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Hand over the controller, girl gamers say


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By Deborah Jian Lee


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gina Sutton takes aim and deftly strikes down several targets in a row as they pop up on the screen in front of her.


A self-described girl gamer, she traveled from her home in Virginia to spend her 16th birthday at the Nintendo World Store in New York, and she can't understand why anyone would think video games are just for boys.


"It's like saying boys play with action figures and girls play with dolls," she said as she used a Wii Zapper in a game called Link's Crossbow Training. "I'm the girl who plays with action figures."


With her nimble fingers and bubbling enthusiasm, she is one of a fast-growing posse of female gamers in the United States and elsewhere capturing the attention of video game makers -- expanding the market beyond male-appeal games like Grand Theft Auto.


Girls and young women are a "pot of gold" for the industry, said George VanHorn, senior analyst at market research firm IBISWorld. "The gaming industry has market characteristics that many would die for."


According to IBISWorld, 38 percent of U.S. gamers are female, up from 33 percent in just five years.


From January through August of 2008 females ages 18 to 45 made up 28 percent of the total industry revenue, ranking second to males ages 18 to 45, who made up 37 percent.


Software makers have churned out a throng of non-violent, easy-to-play games in a bid to capture so-called casual gamers -- those who don't spend a lot of time on games -- and women make up a big part of that target audience. Continued...

I'm glad to see more female gamers joining the club. It's definitely going to split 50/50 in the next 5-10 years or so. There are now more and more games directly only to female audiences. :naughty:

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Well, Hera's little girl just hit 1 recently. She is still too young, but she will get a controller in her hand... soon enough. But if they start making more and more games where you can take the role of a girl as well... it will really help seal the deal. It's kinda like why you don't see responses from the main character in certain old RPG's. Like Breath of Fire for example. You assume what he would say, but never get to see him speak. They respond... and it flows kinda like they are plating off what you thought in your head. In that way, you do not dissociate from the main character. How many times has a main character (with your name) said something you would NEVER SAY!!! (that is why my friend never uses his name) but even Master Chief never showed his face. (pffft. I hate Halo... but I needed another example)


So if you take that kinda mindset... you can see how they really need to consider who will play their game. In Unreal Tournament, one can pick a girl. But can you do that in COD4? Girls don't necessarily need games made specifically for them... I'm sure Bambi doesn't want to play a girly game... (or maybe she does... more gamer score for her) but I know she wants to frag someone... or beat the ever living sh!t out of ya. But that doesn't mean she isn't girly.


I just hope there is only a small amount of trash games made toward girl gamers. Because I am sick of seeing the trash they expect us guys to play... Saints Row 2... Mercenaries 2... These 2 games are absolute rubbish. UT3 is far far FAAAR superior as far as FPS go ... It blows Halo out of the water... (yea yea... opinion) Sure its not a new release, but it's 30 bucks for the PS3. (not sure for 360) But since Mercenaries is new... it's like 50 dollars. I don't give a damn... that game is worth 20 bucks. Easy. I'm sick of garbage. And with this new directive... I expect to see feminine rubbish too before too long. Meh. Trash is trash I guess.



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A good friend of mine is a hardcore girl gamer, although she's heavily geared towards JRPGs. Still, she just asked me the other day if she should get the Orange box for the PS3, just so that she could experience Half-Life 2 and Portal.


She doesn't like online gaming, so Team Fortress 2 is out of the question, even when that comes with the package.

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My girlfriend is a huge fan of FPS/TPS games and stuff like Mortal Combat. She's damn good too, so no one can give her any grief for being a girl gamer (who, as we know, usually suck :) ).

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