2020 Has Given Rise To A New Wave Of Women Gamers, But What Are They Playing?

2020 has been a good year for the gaming industry. A number of games released this year received very good critic scores and performed equally well in sales: The Last of Us: Part II, for instance. At the end of the year, there was the awaited release of the next generations of Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation. They were both met with praise: the Xbox X Series was said to rival a PC’s power and the PS5 is an upgrade in visuals, controller, and power. However, stock for both consoles became a huge issue. We can’t talk about consoles without mentioning Google Stadia, which survived its first year and looks to the future to fulfil the promise of cloud-based gaming. A future which will likely be accompanied by VR technology which took a turn for the better with Oculus’s Quest 2 being met with adoration and glee. All this has been great. One notable improvement, though, as the world continues its search for equality for every race and gender, is the representation of women in the highest levels of the gaming industry.

Women Gamers

At the beginning of 2020, Valkyrae, a 100Theives content creator, signed an exclusive deal to stream on YouTube gaming. Capitalising on the popularity on a number of games, she grew her channel to two million followers. By the end of the year, she won Content Creator of the Year at The Game Awards, beating other nominations which included other women gamers Alanah Pearce and Jay Ann Lopez and male gamers NickMercs and TimTheTatman.

About a fifth of games released this year had women protagonists. This was a massive improvement on previous year’s representation, almost four-times as much.

Kim ‘Genguri’ Se-Yeon, who is the first woman professional in the Overwatch League, finished 3rd in the Grand Finals this year with the Shanghai Dragons.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, congresswomen in the United States of America, played with a group of popular streamers, including Pokimane, in the run up to the Presidential election to discuss voter registration. They amassed half-a-million concurrent viewers on the stream. 

The Games

One thing which often follows women who game around is the question, “what do you play?” Due to gender norms, it’s expected they play ‘girly’ games. This isn’t the case. Many streamers this year have shown there are no demarcations of what a woman gamer can access. They can play first-person shooters, discuss face wash for sensitive skin, and be no less or more feminine as a result. They play the same games as men. Here’s a list of what they’ve been playing.


There are lots of women gamers who like to play online casino. It’s a global trend. Whether they’re playing blackjack online from Europe for themselves or presenting online slots in South Africa at slotsheaven.com to their Twitch audience, women can play and win.


Call of Duty: Warzone has been a hugely popular battle royale game this past year. It’s seasons across the Modern Warfare title provides routine updates and new means of engagement. The recent release of the Cold War title and its subsequent update for Warzone will see the game have new life before the year is out as new guns from the title and a new map are added.

Cyberpunk 2077

A game which fans have been waiting years for after multiple delays, Cyberpunk 2077 has finally been released. It is an open-world, role-playing game which sought to revolutionise the genre. It itself challenged gender norms. Although, it has been clumsily done and has been accused of being problematic. This is without getting into its hugely buggy and glitchy gameplay.