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Girls who game in quarantine: The stealth takeover of the gaming world.

In the past, gaming may have been considered a man’s world, but now, almost 50 percent of gamers are female. Women are without a doubt here to come, see and conquer the gaming stratosphere. 

Utilizing the forced ‘free’ time we’re now presented with, girls who game are commanding prestige and leveling up like never before. In need of a reality vacation and keeping their sanity, through immersing in alternate realms, girl gamers are using the world of online play to polish their existing skills and crush the male-dominated stereotype, once and for all. 

Escaping to an alternate reality

When questioning the girl gamers of the globe about their experience playing whilst cooped up at home, we received first-hand accounts of how women are using their time to flex their thumbs. 

Jaymee Mustoe, from the UK, told us “being stuck inside, bored for so long, I decided to start playing.” And being a boredom buster seems to be a common theme. Amy Tierney, also from the UK added “[gaming] keeps me more entertained and avoids me getting fidgety about not being outside.” 

As all avid gamers will tell you, hours are lost when locked into a game and it’s clearly one of the most popular ways to pass the time.

One rationale we’ve uncovered is gaming nostalgia; Laura K Inamedinova, a communication consultant at LKI Consulting, tells us “I wanted to remember my teenage year. Playing Sims 4 as an adult is actually hilarious – you spend hours taking care of a virtual person’s life – instead of working to create your own.”

However, far and away the most prevalent reason behind women turning to gaming during these uncertain times is escapism. Lynette Hundermark, user experience specialist and founder of Useful and Beautiful told us: “I found it to be a great temporary escape from the reality of the current situation. I’ve turned to mobile gaming between work sessions to reset my brain from coronavirus info overload. I find it fulfilling in that there are goals to accomplish and you can focus and just enjoy escaping to a different world temporarily.”

And she’s not alone. All of the women we questioned have similar mindsets when it comes to switching off from reality and switching on their consoles. 

Aleyda Solis, international SEO consultant and founder of Orainti and Remoters, explains “I used to play while waiting or during flights or to disconnect after work. Now I do it at the end of each day to disconnect from the whole ‘I can’t get out home’ situation. A way to challenge yourself, your creativity and skills, there are so many different types of games — you won’t get bored easily!”

In solidarity, Lisa D. Jenkins, director of editorial at Social Media Examiner, who works primarily online, has found that “the platforms most people retreat to for fun and distraction are full of work for me. I use reading and video games to fill that space.”

And Julija Jegorova, Black Unicorn PR founder agrees. “Like sport, it forces you to focus on doing one particular thing and temporarily removes other thoughts and worries. It’s proactive and fun. Being in lockdown, not able to go outside, video games let me get outdoors in a different way. [Games are] a bit like those mental training apps, but more fun and with better graphics.”

Binding our need for escapism to real-life strategy and problem-solving, possibly isn’t at the forefront of most gamer’s minds. However, Tija Ezerina, from Latvia, breaks the mold by telling us: “I enjoy the opportunity to escape and win by nuking my enemies… but also love finding a winning strategy and analyzing, which sometimes helps at work too.”

We can all relate to having to escape into an alternate reality when our current situation is getting too much. Adrianna, CEO of Cypherglass, sums it up perfectly. “It takes my mind off the stress of not knowing what’s coming next. This year has been rough for everyone and you can feel the tension in the air. When I’m gaming, especially online with others it’s very comforting.”

Socializing whilst social distancing

Adrianna’s insight brings us wonderfully to our next pro point for gaming during the quarantine. As it’s in our human nature to be social creatures (even those of us who aren’t naturally social butterflies), everyone is struggling with having to distance themselves from their nearest and dearest. Our girl gamers have enhanced their online social network through gaming, whilst discovering new ways to connect with their family. 

Lynette said “I find myself playing more family-oriented games during quarantine… unfortunately, I’m nowhere close to the level my kids are, they have tried to teach me but I’m a bit of a slow learner… Now that I have kids who are really good gamers, it’s definitely something we can enjoy together (certainly fewer family feuds than a board game).”

And Aleyda, who had never previously played with others online, told us“since there are [now] more people in this situation, it has been a new, fun experience: playing and socializing at the same time.”

Something we can all relate to is the need to connect and socialize in any way possible, now that we are forced into isolation. Where some may get solace from social networking sites, Adrianna tells us “It’s become the only public social interaction I have day to day.” 

And this socialization, especially for those who don’t find online communication very easy, is a welcome way to keep your sanity, in these trying times. 

Of course, stringing together a team or relying upon other gamers to battle with can often be more stress than it’s worth. As Lisa points out, social gaming might not always be the tranquil break it is for some: “I am terrible at games – like trash panda awful. That’s why I play on my own. No one should have to be subjected to carrying me. If tanking a team were a superpower, I would be a superhero.”

Styles of gameplay – How our players prefer to game

Within the gaming sphere, there may be some assumption that girls ‘prefer’ to play casual games. And whilst there is a lot to be said for switching off and indulging in mindless play, we discovered that our women play a wide range of both casual, hardcore titles and even visit an online casino here and there. Here are the games our girls enjoy:

Casual and Sandbox

The ideal solution to blast away day to day stresses, logging off from reality and switching to relaxation mode. 

