Look Who’s Playing Video Games
Posted on September 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm
The Washington Post has a great photo of my friend Ally Burguieres playing video games with her mother and sister. The article says:
Women and girls make up 40 percent of the gamer population, according to the Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry’s trade group. And with game software sales at $9.5 billion last year, companies are paying closer attention to the titles women seek out…
For years, the video game industry spent its marketing dollars on trying to get guys excited about the latest sports or shoot-’em-up title. It was generally assumed that women and girls weren’t interested.
But that started to change in 2004, says industry analyst Michael Pachter, when Nintendo launched its DS portable game system, named for its dual screens. Its features stretched the notion of what a video game is — and who might want to play.
Women gamers even have their own website. And this is a delightful Amazon list of games for “women with lives.” It wasn’t that long ago that it was assumed that women would not be interested in games. Sheri Graner Ray, who says she got into the game industry in the first place “Because it was the only industry where I could list 15 years of running “Dungeons and Dragons” games on my resume as valid job experience!” She wrote a book about “gender inclusive game design.” Microsoft’s xBox brochure tells its buyers “Here are some things you might want to tell your wife this thing does.” Maybe with the next upgrade they will remember that women like Ally Burguieres, currently studying for her PhD in linguistics, don’t need anyone to explain it to them. Women are not just playing, they are entering tournaments.
Late last year, Nancy Davies, an 84-year-old woman living in a retirement community, defeated a real-life bowling champion in a Wii Sports tournament. She had been playing for only one year.