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Girls play more games than boys

Girls play more games than boys

Girls play games. Girls like pink. Microsoft likes money. You do the maths.

A new study posted over at Online Media Daily and completed by the Denizens of Digitivity (say that ten times fast) reveals that it may actually be the ladies who are the more prevalent sex in the gaming console market right now.

The target demographic for most games companies in the past has been fairly simple - 18 to 34 year old single, white male. In other words, developers have been writing games for themselves in the past, as this demographic has been thought to make up the majority of the market. The new survey however suggests that the majority of console owners are actually women.

A massive 44 percent of women in the survey said that they owned a games console right now, compared to only 39percent of men. A lot of this is being put down to the Nintendo Wii by industry analysts.

"The Wii has really caused a democratization of gaming, because that has opened it up to all generations and both genders," said Ann Mack, director of trendspotting for JWT.

Personally, the news isn't all that surprising to me and my girlfriend has been into gaming just as long as I have and she often beats me at virtually any game I play her at, except Monkey Island speed-runs. To me the very idea that women gamers need to be targeted differently by developers is a little preposterous.

Meanwhile, Microsoft will be bringing out a range of coloured Xbox 360 wireless controllers next month. Speaking at the Microsoft Hardware Day, a spokesperson claimed that the addition of a baby blue and baby pink controller to the line-up was to "increase appeal to the growing female market"

Nice.

Do you regularly beat your girl or boyfriend in deathmatches to work off steam, or does your partner think gaming is strictly for nerds and geeks? Let us know what you think in the forums.

42 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Veles 25th September 2007, 11:40 Quote
Mine likes Spyro and Croc, that's about it (although I also love those games and they rank quite high up my list of all time favourites), although I somehow managed to get her hooked on Halo. I know one girl who has a new generation console, the others just occasionally play their siblings' PS2.

I imagine my gf would love a pink controller too, I may have to get her one.
The_Pope 25th September 2007, 12:01 Quote
I can think of one former Editor that has a penchant for pink. I wonder if he's tempted by the pink gamepad :D

(best steer clear of the "what's pink, contains batteries and is completely wireless" jokes :P )
DougEdey 25th September 2007, 12:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
I
(best steer clear of the "what's pink, contains batteries and is completely wireless" jokes :P )

Hex's Nazbatag? :p
CardJoe 25th September 2007, 12:04 Quote
I actually got a phone call from Hannah a month or two ago, demanding that I get Halo 3 in to review because she saw the trailer and it looked gorgeous.

She was more than a little dissappointed when I told her we don't have a Xbox 360 at home...
DougEdey 25th September 2007, 12:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
She was more than a little dissappointed when I told her we don't have a Xbox 360 at home...

About time you bought one then. Or she can, or even share! Then we can spike you in the back of the head tomorrow!
CardJoe 25th September 2007, 12:14 Quote
Am planning to, don't worry. It's a matter of restricted cash flow right now and my priority is to rebuild my PC first.
Veles 25th September 2007, 12:21 Quote
From the looks of my doormat, I won't be playing spiking anyone in the back of the head for a long while :( Not even bloody junk mail!

Why did you have to strike for the Halo 3 launch!:'(
Da_Rude_Baboon 25th September 2007, 12:22 Quote
If a Microsoft representative gave my gf a pink controller saying it would encourage her to play more games she would probably tell the patronizing git where to shove it. Do MS really think all girls live in a pink bubble and coloring things pink or powder blue makes it attractive to girls?
xrob 25th September 2007, 12:27 Quote
wii is sooooo bad
Veles 25th September 2007, 12:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon
If a Microsoft representative gave my gf a pink controller saying it would encourage her to play more games she would probably tell the patronizing git where to shove it. Do MS really think all girls live in a pink bubble and coloring things pink or powder blue makes it attractive to girls?

