Thought video games were just for men or kids? Think again.
I’m a 28-year-old woman and I love gaming.
In fact, I’ve been known to cancel on weekend plans if a new game I want to play has just dropped (hello, Final Fantasy XIV. Hello Uncharted: The Lost Legacy – which btw has two female protagonists, Indian-Australian treasure hunter Chloe and South African mercenary Nadine.)
And, new research from Barclay’s Corporate Banking has shown that women will spend, on average, £1.1bn on video games in the next 12 months – which means women’s gaming habits will account for third of video games spending in general.
Apparently women are also more likely to game alone than men, preferring to play 1-player games on their mobile phones. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to play games as a form of social activity, with respondents preferring to play games ‘with friends in person on separate consoles.’
The average length of time spent by Brits on gaming is 1-3 hours a week, but the numbers spending over eight hours a week on gaming has steadily increased, with nearly a third (31%) spending this amount of time every week gaming, compared to a quarter five years ago.
But, apparently the most popular gaming platform isn’t a Playstation or Xbox, it’s your mobile phone. 53% of respondents game on their mobile while only 15% said they were investing in virtual reality headsets to get a fully immersive gaming experience. That said, you can bet your bottom dollar that ladies are going to be out in force to score something in the Black Friday UK sales – Super Mario Odyssey personally has my name on it.
So, why do I like gaming? I like it because it’s sheer escapism that’s still using my brain – and it’s an anxiety-buster. I can’t second screen when I’m gaming – like the way I binge watch a show while on my mobile phone, browsing my laptop, doing laundry, tidying my room… you name it. I don’t focus. I have to keep myself busy so gaming means I can have that same TV time but be solely focussed on staying [virtually] alive or completing the game.
And let me tell you, there’s nothing that’ll take me out of a bad mood black hole more easily then a Mario Kart race. Fact.