Efforts to include greater female participation in the medium have addressed the problems of gendered advertising, social stereotyping, and the lack of female video game creators (coders, developers, producers, etc.).
The term "girl gamer" has been used as a reappropriated term for female players to describe themselves, but it has also been criticized as counterproductive or offensive.
This has begun to change, however, with the expansion of entrepreneurial feminism and the concept of "games by girls for girls" that has been embraced by companies such as Her Interactive, Silicon Sisters and Purple Moon—all video gaming start ups that are female owned and largely female staffed.
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female gamers have commonly been regarded as a minority, but industry surveys have shown that in time the gender ratio has become closer to equal, and since the 2010s, females have been found to make up about half of all gamers.
since at least 1997, and the Canadian Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) since 2006.
Other organizations including the Australian/New-Zealander Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) since 2005 collect and publish demographic data on their constituent populations on a semi-regular basis.
In Europe, the regional Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and numerous smaller national groups like the Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA), the Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers (NVPI), and the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) have also begun to collect data on female video gamers since 2012.
One-off market research studies and culture surveys have been produced by a wide variety of other sources including some segments of the gaming press and other culture writers since the 1980s as well.This emphasis on socialization extends beyond just the game itself: In a study published in the Journal of Communication in 2009, researchers found that 61% of female MMORPG players played with a romantic partner, compared to 24% of men.According to data collected by Quantic Foundry in 2016, the primary motivations why people play video games differ, on average, by gender.Kevin Kelly of Joystiq has suggested that a high degree of circular reasoning is evident when male developers use focus groups and research numbers to determine what kinds of games girls play.After making a bad game that targets those areas suggested by the marketing research, the game's lack of popularity among both genders is often attributed to the incorrect prejudice that "girls don't play games" rather than the true underlying problems such as poor quality and playability of the game.Sexism in video gaming, including sexual harassment and the underrepresentation of women as characters in games, is an increasing topic of discussion in video game culture.