New Survey Shows Many Women Disguise Themselves when Gaming Online

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 on March 8, FandomSpot.com surveyed 2,000 female gamers across the world to discover common behaviours of women whilst gaming, following the release of national statistics which found that women accounted for 45% of gamers in the US in 2021.

Despite women making up nearly half of gamers, the final survey found that of the three quarters (76%) of women who have hid their gender while gaming online, nearly nine in ten (93%) did so due to experience of sexual harassment from fellow gamers. When exploring additional findings, the platform discovered that only one in five (22%) women feel fully comfortable chatting to other gamers through microphones whilst gaming.

Despite discovering that a quarter (25%) of female gamers have stopped playing certain games due to online abuse, when FandomSpot.com asked women if they would stop gaming altogether following any 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.

We all know that many gamers are female. They do everything that their male counterparts do including playing games on Steam or their consoles, watching their favourite TV game shows, enjoying the gameplay at popular sites like Hyperino, playing MMOs, and having fun at FandomSpot.com, which sponsored the survey.

“When we saw the national report last year that more females are gaming than ever, making up nearly half of all gamers in the US, we were overjoyed – and so ahead of this International Women’s Day wanted to talk directly with some female gamers to discover how they find the gaming community in 2022,” said Alyssa Celatti of FandomSpot.com.

But female games are often treated differently, especially online. A few years ago, one of our GiN Reviewers, Michael Blaker, went undercover as a female gamer in a popular online game. He was shocked to learn that he was treated very differently when other players thought he was a female gamer. He talked about his generally bad treatment in a podcast.

We at GiN were pretty surprised at what our reporter found when he went online, but the people who run FandomSpot were not all that shocked by the results of their survey. “We can’t lie, we were heartbroken with the results, and it was so sad to see that despite women holding such a strong place in the gaming community, so many of them have, and still are experiencing online hate due to their gender,” Celatti said.

Diving into the survey a bit more, of those who have admitted to disguising their gender, it was revealed that nine in ten (93%) women did so due to experience of sexual harassment online. Additional findings from the survey discovered that despite making up nearly half of gamers, only one in five (22%) women feel fully comfortable chatting to other gamers through microphones whilst gaming and a quarter (25%) of female gamers have stopped playing certain games due to online abuse.

“Hopefully as more women make up the game population these stats will reduce dramatically, but we hope by sharing our findings, we can highlight to others what some female gamers go through to ensure any online hate such as this soon becomes a thing of the past,” Celatti added. “Despite all the awful findings we were positively surprised with how many women still game and hope to encourage as many women as possible to keep doing what they love!”

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