No, but they know a lot of girls do like pink versions of stuff, like pink DSes. My gf doesn't own anything pink, but she still likes pink controllers and stuff.
will. 25th September 2007, 12:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xrob
wii is sooooo bad

Is Kazuo Hirai your god perchance?
The_Pope 25th September 2007, 12:46 Quote
I think it's more of a case of the fact that "regular" colours attract a certain audience, say 95% male and 5% female. Add pink peripherals and you might unlock a bunch of girl gamers who weren't otherwise tempted. And you might get some repeat business from male gamers of certain persuasions. And guys who own pink Motorola Pebl phones
CardJoe 25th September 2007, 12:51 Quote
It's going to be a success with the kiddy girl market. My gf likes girly stuff like kittens and so on, but objects to being specifically and badly targetted and patronised via pink controllers, just like everyone else. When given the option of what DS lite to get, she chose white over pink straight away.

In fact, when I showed her the pink controller, the only reaction she gave it was a cussword and a eye-roll.

It's no different to how men are targetted in adverts sometimes. Seen that Head and Shoulders advert? "A guy like jimmy knows he has to look his best..."

I ****ing hate that advert. A guy like Jimmy is probably a poncy testosterone filled pre-pubescent trapped in the body of a full grown man who will, with any luck, catch a particularly virulent STD which will lead to a slow and humiliating death which will leave a strong enough impression on all his ******* children that they try and not turn out like "a guy like jimmy"

****ing FHM readers.
mikeuk2004 25th September 2007, 13:21 Quote
My Wife loves Mario, none of these crappy spin offs like paper mario extra. she only likes the Nes Super mario 3 and New Super Mario on DS. She also likes Guildwars on Pc. Pikmin on gamecube (until I sold it haha) Overlord on 360 and she looks interested in Oblivion at the mo and I have to get hold of a copy soon.

She cant play any first person shootors because she gets motion sickness. She liked the look of bioshock but that made her dizzy. Shame really. but she also cant hanle 3d worlds, she like most women that cant handle 3D environments as they can process the information properly. Thats a known fact.

Im trying to get her into bomberman because thats the family favourite.

Im going to get the Pink 360 pad at some point for the wife, if I can get here addicted to bomberman. I have 2 white and 1 black at the moment and a Pink will brighten things up :).

My Mum loves Saturn Bomberman and Mariokart on N64.
dire_wolf 25th September 2007, 14:35 Quote
My GF is obsessed with 'cutesy' games like pokemon and harvest moon, her head almost popped off when I gave her animal crossing for her Bday last year, I couldn't prise her off it for about 2 months lol

My mum is probably the oldest person going that plays runescape, nuff said. :) I tried to get her into WoW but she wasn't having any of it, although she does like guildwars
xrob 25th September 2007, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xrob
wii is sooooo bad

Is Kazuo Hirai your god perchance?

no
skpstr 25th September 2007, 15:03 Quote
The wife has shown only a vague interest in gaming in the past, but as the article says, the Wii has really sparked her interest. I think she enjoys it because of it's accessibility, the physical interaction and the more family fun vibe she gets when playing against myself and the kids. she has even organised for friends to come round for a night of drinking and Wii.;)

