Women are significantly underrepresented in terms of characters in video games. This is the conclusion of a study published this Monday by the World Economic Forum together with Accenture. While women are still disadvantaged by developers, they have long been on the rise in gaming as well as in gambling on sites.
As the study entitled “Reflecting Society: The State of Diverse Representation in Media and Entertainment” shows, the number of female gamers has increased in recent years. While the proportion of women in gaming in the USA was still 38% in 2006, it has grown to 45% by 2021.
Nevertheless, there is
… according to the women, a gender gap due to the influence of traditional gender expectations, a male-centered community, violence and aggression as focal points of video games and lower identification with male avatars.
Although there are now significantly more female characters in video games, they are underrepresented compared to male avatars. For example, only 18% of the games launched in 2020 would have included female characters. This has a decisive influence on the players because almost half of the gamers do not choose games that they do not think are made for them.
Different approaches to games of chance and skill
While the market has still not adapted to the needs of female players, women’s interest in gaming, as well as gambling, is increasing. Accordingly, the men’s magazine “The New Man” yesterday asked itself whether women were the more skillful gamers.
According to editor Darko Djurin, the gambling behavior of men and women is simply different. An example of this is the poker player and psychologist Maria Konnikova.
Maria Konnikova is not only a professional poker player but also a psychologist and bestselling author. She was born in Moscow and grew up in the USA. In 2013, she published her first book, Mastermind, which quickly became a New York Times bestseller.
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As Konnikova explained to Forbes magazine, men in particular often believe that their dexterity allows them to control all situations. This leads to false trust. In poker and other games where skill matters, this allows women to exploit men’s bias to their advantage.
There are also differences with regard to problematic gambling behavior. For example, a willingness to take risks is more pronounced among male gamblers than among women. As studies by psychologist Scott Scoltenberg show, men are accordingly also more at risk of gambling addiction.
However, addiction counselors are increasingly warning that more and more women are also affected by gambling addiction and video game addiction. The reason for this could be, on the one hand, the increasing proportion of women who participate in gambling or gaming. However, as gambling addiction experts point out, the fact that many women play online slots also plays a role in relation to the rise in gambling addiction among women.