Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Charles: I don't remember the study, but I think I've seen that "majority female" stat before. Thing is, when they said "computer games" they included Solitaire and such, and I think the study I saw specifically mentioned that women were mostly playing that kind of stuff rather than the games this trope refers to.

The average age of a gamer is 33 years old. More women 25-40 play video games than males 15-25. The ESA has all of this data easily available.

Tanto: One, this kind of stuff goes on the discussion page, not on the main page. Two, this entry deals with demographics (target audience) and public perception, which do not necessarily have to match up with actual facts. Third, this data includes, if I'm not mistaken, people who buy one game a year and people whose video game experience consists of nothing more than Solitaire and Minesweeper, which is technically accurate perhaps but outside what we normally mean when we use the word "gamer".

Sci Vo: Thanks for catching that. I seriously doubt that 33-year-old women are more likely than 20-year-old men to self-identify as "gamers" and spend money on video games. Even if I'm wrong, my perception is obviously shared by the developers and marketers of video games, which is the point of this trope.

Gfrequency: This trope may have been true enough twenty years ago, but I think it's safe to say that most people this editor (and likely other editors who contribute regularly to this index) knows play video games, male and female alike. I'm not talking about soccer moms playing Peggle. I can look at any male friend of mine and any female friend and they will both have a favorite character in SoulCalibur or BlazBlue. They will both be able to discuss Final Fantasy at length. That said, how does the general perception of all (or even most) gamers as 15-25-year-old males persist? More importantly, why is said demographic automatically assumed to be entirely idiotic? "It's not Shakespeare yet?" There are plenty of story-focused games out there. Legacy of Kain, Mass Effect, Planescape: Torment, even Marathon, a First-Person Shooter of all things. The medium is not all tits 'n' entrails, though it's fashionable to say so.

Look at which games have been most financially successful in the last five to ten years: the Halo series, Gears of War, GTA, and the Call of Duty series immediately spring to mind. All of these games are wildly commercially successful, and garnered a huge amount of attention, both inside and outside the video game community. Note also, that their commercial success is due to the fact to the utterly huge amounts of people who actually buy the games, numbering in the millions. While certainly developers like Bioware can gain a following for games like Planescape: Torment, Mass Effect, Baldur's Gate, and Dragon Age, the facts remain that these games are both a niche of the market and that even they are predominantly targeted towards the young male audience. Even more mainstream games like Soul Calibur are blatantly geared towards the Male Gaze, with third-person seductresses galore. Note also that "all your friends" is a very small sample size, and that the majority of self-identifying gamers is in fact male.