Welcome to another YvoCaro Plays!
As always, these blurbs are mostly about the video games I’m currently playing. Unedited thoughts that spring up in my mind, mostly game related, sometimes not. Or a random train of thoughts starting with the game and ending somewhere completely different! This time I want to talk to you Women in Games Ambassadors.
If you like these bits of gaming thoughts you can find the previous ones here
The Pandemic Gave Gaming a Boost
If you’ve followed LadiesGamers for some time, you’ll know it came about. Simply because I didn’t find friends or family to chat gaming with. Yes, adults played video games some 10 to 15 years ago, but not many played games like Animal Crossing. And there weren’t many people in the vicinity around my age who enjoyed the same pastime as me. Somehow the people I know in real life felt it was kind of strange hearing me wax on enthusiastically about my favourite hobby. I decided to find like-minded souls online, and it all led to the current site.
Since then, gaming has gotten bigger and bigger. More people decided that this wasn’t an addiction that had to be avoided; playing video games in moderation can make you more relaxed, allows you to let off steam and if you share this hobby with your family, it can make for excellent quality time too. I’m pretty sure the COVID pandemic gave gaming another boost.
For example, Nintendo couldn’t have released Animal Crossing: New Horizons at a better time. Cute, colourful, laid back, enjoying it with friends online. People found themselves stuck in the house but were able to pore their creativity in the game and meet up with friends in a shared passion.
Women Playing Video Games
Not only do more adults play video games on a regular basis, but the number of female gamers is also rising steadily. In 2021, 45% of gamers were female! Game development and marketing is slowly realizing that it’s not just the young adult males they are selling games to. There’s a much bigger group of people, who are in a stage of their life that they have money to spend, that are looking for fun in gaming.
I’m not saying women play a different kind of games than men do, but what I am saying is that there should be far more variation to cater to everyone. We are slowly moving in the right direction, nowadays you just have to search on Kickstarter for games inspired by Animal Crossing and you’ll find many of them. And, for example, Otome games are doing very well, and more are being released every year.
Only 16% of Executive Positions Held by Women
However, looking at the gaming industry and who works there, it’s a very different story. In a 2020 study, 84% of executive positions are still held by men. And only 24% of those working in the industry are women. Female representation is still a problem, plus the women working there experience what a lot of women in companies all over the world experience. They feel as if not being of the male gender limits them in their career progression.
I have been working ever since I left school, most of the time I had a full-time position. At the time when I had my daughter, I was one of the few women in my friend and family circle who maintained their job. I’m happy to see that is changing too, it’s become more commonplace to keep working and trying to find a good balance between work and private life. But has being a woman hindered me in my career? I honestly don’t know. Maybe. I never felt different or treated unequal, but at the same time, men who I worked with have gone on to bigger better jobs. Was it because I felt the balance between my work and being a mother was more important? Hard to say.
Women in Games Ambassador
Back to the gaming industry. What I’m getting at is this: if you make products where half your market is female, you’d better listen to the female voice in your company too!
At LadiesGamers, Paula and I feel this is important. That is why we reached out to Women in Games, a not for profit organisation founded in 2009 when women numbered only 6% of the Games Industry workforce. Their mission is:
To support all female identifying persons, non-binary people and allies, in understanding the games industry and the opportunities that are within it, no matter at what stage their career or life journey they are in.
They do this with a range of activities and initiatives like an Annual Festival, Awards and Career Events. With special projects, they give a podium to women across the globe working in the industry.
Women in Games includes a special Ambassador Program, making a worldwide network of individuals who support the cause. Paula and I both call ourselves Ambassadors of Women in Games now! We do realize that LadiesGamers is only a small pebble in a big pond, but still, we try to make a difference. We do this with our Ladies in Gaming Biz articles, and Paula and I are still brainstorming on what other initiatives we can develop!
I will be sure to keep you posted, and if you have some brilliant ideas on how we can support the cause, don’t hesitate to reach out!