Female Console Gamers

Photo of women playing a console game.

Female Console Gamers


Intepret LLC

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21% of women gamers had used an Xbox 360 in 2011.
That compares to 17% who did so in 2009.
16% used a PS3 in 2011.
Compared to 12% in 2009.
44% of female gamers preferred genres other than casual, exercise and music/rhythm.

THOUGHT: The video game industry just keeps expanding and diversifying from its base among console owners.  

The introduction of Nintendo’s Wii diversified console user demographics but there had long been solid use among women of casual online games. Now we have social games on Facebook and Google+, we have mobile games such as Angry Birds and Words With Friends, and we have location-based gaming with Foursquare at its simplest and the more involved geocaching.

I find the growth in female use of consoles fascinating. I think the Wii’s motion gaming has something to do with that growth and perhaps Microsoft’s Kinect. But as the last stat indicates, they’re not all playing traditional female games. I’d love to see a breakout of those numbers by age, though, to see if it is being driven by younger female gamers.

The fact that females seem to be adopting console gaming has implications for businesses in the expectations they will bring to other experiences.

We boys already know the awesomeness of the realistic, immersive worlds of such games as Call of Duty. No other category of games–not social nor mobile nor casual–offers that type of experience.

I think the fact that women have been slow to adopt consoles explains why the J. Crews and L.L. Beans and other fashion retailers have not developed their own console-based virtual stores. I’m convinced virtual retailing of this type is only a question of when, not if.

More broadly, though, as gaming continues to permeate more and more aspects of our culture, businesses will have to adapt to the expectations those experiences set.

Will your consumers be satisfied with a simple website when they’re asking themselves why Target can’t be a video game?

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Advice from 1938: Sexist tips for women dealing with men from a magazine story. [SEE]

Thank you for intellectual sparring partners.


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