NUEL-Spring-Finals GGTech-image (c)By Beatriz Sánchez – Head of Communications at GGTech

The debate surrounding the presence of women in video games is becoming increasingly important. Both the portrayal of female characters and the presence of women in the industry are examples of change and evolution in the world of video games, where the female figure is becoming more authentic and relevant.

Currently, almost 50% of video game players are women, but this doesn’t translate proportionately into the professional world. The number of women working in any role or competing in esports is around 1 in 20.

Throughout the history of video games, the portrayal of women has been the subject of much criticism, particularly from female gamers themselves. In the early years of the industry, women were often portrayed in stereotypical and sexualised ways, with exaggerated bodies and limited roles. These stereotypes reflected a predominantly male perspective and didn’t allow for the diversity of female experiences. Over the past few decades, however, we’ve seen a significant evolution in female roles in video games, moving further away from these stereotypes. Women have moved from being damsels in distress or mere trophies to strong, independent, empowered heroines. Most importantly, they now have realistic appearances and personalities that match the game’s narrative.

Developers have played a crucial role in creating more realistic and multi-dimensional female characters with complex motivations, personalities and character development. This has resulted in players, regardless of gender, feeling more empathy and connection with these characters.

However, gender equality is still a distant goal. Looking at the principles of the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Initiative, there is a need to promote a culture of fairness in work, community and ethical game design and development. To achieve this, the games industry must respect and encourage individual expression regardless of factors such as gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age or socio-economic status.

Video games reflect reality

In addition, a growing number of games now address issues such as sexism, gender discrimination and violence against women, providing a space for reflection and awareness. This has led to greater visibility and recognition of the real-life challenges faced by women.

The increased involvement of women in development, design and narrative roles has increased sensitivity to the creation of female characters. The diversity of voices in the industry has contributed to the evolution of female roles in video games, enriching the way women are portrayed in the medium and creating a more respectful environment for all players, regardless of gender. This benefits not only female gamers, but the entire gaming community by introducing different perspectives and experiences.

A project focused on inclusion

NUEL-Spring-Finals GGTech-image (c)

One example of women’s involvement in the gaming and esports world is UNIVERSITY Esports. This project combines education with esports and operates in 26 countries, involving over 100,000 students. In the UK in particular, women play a prominent role in the project.

UNIVERSITY Esports has been at the forefront of developing initiatives for marginalised groups within the esports and video gaming ecosystem. For years, the project has invested in competitions that provide an inclusive environment for students who identify as female or non-binary. This continues to grow each year with new games, tournaments and more in-person events. This provides a space for women to develop and showcase their skills, compete alongside their peers and build a supportive community.

In addition, UNIVERSITY Esports has a rich history of talent development, particularly in broadcasting, both on screen and behind the scenes. University students have the opportunity to showcase their talents in a variety of disciplines, while gaining the skills to build a career in the world of esports. Many women have seized this opportunity and are actively involved in the project, reinforcing their commitment to promoting inclusion and equality.


Beatriz SanchezAbout the author

Beatriz Sánchez is a journalist specialising in the world of technology, gaming and esports. She holds a degree in Computer Science from the Complutense University of Madrid and a Masters in Technology Journalism from the Universidad de Comillas de Santander. She is currently the Global Communications Director at GGTech Entertainment.