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Adult women play more games than boys under 18

by Han Cilliers (Lola)  Posted Tuesday, August 26, 2014 11:33:00 AM

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The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) published their 2014 US survey on "Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry." There is a ton of extremely interesting facts from the survey (US households); 52% of gamers are male, 48% are female, gamers play social games most, and the average gamer is 31 years old. One of the most interesting facts from the survey however, is that "women age 18 years and older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (36%) than boys age 18 or younger (17%)."

Let's just take a moment to think about that.

The target audience for video game developers have always been? The young male. That's why video games with babes, boobs and guns have always been the most popular and best-selling games. This focus has led to many controversies in the gaming industry, the famous "male gaze" forming the center of the debate. Gamasutra featured an excellent article on the topic, "Opinion: Video games and Male Gaze - are we men or boys?"

The ESA survey clearly indicated that the target audience should shift from the young male to the older female. What type of video game should developers focus on making then? Do they even know?

As an *coughs* older female gamer I can tell you, please don't give us"girly" type games. We actually enjoy games from all genres ;)

“People of all ages play video games. there is no longer a ‘stereotype game player,’ but instead a game player could be your grandparent, your boss, or even your professor.” —Jason allaire, ph.D., associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University and co-director of the Gains Through Gaming Lab

What else did the survey reveal?

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  • The number of female gamers age 50 and older increased by 32% from 2012 to 2013
  • 59% of Americans play video games
  • social games are now the most popular genre, increasing in popularity by 55% from 2012 to 2013
  • Adult gamers have been playing for an average of 16 years, with adult men averaging 18 years and adult women averaging 13 years
  • 44% of game players state that computer and video games give them the most value for their money, compared with DVDs, music, or going out to the movies
  • 88% of parents whose children play games believe the ESRB rating system is either very or somewhat helpful in choosing games for their children
  • 56% of parents say video games are a positive part of their child’s life
  • The average U.S household owns at least one dedicated gaming console, PC, or smartphone
  • Smartphone and wireless device use increased by 22% and 37%, respectively, over 2012
  • Adult gamers have been playing for an average of 16 years, with adult men averaging 18 years and adult women averaging 13 years
  • 48% of gamers said the quality of game graphics, an interesting storyline, a sequel to a favorite game, or word of mouth was the most important factor in their decision to purchase a computer or video game
  • 21% of gamers said the price was the most important factor in their decision to purchase a computer or video game

I would love to hear from our female gamers. What games do you enjoy playing most?

Source: ESA

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd



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