  • Candy Crush 
  • Toonblast 
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons 
  • Playne 
  • Katamari Damacy Reroll 
  • The Sims 
  • Minecraft 

Hardcore

Perfect for immersing yourself in role-play, engaging in an alternate reality and playing with your gamer kids, it beats coming up with endless activities!

  • Forza 
  • GTA V 
  • Mortal Kombat 
  • Fortnite 
  • Skyrim
  • Breath of the Wild
  • Slay the Spire
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Poirot’s ABC Murders
  • Spyro
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Syberia
  • Civilization
  • Anno
  • Pharoh

Smashing the stereotype 

Amongst discovering their gaming habits, rationales, and passions, we also had to find out what these avid gamers felt about being women, in a previously masculine virtual world; our girls didn’t hold back on their thoughts. The most overwhelming response we received was that our women don’t feel the impact of their gender upon their ability or experience of gaming. Both Jaymee and Amy told us they don’t see themselves as ‘girls in a boys world’ and that girls play just as well as boys do. 

Adding to this, Julija told us: “A lot of the protagonists are male, but once a gamer, I think girls can equally enjoy all types of games. I think a real gamer, regardless of gender, should go for variety, I can’t imagine myself only playing The Sims but I still stay in touch with my ‘sensitive side’. I burst into tears at the end of A Way Out.”

And Laura hit the nail on the head with her perspective, proclaiming: “I wouldn’t even classify myself as ‘gamer girl’ I don’t believe in gender-based labels as that just creates a gap that makes girls feel unwelcome in video games. There are many memes and jokes about ‘gamer girls’ stating they are not ‘real’ gamers or play just for the boys’ attention and that’s just bullshit.”

Tija also busts stereotypes and candidly told us: “Sometimes I feel nerdier than guys. Occasionally, when I say I like gaming, I can see that people think ‘that’s so weird’, but for me, several hours spent shopping seems weird.”

We wouldn’t have expected anything different from our kickass girls who game and this is summed up perfectly by Lisa: 

“I play games every day, so video games are part of who I am. The same would be true regardless of my gender. Others may have opinions about me and my gaming but if they do, I am blissfully ignorant of it.”

Too right Lisa. Whilst there may still be a few unwarranted stereotypes regarding girls who game, we can all acknowledge that no matter who you are, once gaming has hit your veins, it truly becomes part of your coping mechanism, social life, relaxation time and day to day life. Quarantine is bringing out a lot of pros and cons in humanity across the board, but in our eyes, a newfound or enhanced love of gaming can only be a good thing.

In the past, gaming may have been considered a man’s world, but now, almost 50 percent of gamers are female. Women are without a doubt here to come, see and conquer the gaming stratosphere. 

Utilizing the forced ‘free’ time we’re now presented with, girls who game are commanding prestige and leveling up like never before. In need of a reality vacation and keeping their sanity, through immersing in alternate realms, girl gamers are using the world of online play to polish their existing skills and crush the male-dominated stereotype, once and for all. 

Escaping to an alternate reality

When questioning the girl gamers of the globe about their experience playing whilst cooped up at home, we received first-hand accounts of how women are using their time to flex their thumbs. 

Jaymee Mustoe, from the UK, told us “being stuck inside, bored for so long, I decided to start playing.” And being a boredom buster seems to be a common theme. Amy Tierney, also from the UK added “[gaming] keeps me more entertained and avoids me getting fidgety about not being outside.” 

As all avid gamers will tell you, hours are lost when locked into a game and it’s clearly one of the most popular ways to pass the time.

One rationale we’ve uncovered is gaming nostalgia; Laura K Inamedinova, a communication consultant at LKI Consulting, tells us “I wanted to remember my teenage year. Playing Sims 4 as an adult is actually hilarious – you spend hours taking care of a virtual person’s life – instead of working to create your own.”

However, far and away the most prevalent reason behind women turning to gaming during these uncertain times is escapism. Lynette Hundermark, user experience specialist and founder of Useful and Beautiful told us: “I found it to be a great temporary escape from the reality of the current situation. I’ve turned to mobile gaming between work sessions to reset my brain from coronavirus info overload. I find it fulfilling in that there are goals to accomplish and you can focus and just enjoy escaping to a different world temporarily.”

And she’s not alone. All of the women we questioned have similar mindsets when it comes to switching off from reality and switching on their consoles. 

Aleyda Solis, international SEO consultant and founder of Orainti and Remoters, explains “I used to play while waiting or during flights or to disconnect after work. Now I do it at the end of each day to disconnect from the whole ‘I can’t get out home’ situation. A way to challenge yourself, your creativity and skills, there are so many different types of games — you won’t get bored easily!”

In solidarity, Lisa D. Jenkins, director of editorial at Social Media Examiner, who works primarily online, has found that “the platforms most people retreat to for fun and distraction are full of work for me. I use reading and video games to fill that space.”

And Julija Jegorova, Black Unicorn PR founder agrees. “Like sport, it forces you to focus on doing one particular thing and temporarily removes other thoughts and worries. It’s proactive and fun. Being in lockdown, not able to go outside, video games let me get outdoors in a different way. [Games are] a bit like those mental training apps, but more fun and with better graphics.”

