The world of games is still commonly seen as a faraway land for the interests of women or an actual girls’ games scenery. And there are valid reasons for that. From the lack of diversity in business to the misrepresentation in games, it is difficult to think about improvement.
Nevertheless, not much has changed when it comes to encouraging women to enter the scenery. Most students in technology degrees are still men, and that is related to the outdated conception of it not being a “woman’s place”.
The PGB research, in 2019, showed that women represent 58,8% of game players, but they are only 20,7% of game production. The study provides valuable information on the consumption of games in Latin America.
On the other side of the world, in Great Britain, women also represent more than 40% of players. Around the world, numbers have been slowly rising, but they already represent at least 22% of all gamers.
Therefore, it is vital to empower initiatives that open opportunities for women in the business.
In this article, we will explore the women’s scenery in games. We will show the latest stats on women’s participation and representation, as well as provide a list of outstanding women in the universe.
Girls’ games scenery
It is difficult to talk about girls’ games when the representation of women in games is strictly related to the faces of the market: men. This is a widely discussed topic, as it is common sense that a wide range of female characters is designed with sexualized features.
Video games have been known for their male-dominated media. Women have been depicted in many ways, since the playability of female characters, physical representation, and even their own physical abilities while playing the games.
On the other sides, there are many narratives of girls who have suffered prejudice while playing games. Sexism in underestimating women’s abilities and interests in playing is something that inhibits women’s participation.
Stereotypes and clichés in girls’ games
The research “Video Games and Gender”, by Michele Zorrilla, points that findings show that women are more often portrayed in a sexualized manner than men. For instance, females’ clothing tends to be more revealing than males’ apparel and equipment.
Stereotypes and clichés appear in games such as Grand Theft Auto Five, which shock people and get to the point of harassment and violation.
Other examples involve even non-human characters that are hit with stereotypes, as Sheila (Spyro Reignites Trilogy), a kangaroo that has a thin waist and huge eyelashes in an attempt to look “sexy”.
Luckily, this is changing. The taboo is falling apart, as women take part in-game scenery and the ethical discussions about diversity and representation arise. And that results in more female characters and better representation.
For instance, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, a character that has already been extensively criticized, has acquired new iterations and it is finally becoming more representative of a real person.
Another way to look into women’s presence in the gaming world is by analyzing how they have been represented in prestigious events. Not only as speakers but also as developers and important characters in the new games launched by enterprises.
Women presence in events
Since the Electronic Entertainment Expo of 2015, people have felt that things were changing in the girls’ games scenery. At the time, Gamergate was becoming a common term to describe the conflict of women arising in the game scenery.
The GamerGate controversy was an online harassment campaign, which took place in August 2014. It targeted several women, such as the game developers Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, and the media critic Anita Sarkeesian.
Harassers used the hashtag #GamerGate on social media, which included doxing, as well as rape and death threats. Anonymously, the supporters organize their movement on platforms such as 4 chain, Twitter and Reddit.
Therefore, it could be described as a critical moment on games’ cultural diversification and the increasing influence of feminism on video game culture. As a result, figures in the industry have been more aware of ways to prevent and address online harassment.
But after GamerGate, have things improved?
In 2015, one year after GamerGate, Microsoft’s conference hosted ReCore, a game in which starred a woman who explores a dystopian world with a trio of mechanical companions. In Dishonored 2, there was a new playable character, a strong sword fighter Emily Kaldwin. Other companies, such as EA also launched new female characters, increasing diversity in games.
But the efforts to increase the number of female characters still don’t mean a major statistical shift. In 2025, only seven of the 76 games featured revolved around female heroes. Therefore, less than 10 percent.
However, it is important to point out that, in 2019, the number decreased to only 5 percent of games.
In 2020, we have seen a significant improvement in the event, as 18 percent of games featuring female characters. But it is too soon to know if this is a turn of events or simply an isolated fact.
Thus, it is important to rely on better gender representation in the games themselves, but it is also crucial to have more women on the backstage and frontstage of games.
It can be heartbreaking to look at data and notice that numbers have shown yet a significant change. However, it is important to spotlight the work of women who have been changing the scenery right now.
That is why we will present some of the greatest examples in the business in the world. They are players, teams, and businesswomen who change the industry. Check it out
Girls’ Games: women you need to know
As it has already been pointed out, many people may claim the gaming world is filled with a male-dominated vision. But who are the women fighting for gender equality and the end of sexism behind the scenes?
Here are some women who are changing the world of girl’s games:
Girls’ Games: Then ten highest-earning players in the world
It is another reality. When we talk about traditional sports, differences in physical abilities are usually the reason for discrimination between men and women. When it comes to digital games, this argument doesn’t make any sense.
