continues to adapt and evolve, steps are surely being taken to make gaming as inclusive as possible for people everywhere, regardless of ability, gender, and disposable income.
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