women playing online games

women playing online games

Are Indian women playing online games as much as men?


Updated on August 21, 2023

The online Indian gaming community has been growing exponentially ever since the pandemic period. The ‘Play like a girl’ report by Think With Google suggests that in 2019, there were 54M women gamers in India alone, accounting for 18% of female online gamers in the APAC region. According to a Statista report, the online gaming industry that generated a revenue of USD 0.62 billion in 2020 in India is expected to hit USD 0.97 billion in 2023 followed by USD 1.09 billion by 2024. What’s more interesting is that the gaming sector is expected to see more women taking up gaming as a career. Evidently, women are not only playing online games as much as men but also on their way to making the online gaming industry female-dominated. Let’s dive into the specifics of female gamers’ domination over the online gaming industry.

Contribution of women to the online Indian gaming industry

The percentage of women in online gaming drastically rose after the 2020 pandemic hit India. As of April 2022, the online gaming industry in India comprised 43% women, and the numbers are expected to only increase in the coming years. Popular female Indian gamers and gaming influencers like Payal Dhare, Aparna Shukla, Kaashvi Hiranandani, and many others are taking steps to normalize the position of women in online gaming through their achievements and massive following on social media.

How often do women play online games?

According to Business Insider, 77% of women mobile gamers in India alone play for an average of 53 minutes daily. A Statista report suggests that 43% of women play at a daily frequency compared to 52% of male gamers as of April 2022.

What platforms are female gamers playing on?

The ‘Play like a girl’ report by Think With Google suggests that there were 500M female gamers in total in the APAC region in 2019, with the majority of them playing on mobile devices. The report says that 473M play on mobile, 201M play on PC, and 8.5 million women play on gaming consoles. Owing to the massive increase in the usage of mobile devices, the female population is expected to play more on mobile phones in the coming years.

What online games do women gamers play the most?

According to Business Insider, the most popular gaming categories among Indian women who play on mobile are Esports games such as battle arenas, shooting, virtual sports and simulation, action-adventure, and real-time strategy. These include free online games as well as paid games across different platforms. Online chess game against computer and ludo game online are some of the most-played games by women gamers.

How to keep female gamers engaged?

These are some popular trends that help in keeping women gamers engaged in online gaming.

  • Mobile-first gaming experience: Since a majority of female gamers are playing on mobile devices, it is important to create mobile-first experiences to keep them engaged in online gaming.
  • Relatable elements: Some gaming elements that women relate with the most are storylines and character options. Incorporating these into gameplay can attract more women gamers and keep them hooked.
  • Esports: Esports communities are the most engaging part of online gaming for women. The participation of female gamers in esports competitions not just in India but also globally makes it a great way to engage.
  • Diversity in design and development: Game design and development teams must exhibit diversity to understand female perspectives, which helps create more engaging gaming experiences.

Struggles of women in online gaming

Things may seem hunky-dory, but women in online gaming have had their share of struggles. Although gaming has started to be seen as a female-denominated space, the question rises - what was it like before? Women have not always been recognized as pro gamers, even though they played the role of a key catalyst in the growth of the online gaming industry. Women in online gaming have faced difficult situations owing to:

  • Gender discrimination
  • Lack of inclusivity
  • Online harassment from male counterparts
  • Negative interactions with other gamers
  • Lack of social support
  • Online trolls and hatred

Future of online gaming for women

With enough support to overcome the struggles of online gaming, women do have a bright future and will play a huge part in shaping the industry. Here are a few ways how gaming is evolving for women in terms of career.

Gaming as a career for women

  • More female students are opting for educational courses related to gaming.
  • We can now see women in leading positions in many gaming companies.
  • The game design and development sectors have seen a lot of female experts.
  • Online gaming is being adopted as a full-time or part-time career by 56% Indian women.
  • Esports is also considered to be a thriving industry for professional women gamers.

It’s about time that women are acknowledged for their contribution to the online gaming industry. It is important to build a more inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment, considering that women will be a crucial part of the industry's growth in the coming few years. Not just in India, but the female population is going to form a big fragment of the online gaming industry worldwide.

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