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Empowering Women: The Transformative Potential of Responsible Gaming

Responsible online gaming also champions inclusivity, fostering an environment that celebrates diversity and gender equality.
07:22 PM Jan 18, 2024 IST | News24 Desk
empowering women  the transformative potential of responsible gaming
Online gaming

- Dr Fauzia Khan
Member of Parliament (NCP)

Online gaming, previously regarded as a hobby linked mainly to leisure and entertainment, has transformed into a versatile industry presenting substantial prospects for both personal advancement and professional development. Responsible online gaming can emerge as a promising avenue not only for leisure but also for skill development and employment in areas such as the development of games, design, animation, and marketing, particularly for women.

The concept of responsible online gaming refers to engaging in gaming activities in a mindful and balanced manner, prioritizing personal health, well-being, and ethical conduct within the gaming landscape. It involves managing one’s time, being aware of the potential financial costs involved while understanding that gaming is not to be treated as a source of income, setting appropriate limits, and following healthy habits such as taking adequate screen breaks, staying hydrated, practicing good posture while playing, etc. Responsible gaming thus involves practices that promote a healthy gaming environment, personal well-being, and a balance between gaming and other aspects of life.

In recent years, especially post-Covid, the perception of gaming has shifted from a solitary activity to more of a social experience. Online platforms and multiplayer games have fostered communities where individuals, irrespective of gender, can engage and collaborate. For women, this shift can prove to be pivotal, offering a space to showcase their skills, creativity, and expertise in a historically male-dominated domain from the comfort of their homes. This is especially critical given that the ILO Global Survey (2021) has noted that working from home or job flexibility is particularly important for women.

One of the most significant aspects of responsible gaming is its potential to provide a safe platform for women to hone their skills. The gaming landscape encompasses a wide array of genres, from strategy-based games that enhance critical thinking to collaborative ones that require teamwork and communication. Such games serve as a fertile ground for skill development, nurturing problem-solving abilities, strategic thinking, adaptability, and leadership qualities. Notably, these competencies are not only valuable within the gaming sphere but also transferable to various professions and daily life scenarios. Platforms promoting educational games cater to a wide audience by providing engaging content that combines entertainment with learning. This fusion not only encourages skill development but also promotes a positive attitude towards gaming among parents and educators.

Furthermore, the gaming industry itself offers diverse employment opportunities. Beyond game development and, design, animation, and marketing, there's demand for professionals in community management, event coordination, and content creation amongst others. Also, most of these skills are relevant across the broader AVGC sector, providing further opportunities for growth. The industry's expansion has created spaces where women can thrive professionally, contributing their unique perspectives and skills. Initiatives aimed at encouraging diversity and inclusion within gaming companies have led to more opportunities for women to pursue fulfilling careers in a sector they are passionate about.

Responsible gaming also champions inclusivity, fostering an environment that celebrates diversity and gender equality. The rise of female gaming leagues and tournaments has not only provided a platform for female gamers to showcase their abilities but has also inspired others to participate and pursue gaming as a competitive sport. These events contribute to breaking stereotypes and encouraging more women to engage with gaming as a viable and respectable pursuit.

In essence, responsible gaming has the potential to emerge as a catalyst for empowerment, skill development, and employment for women. However, it is crucial to maintain a balance between engagement and responsibility. Promoting awareness about healthy gaming habits, encouraging breaks, and fostering an environment that prioritizes well-being is essential.

As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, it's crucial to tread on a path of digital inclusivity, by acknowledging and harnessing the potential of women. Gaming companies have been actively demonstrating their commitment to promoting and implementing responsible gaming practices such as options for users to set time and deposit limits, abiding by advertising regulations, and adopting a Voluntary Code of Ethics amongst others. 2 With some progress already made, responsible gaming can act as a beacon of empowerment, offering women a platform to develop skills, pursue careers, and challenge stereotypes. With the right support, encouragement, and responsible practices, online gaming can continue to be a catalyst for positive change and inclusivity, paving the way for a more diverse and empowered future.

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