A lot of people might cast doubt on the Wii as a "serious" gaming platform, but, from my point of view, as a source for family orientated fun it's unsurpassed.
Darkedge 25th September 2007, 15:42 Quote
It's all the Wii? I'll bet that actually it's much much more the DS. Not only that I know several bloke who bought their GF a Wii just because they wanted to play it but it was too kiddy for them, so the GF is the excuse.
Veles 25th September 2007, 16:01 Quote
Why does a console have to be internet-serious-business anyway? The whole point of gaming originally was family fun, and somehow it got turned into some kind of "hardcore" thing, with people slagging off the Wii because it's "gimmicky" and "kiddie". Completely ignoring the fact it's incredibly fun to play, yeah it might not have the "serious" shootan gaems like other consoles but why does that matter? If your want to play those games, buy a console that has them, if you want ridiculously fun party games, get a Wii, it's not rocket science. The problem is people who complain about the Wii, bought it because it was a Nintendo console, they just expected it to be like all the other Nintendo consoles, just with a new controller. That's one of the problems with console gamers nowadays, it always has to be a big battle of who's toy is better.
Kurayamino 25th September 2007, 16:06 Quote
All of the girls I know think I am a geek, I happen to agree with them! But they won't touch them at all! :(
devdevil85 25th September 2007, 16:51 Quote
My g/f loves games and has been playing them since the original Nintendo....and in a lot of games (ie MotoGP, Spyro, PGR 1/2, etc.) she was better than any of my friends (who I thought were amazing) and in a few online games she ranked among the best, so it goes to show you that it depends on the girl and not all girls like pink/cutesy controllers....but it's probably good that Microsoft is giving girls the option since there is probably a large portion that may feel left out.....
cyrilthefish 25th September 2007, 16:52 Quote
I can safely say that my mother is the biggest games player in the house ;)

A combination of Sims2 on her PC (she plays it so much she gave me money to upgrade the PC for her ) and several games (including more sims ones) on her Nintendo DS.

Strangely she never seemed particularly bothered about my brother's Wii.
CardJoe 25th September 2007, 17:23 Quote
There really is nothign better than a gaming girlfriend sometimes. Hannah was origninally set-up to be one of the UK Frag Dolls until she turned it down.
devdevil85 25th September 2007, 17:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrilthefish
Strangely she never seemed particularly bothered about my brother's Wii.
My g/f too loves the Sims, and strangely too she never seemed too particularly bothered by the Wii, even though her brother owns one and they live in the same house....so I wonder what type of girls are buying the Wii.....girls that have never owned a console previously?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
There really is nothign better than a gaming girlfriend sometimes.
QFT. I love being able to play games with my g/f. It's socially fun and exciting and I love giving her tips on how to beat a game (especially when I can't do it myself) and I see her beat it and she gets all proud of herself; it's very enthralling to say the least...and I love it.
Veles 25th September 2007, 18:07 Quote
I wouldn't mind if my gf played games a bit more, she should do, she's very good at things like Spyro and she's getting better at Halo (she never really played an FPS before) and kicks my ass whenever we play burnout together, but she prefers to sit at her desk being bored. She complains she's bored all the time but whenever I suggest she plays something she says "but I want to do something, like go to the park" (this is at like 10pm)

She's one of those women that is never happy, she complains when she has too much work (i.e. any work, she's a workaholic so she puts stupid amounts of time into even the smallest exercise) and when she has no work to do she complains she's bored and has nothing to do. If she turns into her mother any more I may have to give her the boot :p
CardJoe 25th September 2007, 18:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
I wouldn't mind if my gf played games a bit more, she should do, she's very good at things like Spyro and she's getting better at Halo (she never really played an FPS before) and kicks my ass whenever we play burnout together, but she prefers to sit at her desk being bored. She complains she's bored all the time but whenever I suggest she plays something she says "but I want to do something, like go to the park" (this is at like 10pm)

She's one of those women that is never happy, she complains when she has too much work (i.e. any work, she's a workaholic so she puts stupid amounts of time into even the smallest exercise) and when she has no work to do she complains she's bored and has nothing to do. If she turns into her mother any more I may have to give her the boot :p

Hmm, Hannah loves Burnout too - esp road rages.

That said, she hates it when I tell her how to do things, mainly because I know the games we play inside out and give her very indepth advice which she doesn't want. She gets so proud when she beats me though and never lets me forget it.
Veles 25th September 2007, 18:27 Quote
Yeah, both Sarah and my mum get annoyed if I try and give them advice when gaming (anything thinking about it). I may have to force her to sit down and have a session on Viva Pinata or something when she gets home, I bought it for the both of us but so far she hasn't really touched it even though she was quite excited when I told her about it. She really likes the sound of Spore as well, although she hates the idea of the Sims because she doesn't see why you should play a game that involves watching people in a house, I think I may have to install it for her so she can see why it's fun.

