Monday, May 12, 2008

Game girls

The profile of the typical gamer has changed drastically over the past decade, with middle-aged housewives now as likely to play games as teenage boys.

The average gamer in Australia is now 28 years old, up from 24 just two years ago. And despite being largely ignored by the game industry, 41% are female.

Women and older Australians are the fastest-growing audience for computand video games and if trends continue, by 2014 the average age of Australian gamers will be the same as non-players - 42 - with an equal number of male and female players.

Trends are similar in the US, where 38% of gamers are female, spending an aver erage 7.4 hours a week playing, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

The popularity of video games has led to astonishing growth. Australians spent a whopping $1.3 billion on video games and consoles last year - a rise of 43% from 2006.

Much of the recent growth in the Australian game market and the dramatic shift in gamer demographics is due to the success of a small number of non-traditional games such as the SingStar karaoke range (more than 520,000 sold), the Buzz trivia titles (more than 280,000 sold), Wii Sports (more than 350,000 sold) and the hugely popularly hand-held games such as Nintendogs and Brain Training.

The Sims, the world's most popular computer game, has also been hugely popular among women, as has the multiplayer online game World of Warcraft. Both are largely about building relationships.

The Casual Games Association reports that 74% of paying
customers for these games are female. And when it comes to mobile phones, women are just as likely to
play games as men, with Forrester Research suggesting that 19% of
Australian mobile phone users are playing games at least once a
week on their phone, while another 24% play less regularly.

Article Link (Sunday Morning Herald)

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