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#1 Posted by BearSpark (52 posts) -

Watching TV this morning, one of the top new items was that 2013 would be the year that the percentage of female gamers would overtake that of male gamers. Is this really news? Games appeal to all walks of life and I know loads of females who play games. Why is society so surprised that females might actually be interested in playing games on whatever medium is out there.

#2 Posted by StarvingGamer (8227 posts) -

Because the forward facing games, ie blockbusters like Call of Duty, are clearly targeted towards 15-35 males. When you say "video games" people don't think of Angry Birds or FarmVille. So there's a cognitive disconnect that makes the notion of women playing games seem strange or interesting.

More importantly, it foreshadows potentially shifting trends in the development world as gents like you and me may no longer be the core target audience.

#3 Posted by Bane122 (789 posts) -

Because the gaming audience is percieved far and wide as male-dominated.

I'm curious as to how they define gamer. Are they including people playing stuff like Farmville? A friend has a wife that plays just that. Is she considered a gamer now?

Online
#4 Posted by Optix12 (612 posts) -

(not a female gamer) I don't know but this is pretty relevant to a discussion in the latest 8-4 play. They talk about Animal Crossing's (almost wrote Harvest Moon) CRAZY success not only in software sales but its definitely a system seller as well, and the major buying bracket was 18-24 year old females. Maybe this TV programme caught wind of this and the fact that Animal Crossing should be coming to the west soon and thought it may do the same thing?

#5 Edited by BoOzak (919 posts) -

I think "overtake" is a bit of an exaggeration but I could see it doubling over the course of the year. And considering 10 years ago the only girl I knew who played games was my mother and now roughly a third of girls my age play them is kind of news worthy.

EDIT: I should also clarify that i'm a dude.

#6 Posted by sketch (194 posts) -

Yeah, I just saw something about that on BBC Breakfast. It was kind of weird.

#7 Posted by Ares42 (2661 posts) -

I thought this had already happened... but ye, it's just a matter about what your definition of gamer is.

Online
#8 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

Angry Bird.

#9 Posted by Strife777 (1575 posts) -

Overtake seems like quite an hyperbole and is highly doubtful. I can easily see how they would grow exponentially, but them being the majority is unlikely, even counting in phone games and stuff like Farmville.

But hey, that's good to hear, right?

#10 Posted by TruthTellah (9000 posts) -

@BearSpark: The fact that more women may identify as gamers than men do is a relevant news item.

Now, whether it deserves a lot of pomp and circumstance is debatable, but it is at least newsworthy. It's an interesting trend in gaming that people with even a fleeting knowledge of gaming may find worthy of some consideration or discussion.

#11 Edited by Embryonic (145 posts) -

@Bane122: I'm going to assume the OP was watching BBC breakfast, which is where I saw this news item.

They didn't really go into much detail. They asked a few people on the street whether they were surprised by this and most of them responded no. They also featured a mother who plays games with her toddler on her ipad mini and Skyrim when the lil' un's asleep.

#12 Posted by Christoffer (1816 posts) -

I wouldn't be surprised if females were the majority already. I know more females who are into games (given it's nieces, parents and elderly women) than males by this point. It's mostly casual and puzzle games but those counts as games.

#13 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

This stuff is always bullshit, because they don't consider the difference between games on facebook and an actula video game.

@Christoffer said:

I wouldn't be surprised if females were the majority already. I know more females who are into games (given it's nieces, parents and elderly women) than males by this point. It's mostly casual and puzzle games but those counts as games.

They shouldn't be all lopped into the same thing. Call of Duty is nothing like Sims Social or whatever. Treating people who play either as a part of the same demographic is silly.

#14 Posted by Christoffer (1816 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

This stuff is always bullshit, because they don't consider the difference between games on facebook and an actula video game.

@Christoffer said:

I wouldn't be surprised if females were the majority already. I know more females who are into games (given it's nieces, parents and elderly women) than males by this point. It's mostly casual and puzzle games but those counts as games.

