Is there a difference between video game addiction of boys and girls? The answer to this question is no. Although it may seem otherwise. And it can give us the feeling that there are more children who play and are addicted to video games, but in reality the latest studies show that both boys and girls are equal in the hours they spend playing with the console, the smartphone or the PC. Girls also play video games and the industry is realizing it.
It is possible that it gives you the impression that children are more hooked to the console because the world of video games has been for years and, especially, in the 80s and 90s an exclusive 'space' for children. Nowadays society has made many advances in gender matters, but when we refer to the 'gamer' world, in particular, we come stereotyped from the past. A time where:
- Parents did not buy consoles for girls because they were 'boys thing'.
- Or a time when the video game industry's attempt to attract girls was to make pink designs.
- Even the first female characters appeared in video games - who were to a greater extent secondary than protagonists - such as Mrs. Pacman or Princess Peach.
Therefore, these clichés have been dragged down to the present day and are the causes that in many families today there is no ua normalized video game culture in accordance with society in which we live right now.
Children throughout their evolutionary development receive an education in values from which they will learn social skills necessary to move around the world. These values are learned from the behaviors, forms of relationship and coexistence that they establish with the members of their family and the environment that surrounds them.
The child's way of learning is mainly by imitation. Thus, the child will act in a similar way to his references, among which are the family, the social environment and the media, which are easily accessible due to new technologies. Models that somehow unconsciously and on many occasions make us assume and normalize certain stereotypes anchored in the past and that still continue to exist in today's society if we are not careful.
The family, above all, has a great influence on the upbringing of children. The messages given to children are assimilated in such a way that they become part of their way of being. Therefore, all these messages must move away from the past clichés such as: 'video games are for boys' or 'girls who play are rare' that nowadays, although less and less, exist in people's unconscious.
Video games are somehow a reflection of the values and thoughts of society. We can see that the theme and the male and female characters have been changing over the years. Historically, the vast majority of video games have been designed by boys and for boys. You just have to see that most of the plots revolve around a male character who must face the 'bad guys' and even the female character has to be saved. Games where girls are not represented, nor do they feel invited to play.
Now that society's point of view is changing and progress is being made with regard to gender roles It is when we can see many female protagonists, empowered, with the ability to make important decisions. In this way, we find a female sector that is represented and, therefore, more attracted to the product.
Throughout the history of the video game, there has been no such thing as an attractive offer for girls, to a non-real offer according to what they asked for - pink consoles, boring games of caring for pets - to finally reaching an interesting offer with games revolving around female characters as: Lara Croft from the game Tomb Raider, Aloy from the game Horizon Down Zero, or Ellie from the game The last of us, among the best known. All thanks to the change of point of view that society is taking place regarding gender roles.
Apart from the appearance of this type of female characters away from old clichés, the theme of videogames today is more interesting for girls. Gone are the exclusive games for boys and girls. Today the goal is for it to simply be a good game and be addictive regardless of the genre of the player.
Thus, we can find games like: Candy crush, or Bubble Witch Saga of the 'casual games' genre. You just have to walk through public transport or waiting rooms to know that these games are the clear example that video game addiction has no gender.
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