I’ve found an interesting article on the blog of good friend Mon Macutay, who works for Philippine online gaming giant Level Up! Games. The story, titled “40 percent of MMO Players are Female,” focuses the spotlight on the growing number of girl gamers in massively multiplayer online games, the health of players, and the emergence of MMO playing as the social activity of choice.
Here’s an excerpt from GM Tristan’s article:
We always thought that MMORPGs were dominated by male players. That “fact” is now being challenged. Well, according to a recent study by BBC, 40 percent of MMO players are female, and that it’s the girls that are dead serious on their characters and the games.
The study discovered that “most hard-core players are female, that gamers are healthier than average, and that game playing is an increasingly social activity.”
Lead researcher Scott Caplan of the University of Delaware said the result demonstrated how out-of-date stereotypes can be.
Of course, the study might only be true in the United Kingdom, where the study was conducted, or North America. There’s nothing in the story that points to the same trend happening in the Philippines and the rest of Asia.
Fortunately, I have the pleasure of knowing quite a number of female gamers, and they are, as the BBC study points out, dead serious about leveling their characters, pushing their avatars to the limit with good equipment and stat and skill distribution, and making a killing in their chosen online game’s economy by dictating the prices of weapons and other equipment.
Take my wife Joyce, for example. If not for a family emergency, she might still be playing today. Her Perfect World character, Cesky (named after our daughter), is known by a majority of players, is almost at the peak of her online life at Level 98, has good equipment (like four slot armors with Level 9 hitpoint soul stones that adds 62 HP per stone and makes the armor light up like a Tesla coil), and holds her own in guild/clan wars and player-versus-player matches.
There’s also PJ Punla, a former Granado Espada Southeast Asia pioneer and blogger, and writes for one of the Philippines’ leading online gaming magazines. Oh, she’s been around, I assure you. PJ’s been playing online games longer than I’ve been writing about them, and she makes it a point to share whatever she learns about a game both to friends and strangers. One of my biggest frustrations is not being able to adventure with her in Granado Espada. Her Granado Espada family, NineMoons, would have been a great ally in eliminating the terrors in the New World.
Granado Espada girl gamers (from right): NineMoons, Lucido, and DeSanggria.
Finally, we have Trinity Divine, one of the most well-known female gamers in the world. Heck, she is The Female Gamer. Here’s an excerpt from the About Me entry on her blog:
“Trinity Divine” was the pseudonym I used when I first started contributing articles to a Matrix Online fansite. I have since then moved on to other games and other sites, but the name has stuck and I’ve grown rather fond of it.
I have been into video games for longer than I care to remember. In recent years, my interest shifted from console adventure and RPG games to online RPGs. I still play single player games once in a while but for the most part, my playtime is spent in virtual fantasy worlds with millions of other gamers from all over the world. Exciting, isn’t it?
Over the years I have met many other women gamers online and some of them have become my dearest friends. In spite of the fact that women have become more and more drawn into video games, the vast majority of gamers are still male and it’s not everyday that I get to meet a fellow female gamer. Through this website, I hope to meet more people—male and female alike—who share my interests.
Very interesting people, eh? Why don’t you take the time to comment, share your thoughts on why girl gamers rock, and tell us about the female gamers you know.
First image, that of Perfect World Philippines character Cesky, is from a screenshot in the online game Perfect World, developed by China-based Perfect World Co. Ltd. and published in the Philippines by Level Up! Games. Second image is from Joy Haruka’s Flickr photostream.