WATCH — Boys vs. girls: Who plays more video games?

CBC Kids News • Published 2019-08-13 16:03

The answer may surprise you

From Fortnite to Minecraft to Candy Crush, kids are constantly playing video games.

And technology allows you to play almost anywhere: whether it’s on your favourite gaming console or your smartphone.

But who is playing more video games, boys or girls?

“I think boys play video games more because I don’t see girls talking about video games,” says Ryan Cox, 14, a student in Rothesay, N.B.

Ella Sooley, 13, agrees.

“Basically [video games] are all centered around the masculine gender,” she told CBC Kids News.

Alex Hawkins, left, and Ella Sooley, talk to CBC Kids News about whether girls or boys play more video games. (Greg Hemmings)

Alex Hawkins, who does coding, doesn’t agree.

“It’s tied,” she says. “It’s just that stereotypes lead us to believe that boys play more video games.”

It’s a tie

A recent survey shows it’s almost evenly split between boys and girls.

Among teen gamers aged 13-17, 53 per cent are boys and 47 per cent are girls, according to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada.

Organization president Jayson Hilchie says boys are more often playing on consoles like Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo.

“And they’re playing action and adventure games,” he says.

Rebecca Harrison, a video game developer who teaches girls game development in Winnipeg, says she’s not surprised by the results.

She says girls play different kinds of games than boys.

A woman gives the thumbs up sign in front of a screen about video games

Rebecca Harrison is an instructor for a video game development class in Winnipeg. (Ahmar Khan/CBC)

“People discount stuff such as Candy Crush,” she says. “A lot of phone stuff. That’s where women really get into the market.”

Boys like to flaunt it

She adds that boys tend to talk about it more.

“I feel like guys definitely flaunt it more,” she says. “It’s like a point of pride for a guy to be good at a shooter game. Whereas for a girl, it’s more of a personal experience.”

Bonnie Demmons, a middle school principal, says boys talk about gaming more than girls. (Greg Hemmings)

Bonnie Demmons, principal at Harry Miller Middle School in Rothesay, says she hears boys talking about video games more than girls at school.

Harrison says that kids like Alex who are interested in gaming and want to develop games should try it.

“Now is the time,” she says, given all the technological advances and opportunities for gaming developers compared to when she was a kid.

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