They shouldn't be all lopped into the same thing. Call of Duty is nothing like Sims Social or whatever. Treating people who play either as a part of the same demographic is silly.

The thing about demographics is that it can be split up in many different ways. From a overhead view games are games. It might be silly for you to see it that way.

#15 Posted by coakroach (2490 posts) -

I'm always surprised by how vague and unsubstantiated some statistics can be.

#16 Posted by believer258 (11895 posts) -

They're including all games, of all types, on all platforms. In other words, Farmville and Angry Birds are counted.

They don't mean the sorts of things that are popular on this site - while girls do visit here and girls do play video games (some of them), those sorts of things are still pretty male dominated.

Online
#17 Posted by bemusedchunk (692 posts) -

I already thought that there were more female gamers than male gamers...

#18 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Christoffer: Yes, but for the things you draw from those demographics to be meaningful, you have to get to a certain precision. Just lumping facebook, call of duty, and monopoly into the same thing isn't a very good demographic to pull useful data from.

#19 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Because just about anything that's outside the mass media confined thoughtspace is classified as news nowadays.

#20 Edited by mandude (2669 posts) -

I hope they're not counting Facebook games and phone games. They're not really the same kind of thing at all.

The people giving the news are too out of touch. It's embarrassing.

#21 Posted by Inkerman (1451 posts) -

Are we talking farmville/Angry Birds players though? I'd like to see the numbers of girls who regularly play a blockbuster title from the last 3 years.

#22 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

They are talking about farmville etc etc and al the rest of that shit that most people on this site probably wouldn't really classify as games. They're not talking about Skyrim or Civ or fucking XCOM. There are probably more Chinese housewives playing farmville than there are people living in most European countries so it's easy see how they can say that the number of female gamers is overtaking the number of male gamers. How that'll affect the industry is hard to say becuase the types of games being played by most women gamers aren't AAA $60 games.

On a side note, maybe this is an idiomatic thing or something but I find it really creepy when people refer to women as females. Not female gamers or female what ever, just females. It sounds like they're talking about members of a different fuckin species.

#23 Posted by D_W (1162 posts) -

No it's not news, and no there isn't a difference between a mobile game and a big budget AAA title just like there's no difference between a novella and novel. Both can be equally shallow and both can be equally amazing. Disregarding someone because they only play on a certain platform or don't play a certain type of game is disregarding someone because they've never been exposed to a band you like.

#24 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@BearSpark said:

Why is society so surprised that females might actually be interested in playing games on whatever medium is out there.

Because video games are still seen as nerdy child's play; as an insider activity and such.

#25 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@D_W said:

No it's not news, and no there isn't a difference between a mobile game and a big budget AAA title just like there's no difference between a novella and novel. Both can be equally shallow and both can be equally amazing. Disregarding someone because they only play on a certain platform or don't play a certain type of game is disregarding someone because they've never been exposed to a band you like.

They generally go for entirely different things, though. Those kinds of games aim purely to amuse and rarely (never?) anything else, whereas gaming as we know it has long since evolved beyond that.

It makes as much sense as comparing a cinema movie to a YouTube video of someone falling and hurting their groin. Sure, they were both captured on camera, but there is a vast sea of disconnect when it comes to what they actually are at their core.

#26 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -

It makes sense because women represent about 80% of the consumer marketplace, and childless women statistically have more money and time to spend on leisure products. For about a decade now women have made up the majority of university graduates and dominate the middle and upper classes. The only consumer bloc that is bigger than women in North America is whites, no wonder you're going to see a lot of stuff geared towards their interests.

I always found it weird that when women were a vast minority within games it was characterized as a shame that needs to be corrected, rather than the natural result of people choosing what they want to do with their time. That nasty free will, always ruining everything! I don't look at media dominated by women (romantic novels and fan-fiction, my God) and go "it's such a shame that its like this, make something for the boys to enjoy!" There are people who are like that, they're the ones going "how DARE you read 50 Shades of Grey, you are A BAD PERSON!" Just the male version of those puritanical anti-sex prudes who want to get thinks pornography is abusive. .... I don't even know what I'm bitching about anymore. Continue on!

