Last week, we looked at the rising popularity of computer roleplaying games and, while doing so, noted that there are as many women as men who play computer games in general.
That’s not represented in the demographic make-up of computer game characters, though.
Research by BuzzBingo shows that only 12% of next-gen platform games feature a female protagonist. In fact, 2020 was a bad year for representation.
Games published for Xbox and PlayStation since 2016 were checked and the playable character was described as male, female, ambiguous or had mixed options. The team double-checked their choices against fan wikis, making sure pronouns matched up when necessary.
PlayStation had a cracking 2017 in terms of representation and while 2021 is off to a good start, it needs to maintain pace to take the record. However, Xbox has almost already beaten its record for female-led games, since 2016, and only needs three more games published.
PlayStation game character demographics
Xbox game character demographics
Next-gen (Box Series X/S and PS5) game character demographics
|Gender of Lead(s)||Xbox Series X/S||PlayStation 5||Xbox %||PS5 %||Total %|
There are some colourful charts on BuzzBingo that brings these stats to life in an easy to follow visual way. One of which breaks down representation by game type and RPGs don’t do very well.
Women are more likely to be the lead character in Shooter games than in RPGs, although RPGs are more likely to let you pick your character in the first place.
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