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Games Science

Girl Gamers More Hardcore Than Guys 284

Posted by Soulskill
from the takes-time-to-collect-all-those-pretty-hats dept.
TheClockworkSoul writes "Scientific American reports on a study published this month in the Journal of Communication, which found that women who engage in a role-playing game online actually commit more time on average than the male players do. The authors surveyed 7,000 players logged in to EverQuest II (PDF), and found that the average age of the gamers surveyed was 31, and that playing time tended to increase with age. Interestingly, however, the female gamers not only tended to log more time online (29 hours per week versus 25 for the males), but were also more likely to lie about how much they really play."
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Girl Gamers More Hardcore Than Guys

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  • Hardcore is right... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slushdork (566514) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @07:49PM (#30540246)
    Girl seeking WoW player [craigslist.org]
  • EQ?!? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by adavies42 (746183) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @07:50PM (#30540254)
    Anyone left in EQ is hard-core by definition. Why didn't they study WoW?
  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:00PM (#30540342) Journal

    Which really begs the question; is it better to date a gaming girl or a 'normal' girl? Considering that many gaming girl's I've seen are quite cute and hot too.

    Not that I have dated any gaming girls, but it might get boring after a while if both just played games. I never usually go anywhere, but I always kind of liked it when a gf dragged me out to city or to a bar (which is great just together). And it's fun to watch while she would play, or watch me while I'm playing. That probably wouldn't be the same if its just a normal thing. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind traveling in WoW or taking a round of MW2 or L4D with a gf.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:07PM (#30540400) Journal

    And now we know why, they are all in the games.

    And considering my own voice chat experience in MMO's, I am not all that surprised. Some seem to spend more time in game socializing.

    But I have been told several times not to reveal their gender to others, or that they didn't want to use voice chat in PUG groups.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Token_Internet_Girl (1131287) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:21PM (#30540508)
    Also, we put up with alot of gruff from the army of fat male nerds that populate most video games. Most assume that girls can't play as well as men, which is not particularly true, in my experience there are an equal number of bad female and male players. For me personally, I go out of the way to see that I'm not just mediocre at a game I love, but that I excel in it. That way, if someone says HURR YOU'RE A GIRL, I can say "So what? I kicked your ass last night in RvR"
  • Misleading headline (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BenoitRen (998927) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:24PM (#30540534)

    Just because girls waste more time on MMOs on average than boys doesn't mean they're more 'hardcore' gamers.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:35PM (#30540612) Journal

    Most assume that girls can't play as well as men

    Is this actually true? I've seen a lot of not-so-nice stuff, to downright stalking, in online games directed towards female players, but I've never seen the "oh a girl, she can't really play well" line.

    For what it's worth, my Steam friend list (mainly L4D centric) has a bunch of female players, and they're all better than average, some very much so. Then again, the most skilled one of them also hangs out at 4chan, which, I guess, kinda proves the point of TFA.

  • by PyroMosh (287149) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:52PM (#30540732) Homepage

    If there are plenty of you playing, what makes you think that the publishers and marketers are doing anything wrong?

    In other words, it seems to me there are two assumptions.

    1) That girls don't game, because games are aimed at guys.
    2) That girls don't game, because the marketing for those games is aimed at guys.

    If the first assumption is false - that girls like games with swords and guns and stuff that's outside the horrible "girl gamer" stereotype of Cooking Mama and The Sims - then why must the second assumption be true? If girls accept the games, won't the accept the marketing for those games in the same way? And in fact, isn't their use of these games proof of the same?

  • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @09:06PM (#30540830)

    Housewives.

    Most female players I've known have been housewives, and were able to put so much time in compared to their spouses because their spouses were out working.

    I used to be at home during the day because I worked at a newspaper where our hours were 8am to 8pm Mon, Tues, Fri, 8am to 6pm Weds and 8am to 12pm on Thurs so always had Thursday afternoons and Friday off as that's when the paper went to print. On those Thursday afternoons and Fridays I recall many times speaking to female guild mates who were in their mid to late twenties and early thirties playing because they'd done the house work and had nothing else to do. They'd play for hours in the day and continue to play with their partner when their partner got home.

  • by Stormwatch (703920) <<rodrigogirao> <at> <hotmail.com>> on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @09:07PM (#30540834) Homepage
    MMORPGs are mainstream. Shmups are hardcore. Come and talk to me again when you find girls who can one-credit Ikaruga.
  • by dylannika (1523113) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @10:17PM (#30541218)
    Maybe more of my friends would play. Maybe I would play different games. Maybe I'd have a character who doesn't have to run around scantily clad with huge breasts. These are things we do complain about (and are reasons some of my other female friends won't start playing). And there are plenty of games I won't even look at because these images are all that constitute the marketing of the game. I'm just saying the games could milk more money out of their players by focusing some energy on us girls!
  • by funkify (749441) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:13PM (#30541424)

    I just can't take "girl gamers" seriously because unfortunately, rule #1 of being a girl gamer is to make 100% sure that EVERYBODY knows you are a girl. I'm sorry, but WHY does it matter? It doesn't! Oh wait, except if you beat the guys, they MUST know they were beaten by a girl! And if you get beaten by the guys, hey, it's OK! You're just a girl!

