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E-Sports Gender Gap: 90+% Male 320

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-competitions-always-have-that-smell dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An e-sports production company has published the results of a survey into the demographics of the gamers who attend competition events. Even though nearly half of the gaming population is composed of women, they account for less than 10% of the players in competitions. The e-sports company, WellPlayed, said, '[A] whopping 90-94% of the viewers were male, and interestingly enough, only about half of the remaining survey takers felt comfortable being identified as female.' The results were taken from survey responses over the past year at competitions for StarCraft 2 and League of Legends. DailyDot makes the point that competitive gaming communities also tend not to be racially diverse. Quoting: 'Although no studies have been done about race in esports, it only takes one trip to a Major League Gaming event to confirm what Cannon says. With the notably racially diverse exception of the fighting-game community, Asians and white Americans make up an enormous portion of esports players and fans. Black and Middle Eastern esports fans are conspicuously missing.'"
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E-Sports Gender Gap: 90+% Male

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  • Great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:17AM (#46285029)
    Wonderful. Another story based on the assumption that absolutely everyone should be absolutely equally interested in absolutely everything.

    *Shock* *amazement* they're not. Unless the venue is telling women, black people, and Middle Eastern people they're not allowed in the door, there is no story here.

    Oh and if women are uncomfortable identifying themselves as female, maybe it's because stories like this keep making it into a Great Big Deal. Maybe they just want to be a person and not *OMFG A WOMAN IS HERE!* all the time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by flintmecha (1134937)

      Or maybe it's because that 90% majority of males is largely toxic, vulgar, immature, misogynist, and unwelcoming, and say shit like "OMFG A WOMAN IS HERE!" and tell women what they should do or say or feel about the men who act that way.

      • Re:Great (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:37AM (#46285195)

        Or maybe it's because that 90% majority of males is largely toxic, vulgar, immature, misogynist, and unwelcoming, and say shit like "OMFG A WOMAN IS HERE!" and tell women what they should do or say or feel about the men who act that way.

        <sarcasm>Yes 90% of males are all that way, just like 90% of black people want to steal your car.</sarcasm> Yes that is how you sound.

        You just announced that you are perfectly fine with bigotry as long as you like the choice of target. Guess what? Every bigot operates that way.

        Congratulations, you are part of the problem. If you ever learn to stop hating men you don't know who haven't done anything against you, you can be part of the solution. Then together we can speak out against the few troublemakers who think exactly the way you do now, except their target of bigotry happened to be women.

    • Wonderful. Another story based on the assumption

      Ah this comment and its moderation makes me think the "sexism does not exist" brigade is out in full force.

      The story has nothing to do with why, or assumptions or anything else. It merely reports the results. Now please stop getting your knickers in a twist about some supposed butthurt over some imaginary feminism or whatever it is you believe has happened.

      It's kind of funny because you clearly don't like the results in some way because you're complaining abou

      • I don't think anybody in any significant numbers believe that sexism doesn't exist. The main thing is that people such as myself don't believe it is a travesty that women are interested in different things than men are. For example, you have fewer women in IT than men mainly because they simply aren't interested. There isn't some conspiracy holding them back (perhaps in the middle east or some place, but they're already backwards,) nor is there industry pressure to keep them out. Quite the opposite in fact,

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Maybe they just want to be a person and not *OMFG A WOMAN IS HERE!* all the time.

      Correct. The problem is that if they go to a gaming tournament that is the reaction they often get. In games themselves both genders are portrayed unrealistically, but women in particular tend to have ridiculously minimal costumes and improbably large boobs. At least the prototypical male lead is a somewhat attainable state if you can be bothered to work out every day.

  • equality of outcome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stenvar (2789879) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:18AM (#46285037)

    Well, according to the "equality of outcome" school of thinking that dominates progressive thinking and policies, this amounts to racism. Therefore, the government must intervene in order to restore the preferred state, namely a statistically representative distribution of all genders and races.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, according to the "equality of outcome" school of thinking that dominates progressive thinking and policies, this amounts to racism. Therefore, the government must intervene in order to restore the preferred state, namely a statistically representative distribution of all genders and races.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

      The only way government could do that is to use force or threat of force to either: Force members of $MinorityGroup to attend events they don't want to attend, or Force $WhiteMales to stay away from events they want to attend. Both options would, in and of themselves, be institutionalized racism.