#27 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

Wait, so are we classing all the girls who play farmville, angry birds and the sims gamers now?

#28 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

What's the big deal about women playing video games? How is it any different than someone equally enjoying films, books, or comics? I guess anything can qualify as news these days :/

#29 Posted by D_W (1162 posts) -

@mandude said:

@D_W said:

No it's not news, and no there isn't a difference between a mobile game and a big budget AAA title just like there's no difference between a novella and novel. Both can be equally shallow and both can be equally amazing. Disregarding someone because they only play on a certain platform or don't play a certain type of game is disregarding someone because they've never been exposed to a band you like.

They generally go for entirely different things, though. Those kinds of games aim purely to amuse and rarely (never?) anything else, whereas gaming as we know it has long since evolved beyond that.

It makes as much sense as comparing a cinema movie to a YouTube video of someone falling and hurting their groin. Sure, they were both captured on camera, but there is a vast sea of disconnect when it comes to what they actually are at their core.

I don't about that. A big budget Hollywood comedy would have someone getting kicked in the balls and it would be the same quality of humor as home movie of someone getting kicked in the balls. When it comes to Youtube, it an interesting example because of the wide variety and quality of stuff on there. There are people making their living off their videos, there are people that use it to bootleg old TV shows, there are people that throw their home movies up there so they can share it with their family, and so many other uses.

Point is you can't qualify an experience based on the medium of delivery. Especially since experiences are entirely subjective and different for each person. There is no illegitimate experience. If someone really enjoy classic literature it doesn't make them a better fan of literature then someone who enjoys reading Doctor Who fan fiction. It's all just different tastes.

#30 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4351 posts) -

It makes for a noticeable headline.

#31 Posted by mrfluke (5149 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@BearSpark said:

Why is society so surprised that females might actually be interested in playing games on whatever medium is out there.

Because video games are still seen as nerdy child's play; as an insider activity and such.

this

#32 Posted by joshwent (2199 posts) -

Duders here so quick to discount 'casual' games. What are the requirements that make you more into games than someone who plays different ones?

I guess you could say there's a skill element to what may be considered AAA titles that casual gamers may lack, but fuck, I lack that too, and it doesn't mean I'm any less passionate about games.

People have mentioned Skyrim, I assume because it's a game that takes a big time dedication to play, but I'm sure there are millions of ladies that have poured 100+ hours into making their farmville farm perfect.

And don't get me wrong, I think those games are manipulative and ultimately pointless, but but when you come down to it so is Modern Warfare. Get over it.

Some girl playing her first crappy facebook game today may be the person on the side walk waiting for the midnight release of whatever amazing game tomorrow. More gamers is always good news!

#33 Posted by Petiew (1347 posts) -

I wouldn't say it's news worthy or particuarly crazy. Pretty much all of the girls I'm friends with have played some sort of game, even if it's Just Dance or a Facebook game. 
I'd be interested in some more comprehensive statistics though. Average time/money spent on games, types, etc. From the video on the BBC website the big predicted jump does seem to be from Tablet/Facebook games.

#34 Posted by LikeaSsur (1529 posts) -

Although I'll probably get some heat for being the guy that says "Those aren't real games," I have to stand by the general consent here and say any kind of Facebook game does not make someone a gamer.

Maybe I'm being "protective" of my title, but hear me out. If I change the tires on my car, does that make me a mechanic? If I talk to my friends about how much I liked Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, am I a movie critic? If I occasionally run a few times a week, does that make me an athlete?

If we broadened all these terms as much as possible, then sure, I am a mechanic, critic, and athlete. But the problem with broadening these definitions is that they lose their special meaning. If I'm a mechanic, then why can't I fix the radiator like other mechanics? Why can't I tell the difference between a David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock film? Why can't I play in the MLB if I'm an athlete? So to call people who play nothing but Facebook games and/or Angry Birds "gamers" just doesn't sit well with me.