Lately, there is a significant women’s presence in esports, changing the girls’ games scenery. And the monetary rewards are one of the pieces of evidence of skill between players. Thus, competing for money is one of the central aspects of the esports business machine.
Therefore, we will present to you the 10 top women players in the world, regarding earnings, according to the Lineups website:
1. Scarlett – Sasha Hostyn
Sarah Hostyn’s career started in April 2011 when she competed at the female-only online StarCraft II league when she won tournaments twice in a row.
Later, in 2012, she also won the Player “Sponsor Me!” Tournament, which afforded her a trip to Las Vegas, where she competed at the IPL 4 open qualifiers. In the same year, she became Canada’s national champion and also won the 2021 WCS North American Championship.
She has competed in 178 tournaments and has made $332,066.27, almost triple the second player listed
2. Mystik – Katherine Gunn
The beginning of Katherine Gun’s career goes back to the CGS 2007 competition when she played Dead or Alive 4 and finished in second place. After the second season of WCG Ultimate Gamer, she was the first to fifteen kills, winning $100.000.
Other milestones of her career include mastering Reach.
3. HaganeNoTema – Sioban Bielamowicz
Sioban Bielamoxivz is a professional player from Australia who competes in Attack on Titan and Brawlhalla competitions.
She has taken place in competitions since 2014 and had great results in 2017 and 2018. She is also considered one of the best Attack on Titan players in the world.
4. Ricki Ortiz
Ricki Ortiz identifies herself as a female since 2014. She specialized in fighting games and started competing at the Evo 2006. After that, she played in over sixty tournaments and earned more than $80,000.
In 2010, she started representing the American eSports Organization, Evil Geniuses.
5. Kasumi Chan – Marjorie Bartell
Just like Ortiz, Marjorie Bartell is an American fighting game player and an amazing example of the girls’ games scenery. In 2006, she was vice-champion at a CGI competition featuring Dead or Alive 4. In 2007, she got first place in CGS and won $50,000 in prize money. After that, she hasn’t competed, although prizes have increased.
Also, she was the first female gamer who got to the finals at Championship Gaming Invitational.
6. Sarah Lou – Sarah Harrison
Sarah Harrison is from the United Kingdom and one of the women who got recognized after winning a Dead or Alive 4 competition. At the CGS 2008, she placed first and her outstanding performance earned her $50,000.
She hasn’t played since.
Tinares is one of the most successful women in the 3-year history of Fortnite competitions. In 2019, she won the TwitchCon competitions. From that event, she won $40,000 and made the rest of her money from online competitions.
She also streams regularly.
8. zAAz – Zainab Turkie
Turkie has been a professional Counter-Strike player since 2002. At fourteen years old, she joined her first Counter-Strike club.
Also, the Swedish player has earned more than $40,000 in prize money and has completed thirty-two tournaments.
In 2018, she joined Besiktas eSports. Over the years, she has been a member of organizations, such as Alternate aTTaX and Fnatic.
9. Ant1ka – Anna Ananikova
Anna Ananikova has been on squads as Team Secret, Lazarus, Counter Logic Gaming, and the Russian National Team. She is a decorated CS:GO player and won her first Minor tournament in the 2016 eSports World Convention.
10. xchocobars – Janet Rose
Janet Rose is a Canadian player who has played Apex Legends, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Teamfight Tactics.
In 2019, she won first place at Twitch Rivals, playing League of Legends. But her largest prize was at the Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series, when she won $13,750.
Girls’ games: Teams
Until today, most esports professionals are men. But the gaming arenas have been filled with female teams, which have been sponsored by major brands and have started to gain traction. Here are some famous teams to know:
The Dignitas Female team has come of the best Counter-Strike players in the United States. For two years in a row, they have won Intel’s Challenge Katowice.
The PandaCute team is formed by 5 girls from China. It is considered the best All Female League of Legends team in Hong Kong. In 2016, they were the winners of The League of Legends 5v5 Tournament. And, in 2017, they were crowned SHERO and HKXP champions. Also, they are sponsored by MSI and considered to be one of the best teams in China.
Out of the Blue
Out of the Blue was the champion team of GAMEGIRL ESPORTS 2019, being the best League of Legends all-female team in Europe.
Galaxy Racer Esports
The Galaxy Racer Esports is another great team. In 2019, they won the GAMERGIRL Counter Strike Global Offensive World Championship. They are currently the All-Female Counter-Strike World Champions. They have won over Dignitas in 2019 and are among the best Counter-Strike teams in the world.
Girls’ Games: Streamers
Streaming platforms unite millions of gaming fans around the world. There are streamers for a multitude of preferences, resulting in an engaging audience that captures the attention of brands and businesses.
