A survey of 1,000 female gamers found that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the most inclusive game for women to play.
The survey, conducted by Frontier in the United States, asked women to rank 40 games based on their friendliness, inclusivity, and positive depiction of females.
Girl gamers ranked Animal Crossing as the most female-friendly and inclusive game, with a score of 4.15 out of 5 for friendliness and 3.99 for inclusivity. This slice of life game, released in March 2020, sees players running a village for cute villagers, decorating their islands to their heart's content, and doing everyday chores like pulling up weeds and tending to plants.
In October, the game dropped a huge quality of life update, expanding what players can do on their islands. This update allowed gamers to cook meals, enact island ordinances, plant crops, and more.
Other games that women surveyed perceived as inclusive include PUBG, Roblox, Minecraft, and Among Us. At the bottom of the list are Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto Online.
Although more and more women are joining the gaming space (41% of all gamers were women in 2021), they still faced challenges in the mostly male-dominated industry. A huge 84% of female gamers said they experienced gender-related verbal abuse, mansplaining, harassment, and unwanted sexual or romantic advances while playing. 43% of these players also still hide their gender while playing online.
Despite this, three in four women believe that gaming culture as a whole has become more inclusive since they first picked up their controllers.
Negative experiences aside, 74% of women said gaming had a positive impact on their lives citing reasons like meeting new friends and learning something new about themselves and the world as to why they enjoy playing.
Earlier in the year, Valorant was named one of the most toxic gaming communities with 89% of players saying they experienced hate and harassment in six months.