I was looking for one place on the web that had a list of the mix of male and females across the ‘game/virtual world’ space. I have actually found it useful to quote many of these stats to clients who still believe console games, online ‘quest’ based games and virtual worlds are still the domain of twenty something, slightly overweight, couch potato, anti-social males. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are lots of Australian centric insights (eg: SMH here “Never too old to play“) But these are more global or US based. Read on and in no particular order!
“Games Women Play” Sep 08Â from the Edge
- Online casual games bring in 150 million women every monthâ€“ roughly half the population of the United States.
- Nearly two-thirds of women casual players online are over 35.
- Women play casual games 5 to 10 hours per day â€“ significantly greater than the 7.4 hours per week by a survey by the Casual Gaming Association.
- Competition, rather than simple relaxation or escapism, motivates them to play.
- Female players who are 18 and older represent one third of the game-playing population while male players who are 17 or younger represent only 18 percent of casual gamers
- Playing casual games is often the first thing women do after waking. They check their ranking and play for on average of 2 Â½ hours every morning.
- Women engage in trivia games with the family members but play action games alone.
- Most women players are married or in a relationship and have children.
Online Gaming Popularity Grows Among Youngest and Oldest Female Segments in the U.S. ComScore report.
- Significant user growth among teenage girls between the ages of 12 and 17 and women between the ages of 55 and 64.
- Growth in the 12 â€“ 17 age range was 55% compared to the total female online gaming audience rate of 27%
- The over-55 age range grew 43%.
BBC 23 December 2008 “Battle of the Sexes”
- It found that the most hard-core players are female, that gamers are healthier than average, and that game playing is an increasingly social activity.
- Despite gaming being seen as a male activity, female players now make up about 40% of the gaming population.
- The study (detailed link here from Wiley interscience) looked at gender differences in more than 2,400 gamers playing EverQuest II.
Industry Facts from Entertainment Software Association ESA
- The average game player is 35 years old and has been playing games forÂ 13 years.
- The average age of the most frequent game purchaser isÂ 40 years old.
- Forty percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent aÂ significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent).
- In 2008,Â 26 percent of Americans over the age of 50 played video games, an increase from nine percent in 1999
- Sixty-three percent of parents believe games are a positive part of their childrenâ€™s lives.
Women Embrace Casual Games from RedHerring “Casual Gamers Anything But”
- Spend as much as 20 hours each week playing their favorite games.
- More than 70 percent said they play at night, and 58 percent have no children living at home.
- Results from the Harris research reveal that 67 percent of the women over 40 who play games do so at least four times per week. Nearly half play every day.
- Some 60 percent say they would rather play a casual game than talk on the phone or do projects around the home, while nearly 50 percent said they would rather play a casual game than go to a movie.
PDF report by Pew Internet. “Adults and Video Games”
- More than half – 53% – of all American adults play video games of some kind
- Independent of all other factors, younger adults are still more likely to play games.
- Among older adults 65+ who play video games, nearly a third play games everyday, a significantly larger percentage than all younger players, of whom about 20% play everyday.
- Gaming consoles are the most popular for young adults: 75% of 18-29 year old gamers play on consoles, compared with 68% who use computers
- Computers are the most popular among the total adult gaming population, with 73% of adult gamers using computers to play games, compared with 53% console users, 35% who using cell phones, and 25% using portable gaming devices.
BBC 17 Sep 2008 “Online gamers are not unhealthy“
- The “couch potato” image of computer gamers is unfounded, with many in better than average shape, claim US researchers.
- More than 7,000 players of the online game EverQuest II were quizzed about their health by scientists.
- They found gamers’ body mass index (BMI) tended to be lower than the US average – with many taking “proper” exercise more than once a week.
Driving Force in Video Gaming: Women and Baby Boomers. Reported on PC World Aug 2008.Â IBISWorld claims that:
- 38 percent of US gamers are women
- The average player is 35 years old
- 24 percent are over 50.
- The percentage of female video gamers climbed from 33 to 38 percent in five years bolstered in part by Nintendo’s Wii, but also “interactive group games” such as Singstar, Rock Band, and Lips, as well as The Sims, The Movies, Nintendogs and NeoPets.
Demographics of the top 3 games on Facebook – from Bret on Social Games
- Scramble which is the only game among the top three developers dominated by women(63%).
- The age of Zynga players is spread more evenly among the three age segments, but with ~50% in the 22-25 age bracket.
- Blake Commagere’s Monsters games also have ~50% of their users in the 22-25 age bracket.
- They also have a fairly even male-female ratio.
Second Life demographics and usage – reported by Lost in Bananaverse
- 83.79% of the population is 25 years and older, and the older users spend far more time in Second Life than younger users
- Females spent nearly twice as long online in Second Life as males. Females make up 45.5% of the Second Life population.
- Total user hours for April totaled 29,069,684 hours
- Those 45 and older continuing to be the heaviest users on average.
- 45 and older: 70.17 hours per user per month
- 35-44: 66.06 hours per user per user per month
- 25-34: 55.55 hours per user per user per month
- 18-24: 37.84 hours per user per user per month
- Teen grid: 24.67 hours per user per user per month
The demographics of World of Warcraft (useful but old 2005 data from Nick Yee)
- The average age of the WoW player is 28.3
- 84% of players are male
- 16% are female. Female players are significantly older (32.5) than male players (28.0)
- On average, they spend 22.7 hours per week playing WoW.
- There are no gender differences in hours played per week.
ESSENTIAL FACTS ABOUT THE COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY 2008 SALES, DEMOGRAPHIC AND USAGE DATA (full report from ESA at Scribd)
- 13 is the average number of years adult gamers have been playing computer or video games. Among most frequent gamers, adult males average 15 years for game playing, females for 12 years.
- 59% of gamers play games with other gamers in person. This is a rise from 56% in 2007 and from 51% in 2006.
- The average age of the most frequent game purchaser is: 40
- 56% of online game players are male 44% are female.
- What is the One Type of Online Game Played Most Often?
- 12% Other
- 47% Puzzle/Board/Game Show/Trivia/Card
- 16% Action/Sports/ Strategy/Role-Play
- 14% Downloadable Games Such as Bejeweled and Diner Dash
- 11% Persistent Multi-Player Universe
Women are hardcore gamers from bNet in 2006
- Electronic Arts’ casual game site Pogo.com draws 11 million unique users per month. Fifty-five percent of those are women.
- On the subscription side, 75 percent of the more than 1 million subscribers are women over the age of 35.
Study: Women Gamers Outnumber Men in 25-34 Age Group – from GameDaily 2006
- Consumer Electronics Association study found that 65 percent of women in the 25-34 age bracket play video games, while only 35 percent of men in that group said that they play video games. The key factor involved with these findings is the increasing popularity of casual games, especially among women. (These casual titles are typically found on web portals like Yahoo!, AOL Games, PopCap Games, EA’s Pogo.com and elsewhere.)
- Women were found to be slightly less likely than men in the 25-34 bracket to play traditional console games on systems like PlayStationÂ or Xbox.
Old (2000) but interesting item on ‘gender bending’ in games from womengamers.com
- 6% of subjects play female characters for 25% or less of their gaming time
- 24% play females for 26-50% of their gaming time
- 15% play females for 51-75% of their gaming time
- 42% play females for 76-100% of their gaming time
- 12% did not answer this question