Evil Genius is another one she really likes, but she's got stuck and doesn't like the idea of replaying the game from the start to do things better, even though the last time she played it was almost two years ago.
devdevil85 25th September 2007, 18:31 Quote
It's amazing what our g/f's have in common. My g/f kicked ass at Burnout and she can't wait until Spore comes out....the only thing my g/f likes about the Sims is the fact that you can build houses and decorate them...along with caring for your pets since she owns like way too many animals....
CardJoe 25th September 2007, 18:43 Quote
Hannah and my two younger sisters used to love Oblivion as well - kind of. They kept playing the first levels over and over again. I think they just enjoyed making a character then defining them, but didn't want to play the whole game. The only sister I have who did play the game past the end of the first dungeon only did it so she could find better clothes for her character.
wolff000 25th September 2007, 18:52 Quote
My wife has played games since before we got together. She does prefer the older console games but is quite good at a few PC games as well. She has kicked my a$$ in more than one counterstrike match. She just loves the damn sniper rifle and shooting me in the back of the head so I don't know where it came from.
devdevil85 25th September 2007, 19:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolff000
She just loves the damn sniper rifle and shooting me in the back of the head so I don't know where it came from.
I'll be praying for yah man...better sleep w/ 1 eye open from now on I guess...hehe
azaeli 25th September 2007, 22:07 Quote
Is it really such a shock that girls like games too? I'm female (gasp shock) and can hold my own thank-you-very-much.

When my brother and I were younger he got the consoles for birthday/Chrismas, while I got the arts & craft stuff, but we played against each other on 'his' games, and painted each other (and the house) with 'my' arts & craft stuff.
As we got older I managed to wrangle the better stuff like a TV, video player and an N64 the week it was out (to think, I was so excited about it at the time), and by then I prefered RPGs like Zelda, while my brother wasted his meagre pocket money on sports games.
Now my brother works for a living, and can afford the new consoles as they come out, I can only play on them in the holidays as
I'm a poor student at Uni with my faithful ps2, a maxed out overdraft, and a laptop that's just a little better than I can really afford.

But in our student house (3 girls) we have 4 laptops under 3 years old, 2 ps2s, one playstation, 1 N64, 1 DS, 1DS Lite, 3 colour gameboys, 1 PSP and half a Wii (don't ask)
My favourite game is FFX, (although I could live without the blitzball) with the other FFs and FFstyle games , one of my housemates loves the Lara Croft and LOTR games (it's the killing, mostly), while the other prefers Brain Training, Guitar Hero and the GTA series.
But it was similar in halls, in our girls only building, anyone who paid out for a TV licence, had a games console too, and those who couldn't afford it invaded their friends' rooms.

I would have to say that in the 16-24 age group, the lure for girls is either diversity (most common in halls were ps2's which play cds, dvds and have so many games available, that everyone can find at least one game they enjoy) or size (DS lites were also very common, and they easily fit in your bag for when you're stuck waiting/travelling).
Most girls I know are at best indifferent to (male driven) companies offering everything in pink, and a good proportion are insulted (me included - I don;t even like pink!) my friends and I prefer small consoles in black or silver that don't look out of place by the TV (or are easily hidden), or shout out their existance and get stolen (and are easily hidden).

PS: Me and one of my housemates spent ages at the EA Tourtruck at Download 2007, while my brother and his male friend took one look at the que, and went back to the tent to sleep!
Veles 25th September 2007, 23:29 Quote
Well it's not really shocking that girls play games, but it's very rare to find a girl who is into games as much as guys are, well, maybe it's because I hang around with a lot of guys with the same interests so I have the false opinion that a lot of guys are "hardcore" gamers. Maybe it's just girls have more of a life than we do XD
Ramble 25th September 2007, 23:31 Quote
Doesn't suprise me in the least.
Wake me up when they play games like HL2, etc.
The BallZ 26th September 2007, 05:06 Quote
A massive 44 percent of women in the survey said that they owned a games console right now, compared to only 39percent of men. A lot of this is being put down to the Nintendo Wii by industry analysts.