    And of COURSE the girl gamers WANT all the added attention from the male misfits whose only hope of interaction with the opposite sex is only going to happen behind the veil of online gaming. You girl gamers say/pretend you don't, but you really do want it, or else you wouldn't follow the aforementioned rule #1 of being a girl gamer. And 100% of girl gamers follow rule #1.

    The only girl gamers I can take seriously aren't girl gamers. They're just gamers. They don't need for everyone to know they are girls. They don't need for ME to know they are girls. They just game in a gender neutral fashion. While I sincerely applaud any females who may be gaming in said manner, I doubt that any more than .00001% of female game players are really "just gamers" and not "girl gamers".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 24, 2009 @12:28AM (#30541744)

    . That being said, maybe game marketers will wake up and realize that we do play, and that we do invest a lot of time into it and maybe they'll actually try to start marketing to more of us. We're just as happy to plunk down our cash for a game. And we're probably more likely to plunk down extra cash on "accessories" and other non functional goodies to make our characters look good...

    I take it you've never looked at any of the games on Facebook. I've got about 60 females on my friends list, all but about 3 of them play the crap out of those things... especially the games that let you collect and decorate. And yes, most of them have spent at least $20 via micropayment systems to get exclusive accessories.

    Having said that, pretty much anyone playing EQ these days is going to be "hardcore", and the ones that aren't are probably just sticking around because they've already invested so much energy and time into it. WoW would be a much better study group due to its size and varied player base.

    I think the big issue is that many game devs don't understand there is a slightly different motivation in games. This is a general statement, I know- but women in general tend to think of the "goal" of a game as a combination of social interaction and collecting stuff, where men tend to consider the goal as being a matter of domination (over other players by being "better", or the game itself by 100%'ing it). Of course there's plenty of people that fall on either side or both.

  • Re:But- but- (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 24, 2009 @01:00AM (#30541864)

        When I was in high school, we took part in a mandatory survey. It ranged through sex, drugs, and alcohol. I answered honestly, but I was talking to people afterwards that blatantly lied. Well, unless they really believed how many alcoholic drug addicted whores we had in school (no, we didn't have many). Surveys are as honest as the people taking the results would like to believe.

      I think about that every time there is a story on the news about how young girls are having sex with multiple partners, and how wide spread drug use is among high school students. None of them care what they said on an anonymous survey.

    Ya I remember giving us those surveys too.
    I was a good kid in high school, didn't drink, smoke, party, or get laid (too busy playing Nintendo. 8bit). I told them I drank on a daily basis, had rampant unprotected sex, stole stuff when I felt like it, and smoked like a chimney... in addition to my cocaine and heroin habit. After class I talked with my other geeky friends (we all hated drugs because Nancy Reagan told us to, and knew that smokers were the Devil) and they had all done the same thing. The next day most of the people I knew who were "good" and "clean" kids admitted to lying and saying they did some kind of drug, or were sexually active when not, etc. None of it was arranged, but when we had the teachers tell us a dozen times how it was all confidential 100% we went to town. Turns out most of the "bad" kids, actually lied and played down their "bad" behavior... I personally think because they were more street-savvy & knew better than to trust a teacher who said something was confidential (often confidential just means they won't tell anyone except your parents, the cops, the other teachers, etc.)

    Two months later there was an emergency school board meeting. The local media was in an uproar. A week or two after the meeting the Superintendent came to each class, handed out slips of paper with a couple boxes on it. It read "On the last survey, how honest were you?" We then had a few options that we could check one or more of along the lines of "Completely honest, Small exaggerations, Didn't admit to everything, Mostly lied, etc.". After they tallied the results, 70-something % indicated they lied about pretty much everything, and less than 5% said they were totally honest, and 99% admitted to "slight" exaggerations or omissions.
    So a week before the end of the year they gave us another survey, pretty much the same as the first one but re-worded, but this time each had a "tracking number" on it, and when we finished we got the same slip about how honest we were, also with a tracking number. This time the results were that nobody ever had sex (including the girls that were pregnant or already had kids), always used protection, never did any drugs, didn't smoke (including the kids that smoked WITH the teachers out back) etc. And 99% reported being 100% honest on the survey.

    Final analysis: Kids will lie like hell just to mess with you when they think there are no repercussions... but will lie even harder to avoid punishment if they think there could be repercussions.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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