A new survey says that 59% of women polled conceal their gender while playing online video games over harassment concerns. The survey was conducted by Lenovo and Reach3 Insights. In total, 900 women were polled, spanning the United States, China, and Germany. According to the survey, 77% of respondents stated that they have had to deal with harassment related to their gender. 70% say their skill has been questioned, 65% say they've encountered gatekeeping, and half said they've been patronized. Meanwhile, 44% received "unsolicited relationship asks." Given those numbers, it comes as little surprise that so many women have opted to hide their gender while playing.
According to the survey, 71% of respondents believe that greater visibility of women in gaming ads could help create more inclusive environments. In a press release, Reach3 Insights senior vice president Leigh Admirand discussed the results of the survey.
"Despite still being mostly associated with men, gaming is on the rise with women," said Admirand. "We were thrilled to work with Lenovo on this study as we hope it will help companies create a more inclusive gaming environment for women gamers and lead to long-term change in the industry."
It's worth noting that this is just one survey, and it is not necessarily indicative of every woman's experience when it comes to gaming. That said, the numbers do show some of the struggles women still encounter in the industry. There are a number of prominent women in game development, journalism, streaming, and esports, but a lot still struggle with issues like gatekeeping. Women have been a major part of the gaming industry since its inception, and still struggle to be seen as equals.
Hopefully surveys such as this one can help others understand the impact of their actions and words used when gaming. Women should be free to be themselves when gaming, and not have to concern themselves over harassment by other players. A more inclusive video game industry should be the goal of all gamers.
Do you agree with the results of the survey? Have you had similar encounters while gaming? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!