An online gaming platform asked us:
How might we understand the social gaming experience for those who identify as women?
AnswerLab designed a multitudinal mixed-method study with an online community of women gamers. All participants were members of this online community, self-identified as women, and had a mix of VR and social gaming experiences. Our study involved multiple phases of research including monthly surveys over the course of six months, daily prompts to inspire engagement and conversation within the community, and follow-up in-depth interviews.
Through our research, we learned that women love social gaming, but often experience a gap when it comes to safety.
All of our participants had previously received unwanted harassment or negative interactions while online and wanted better tools for preventing abuse. The gamers we spoke with did not feel represented within these games for a variety of reasons and expressed a desire for more options that felt more inclusive. Many found the content to be overly male-oriented and wanted better representation and more female-friendly content.
We helped the client identify specific ways they could make social gaming a safer experience for female gamers with features and options designed to create a more welcoming environment. Rather than requiring these women to take the initiative to protect themselves, these features could help create a safer space from the start. Our recommendations also included creating more stories and characters written by women and better customization to show a more diverse range of content within the games.
Experience Gap Research can help you identify critical gaps in your product for underrepresented groups. Contact us for help meeting your Experience Gap research goals.