Battle of the Sexes: Video Games. Whose Better?

I ask this question based on my experiences as a gamer. In my experience growing up playing video games, males played more video games than women and were often better at them. I had both male and female friends growing up who played video games and my observation has always been true, that males were better at it and played more often. I decided to do some research on the matter and the results were interesting.

While researching I found an association online called the “Entertainment Software Association”. The ESA conducts consumer and business research regarding video games and gaming as well as representing the video game industry as a whole on state and federal levels. Notable members of the ESA are Disney Interactive Studios, Bethesda Softworks, Microsoft, and Sony, each of which make and release video games yearly. Each year the ESA releases an annual report that shows highlights, surveys, and accomplishments of the past year as well as general information and statistics revolving around video games and the industry. The 2016 essential facts report shows many statistics relating to my question.

I don’t know who personally conducted and collected the information about to be revealed however the resources the ESA uses are most credible as seen of its notable members above. Now as of 2016 the demographic studies show that of men and women, men make up 59% of video game players while women make up 41% in America. Although more men play, the previous years show an uphill trend of the number of women playing. This may suggest that soon the number of men and women playing video games may balance or swing in favor of women. The reason for the bump of women players over the years may be the advancements of the gaming industry as a whole with the release of new games, consoles, and virtual reality.

There is very little to no research regarding which gender holds the champion belt in gaming because of how many different types games there are and what types of platforms to play on. Platform meaning Xbox, PC, Playstation, mobile phones and other devices make it difficult to perform such experiments as well as the types of games. The types of games being first person shooter, strategy, puzzles, exploration, educational, simulation, and many other genres make up the industry. A study done by M. H. Phan, J. R. Jardina, and W. S. Hoyle of the Software Research Laboratory of Wichita State University in 2012 showed a gap in what types of games each gender favors. The study included 341, 252 were male and 89 were female. Roughly 80 % of males played violent video games while 20% of males did not. 46 percent of females played violent games while 54% did not. It is hard to gauge who is better with gaps like this occurring for most genres and platforms.

However I did learn that men spend more time playing video games than women on average. A study that was published as an online article by Springer Science and Business Media revealed that men spend more hours gaming than women. The study is called “Gaming, Gender, and Time: Who Makes Time to Play” by Jillian Winn and Carrie Heeter. They studied 276 undergraduate students composed of 88 males and 188 female. The study showed males played more games because they had more free time than the female. In a single sitting the amount of males who played for less than 1 hour was 23.6% while the amount of men who played for more than an hour was 76.4%. In a single sitting for females revealed that 78.2% played for less than an hour while 21.9% played for more than an hour. The result shows that males player for longer periods of time than females.

From all of the research I found and read through my question was not answered but new information was revealed to me. More men than women play video games on average and men play for longer periods of time. The types of games men and women play ultimately differ coming down to violent and non violent video games. Men favored them more than the women while women favored nonviolent/ social games.


3 thoughts on “Battle of the Sexes: Video Games. Whose Better?

  1. Luyi Yao

    “This may suggest that soon the number of men and women playing video games may balance or swing in favor of women. ” This report really shock me. Because I am a female player of some games, such as OVERWATCH. But I rarely find other female player around me. So I think actually there are only few female playing games. I also think those two researches are not convincing because one has imbalance of samples, the other one has very small sample size. However, i think if male and female spend same time in playing games, it may has a different story.

  2. Nicholas E Schneider

    Personally, I feel that claiming men are better/more frequent players of video games than women is equivalent to claiming that women are better at and spend more time doing makeup than men do. This claim is not meant to be insensitive but rather to point out something I’d say is considered to be common knowledge; men play significantly more video games than women and are thus more skilled, just as majority of women are more talented makeup artists than their male counterparts because of the frequency at which women have practiced applying makeup. This isn’t to say that women who play video games can’t be more skilled than male opponents or that men who use makeup cannot apply it better than women, the scenario is just unlikely due to infrequency. Your post cites that men make up 59% of gamers while women represent 41%. While this very well could be accurate, I know a very small number of women who actively play video games, just as I don’t know many men who wear makeup. Because of the drastic gap between the amount of men and women who practice each activity it’s inevitable that the gender that frequents their respective activity will be more talented in that activity. Because of these factors and contrary to your opinion, “More men than women play video games on average and men play for longer periods of time” is far from news to me, it’s what i would expect.

  3. Michael David Harding

    This was a very well put together post about a subject that has been up in the air since the dawn of the video game revolution. But one factor that I believe can be taken into effect here is the age of the people involved. In my opinion younger girls would play more video games due to the fact that video games specifically targeted towards women have been released. According to a study from Pew, nearly every teenager regardless of gender plays video games. So, age may play a factor. This post was very well constructed with ample evidence to back up the concept.

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