What if women didn’t play video games?

I was reading through Vicarious Existence’s roundup of misogyny in the gaming community in 2012, and started noticing a pattern: in almost every instance, there was some mention that women shouldn’t play video games. The reasons given varied, but most could be boiled down to pure sexism. So that set me to thinking: What if, right now, all across the world, women just stopped playing video games?

Then I went and found some statistics.

Assuming 40% of the gaming community is women:

  • Somewhere between 4-5.5 million women would stop playing World of Warcraft. [link]
  • Roughly 8 million women would leave Xbox Live. [link]
  • About 84 million games and 7.6 million consoles would not have been sold in 2012 (again, assuming that 40% of purchasers were women). [link]
This would be a huge drop in revenue for many companies, and would almost certainly lead to less polished games because there would be less money coming in.

Ok, but maybe that’s not enough for you. So let’s take a step back. What if women had NEVER gotten into video games? And here I’m referring to any part of the industry; buying, playing, selling, creating, programming, etc.

  • Assassin’s Creed was shaped by Jade Raymond, so if she hadn’t gotten into gaming, it wouldn’t be the same (she’s also the managing director of Ubisoft Toronto). [link]
  • Uncharted’s storyline wouldn’t exist either, as it was written by Amy Hennig. [link]
  • Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest likely would not be the same, as they were influenced by the Wizardry series of RPGs, created by Brenda Brathwaite. [link]
  • Francesca Reyes is the editor in chief of OXM. Would it still exist if she wasn’t the editor in chief? Probably. But would the content be exactly the same? Probably not. [link]
  • Abstracting further from the concept, Ada Lovelace created the prototype that began what we know today as the Internet (as well as boosting the creation of computers), so if she had never begun work on that, we might not have Internet as we know it today. [link]
These are just a few things I’ve found. There’s a whole lot more that could be said.

 - Taylor