For years, the video gaming industry, like many other technological industries, has been dominated by men. However, new reports show a significant growth in the number female gamers and game developers in the industry.
A 2018 report by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association Australia found that 63 per cent of females play video games. The criteria for video games in the report covered a wide range of games, from first-person shooters on gaming consoles like the PlayStation, to social games on mobile devices.
The report also found females make up about 46 per cent of all gamers as of 2017, with women aged between 35 and 44 outnumbering their male counterparts of the same age, making up 54 per cent. This is a significant increase from 2005, when female gamers only made up about 38 per cent of all gamers.
iAccelerate mentor and coding teacher at the Wollongong Science Centre, Jessica Fosler puts the growing equalization in the industry down to an increased level of access to games.
“Having this really early access to technology with the girls having early access to iPads and computers has really, I think with this next generation, levelled out the playing field a little bit,” Ms Fosler said.
Ms Fosler, who once worked for Microsoft and now teaches children to code, said skill and commitment is not determined by their gender.
“I think girls are just as capable as boys at writing code. I’ve taught over a thousand children across the Illawarra and can’t see any difference between the girls and the boys,” Ms Fosler said.
According to the Australian Bureau of statistics, the number of game developers who identified as female in the 2015-2016 Census was 15 per cent , almost double the 2012 Census findings, which showed only 8.7 per cent of game developers were female.