#35 Edited by mandude (2669 posts) -

@D_W said:

@mandude said:

@D_W said:

No it's not news, and no there isn't a difference between a mobile game and a big budget AAA title just like there's no difference between a novella and novel. Both can be equally shallow and both can be equally amazing. Disregarding someone because they only play on a certain platform or don't play a certain type of game is disregarding someone because they've never been exposed to a band you like.

They generally go for entirely different things, though. Those kinds of games aim purely to amuse and rarely (never?) anything else, whereas gaming as we know it has long since evolved beyond that.

It makes as much sense as comparing a cinema movie to a YouTube video of someone falling and hurting their groin. Sure, they were both captured on camera, but there is a vast sea of disconnect when it comes to what they actually are at their core.

I don't about that. A big budget Hollywood comedy would have someone getting kicked in the balls and it would be the same quality of humor as home movie of someone getting kicked in the balls. When it comes to Youtube, it an interesting example because of the wide variety and quality of stuff on there. There are people making their living off their videos, there are people that use it to bootleg old TV shows, there are people that throw their home movies up there so they can share it with their family, and so many other uses.

Point is you can't qualify an experience based on the medium of delivery. Especially since experiences are entirely subjective and different for each person. There is no illegitimate experience. If someone really enjoy classic literature it doesn't make them a better fan of literature then someone who enjoys reading Doctor Who fan fiction. It's all just different tastes.

I'm not saying that any experience is illegitimate or that it may be lesser than another experience. My point is that you can't reconcile two experiences based on the fact that the medium is the same, much in the same way you wouldn't recommend fiction books to someone who has only ever read textbooks, simply because you know they read "books".

These are all technically "games" as it were, but it can't be denied that there is a vast difference. The people that play Facebook games are going to be generally different to the people that play console and PC games. The study is stupid, because it doesn't recognise this difference, and it identifies them as all the same. This makes it useless to people coming specifically from one group or another (most people).

#36 Posted by C0V3RT (1377 posts) -

@joshwent said:

Duders here so quick to discount 'casual' games. What are the requirements that make you more into games than someone who plays different ones?

I guess you could say there's a skill element to what may be considered AAA titles that casual gamers may lack, but fuck, I lack that too, and it doesn't mean I'm any less passionate about games.

People have mentioned Skyrim, I assume because it's a game that takes a big time dedication to play, but I'm sure there are millions of ladies that have poured 100+ hours into making their farmville farm perfect.

And don't get me wrong, I think those games are manipulative and ultimately pointless, but but when you come down to it so is Modern Warfare. Get over it.

Some girl playing her first crappy facebook game today may be the person on the side walk waiting for the midnight release of whatever amazing game tomorrow. More gamers is always good news!

Well said. I was getting ready to chime in with something along these lines. Just because the games don't appeal the type of person that's reading and posting on the site doesn't mean it's any less of a game. Phone and tablet games are a totally legit thing that, if anything, have made need for a dedicated portable gaming device like a 3DS or Vita less essential. There were some amazing experiences to be had on those platforms in the last year too.

#37 Posted by Athadam (692 posts) -

Just because there may be more female gamers, doesn't mean all the money is going to shift towards the production of mobile games.

We have to remember that although casual gamers may make up the bulk of the players, the hardcore crowd will always have more disposable income to put into the gaming industry.

#38 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I read it first and thought that this must be wrong, because whenever I play any online game all I hear are males talking and when looking around the games industry all I see are males with the occasional female. But then I thought about all those games on Facebook, millions of middle age women probably spend a lot of time playing Bejewelled or something on Facebook.

#39 Edited by Branthog (5562 posts) -

Though I'm not a woman, I believe my man-boobs qualify me to answer on behalf of women, everywhere.

First, I don't believe this is news, because it already happened a couple years ago, I believe. As I recall, the majority of gamers are middle-aged women and have been for years. For certain, something like 54% of PC gamers were women in 2009 and 64% of online gamers were women, in 2006. Of course, that is taking every type of game into account. Letterpress on the iOS and shitty advergaming on Facebook. I won't contend that those are not games, of course, but I don't think my 50+ year old mom who only plays Zuma on the iMac I bought her for mother's day counts as her being a "gamer". However, my friend's wife (in her 40s) who plays more games than he does on her iPhone and on the XBox 360 I bought them would definitely qualify in the spirit of the word "gamer".