Women already make up 35% of the streamer base on Twitch, and they are gathering more space in the segment. Here are some female streamers you need to know:
KittyPlays is a 26-year-old woman named Kristen from British Columbia. She has over 800,000 followers and is among the top 100 streamers on Twitch.
Also, she is very engaged in the platform: she streams popular games, such as CS: GO, Fortnite, and PUBG twice a day.
Beyond streaming games, she is known for her vlogs in which she covers other themes, like travel, cooking, etc.
Lea May Curries is LegendaryLea, a passionate Twitch streamer. Known for providing the audience with a friendly experience, she also has a major degree in Physiology and Neuroscience.
With more than 640,000 subscribers on Twitch, she plays Hearthstone and CS: Go. Occasionally, she also posts on games like Sims 4.
KaceyTron, also known as Kasey Caviness, plays a multitude of games, but she is a great League of Legends fan. With more than 470,000 followers on Twitch, she is known for a bold personality and sarcastic comments.
Among her top contents, there are Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Grand Theft Audio V.
Chelsea is a streamer from Australia with more than 355,000 followers. Before becoming a full-time streamer, she worked as a dispensary technician and studied to have her degree in Pharmacy.
She is known for streaming Fortnite, H1Z1, and Call of Duty. Beyond that, she is known for being one of Australia’s best Call of Duty players.
Tori, under the persona of DingleDerper, streams games, such as CS: GO and PUBG. In addition to streaming, she is also popular for sharing her personal life.
Therefore, although she might start her sessions with a game, her followers can expect even more entertainment. With a charismatic personality, she is very popular among her more than 370,000 followers.
Therefore, there is plenty of women in the frontstage of gaming (players, teams, and streamers) who are changing this universe’s stigma.
From now on, we will share examples of amazing women who are behind the scenes of the gaming world, as CEOs, producers, designers, and other professionals in-game business.
Leading Women in Game Business
Brianna Wu is an American game developer and computer programmer, who is a powerful force in the girls’ games scene. With Amanda Warner, she has co-founded Giant Spacekat, a game development studio.
She is also known as an important influencer regarding the video game industry.
Beyond that, she was head of development for her company’s game, Revolution 60, which features female protagonists. It was also listed as one of the best indie games at the Pax East conference in 2013.
Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist media critic and the founder of Feminist Frequency, a website that analyzes the representation of women in popular culture.
One of her popular works is her video series Tropes vs. Women in Video games, which offers an examination of tropes in the depiction of female characters.
After her Kickstarter project to fund the series that raised almost $160,000, she started to gain more recognition in the media.
At the same time, she was targeted by an online harassment campaign that put misogyny at the center of discussions about games in the media.
She has already spoken at TEDxWomen, XOXO Festival, and at the United Nations’s Broadband Working Group on Gender.
Zoë Quinn is a video game developer, programmer, and writer. She is known for developing the fiction game Depression Quest in 2013. She was also one of the targets of the GamerGate controversy.
Because of that, in 2014, she co-founded Crash Override, a resource center for people who suffer from online harassment.
Maria Alegre is CEO and co-founder of Chartboost, an initiative that helps game developers find opportunities beyond mobile game ad networks.
After nine years, her company is still known for its innovative projects. With the Helium, a unified auction tool, they allow developers to maximize pricing for their impression opportunities.
Keisha Howard started Sugar Games ten years ago. It is an inclusive tech community that encourages underrepresented groups to participate in the geek culture, including games.
She is also responsible for other projects, such as LiveCGI, that creates custom AR avatars for live events.
Nevertheless, she is a marketing professional and a speaker of in-game events.
Another woman who makes a difference in girls’ games is Nicole Lazzaro. She is a person with a great purpose: she founded XEOPlay with the mission to create games that improve the quality of life.
Throughout her career, she dedicated herself to improving the gaming experience by developing games and working in research.
Tina Amini has written about video games since 2009, for Complex and Kotaku. Over the years, she built her way to be Mashable’s editor-in-chief of games.
Among other projects, she moderated a fireside chat at the 2019 GamesBeat Summit.
Therefore, for an inclusive and innovative game world, it is also vital to invest in girls’ games.
Amber Dalton is the Sr. Director of Sales/Sponsors at Twitch, Amazon’s live-streaming service. And like most people who work in the gaming industry, she is also a gamer.
She is responsible for bringing together brands and streamers at huge events all over the world. However, she is also known for cofounding PMS Clan, a community that unites competitive female gamers, with her sister Amy Brady, in 2002.
Until this moment, she was already ranked in games like Halo 2 and Gears of War.
Investing in games
It is amazing to see more women entering the gaming world, as players, streamers, or behind businesses and initiatives.
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