Most Women You Meet In Online Games Are Actually Men

Have you ever wondered how many female characters are actually being played by men in online video games? According to one study, most of them.

Male Female Gamers
Are predictable finding. | © CDPR

We love when researchers do a gaming study (except for that one time we discovered PC-gamers were more intelligent than console-gamers, and we got upset). There's something very exciting about people in white coats trying to analyze the hobby.

Today's gaming research comes from the Quantic Foundry, who looked into the role of gender in video games. They surveyed a bunch of male and female identifying gamers, and asked them how happy they were to play other genders in a video game. The results probably won't surprise you.

  • No matter what gender you want to play as in a video game – you deserve a good headset!

Study: One In Three Men Prefer Playing Female Characters

In a new study by Quantic Foundry, researchers discovered that men are far more likely to play female characters, and in a typical online video game, 60% of the female characters you meet are actually played by men. For comparison, 76% of the female gamers who were surveyed had a preference for playing their own gender, whereas only 48% of male gamers said the same.

Generally speaking, women would rather play women, but men are happier to swap genders in a video game. This much one could have predicted, but interestingly, the study also revealed that it was older men who are more likely to play as female characters:

Men who prefer playing female characters tend to be older, whereas for women, there’s no age difference between those who prefer playing male or female characters.

The study also looked at what motivates these gamers, and they found that men who prefer female characters scored high for "design" motivations (customizing and building), whereas women who preferred male characters scored higher for "destruction" (blowing things up).

By way of conclusion the researchers tried to identify exactly why they were getting these results, but that discussion wades into potentially-dangerous political territory, so we'll leave it there.

We hope you found that interesting. And if you're a man that loves playing as women in video games, we have some great news for you.

Unfortunately we can't pick our gender in the next Zelda, damn!

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