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Women and Game Centers: Revisited

Recently the gang  at dotGAME LAN gaming center posed the question: “Where are all the women?”  We were asking this question to try and pin down why there is such disparity, in the game center environment, between male and female customers.

The question stemmed from some interesting statistics that seemed to contradict each other.  According to the ESA, 40 percent of all game players are women.  Now our data on game centers across the U.S. indicate that the customer mix of male vs. female players was something like 9 to 1 respectively (90%/10%).

We were curious why this seemed to be the case,  so we put out an informal question on Facebook, Alphainventions, and the Twitter network to see if we could start to get a better picture of the landscape.  The information we received was interesting to say the least.

  • We actually got very few responses from males on this question, but the answers we got from males on the question went primarily like this:
    • Women don’t want to hang around a bunch of overweight geeks that are going to do nothing but ogle at them the entire time they are there (remember this is a distilled version of the answers we received from males).  It is interesting to note that the male answers tended to fall into that stereotypical view of game centers.
    • Women don’t want to hang out in a place with dirty bathrooms
  • Some of the answers we got from females answering the question were as follows:
    • Women are social creatures. Many would rather sit around and talk over some crafting activity with drinks or go shopping than sit in front of a computer screen and shoot ’em up. Not that there’s anything anti-cathartic about killing pixellated men but many women find there’s more to the day than that.
    • I would much rather sit at home with my honey.  Now if you open up a room that feels like my living room  then I might consider it. And I don’t like to ‘game’ alone, nor do I feel the need to play with strangers.
    • Here is what I think. Men tend to be more competitive then women when it comes to certain games, which are generally LAN type games. Women are more into the “Social type” games, like the on-line games we have today, Everquest and or Worlds of Warcraft. Men tend to have a goal and try to achieve it in a game, to where a woman might log into a game just to sit and chat with friends for awhile and not achieve a
      thing. I’m guilty of that with my on-line games that I’ve played, to where (name omitted) has a certain number of quests that he wants to finish in a night. I know when we play together, some times he gets frustrated that I spend more time chatting then helping him with a quest.

It is interesting to note that the male responses seemed to focus in more on the physical aspects of the environment.  female responses were more intangible, focusing on the experience itself.  If anyone out there is working on a psychology degree this sure seems to be a good subject for a thesis.

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About Mike Lemons
I'm a guy in his 40's who has been bumming around the net for years. I am married to a wonderful woman, and have 3 gorgeous kids.

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