Most men and women associate the word ‘gamer’ with males
(Mirror Daily, United States) – The gaming community has grown, and women play just as many games, but are not considered gamers, as both genders generally associate that title with male. It has become a thing perhaps of pride, an activity that has turned from hobby to demanded performance. You cannot have one without the other.
According to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center, there are still discrepancies in the attitudes of the gaming community. This is in spite of the fact that there is barely a difference between the rate of men and women who play games.
Researchers found that 49% of U.S. adults play games, be it on the PC, console, or handheld devices such as smartphones. It’s a wide-spread activity, though 26% of adults still believe it’s a “waste of time”, 24% think it’s “not a waste of time”, while 16% are “unsure what to think” of issue growing rapidly more popular. It has sparked numerous debates and conflicting studies.
While some, around 40% of adults believe that gaming is related to violent behavior, gamers prefer to concentrate on the good sides. Unsurprisingly, their focus points are more directed toward the benefits of playing, such as memory improvements, coordination, reflexes, problem solving, and several others.
It’s a way to pass the time, and a hobby for most, but the community has become inevitably divided on the very definition of the word ‘gamer’. For the purpose of the study, the team of researchers defined gamers as “a fan of gaming or a frequent game player”. This way, according lead author of the study, Maeve Duggan, they eliminated the listed criteria and focused more on self-identification.
According to their findings, 50% of U.S. males play video games, and 48% of women. This means that the difference is not that stark. Interestingly though, both genders attributed the word ‘gamer’ more to men, as 60% saw it as more of a “male activity”. It’s the long-standing problem that women are mostly unwelcome in the community, and often shy away from trying to blend.
The title of ‘gamer’ has unfortunately earned a rank of importance, that is now a well-earned privilege for most instead of a truth for self-identification. The discrepancies are particularly pronounced in young adults, between 18 to 29 years old. Out of the respondents, 33% of the men called themselves ‘gamers’, while only 9% of the women did the same.
According to Duggan, the purpose of the study was to find out how many people engage in gaming, and how many of them incorporate it into a more substantial way. For the purpose of the study, the latter had to define themselves as ‘gamers’.
Image source: kotaku.com