For this assignment, I decided to do a brief survey through SurveyMonkey. Once I chose the proper questions, I shared the survey with family, friends, peers and coworkers via family group chats, Twitter, Facebook, and various large student-oriented group chats that I am in. I aimed to gather responses from a large variety of people from different locations, ages, gender identities, social standings and more. I gathered nearly 30 responses, and from that I noted some very interesting results.
Going into this study, I had one major question in mind: Does gender identity influence game preferences? To answer this question, I asked all participants questions regarding them personally, their video game preferences, and how seriously they play video games. All of the questions are listed below.
What is your proper pronoun?
Male, Female, Non-binary, Other
How old are you?
Ranging from under 18 to 65+
Where are you from?
How much time per week do you usually spend gaming?
Ranging from less than 1 hour to 24+
What genre of games do you usually prefer?
Action/Shooter, Adventure/Role-Playing, Strategy, Arcade, Puzzle, Sports, Horror/Survival
Do you consider playing video games to be a primary hobby of yours?
Select unusual game topics that interest you.
Education – a game where the objective is to learn a skill (math, grammar, languages)
Work – a game that simulates cleaning or organization
Cooking – a game that simulates realistic cooking
Care – a game that simulates caring for a pet or child
Beat em up – a game that simulates beating a being up
How much time per week do you spend reading about or watching sports?
Ranging from less than 1 hour to 24+
Do you consider yourself to be more masculine or feminine?
Masculine, Feminine, Neither/Either
Note: Age and gender tended to not vary much at all, so for this study we will be focusing on only men and women within the 18-25 range.
The first finding I noted was that men tend to play games for larger amounts of time per week, and they also tended to list gaming as a serious hobby. The graphs below indicate this.
This could be due to the general stereotype that gaming is more of a masculine hobby, so less women are interested in it. This could also be due to the factor that the online gaming world is known for not being very welcoming or respectful of female gamers (Gestos, Smith-Mary, Campbell, 2019). Either way, all of my responses indicated that men played more games, and took them more seriously than women.
One interesting difference between the male and female genders were the genres of interest. Amongst the options given, women tended to prefer the more simple games (puzzles, arcade), while men tended to enjoy more intense and even violent genres (action, shooter, adventure, horror, survival, etc.). As you can see, the genders almost never overlapped in numbers – the more masculine games had higher numbers from men and the less masculine games had higher numbers from women. This illustrates that men tend to enjoy the more intensive, masculine games.
Another aspect that illustrates this same concept came from a question I included out of curiosity. I wanted to see what kind of unusual games each gender would be interested in, so I included a few simulation ideas and asked which ones would interest whom.The simulation ideas included feminine concepts such as cooking, caregiving, and education along with masculine concepts such as fighting, and working. I came up with these concepts, but pulled the gender association for them from the book Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, a novel I am reading for another class and my inspiration behind this study. As expected, the masculine respondents tended to choose the masculine gendered subjects, and the women dabbled between the subjects.
To conclude this study, and my question at hand – whether or not gender identity influences video game preferences, the short answer is yes. Looking at all of my results, it seems men prefer to stick to masculine concepts and games, and women tend to stay away from the more masculine concepts and games. If given the opportunity to expand on this further, I would love to survey a larger group of people and ask more diverse questions, but I am happy to walk away with one major finding – gender does seem to influence video game preference.