This article originally appeared on VICE India.
Women in gaming have long been considered an anomaly, with popular belief relegating gaming to teenage boys spending several hours on PUBG. But for all those who still feel games aren’t a girl thing, turns out, there are more active women mobile gamers than men in India.
A survey conducted by CyberMedia Research (CMR) that analysed 2,000 smartphone gamers in India has revealed that there are far more female gamers actively playing mobile games like PUBG, Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans and crossword puzzles. 95 percent women were reported to be active gamers as compared to only 85 percent of their male counterparts.
"The results have broken some of the most common notions associated with mobile gaming,” Prabhu Ram, head of Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, said in a statement. “Women are active in gaming. Yet, it is true to say that they prefer some unique games, and stick with free-to-play games and generally speaking, avoid in-app purchases. They are hyper-casual gamers, and very much under-served. For the gaming developer community, this cohort represents a significant opportunity."
These women reported that their increased interest in mobile gaming came from recommendations on social media or by friends and family, and served as a stress-reliever from their hectic routines. They also acknowledged the convenience of gaming on their mobile phones since it can be done at any place or time, and doesn’t need any heavy-duty equipment or devices to accompany it.
“Ranging from professionals playing mobile games in between breaks at work, or while on the commute, to women playing games at home amidst breaks from domestic chores, to elderly women keeping up with technology — the demographic profiles of female gamers span across age groups,” said Satya Mohanty, head of User Research Practice, CMR.
The tide of female gamers has been gaining momentum over the last few months, with some reports saying that women even spent more time than men on mobile games.
Still, it’s not all fun and games if you’re a woman. Far more women who livestream themselves gaming are subjected to bullying and harassment, while many continue to be ridiculed and not taken seriously gamers, thanks to the sexist stereotype that women aren’t good at playing games and often do it just to impress men. The path to gaming glory hasn’t exactly been smooth-sailing for women in India, but as more female protagonists and celebrity women mobile gamers come to the forefront of this battleground, it’s becoming even more evident that girls are putting the ‘G’ in PUBG.
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