Three-quarters of Female Gamers Disguise Their Gender While Gaming

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One study from 2021 revealed that almost 81 million gamers identify as female*.

Which means our wonderful gaming community is made up of 45% women and girls.

Yet a variety of news articles and comments from people in our community have drawn our attention to the harsh reality that female gamers are experiencing sexism online at shocking rates. We’re proud to have an inclusive fandom community of all ages, genders, and races, who respect one another and bond over their love of different fandoms – whether that’s gaming, films, TV shows, or anything in between!

So ahead of International Women’s Day 2022, we thought we’d delve deeper and survey female gamers to find out a bit more about their behaviors while gaming online.

One of the most surprising things we learned is that three quarters of female gamers (76%) have disguised their gender while gaming online. If you based that on how many lady gamers there are in the US, then a massive 60 million have disguised their gender when playing online.

And of this number:

  • 93% of respondents who had disguised their gender while gaming said it was because they had experienced sexual harassment online from fellow gamers.
  • More than half of those who had disguised their gender online (53%) had admitted to specifically using masculine-sounding or ambiguous aliases.
  • Almost a fifth of female gamers who admitted to disguising their gender online (19%) said that they would continue to do so and can’t envisage openly displaying themselves as female any time soon.

Other findings of ours revealed that:

  • Only one in five women (22%) feel fully comfortable chatting to other gamers through microphones while gaming
  • A quarter (25%) of female gamers have stopped playing certain games due to online abuse
  • 70% of female gamers agree that they feel that online abuse happens to them more frequently now than it did a year ago.
  • When we asked women if they would stop gaming altogether following any sexism or hate they’ve experienced due to their gender, the majority (87%) confirmed they would not leave the community, with nearly all stating they wouldn’t stop what they love doing as a result of any backlash from being a female in gaming.

While we think that last point is positive and goes to show how committed women and girl gamers are in pursuing what they enjoy, it’s unfortunate that women feel the need to disguise their gender, just to be treated fairly.

We hope that as more women make up the gaming population that these stats will reduce dramatically. And by sharing our findings, we want to raise awareness of these issues.

We firmly believe that the more we have conversations about them, the less tolerated these kinds of issues will become in society. We also recommend that if you experience any kind of discrimination online that you report it.

And we’d like to celebrate all of the fantastic female gamers out there for this International Women’s Day 2022 – from unknown individuals up to huge well-known names in gaming!


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