      Institutionalized racism in the name of fighting racism is one of the worst kinds because its supporters can convince themselves they're doing a good thing. It's sort of like all the wars and killings and tort

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Seriously, the entire "if there isn't enough of x" BS pisses me off to no end. It's screwed up everything it's touched, and then some. It literally allows people who wouldn't be qualified to work in areas they shouldn't, and it creates no shortage of animosity among people and for a very good reason. My personal favorite was back in the '00's where police services in Ontario were posting ads with "*insert minority* but, applications from whites were not being accepted" happens in government, happens in b

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It isn't about getting a 50/50 balance of male/female competitors. It is about women who say they want to compete but are put off by the attitude of other competitors towards them due to their gender.

      Same with jobs, when people say we want more women in tech jobs what they mean is that women want to go into those jobs but are put off, and we should do something to remove those gender based barriers. Not hand them a job or a qualification, remove the specific gender related problems.

  • All this study says to me is that White Males and Asian Males typically have more free time capable to dedicate to this sort of endeavor.
  • by fredprado (2569351) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:28AM (#46285103)
    Men and women are not equal in everything, regardless of what people may want to belief. There are differences in physical and mental capabilities, career inclinations and aspirations and a lot of other physical and psychological traits. Trying to conform men to women behavior and women to men behavior is a violence our political society tries to do to people, is ironically comparable to what it did in the past trying to make homosexual people straight.

    In this day and age, where laws do not only grant equality of rights, but try to enforce equality of results, whenever there is a gender gap it is because it is part of what makes us different and the freer we get to choose the greater the gender gap will become. In a general manner, social gaps that can be closed by force are social gaps that should not be closed.
    • I was tempted to post much the same thing, although I note that, for once, the summary isn't screaming "how do we fix this?!"

    • However if there is a case their may be an unnatural bias. Say for video game, most of the games played professionally are targeted towards male players.

      • Any unnatural bias solves itself eventually and naturally as long as the law is neutral. Medics and Lawyers were all men in the past. Today half are women. If Engineers and Pro-Gamers are mostly males maybe it is because women (as a group) do not want to do these tasks or are not very good at it, especially when they have even additional legal incentives and advantages in doing so compared to men.

        Individual women and individual men are another history though. There is enough variance in human genome to p
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        However if there is a case their may be an unnatural bias. Say for video game, most of the games played professionally are targeted towards male players.

        Perhaps. Though another thing is well, boorishness. I believe people were interviewed on it and someone unwisely said "Sexual harassment is part of Street Fighter culture. You can't take that away".

        Well, gee, perhaps it's now obvious why e-sports are 90% males, because they creep the rest of the players out.

        And then you wonder why the general public feels g

    • Women are smart enough not to waste their time on this sh_t, if you want my opinion.

    • by CODiNE (27417)

      I notice it tends to be a push towards more women in traditionally male dominated areas but not the other way around.

      For example, a huge majority of sign language interpreters are female. If you take a sign language class you see the same thing, lots of women, few guys. For such a politically active workforce you have to wonder, where is the outrage?

      Why is male disinterest unquestioned? Why not start with the assumption that men are being prevented from joining female dominated groups and work to change tha

  • This is entirely intuition, but I suspect the average American youth of Asian or European descent has parents who make more money.

    Not only does this provide more toys, it also allows more leisure for their offspring.

    • by Piata (927858)

      That doesn't seem to be the case. StarCraft II was $50 at launch but quickly adopted free to play multiplayer options. League of Legends was free from the start. A lot of pro e-sports players come from lower to middle class incomes that rent time on computers at the local internet cafe. In Korea and more recently North America and Europe, teams provide shared housing complete with food and a house maid so there inncentive to get good at these games.

      If you need a specific example, Huk [wikipedia.org] had a pretty awful chil

  • by bitt3n (941736) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:54AM (#46285291)

    WellPlayed, said, '[A] whopping 90-94% of the viewers were male, and interestingly enough, only about half of the remaining survey takers felt comfortable being identified as female.'

    If half the remaining survey takers didn't reveal their sex (assuming this is in fact what is meant by the above), how can one profess to know they are female?