Binding our need for escapism to real-life strategy and problem-solving, possibly isn’t at the forefront of most gamer’s minds. However, Tija Ezerina, from Lativa, breaks the mold by telling us: “I enjoy the opportunity to escape and win by nuking my enemies… but also love finding a winning strategy and analyzing, which sometimes helps at work too.”

We can all relate to having to escape into an alternate reality when our current situation is getting too much. Adrianna, CEO of Cypherglass, sums it up perfectly. “It takes my mind off the stress of not knowing what’s coming next. This year has been rough for everyone and you can feel the tension in the air. When I’m gaming, especially online with others it’s very comforting.”

Socializing whilst social distancing

Adrianna’s insight brings us wonderfully to our next pro point for gaming during the quarantine. As it’s in our human nature to be social creatures (even those of us who aren’t naturally social butterflies), everyone is struggling with having to distance themselves from their nearest and dearest. Our girl gamers have enhanced their online social network through gaming, whilst discovering new ways to connect with their family. 

Lynette said “I find myself playing more family-oriented games during quarantine… unfortunately, I’m nowhere close to the level my kids are, they have tried to teach me but I’m a bit of a slow learner… Now that I have kids who are really good gamers, it’s definitely something we can enjoy together (certainly fewer family feuds than a board game).”

And Aleyda, who had never previously played with others online, told us“since there are [now] more people in this situation, it has been a new, fun experience: playing and socializing at the same time.”

Something we can all relate to is the need to connect and socialize in any way possible, now that we are forced into isolation. Where some may get solace from social networking sites, Adrianna tells us “It’s become the only public social interaction I have day to day.” 

And this socialization, especially for those who don’t find online communication very easy, is a welcome way to keep your sanity, in these trying times. 

Of course, stringing together a team or relying upon other gamers to battle with can often be more stress than it’s worth. As Lisa points out, social gaming might not always be the tranquil break it is for some: “I am terrible at games – like trash panda awful. That’s why I play on my own. No one should have to be subjected to carrying me. If tanking a team were a superpower, I would be a superhero.”

Styles of gameplay – How our players prefer to game

Within the gaming sphere, there may be some assumption that girls ‘prefer’ to play casual games. And whilst there is a lot to be said for switching off and indulging in mindless play, we discovered that our women play a wide range of both casual and hardcore titles. Here are the games our girls enjoy:

Casual and Sandbox

The ideal solution to blast away day to day stresses, logging off from reality and switching to relaxation mode. 

  • Candy Crush 
  • Toonblast 
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons 
  • Playne 
  • Katamari Damacy Reroll 
  • The Sims 
  • Minecraft 

Hardcore

Perfect for immersing yourself in role-play, engaging in an alternate reality and playing with your gamer kids, it beats coming up with endless activities!

  • Forza 
  • GTA V 
  • Mortal Kombat 
  • Fortnite 
  • Skyrim
  • Breath of the Wild
  • Slay the Spire
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Poirot’s ABC Murders
  • Spyro
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Syberia
  • Civilization
  • Anno
  • Pharoh

Smashing the stereotype 

Amongst discovering their gaming habits, rationales, and passions, we also had to find out what these avid gamers felt about being women, in a previously masculine virtual world; our girls didn’t hold back on their thoughts. The most overwhelming response we received was that our women don’t feel the impact of their gender upon their ability or experience of gaming. Both Jaymee and Amy told us they don’t see themselves as ‘girls in a boys world’ and that girls play just as well as boys do. 

Adding to this, Julija told us: “A lot of the protagonists are male, but once a gamer, I think girls can equally enjoy all types of games. I think a real gamer, regardless of gender, should go for variety, I can’t imagine myself only playing The Sims but I still stay in touch with my ‘sensitive side’. I burst into tears at the end of A Way Out.”

And Laura hit the nail on the head with her perspective, proclaiming: “I wouldn’t even classify myself as ‘gamer girl’ I don’t believe in gender-based labels as that just creates a gap that makes girls feel unwelcome in video games. There are many memes and jokes about ‘gamer girls’ stating they are not ‘real’ gamers or play just for the boys’ attention and that’s just bullshit.”

Tija also busts stereotypes and candidly told us: “Sometimes I feel nerdier than guys. Occasionally, when I say I like gaming, I can see that people think ‘that’s so weird’, but for me, several hours spent shopping seems weird.”

We wouldn’t have expected anything different from our kickass girls who game and this is summed up perfectly by Lisa: 

“I play games every day, so video games are part of who I am. The same would be true regardless of my gender. Others may have opinions about me and my gaming but if they do, I am blissfully ignorant of it.”

Too right Lisa. Whilst there may still be a few unwarranted stereotypes regarding girls who game, we can all acknowledge that no matter who you are, once gaming has hit your veins, it truly becomes part of your coping mechanism, social life, relaxation time and day to day life. Quarantine is bringing out a lot of pros and cons in humanity across the board, but in our eyes, a newfound or enhanced love of gaming can only be a good thing.