When you dismiss casual mobile and social networking games, I believe the average gamer is still a 38-40 year old male. It has been that for years, now (though scaling up a bit each year).

Of course, I'd love to have more women in gaming, across the board. I'd like it to reach the point where it's no longer such a rare occurrence that everyone turns into a fucking idiot as soon as they hear a feminine voice in a game's voice channel. And I'd love to see more games take women into consideration as a possible audience (while not allowing that to reduce what their games already are).

Then again, there's no quota. In the long run, I don't really care that much if women generally don't want to be "hard core gamers". Or if they don't want to be welders. Or if guys generally don't want to be nurses or grade school teachers. I'm not taking a yardstick to every aspect of life. As long as people can do something if they wanted to.

#40 Posted by Animasta (14691 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

That nasty free will, always ruining everything! I don't look at media dominated by women (romantic novels and fan-fiction, my God) and go "it's such a shame that its like this, make something for the boys to enjoy!"

There are plenty of males who enjoy romantic fiction; on 4chan's yuri (lesbian) board, about half of them are male, and around half of them like it because of the romantic aspect (half of them like the porn aspect, obviously). I know due to 4chan it skews male, but still. I think that's a more interesting discussion than the advent of female gamers to be honest, because romantic novels have been around way longer than video games...

#41 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Ok, explain to me then why the majority of Giantbomb users are male?

#42 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Branthog said:

Though I'm not a woman, I believe my man-boobs qualify me to answer on behalf of women, everywhere.

Not sure if sexism or equality.

#43 Posted by Anund (893 posts) -

@joshwent said:

Duders here so quick to discount 'casual' games. What are the requirements that make you more into games than someone who plays different ones?

I guess you could say there's a skill element to what may be considered AAA titles that casual gamers may lack, but fuck, I lack that too, and it doesn't mean I'm any less passionate about games.

People have mentioned Skyrim, I assume because it's a game that takes a big time dedication to play, but I'm sure there are millions of ladies that have poured 100+ hours into making their farmville farm perfect.

And don't get me wrong, I think those games are manipulative and ultimately pointless, but but when you come down to it so is Modern Warfare. Get over it.

Some girl playing her first crappy facebook game today may be the person on the side walk waiting for the midnight release of whatever amazing game tomorrow. More gamers is always good news!

I don't see anyone saying more female gamers is a bad thing. However, I feel saying "there are more female gamers than male gamers" is irrelevant when the types of game women play are so different from the ones we play that the comparison is basically pointless. It's as if you're talking to a bunch of F1 drivers, saying "yeah, well there are more women driving cars than men, these days". Sure, that is probably right (given there are more women than men on the planet). It still doesn't change the fact that all F1 drivers are male and they probably consider themselves apart from the general group of "people who drive".

I think this is why we invent terms like "hardcore gamers", stupid as it sounds, because the term gamer now includes 50 year old housewives managing their Farmville farm and we, as a community, probably don't feel we're really in the same group as them, even though we technically are. Just like F1 drivers, technically, belong to the group "people who drive cars".

#44 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -
@Animasta

@Brodehouse said:

That nasty free will, always ruining everything! I don't look at media dominated by women (romantic novels and fan-fiction, my God) and go "it's such a shame that its like this, make something for the boys to enjoy!"

There are plenty of males who enjoy romantic fiction; on 4chan's yuri (lesbian) board, about half of them are male, and around half of them like it because of the romantic aspect (half of them like the porn aspect, obviously). I know due to 4chan it skews male, but still. I think that's a more interesting discussion than the advent of female gamers to be honest, because romantic novels have been around way longer than video games...

