According to a recent statement by Facebook IQ, up to 47% of “gamers” on mobile phones are women. The survey conducted in 12 countries representing every geographic region in the world – from North America, Latin America, and Europe, to the Middle East and Asia – found that the largest number of online gamers play on the mobile phone (71%). The second number of players use computers (64%), followed by 34% on tablets and 26% on console gaming machines. And that’s also true for the percentage of women playing games in Australia – where 93% households have gaming devices.
However, women spend less time playing games than men do. According to a report based on research by Bond University, the average Australian man spends 2 hours a day playing games and gamers aged 16-25 spend 2.5 hours. Is the survey result being “unfair” to women? And what makes women love gaming on the mobile phone no less than men do?
47% gamers in Australia are women and the rest are men
FaceBook’s global survey of women does not surprise Australian women. According to the women interviewed by Australian Women Online (AWO), online games can be very addictive and a mobile phone is the most convenient tool to access these games.
According to Emily Dacey, a woman living in Sydney:
“Attractive! Firstly, I just thought of entertainment and played in my free time. However, when I started playing, I was caught up in the game and had to follow it. I like playing cooking games, purchasing Papa’s games such as Papa’s Freezeria, Papa’s Cupcakeria, Papa’s Pizzeria, etc. When playing these games, you have to act as a shopkeeper in the shop. You will have to act as a salesman from getting your order to making a drink or making a pizza, etc. You must follow the game instructions and if you do well, you will receive money from the customer. Then you can use it to buy bakery ingredients, upgrade and decorate the store. It seems these games take you along. Sometimes my husband teases me when he find that I play game a lot: “Why do you play cooking games all day without any better cooking?”
In addition to popular gaming times such as on a trip, or waiting and traveling on public transport, the Facebook survey revealed that 21% gamers said they were playing games during working hours.
Emily said that you get “addicted” to the online games, and gamers will take advantage of all their spare time to satisfy the gaming rush, sometimes neglecting family and friendships.
A four-year-old son’s mother said, “Sometimes I play game while I’m cooking. Playing games too much makes me forget about the cooking. My food is getting burnt as a result.”
Most gamers prefer online games from the social networks. Kaitlyn, a Melbourne student, said she was not interested in gaming, but since the game’s popularity on social networks, her friends have been playing more games. Her friend sent links to her on Facebook and now she is gradually spending more time playing online games in her free time.
Kaitlyn said: “My friends share a game and then I give it a try. I often play some quizzes or fortune telling applications, but I do not play games. If Facebook does not have that much, then it’s pretty boring.”
In addition to entertaining, Emily said, online games also include an element of education and training skills, but players must have high self-esteem, which is very difficult when you are totally absorbed in the game.
“Except for fighting games, which are violent, most of the time I play cooking games like Papa’s Freezeria or games like Candy Crush, it also makes me more organised in my work,” said Emily. “Gaming has a lot of benefits, but don’t let it dominate your life and distract you from your work.”
Another reason why women enjoy online gaming is that they satisfy certain needs and desires that they do not have the opportunity to be satisfied with in real life.
Emily said, “Not only I but also some of my friends think about that. Someone is a teacher but they have a passion for fashion design so they also play fashion games. Like myself I like the business so I also like to play business games.”
Emily said she also encouraged her children to play games because it stimulates brain development of young children. “We used to play games when the whole family gather around on the weekend. If you are playing Wii Fit on Nintendo Wii, everyone has to wait their turn. Mario Kart is a game where my husband and son are competing.”
Emily said that games had a positive impact on her son. “He was able to learn how to count thanks to playing games on the tablet.”