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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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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @07:42PM (#30540168) Journal

    Have you ever been in a store with a girl? It's like raiding, grinding and looting all at the same time. And some innocent low leveler always get killed.

    And when the correct time comes, they stab your back and run away with your epic drop.

    • by DriedClexler (814907) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @07:45PM (#30540206)

      And when the correct time comes, they stab your back and run away with your epic drop.

      Is that what you call your jizz now?

    • by mindbrane (1548037) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @07:47PM (#30540228) Journal

      Have you ever been in a store with a girl?

      This is /. the closest anybody on this forum has come to being in a store with a girl was when they walked out with the latest blowup model they just bought. ;)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Beat me to first single, bitter male posting. Damn it!
  • by pablodiazgutierrez (756813) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @07:45PM (#30540208) Homepage

    There is previous evidence [craigslist.org] of this..

    • by hitmark (640295)

      ok, thats a clear casee of whiskey tango foxtrot...

      and also a fair bit of cognitive dissonanse...

  • by sadness203 (1539377) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @07:46PM (#30540220)
    They don't lie, they just doesn't count the time customizing the color and clothes of their characters which is probably 20 hours a week.*
    Here goes my Karma, down the drain. Should have used the post cowardly !

    * My girlfriend used to do that a lot in everquest and maple story... Actually.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      They don't lie, they just doesn't count the time customizing the color and clothes of their characters which is probably 20 hours a week.*

      +1 Insightful. Creative interpretation leads to omission of fact... which is not lying, if you're a girl.

  • 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?
    • because only about 5% of WoW's population is actual gamers.

    • Maybe being an adult, able to spell or speak in complete sentences (or at least 2 out of 3) was a requirement.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by murdocj (543661)

        Having playing EQ for about 5 years and WoW for about 5, I'd say there isn't a whole lot of difference between the intellectual or social capabilities of the two players bases. Remember, the term "drood" came from EQ, not WoW.

  • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @07:51PM (#30540262) Journal

    Oh, not that kind of hard core.

    That's okay. Just call them hon, talk about how hard core they are, and hit on them. When they get mad, they get distracted, and when they're distracted they're sloppy. Then when they lose tell them they play like a girl. Recommend you wear a groin protector if you're going to try this in person.

  • by dylannika (1523113) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:07PM (#30540402)
    There are girls who game, and who game quite extensively. I would call myself one of those girls, and I easily log 20+ hours a week playing. Granted, my friend set is probably a little skewed since we're all females in either engineering or CS, so I won't comment on the numbers of girls that exhibit these traits. 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...
    • 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?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dylannika (1523113)
        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!
        • This video sums it up quite nicely: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8ZVZRsy8N8 [youtube.com]

        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:58PM (#30541656)

          I don't know that I buy that. I've frequently heard that as an issue but is it really? I see two major flaws with that argument:

          1) Many, MANY games don't feature oversexualized women. You have games like Civ 4 or Need for Speed that don't really feature humans in any significant way. They are based around other things. Also, other games feature fully customizable characters. This is rather popular lately. YOU control how your protagonist looks, including gender. Games like Oblivion where you can be what you want to be. Still other games have women as just more characters. Mass Effect is a good example. The protagonist can be either gender, and in both cases is a strong, capable soldier (as that is the story) and other women and men on your team are likewise. So it seems that while there are some games that feature women only as sex objects, there are tons that don't.

          2) Have you looked at men in games? They get the same treatment. I look at myself, being pale, a bit thick around the midsection, wearing glasses and I see few male game heroes anything like me. Generally they are extremely muscular, have rugged good looks, and often as not favour clothes to show that off. They are not designed to say "This could be you!"

          So I'm really not sure I buy this argument. If that was the issue the solution would seem to be to just not buy games like that and buy the ones not like that. However the claim seems to be that because there are some games like that, women are put off by all games. Well there are some TV and movies like that, yet women are clearly not put off by TV and movies.

          I think the issue is more simply making games to appeal to everyone, not trying to make games of men or women, but also for society as a whole to accept gaming as a more acceptable form of entertainment for women. Now by that I don't mean just men deciding they are ok with it, I mean women have to as well. I think a large part of the problem is that women have this idea that being a gamer isn't socially acceptable. That is the sort of thing they must get over themselves, nobody can really do anything about it.

          • 1) Many, MANY games don't feature oversexualized women. You have games like Civ 4

            I dunno, cleopatra is pretty smokin hot on the DS version. And she makes kissy faces at you under some victory conditions.

            There have been a few low points in my life...

  • Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:15PM (#30540452)
    Of course more girl gamers are going to be more "hardcore" than male gamers. Why? Because its not as socially acceptable to casually play hardcore games as a girl. For example, if a guy says "I play WoW" most people would shrug it off, whereas it could be a lot more damaging socially for a girl to say that they played WoW. Because of this only girls who really like WoW and similar games will really play them and for males most of the time they aren't as "hardcore" because there is a lot more males who play and some are casual and some are hardcore. Females would almost all be hardcore gamers.
    • 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"
      • 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 HBI (604924)

          I think the subtle assumption is there. It's reinforced by the fact that a lot of *identifiable* chick gamers are attention whores. By which I mean: if they are willing to participate in voice chat and be identified as female, they probably want people to pay a lot of attention to them. Meaning that they aren't really all that interested in the game mechanics, but rather are going to the place where there are people which will feed their need for constant, unadulterated* attention. They'll let some guy

          • By which I mean: if they are willing to participate in voice chat and be identified as female, they probably want people to pay a lot of attention to them.

            Uhh... stereotype much? Pretty much any modern team game can only be played competitively with voice chat, and somehow any girl using one "wants people to pay a lot of attention"?..

            Oh, and "identifiable"? How about Steam profiles?

            Meaning that they aren't really all that interested in the game mechanics, but rather are going to the place where there are people which will feed their need for constant, unadulterated* attention. They'll let some guy pick their spec and tell them how to play.

            I have never, ever seen anything like this.

      • I've seen a fair lot of hardcore female players. For some reason mostly in FPS and MMOs, rarely in RTS. That would be an interesting research topic IMO, why FPS and not RTS?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You are completely wrong. Well, more like out of date.

      MMOs are perfectly acceptable for of entertainment for girls and women.
      My daughter as a lot of MMO options and her and het friends play them. Many women who are on gaming moms that I run into at school or other social events (non gaming events) play them.

      My Thursday and sunday games are half women.

      • MMOs are perfectly acceptable for of entertainment for girls and women.

        I never said that they weren't, I said that on most MMOs such as WoW and Everquest, women would usually be socially ridiculed for playing it in most circumstances. I happen to know some women who play MMOs like WoW and most are pretty good. However, they still say that people ridicule them for playing such games and keep it more of a secret than men.

        My daughter as a lot of MMO options and her and het friends play them.

        Such as? Yeah, there are some MMOs that are centered on the female demographic such as Neopets, and some Facebook MMOs, but these aren't Everquest like what

    • I think what is going on is that women are behind men in terms of gaming and social acceptance. As I've grown up I've watched video games grow from something for "nerds" in to a mass form of entertainment for everyone. It went from being a thing seen as mostly for kids to something that many adults play.

      When I started playing games, as a little kid (I got an NES when I was 6), it made me different from most people. My friends also liked games, but then my friends were geeky like me as you'd expect. It was s

  • Try EVE to balance it out -- I'm pretty sure that that's more male-filled than slashdot even (in a fleet of 500 there was one girl on voice chat; if there were any more out there on text chat they were at least hiding it...)
    • IMO that's because EvE has more in common with resource management games than traditional MMOs do. Yes, every MMO is essentially about resource management, but usually on a smaller, tactical scale (how much healing does the tank need, how quickly does mana regenerate...), not the long winded, strategic management game EvE is (where battles are usually fought in the hangars, when fleets meet it's usually already decided before the first shot is fired).

  • Misleading headline (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BenoitRen (998927)

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

    • by hedwards (940851)
      That's what I'm wondering about, in a lot of these sorts of games you can gain lots of XP by taking on harder tasks or just by spending many, many more hours grinding. Also, if we're just going by time playing that would include chat time as well as tidying up the character.

      Besides, to really be hardcore anymore you pretty much have to be taking that character out of the game and acting it out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by perlchild (582235)

      According to TFA, they considered hardcore someone who played more than 30 hours a week and answered "I don't plan to quit". Males were less hardcore on the second criterion IIRC.

    • (sexism ON)

      Yeah, it only means they really suck in it because they need to waste so much more time to get to maxlevel and gather all that gear!

      (sexism OFF)

  • by hort_wort (1401963) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:25PM (#30540540)

    I think it's because guys tend to drink more when they game. They pass out while the girl keeps gaming and eating chocolate.

  • The key part to note is that they only included a single game which fits very cleanly into a single genre. All it tells us is that female gamers play EQ2 more on average than male gamers. It's also a bit of evidence towards the same for MMORPGs in general. However, it's ridiculous to from this conclude that female gamers amongst the (much, much) broader gaming community play more than males.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dirkdodgers (1642627)

      This is true. The average player in this sample played 27 hours a week.

      That's 3-4 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Inversely, perhaps males are more likely to realize they're addicted to an MMO and stop. :p

    Additionally, this is inherently a biased sample, since it (1) only samples 1 game, and (2) only samples MMO game players.

