It’s true, and it’s been true for a while now: more female adults in the US own video game consoles compared to men.
The latest data backing up that claim comes from the Pew Research Center, which released a full report on device ownership in the United States on Thursday morning.
But this shouldn’t be a revelation to anyone: the data mirrors a previous study done in 2010. “Game console ownership has remained consistent since Pew Research last polled about the device in 2010,” Pew’s Monica Anderson writes.
What’s most meaningful is that the data continues to contradict societal stereotypes about video games and who plays them.
Among the other highlights:
- People of colour outnumber whites in console ownership
- Ownership drops dramatically above age 65
- Around 40% of American adults own game consoles
- Console ownership appears to skew toward homes with higher household incomes
- Console owners have partial college experience rather than those who completed a degree (or more).
Video games have come under close scrutiny in the last few years as critics have pushed back at the overwhelming skew towards young white men in game characters, themes, and ideals.
An opposition movement that’s been involved in harassment campaigns, known as “GamerGate,” overtook the conversation in summer 2014. Much of the ongoing conversation about making games that more accurately reflect the diversity of gaming’s audience has been overshadowed by persistent flare-ups.
Most recently, after South by Southwest (SXSW) cancelled two panels meant to discuss gaming culture — panels on opposing sides of the “GamerGate” situation — and some media companies threatened to pull out of the Austin, Texas art festival as a result. The festival said it cancelled the panels amid “threats of on-site violence.”
BuzzFeed, one of the media companies threatening to pull out of the event, saw that as giving in to the harassment the panels were meant to discuss.
“We were disturbed to learn yesterday that you cancelled two panels, including one on harassment in gaming, in response to the sort of harassment the panel sought to highlight,” the letter from BuzzFeed to SXSW, published on Tuesday, says.
SXSW has failed to act just yet, only issuing a note to say it was listening to the concerns:
We want the SXSW community to know that we hear and understand your frustrations and concerns about the recent cancellation of two SXSW Gaming panels. The safety of our speakers, participants and staff is always our top priority. We are working with local law enforcement to assess the various threats received regarding these sessions. Moving forward, we are also evaluating several programming solutions as we continue to plan for an event that will be safe, meaningful and enjoyable for all involved. We will provide more information soon.
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