    • I think the survey was 1. Male 2. Female 3. Do not want to disclose. 90-94% said they were male, and of the remaining 6-10%, half said they were female. The other half preferred not to say. But that does mean between 3-5% actually did identify as female.
      • by bitt3n (941736)

        I think the survey was 1. Male 2. Female 3. Do not want to disclose. 90-94% said they were male, and of the remaining 6-10%, half said they were female. The other half preferred not to say. But that does mean between 3-5% actually did identify as female.

        If that is so, then it is incorrect to infer the sex of those who preferred not to disclose it.

  • by Stolpskott (2422670) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:55AM (#46285295)

    My first instinct was to think that the competitive nature of e-sports would be more likely to attract men than women, as men are "naturally" more competitive when playing games, while women (in my experience) tend to play games either to socialize or relax. It is a very broad brush to paint the two sexes with, but as we are basically looking at a sub-section of men (those who are interested in playing or watching e-sports) versus an entire gender (women, specifically why are there not more of them playing/watching e-sports) any comparisons are going to be a bit disingenuous.
    However, I suspect that a large percentage of people who chose not to declare their gender in the survey are doing so out of a sense of privacy, rather than a desire to hide the "fact" that they are women... unless they are also attending the venue where the survey is taken while wearing androgynous clothing designed to mask their gender, and expect to be pounced on like an antelope surrounded by a pack of hungry lions if there is even a hint of femininity (disturbingly, that is probably not far from the truth in some cases).

    • Actually, I think that may be part of it. There are individually competitive women, of course, but I think most women who have that kind of drive are already doing real sports. I personally find a lot more enjoyment in team-based video games and activities than in solo play, which is why "E-Sports" seems like a weird hobby to me despite the fact that I play games several hours a day.
      • by Ardyvee (2447206)

        You could always play Team-based e-sports, though.

        Now, back to the topic at hand... I think that some of the high-profile games tend to have a plot/story and/or serveral characters that may not appeal to women. Thus, they do not try video games. Those that do then have to go through Internet (it isn't pretty, and it isn't just related to video games) on their way to tournaments/professional playing (because even if they don't really go online, people will find their info and bring it outside the Internet).

  • by ildon (413912) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:00AM (#46285329)

    The problem with saying "half of gamers are female" is in how you identify someone as a "gamer." If you identify someone who plays phone games but doesn't own a console and hasn't purchased a AAA game since they left high school as a "gamer," you're not going to be pulling from the same pool as people who would be interested in actually playing StarCraft II or League of Legends competitively. For the purposes of identifying the gender game in e-sports, those casual gamers are not "gamers." And if that means that the pool of available players shifts to something like 75% male (I have no idea if this is true or not, this is entirely a hypothetical), then the gender gap does not appear *as* bad (but obviously would still exist). And if that means the pool shifts to 90% male, then the gender game as it applies to e-sports basically does not exist, because the gender gap in e-sports would be a result of the gender game in competitive games in general, and not an e-sports specific problem.

    • by ildon (413912)

      identifying the gender game in e-sports,

      I meant "gender gap."

    • I agree with your idea that we're looking at the wrong populations, and actually would suggest that "e-sport" people aren't "gamers" but rather "people who play obsessively".

      Look at the population of people who play a single game obsessively, then look at the population of people who play said game at the competitive level, and I'm sure any demographic gaps would disappear almost completely.

  • Black and Middle Eastern esports fans are conspicuously missing.

    Hispanics make up 17% of the US population and aren't mentioned at all. What's up with that?

    Those of Middle Eastern ancestry make up .42% of the US population. That would be 4 people at a 1000 person convention. The small percentage makes it very easy to skew the over/under representation.

  • Make up your mind. The summery keeps switching between the two, like they are the same thing.

  • I am one of those annoying socially progressive types that calls people and business out when I see them assigning genders roles to kids. The difference in male and female toy isles is a big pet peeve of mine. But that's not what I am here to comment on, I just want people to know where I am coming from regarding the following statements:

    So we know that roughly half of all gamers are women yet nearly none attend these events. First, I would like to see a breakdown of game genre's between men and women. The
  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:20AM (#46285509)
    That's because testosterone makes us competitive and aggressive where as most women find a lot of games pointless. That is THE reason, this isn't a problem, this isn't sexism, and this isn't an article worth reading. The end.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:23AM (#46285539) Homepage

    The porn industry has some amazingly sexist statistics. It's a very sexist industry. Something needs to be done about that!! We have to encourage more women to enjoy watching porn and more men to engage in producing it. Yeah... equality in all business and recreation. That's the ticket!