Wait doesn't that only make 83 percent, whats the other group?
DougEdey 26th September 2007, 08:19 Quote
erm, 44% of women do own a console, 56% doesn't 39% of men do, 61% doesn't
CardJoe 26th September 2007, 09:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azaeli
Is it really such a shock that girls like games too? I'm female (gasp shock) and can hold my own thank-you-very-much.

When my brother and I were younger he got the consoles for birthday/Chrismas, while I got the arts & craft stuff, but we played against each other on 'his' games, and painted each other (and the house) with 'my' arts & craft stuff.
As we got older I managed to wrangle the better stuff like a TV, video player and an N64 the week it was out (to think, I was so excited about it at the time), and by then I prefered RPGs like Zelda, while my brother wasted his meagre pocket money on sports games.
Now my brother works for a living, and can afford the new consoles as they come out, I can only play on them in the holidays as
I'm a poor student at Uni with my faithful ps2, a maxed out overdraft, and a laptop that's just a little better than I can really afford.

But in our student house (3 girls) we have 4 laptops under 3 years old, 2 ps2s, one playstation, 1 N64, 1 DS, 1DS Lite, 3 colour gameboys, 1 PSP and half a Wii (don't ask)
My favourite game is FFX, (although I could live without the blitzball) with the other FFs and FFstyle games , one of my housemates loves the Lara Croft and LOTR games (it's the killing, mostly), while the other prefers Brain Training, Guitar Hero and the GTA series.
But it was similar in halls, in our girls only building, anyone who paid out for a TV licence, had a games console too, and those who couldn't afford it invaded their friends' rooms.

I would have to say that in the 16-24 age group, the lure for girls is either diversity (most common in halls were ps2's which play cds, dvds and have so many games available, that everyone can find at least one game they enjoy) or size (DS lites were also very common, and they easily fit in your bag for when you're stuck waiting/travelling).
Most girls I know are at best indifferent to (male driven) companies offering everything in pink, and a good proportion are insulted (me included - I don;t even like pink!) my friends and I prefer small consoles in black or silver that don't look out of place by the TV (or are easily hidden), or shout out their existance and get stolen (and are easily hidden).

PS: Me and one of my housemates spent ages at the EA Tourtruck at Download 2007, while my brother and his male friend took one look at the que, and went back to the tent to sleep!

I think it's more that we are surprised that anybody else was surprised by this news. Of course girls play games. D'uh.
dire_wolf 26th September 2007, 09:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
44% of women do own a console

Does that include mums that own a console for their children ?
Nova 26th September 2007, 21:17 Quote
guitar hero is a huge contributor! college girls are a very prime example. even the college marching band is doing a "guitar hero" themed performance. i was in a 4 girl apartment with a ps2 and 2 guitars hooked up.
completemadness 26th September 2007, 21:57 Quote
I still don't believe that girls play more games then guys ...
Then again, its hard to judge, none of the females i know could even turn on a games console, let alone use it
MilkMan5 27th September 2007, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
I still don't believe that girls play more games then guys ...
Then again, its hard to judge, none of the females i know could even turn on a games console, let alone use it

Why not!!!

Either you don’t know your female friends, or you don’t have any (Ouch)
Out of all the females I know, about 70% of them play games.
completemadness 29th September 2007, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilkMan5
Either you don’t know your female friends, or you don’t have any (Ouch)
Or perhaps a 3rd option you didn't think about

In the area i live, gaming isn't that popular (well as far as i know) and most people will go out drinking or chat on MSN, instead of playing games
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