The ESA has released many interesting statistics about the gaming industry.
So I wrote this on Facebook, and then realised no-one would probably care about my musings and thoughts on the linked website’s statistics. I’m sorry if this offends anyone, and I’m probably wrong in some areas or being blind/insensitive without knowing it. But yeah, the thoughts weren’t worth throwing away.
"I’ve always been skeptical of these gender statistics. I asked my girlfriend a while back (who considers herself a gamer) her perspective on whether or not she considers women as occupying 48% (or whatever study you use) of gamers. Just because I don’t want to be that ‘mansplainy’ guy and wanted a female perspective before I opened my male mouth. And she said, speaking as a female who play vidya games, the feeling she gets is that these statistics (almost 50-50 representation) aren’t the case.
I have a feeling these studies incorporate mobile gaming players (edit: they do, it says 44% of all people in their study played games on smartphones). Not to be the pretentious ‘mobile gamers aren’t real gamers’ guy (they are real games, I just find most mobile games terrible), but I feel the cultures around mobile gaming vs. console/pc (ie. ‘hardcore’ (i hate that expression) gaming) are VASTLY different in accommodating genders. I think if you looked at the statistics of females that play hardcore platforms you’d find that they’re an extreme minority, which is a massive problem.
We look at the article’s statistics and be like ‘wow, isn’t gaming a lovely place where both males and females equally enjoy these products, and it’s the evil corporations that are at fault for keeping on making masculine gendered games when 50% of the people who will see it will be female’ when that isn’t the case. Males have pushed females out of the ‘hardcore’ audience with bullying and silencing and now their platform for enjoyment is either ‘select titles’ that males traditionally turn their noses up at (eg. the sims etc.) or mobile gaming, which males don’t consider manly enough to appropriate or primarily use. And any female that plays games outside of that category is considered (by male gamers) as ‘exotic’ and are sexualised, which sucks.
I guess my point is that men are on game covers [answering the original OP’s question on why females are never on game covers] because (a) men (ie. male culture) have made console and pc gaming a place where only male voices matter, and developers just mirror the culture back at us with the products they create and (b) the games that HAVE covers are on platforms that are male dominated, whereas the platforms that females are ‘permitted’ by males (or ‘forced’ by platform male dominance) to enjoy don’t use covers (eg. mobile/tablet games). and (c) all that is really sucky.”