Girls care more about playing as girls than boys do about playing as girls


It's never a bad time to revisit this GDC Vault talk from Ashly Burch and Rosalyn Wiseman about how gender and sexuality portrayals in video games are received by audiences. Burch and Wiseman have done some research into how games impact the social lives of young people, and how important representation is to boys versus girls.

The results are fun and interesting, and especially yield important takeaways for media makers hoping to broaden the appeal of their work. In particular, Burch looks at surveys indicating that boys seem to care less whether they play as male or female characters as they get older, while girls seem to care more about playing as their own gender.

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"What's interesting to me about this is that if men don't care over time, and women prefer to play as their own gender more over time, it seems more advantageous to include female protagonists," says Burch. "So why are we not catering to the demographic with the stronger desire?"

Header image is a "female link" clipped from some official Zelda artbook, images of which seem to've originated on GoNintendo.