    • The report showed that in the sample males were 13% more likely to be considering quitting than females.

    • But true :-)

      My girlfriend and me started playing WoW on launchday. We both had a stretch of time that we played pretty "hardcore".
      I'm a recovering wow-a-holic for almost two years now. She still plays the damn game (though a lot less time is involved now) but, still..

  • Become more obsessive, addicted and take interaction more personally.
    Seems the games are more 'targeted' to induce addiction rather than a recreational escape.
    Add in the "personal touch" and social networking and you have a revenue stream, like alcoholic beverages, gambling, smoking ect.
    • by mjwx (966435)

      Seems the games are more 'targeted' to induce addiction rather than a recreational escape.

      Which is why I dont play MMO's like WoW and EQ. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to Civ.

  • 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."

    and women don't masturbate as much as men, neither do they have the same sex drive. yeah, rite.

  • 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 geekoid (135745)

      If they ahve that nuch free time, perhaps they should get some employment instead of leaching?

      • You misspelled "get back in the kitchen."
      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Or it could be that they're the "stay at home" mom who's got the kid while the guy's working. Of course if I could find a wife that works and is willing to let me stay home I'd be happy with that too. I've got no problems taking care of kids but I digress. So in your own small closed-minded part of life, I'm sure you'd say "ship the shits off to daycare." Of course that's just a terrible way to bond with ones parents.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by selven (1556643)

        Playing WoW all day and having a job aren't mutually exclusive [buysellmmo.com]

    • According to the study, most males and females were employed (66.29% of females, 79.84% of males).

      However, that is a 13% gap. Also, there was a large gap between the incomes of males and females who were employed, perhaps in part because they tended to be a secondary income.

      Both of these factors probably account for some of the observed effect of women being disproportionately "hardcore", but not all of it.

      I think the take away is that social gaming can be powerfully addicting to females as well. There prob

  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao AT hotmail DOT 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 dirkdodgers (1642627) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @09:11PM (#30540864)

    I see Scientific American has about as much to do with science as the History Channel does with History. "60 second news?" I see the author didn't spend more than 60 seconds reading the report.

    Contrary to the article's implication, players in the sample were still overwhelmingly male, and while female players were more likely than male players to be "hardcore", numerically there were still more hardcore male players than hardcore female players.

    There are a number of datapoints in the study that are interesting:
    http://dmitriwilliams.com/LFGpaperfinal.pdf [dmitriwilliams.com]

    - The sample was self-selecting. The survey was offered to all players logged in during the sampling window.
    - Self-reported gender: 80.22% male, 19.72% female, .06% declined
    - Self-reported as being employed: 66.29% of females, 79.84% of males
    - Self-reported sexual orientation: Female: 14.15% Bisexual, 2.28% Homosexual, 6.4% Declined; Male: 3.64% Bisexual, 3.37% Homosexual, 3.6% Declined.
    - Self-reported played with a romantic partner: 61.52% of females, but only 24.77% of males

    What I found more interesting was that as many as 22% of female players were lesbian or bi-sexual, far more than in the general population. This was not mirrored in male players.

    I'll speculate that females playing more hours than males is in some part accounted for by the 13% employment gap reported between males and females in the sample.

    As to whether to believe the better than average self-reported BMI and exercise numbers from the women in the survey? What, women misrepresent their weight online? Unheard of!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by nicodoggie (1228876)

      What I found more interesting was that as many as 22% of female players were lesbian or bi-sexual,

      And that, my friend, is what makes them hardcore! I mean, how the hell would it be hardcore if there weren't lesbians and bi-sexuals??

  • by CrAlt (3208) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @09:57PM (#30541098) Homepage Journal

    Hmm..
    Since when did they start putting PC's in the kitchen?

    or

    They have to be hard core to be cooking and gaming at the same time!

    or

    They should be cooking up my dinner not characte..oh forget it

    never mind :P

  • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @10:53PM (#30541354) Homepage
    If guys spent any more time playing games, they'd not have time left over for their wank sessions. There are only so many hours in the day. Priorities.
  • Isn't there an inherent sample bias in asking only EverQuest players?

    Playing time increases with age? - EverQuest is an old game, and it's players tend to drift towards the hardcore. Anyone still playing it must be really into it. Younger players will probably be turned off - either by the older graphics or the fact they could be playing WoW instead.

    As for the differences between genders, we have to remember that we're not polling the general population. Women gamers who are still playing EverQuest are slig

  • The summary and article misspelled "evercrack" ;)

  • The pretty ones are out scoring guys, so the ugly ones might as well score some gold at home ;)

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