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Women play as many video games as men
June 13, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
Here's a statistic that defies the stereotype: according to a USA Today article, nearly half of all people who play video games are female. A lot of them are also well above college age. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 61 percent of women between the ages of 45 and 64 play video games and 57 percent of men in that age group do. Teenage boys ages 17 and under represent only about one-fifth of all players of video games. I can't say I'm that surprised, given all my female relatives who seem to enjoy playing games on Facebook, though I suspect that women like different types of video games than do boys.
I'm a good example. I started out playing the shoot 'em up games that my dad played and bought for the home PC – Castle Wolfenstein, anyone? – or my mother's computer Solitaire and Tetris. Once I was the one buying the occasional video game, I ended up buying character-driven or mystery-oriented games like Myst. I've also played the Sims since it first came out. This can be an expensive hobby, since Electronic Arts, the maker of the game, keep coming out with new stuff. However, I just discovered that watching ads on the site for 30 seconds a pop will earn you 10 "SimPoints" and a chance to buy a new lamp or pair of shoes for your Sim's dwelling place.
The Sims seems to be played by people of all ages, but is heavily dominated by girls and women who enjoy designing houses, clothing and telling stories with different animated characters in different settings. There are "Sim Stories" posted on forums all over the Internet. Depending on your point of view, the Sims, with its focus on style, relationships and storytelling, is a digital dollhouse, stage or storytelling venue that appeals to traditional female strengths.
There's obviously a market for this sort of thing, judging from the numbers of people who play computer games. It would be nice to see more games geared towards what female gamers like.
Have you played any video games lately?
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