Despite the fact that there is still a noticeable absence of women in the Web3 sector, blockchain-based games focused on women could help drive inclusivity.
According to a recent Entertainment Software Association report, 48% of gamers in the United States classify as female. It has also been reported that nearly half of all gamers worldwide are female. Women's interest in the billion-dollar gaming industry is notable. Combined with the GameFi industry's massive growth projections, it is a major reason why many blockchain games are specifically designed for female users.
Beryl Chavez Li, the co-founder of Yield Guild Games, a global play-to-earn gaming community, believes blockchain-based games such as Axie Infinity are seeing an increase in female players. "Although statistics show that play-to-earn games appeal more to male users, we believe that more women will begin to take an interest," she said.
Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, stated that finance and Web3 games are inextricably linked and that this will naturally entice all types of people to the space over time. Nonetheless, he believes that women, in specific, will be drawn in because of their proclivity for larger financial responsibility. "This is especially evident in developing countries where microfinance, particularly microlending, is dominated by women," he said.
Including attributes that appeal to women
Le Battistini explained that Fashion League has specific characteristics typically enticing women to increase female participation. "The game's aesthetics are important, as is the fact that it will first be available on mobile devices." "Women like to play mobile games because there is a low barrier to entry," she explained.
According to recent statistics, 62% of people install a game on their mobile within a week of purchasing it. Furthermore, the current gender split in mobile gaming is 51% for women and 49% for men. A report from The Female Quotient found that aesthetics were the most significant factor in attracting women to the Web3 space.
Aside from Fashion League, Mishi McDuff, founder of digital fashion brand Blueberry, told Cointelegraph that her company had launched a 3D boutique shopping encounter on the gaming platform Roblox. McDuff explained that the Web3 game, dubbed "BlueberryXWorld," was created to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for gamers to discover their digital identities.
"Avatars can shop at Blueberry's two-story fashion store and try on clothes and accessories." The collections' clean lines and silhouettes are offset by flints of attitude, such as miniskirts, crop tops, party girl metallics, and fun accessories like cat backpacks. A wide range of hairstyles is also available for additional customization."
BlueberryXWorld, like Fashion League, was entirely designed and developed by women. While McDuff stated that the game is suitable for all ages, she believes that this feature ensures that female creators can have their voices heard. "In most traditional games, women have been portrayed unexpectedly: no cellulite, no stretch marks, no body fat," she elaborated. Our avatars have love handles, stretch marks, and other human characteristics."
McDuff also mentioned that community is an underlying premise of the game that she believes will appeal to women: "Players can stop by the cafe to grab a drink and chat with one another." Women have always had a knack for creating solid and close-knit communities, so this will come as no surprise in Web3."
According to Lenny Pettersson, chief operating officer of Antler Interactive, a Swedish mobile game studio, and acting CEO of "My Neighbor Alice," some of its key features concentrate on player partnership and in-game relations.
While aesthetics, customization, and community building are critical in luring women to the space, a better indication is also essential. Marcus Bläsche, CEO and co-founder of Rumble Kong League (RKL), a game that combines basketball, play-to-earn, and NFTs, basketball, and Web, faces the problem of the overrepresentation of female users. To combat this, RKL teamed up with Round 21, a woman-led Web3 native sports lifestyle brand that focuses on collaboration and community, according to Bläsche.
Pettersson described that the game enables players to pool their resources to create an archipelago. Pettersson stated that player collaboration is already visible in the game's Discord channel, mentioning that players write messages and post screenshots to the track, denoting where and how to find the best spots to fish, for instance.
Will games increase female participation?
Overall, it's unclear whether Web3 games geared toward women will result in increased participation. For example, Pettersson considers this a tricky question to answer. Nonetheless, he noted that it would suffice to say that high-quality games geared toward women will bring more women into the sector: "The first "Web2" games were deliberately intended and oriented toward boys and men. More and more games for girls and women have been developed over the years."
With this in mind, he thinks that the Web3 industry is already aware that women enjoy games and want to be involved and thus places a greater emphasis on this gender group. However, Pettersson added that it would be difficult to assess the true impact of these games, noting:
"The challenge for these games is also tied to the mass adoption of cryptocurrency, which is not specifically related to a gender question, but rather to the global mass adoption of cryptocurrency. And there is still work to be done regarding accessibility and user-friendliness for that to happen."
Siu also mentioned that games are becoming less gender-specific, and Maietta mentioned that Web3 has the opportunity to build its culture around intentional inclusivity. While notable, it is essential to note that the Web3 gaming space is still in its early stages. As a result, some in the industry believe that developers are currently more concerned with expanding the ecosystem than with inclusivity.
According to Olga Ivanova, content and community manager at Spielworks, a blockchain gaming platform, blockchain game developers are more concerned with "creating robust in-game economies and elevating the game design to at least the AAA standard."