I realize men read romantic fiction, I like a decent rom-com myself (I've written a few). But I don't require campaigns to 'get more men into romantic fiction' because we all know, if men want to get into it, they will. We assume men have free will and agency over their interests, if they don't want to read books, they don't want to read books. But if women aren't interested in something, it's an issue that must be resolved. Women (as a statistical group, of course) don't like X, we need to change X to 'get them in' as if they can't do it themselves. I think that that's sexist as hell, not against men, but women (eh, both). It just reinforces the old Men Do and Women Have Done To Them bullshit.

My girlfriend actually loves those Goddamn farm games, there's a copy of Funky Barn IN MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW and it's her fault. But she's also been playing through Mark of the Ninja. She hasn't been playing through Dead or Alive. I don't think DoA 'has to change' to attract women, I don't think Funky Barn 'has to change' to attract men. I think Mark of the Ninja is awesome. ... I've lost the plot here. I need to stop foruming on my phone. Everyone should play Mark of the Ninja.
#45 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

It makes sense because women represent about 80% of the consumer marketplace, and childless women statistically have more money and time to spend on leisure products. For about a decade now women have made up the majority of university graduates and dominate the middle and upper classes. The only consumer bloc that is bigger than women in North America is whites, no wonder you're going to see a lot of stuff geared towards their interests. I always found it weird that when women were a vast minority within games it was characterized as a shame that needs to be corrected, rather than the natural result of people choosing what they want to do with their time. That nasty free will, always ruining everything! I don't look at media dominated by women (romantic novels and fan-fiction, my God) and go "it's such a shame that its like this, make something for the boys to enjoy!" There are people who are like that, they're the ones going "how DARE you read 50 Shades of Grey, you are A BAD PERSON!" Just the male version of those puritanical anti-sex prudes who want to get thinks pornography is abusive. .... I don't even know what I'm bitching about anymore. Continue on!

Women also make up 54% of the population.

If they ever get motivated and organized, we are FUCKED.

#46 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Branthog said:

If they ever get motivated and organized, we are FUCKED.

Is that why the Republican party has been enacting all those anti-woman policies?

#47 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Branthog said:

If they ever get motivated and organized, we are FUCKED.

Is that why the Republican party has been enacting all those anti-woman policies?

I just assumed that was because of tradition. :P

#48 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

Well I'm curious how many people dismissing casual or phone games started playing games with simple fare like Super Mario Bros, Pitfall. Sonic the Hedgehog or Tetris? None of which are really all that more complex than the phone games they dismiss so readily. No one just starts playing Skyrim and is instantly into those kinds of games.

#49 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -
@Branthog

@Brodehouse said:

It makes sense because women represent about 80% of the consumer marketplace, and childless women statistically have more money and time to spend on leisure products. For about a decade now women have made up the majority of university graduates and dominate the middle and upper classes. The only consumer bloc that is bigger than women in North America is whites, no wonder you're going to see a lot of stuff geared towards their interests. I always found it weird that when women were a vast minority within games it was characterized as a shame that needs to be corrected, rather than the natural result of people choosing what they want to do with their time. That nasty free will, always ruining everything! I don't look at media dominated by women (romantic novels and fan-fiction, my God) and go "it's such a shame that its like this, make something for the boys to enjoy!" There are people who are like that, they're the ones going "how DARE you read 50 Shades of Grey, you are A BAD PERSON!" Just the male version of those puritanical anti-sex prudes who want to get thinks pornography is abusive. .... I don't even know what I'm bitching about anymore. Continue on!

Women also make up 54% of the population.

If they ever get motivated and organized, we are FUCKED.

I think you're confused. They are organized. They register and vote in higher numbers and in higher proportions. They are 57% of the American electorate. There are 10 million more female voters than men. The only bloc bigger than women is, once again, whites (at 72% IIRC). Women make up I believe 16% of the elected officials; but I believe their candidacy rate is equal to that.
#50 Posted by feliciano182 (100 posts) -

There's an obvious problem with the news when they think someone that plays Farmville is a "gamer".

Now, what I don't get is why are some videogamers here are thinking that Farmville isn't a game, sure, it may be a crappy game, but it's still a game.