In an effort to shed light on the underrepresentation of women in mobile gaming — within the industry, culture, and marketing — Android and Google Play are working to push forth impactful initiatives to help make a change. Next in the lineup is Change the Game — an interactive online experience that walks you through the relationship between women and mobile games in the United States.
Past initiatives have included Google’s series of summer camps called Girls Make Games, where young girls learned about programming and game design. Another was a mobile game development program, through which the winners were given all the resources needed to make their games a reality on Google Play.
Before launching Change the Game, product leads behind the initiative wanted to first learn more about the experiences and perceptions of female mobile players. With little research available on the subject, they partnered with gaming intelligence provider Newzoo to gather data and reach out to experts.
“It was really important for us to look at everything holistically. So, because there are so many different complex challenges when we’re talking about where we are right now, we wanted to be really careful that we weren’t drawing conclusions about women as a whole … rather, taking one step back and putting it in context of culture, and history of the industry,” Google product marketing manager Kate Brennan told Digital Trends.
The study found that not only do 65 percent of women in the U.S. play mobile games, but 43 percent of them play more than five days a week — compared to 38 percent of men. Most of the women that make up these statistics use mobile gaming as a way to relieve stress or as a form of entertainment and relaxation while at home.
Change the Game will act as a hub that hosts all of the information pertaining to women in mobile in gaming — from the research, to a short film, and specifically curated games on the Google Play Store. The data that’s currently available is only the first step, with plans on continuing to build and publish additional research on the site in the future.
When you arrive on the Change the Game website, you’ll see a link to “play the game.” Once you click on it, you’ll be brought to the interactive experience, where you’ll have an avatar to move through different worlds and learn about all the research that was found.
When you’re done playing and back on the landing page, there will be a link to the short film put together. It ultimately celebrates all types of women, and encourages viewers to be a part of the game — regardless of age, size, race, or sexual orientation.
There’s also collection of games that include female protagonists on Google Play’s Indie Corner. Ranging from Monument Valley 2 to Lumino City, each game puts the female front and center.
It’s no secret that women are commonly placed as secondary characters in gaming, which makes it tough for females to find a game to become invested in. While this initiative won’t be revolutionary in changing the mobile gaming industry as a whole, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
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