Paid PostPosted on Aug 8, 2019The Mobile Gaming Industry Is Shockingly Not Diverse, But An Initiative Is Trying To Change ThatGoogle Play's Change The Game is helping female mobile gamers level up.by Google PlayBrand PublisherLinkFacebookPinterestTwitterMail There are 2.5 billion people gaming worldwide. Getty Images Gaming is definitely mainstream. And a lot of mobile gamers are women — 49% in fact. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Google Additionally, 65% of females aged 10–65 play mobile games. Women even play mobile games more often than men: Google / Via play.google.com But when asked, only 26% of US women self-identify as gamers. It's not just the US, in the UK only 30% identify as gamers, and in Japan 32%. This might be due to systematic gender bias in gaming. Cerro_photography / Getty Images According to Google's own research, "of the top 100 grossing games on Google Play, 44% more of the app icons feature male characters than female characters." This leads to the majority of women who play mobile games (60% of those surveyed) feeling like games aren't made for them. To deal with this, half of all women report to actively hide their gender when gaming. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Google According to this study, "half of female players have actively concealed their gender to the gaming community and their fellow players." This is not shocking — because there is a wide gender imbalance in most aspects of the gaming industry. Google / Via play.google.com Seventy-six percent of adults in the gaming industry are men. These are actual drawings by teen girls of how they think professional video-game makers look. Eighth-graders think they look like women, but tenth- and eleventh-graders draw men. Via play.google.com This suggests that, as girls get older, they begin to think of game-making as a predominantly male role — which, unfortunately, it is. But Google Play's Change the Game is trying to change that. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Google Founded in 2017, the initiative is focused on "promoting diversity in and of games, empowering the next generation of game makers, and celebrating women who are changing the game." They're doing a ton for promoting diversity in gaming. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Google In addition to Design Initiatives, Developer Spotlights, and in-depth research, Google Play's Change the Game is also operating a Design Challenge aimed at getting teens involved in game development. Last year, five lucky teens were selected to have their mobile games actually made! Via play.google.com They went through the whole process of designing, developing, and eventually seeing their game available on the Google Play Store. And this year, they've selected five more lucky game creators. BuzzFeed The grand prize winner will score a $15K scholarship and a $15K tech donation to their school or community center. Learn more about this year's game makers here! The winning games this year range from single-player puzzle games to action-adventure games. Brightlove The mobile game featured here is called Brightlove, which is a coming-of-age narrative that encourages players to be kind and to take action, rather than being mere bystanders. One of those action-adventure games is called Spectrum, and it looks super rad. Spectrum Spectrum is a 2D-platformer fantasy game where users enter a modified Earth setting where "sprites," small pixie-like creatures, are taking over the bodies of other creatures. The challenge for the player is to navigate the different worlds to complete various quests and ultimately save their sprite-invaded friends. BuzzFeed's own Kelsey Impicciche even participated as a judge! View this photo on Instagram instagram.com So stay tuned to hear more about our winners and their game development process! And don't forget to play last year's games, available now on the Google Play Store.