59 per cent of women hide their identify in games, survey reveals

Respondents also called for better representation in gaming advertisements

59 per cent of women hide their gender whilst playing games online to avoid harassment, a new survey reveals.

In a survey about the habits of women gamers, 55 per cent revealed that they had used non-gendered or male gendered identities when playing games online, in order to avoid conflict and harassment.

The survey was conducted by Reach3 Insights, in partnership with Lenovo, and asked 900 women gamers the US, Germany and China about their playing habits, GameIndustry.Biz reports.


The research revealed certain trends, including the fact that 88 per cent of gamers surveyed were playing competitive games, with 75 per cent saying they played action/survival-style games.

77 per cent of women said that they had experienced gender specific harassment including “Judgements of skills, (70 per cent), gatekeeping (65 per cent) and patronizing comments (50 per cent)”.

In addition, 44 percent of women responded that they had received unsolicited questions about their relationship status when playing games online.

Overwatch – Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Respondents to the survey said that despite their issues with other player’s conduct, they are relatively happy with the way women are presented in major blockbuster games, with 80 per cent of women responding positively to the portrayal of women in AAA games.

Indie games fared better, as 91 per cent of respondents expressed satisfaction with the way they are portrayed in indie games.


When asked how representation could be improved, 71 per cent responded that advertising could be improved by showing more women playing blockbuster games, and including balanced casts of gamers in adverts.

The full survey and its findings are available via Reach3 Insights (sign up may be required to view the content).

The survey results comes after reports that publisher and developer Ubisoft failed to make significant changes to its internal culture following last year’s allegations of abuse and sexual harassment.

The allegations came to light through a wider discussion in the video games industry about sexual harassment in development and gaming spaces.