In recent years, the place of women in the world of video games has been widely questioned on different scales and despite developments and growing efforts, there is still a lot of work to be done. It is in this sense that Xbox France has just publish a study unprecedented on the place and relationship of women vis-à-vis video games in France.
A more feminine audience than you might think
This study carried out by Consumer Science & Analytics (CSA) for Xbox focuses on the relationship of French women to the video game industry. This study is part of the approach of inclusivity and equality promoted by Xbox for some time. Xbox wants to improve the opportunities for women in the video game industry, but also to broaden the audience targeted by this major entertainment by breaking certain established codes.
CSA interviewed a representative panel of 1,000 women, aged 16 to 30, and we first discovered that 73% of them said they liked playing video games and 56% made it a daily activity. 61% of women questioned oppose the fact that video games are above all dedicated to men. 53% of them think that there are as many women as men who play video games. These figures demonstrate a certain attraction of the female public vis-à-vis the games currently offered, 76% of them playing at least once a week and 56% at least once a day.
Nevertheless, 72% of them also say they are stigmatized for their practice of video games and 84.7% of women who play daily feel an even stronger stigmatization. Finally, the study also reveals that for 79% of respondents, female characters in video games are not the image of all women.
There is still a long way to go in the video game industry
While 83% of women perceive the video game industry as a dynamic and attractive sector, three-quarters of them consider video games to be an unrepresentative environment for women, an attenuated feeling for women working in the sector. Morgane Falaise, the President of the association Women in Games in France, declared in particular:
“The video game industry still suffers from an image that is not very inclusive, underlined by the study and its 66% of respondents thinking that the field employs few women. If indeed for the moment our French studios only have 22 % of women among their workforce, the extreme diversity of video game professions should precisely allow everyone to find their place in the sector, and this study proves that better communication upstream in the school curriculum can really make the difference.”
In recent years, the video game professions have adopted better communication on the sector and the diversity of the professions offered there. 44% of the women questioned believe that the environment now benefits from greater visibility in terms of the paths possible for women. Improvements in terms of inclusion are still possible and 52% of women believe that better communication on the entry points into the sector and its specificities would concretely improve this inclusion.
Xbox launches coaching and mentorship program
The publication of this specific study is therefore an opportunity for Xbox to present its new support and mentoring program. The goal ? Connecting women who have succeeded in their careers at Xbox with young talents through coaching sessions and round tables. It is the director of Xbox France, Ina Gelbert, who leads these initiatives in France.
“We want to encourage women who wish to join the world of video games, because it is this plurality that gives strength to the industry which, by definition, is based on the transmission of common experience. There are lots of different ways to work in video games, it’s possible! There should be no barriers.”
A concrete initiative in terms of communication and information that can only improve the representation and opportunities of women in the video game sector. A round table will also be organized on June 22 on the Twitch page of Xbox France, an event bringing together female figures of French video games who will discuss these many subjects.