  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:24AM (#46285541)

    http://psychology.wichita.edu/... [wichita.edu]

    The numbers pretty much match up. This is simply a gender based preference. Argument that "women play more but are discriminated against in competitive scene" which is what these claims usually push appears to be patently false - the issue is that women are simply not interested in comeptitive gaming, preferring cooperative gaming instead.

  • 1. "It Is The Tools (Stupid)." And by that I mean "the tools" I mean the software used to watch and participate. None of this is exactly "user friendly" or easily discoverable. I don't play "League of Legends" but I do play "Dota 2" a lot and you have to actively follow reddit.com/r/Dota2 and know where to look for the information on the software let alone matches. It is difficult if not impossible to even use social "share" mechanism. And even using the hooks offered from Twitch.tv into FB/G+/Twitter just

    • 1. "It Is The Tools (Stupid)." And by that I mean "the tools" I mean the software used to watch and participate. None of this is exactly "user friendly" or easily discoverable. I don't play "League of Legends" but I do play "Dota 2" a lot and you have to actively follow reddit.com/r/Dota2 and know where to look for the information on the software let alone matches. It is difficult if not impossible to even use social "share" mechanism. And even using the hooks offered from Twitch.tv into FB/G+/Twitter just means your "regular" page becomes a spammy mess.

      hard to find games to watch in dota2? maybe you never clicked the watch button right there on the title screen.

      • You clearly don't see the problem.

        Lets say you are a new guy (or girl) who has only heard of "Dota 2" from the guys at work who won't stop talking about it so you want to watch a few games to see for yourself. You need to install the client which isn't that hard (as difficult as anything else on Steam) but it is not stupidly trivial either. You can try the default settings but that is a "your mileage may vary" situation where one might have to tweak the graphical settings to get a smooth running display. No

  • by sideslash (1865434) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:54AM (#46285819)
    I love watching nature. The female deer come out every spring and engage in these amazing head-butting fights to see who will win the docile males. Or something like that.

    Of course, there are exceptions to behavior patterns among individuals. But facts are facts, and male (not-equals) female.
  • only about half of the remaining survey takers felt comfortable being identified as female

    It's almost as if girls are actively made to feel unwelcome in gamer culture or something.

  • That we like something that other white dudes and asian dudes are into? Fuck no. It's fine. Not everyone has to like every thing. If only white guys like it, that doesn't mean that something must be WRONG with it, or white guys, or that the whole institution is sexist and/or racist.

    The NBA isn't very racially diverse, and has 0 sexual diversity. Who gives a fuck?

  • How does this compare with other competitive activities? Without a reference point there is no basis for any assumption.

    My (totally non-scientific) guess is that this is just a consequence of how the genders are raised. Boys are usually encouraged to take sports and play with cars while woman are encouraged to play with dolls and play instruments. This favors boys to have a more obsessive drive to master a subject, be it sports, science, or competitive videogames.

  • women are smarter then that?

  • Just make the games for women easier and bore men away. More women, less men... ratio improved. Problem solved.

  • I've never really understood the point of sporting video games. If you're playing a game, why wouldn't you fly a spaceship or kill aliens or build a railway or raid tombs or do something that you couldn't otherwise do in real life?

    Why play a soccer video game when you can just go outside and play soccer?

    (Exceptions, of course, for those people with physical disabilities. If you like soccer and don't have use of your legs I suppose it makes sense, but I also assume this is a small minority of players.)
    • by genner (694963)

      I've never really understood the point of sporting video games. If you're playing a game, why wouldn't you fly a spaceship or kill aliens or build a railway or raid tombs or do something that you couldn't otherwise do in real life? Why play a soccer video game when you can just go outside and play soccer? (Exceptions, of course, for those people with physical disabilities. If you like soccer and don't have use of your legs I suppose it makes sense, but I also assume this is a small minority of players.)

      Why play chess when you can join the army......

  • My sides!

  • Women need a league of their own.......preferably one without a Madonna movie attached to it.
  • I like women. Heck, my wife an daughter are women. It's unusual that it is almost necessary to define that these days. But when I see women linebackers on an NFL winning team I'll know us guys are doomed. ;-)

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