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Old 12-23-2008, 04:25 AM   #1
lost
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40% Of Online Gamers Are Women

The BBC has taken a look at a recent study to establish gender differences within online worlds. The study, which focused on EverQuest II, showed that the percentage of women playing may well be higher than you think.

Quote:
Picture a typical player of a massively multiplayer game such as World of Warcraft and most people will imagine an overweight, solitary male.

But this stereotype has been challenged by a study investigating gender differences among gamers.

It found that the most hard-core players are female, that gamers are healthier than average, and that game playing is an increasingly social activity.

Despite gaming being seen as a male activity, female players now make up about 40% of the gaming population.

The study looked at gender differences in more than 2,400 gamers playing EverQuest II.
More information at the good ole' beeb.

Obviously there are flaws in this, maybe it's just a fluke that so many women completed the questionnaire. I don't think it's far off though.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:27 AM   #2
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Just because Everquest 2 may employ more female gamers, does not mean that 40% of people who play games online are women.

Hey, I just did a study about Barbie Horse Adventures and found that 99% of the people who play that are female children under 10. Therefore, 99% of people who play video games are now girls under 10.

Personally, I find this more interesting from the article:
Quote:
Perhaps in support of this the survey revealed an unusually high level of bisexuality among the women who took part in the study - over five times higher than the general population.

"These are not people who are following strict gender stereotypes," said Prof Caplan.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:31 AM   #3
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game playing is an increasingly social activity
I think this is the primary reason why you will see a higher percentage of women playing MMOs vs. traditional games. I know that both of my sisters and my fiancee play MMOs but they rarely play much else.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by netcraazzy View Post
I think this is the primary reason why you will see a higher percentage of women playing MMOs vs. traditional games. I know that both of my sisters and my fiancee play MMOs but they rarely play much else.
I met my wife in an MMO many moons* ago.

*Tip: Never use "wife" and "years" in the same sentence.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Emabulator View Post
I met my wife in an MMO many moons* ago.

*Tip: Never use "wife" and "years" in the same sentence.
Now the real question is, do you still play MMOs with her? I was actually surprised when I first started dating my fiancee to learn that she played Everquest and WoW. The most I had ever hoped for in a significant other was somebody who would tolerate my gaming hobby.

We tried playing WoW together a couple times and the result was pretty bad. She wanted to hang out and chat with the guild mates and I wanted to get quests done. Maybe I'm just an antisocial gamer but I've come to the conclusion that most women want to play games for the social aspects and I want to play games for the sense of accomplishment.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by netcraazzy View Post
Now the real question is, do you still play MMOs with her? I was actually surprised when I first started dating my fiancee to learn that she played Everquest and WoW. The most I had ever hoped for in a significant other was somebody who would tolerate my gaming hobby.

We tried playing WoW together a couple times and the result was pretty bad. She wanted to hang out and chat with the guild mates and I wanted to get quests done. Maybe I'm just an antisocial gamer but I've come to the conclusion that most women want to play games for the social aspects and I want to play games for the sense of accomplishment.
I think this is just the last in a neverending stream of really bad statistics polling about gaming.

Kind of like that "most gamers are adults" one, or the "most gamers are age 40" poll.. You look around and see clearly that it simply isn't the case.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by netcraazzy View Post
Now the real question is, do you still play MMOs with her? I was actually surprised when I first started dating my fiancee to learn that she played Everquest and WoW. The most I had ever hoped for in a significant other was somebody who would tolerate my gaming hobby.

We tried playing WoW together a couple times and the result was pretty bad. She wanted to hang out and chat with the guild mates and I wanted to get quests done. Maybe I'm just an antisocial gamer but I've come to the conclusion that most women want to play games for the social aspects and I want to play games for the sense of accomplishment.
We played MMOs together for several years after we met (AC, AC2, EQ, WoW and LotR). I also had accounts for DAoC, EQ2 and a few others during that time period.

We got tired of grinding and raiding around the same time. I lasted a little longer in LotR; when my Turbine-was-cheap-as-hell-with-only-five-character-slots were capped I was gone for good.

We both still sit in the same room playing PC games. She likes action RPGs, adventure games and casual stuff. I'll play just about anything that's good. With shooters, RPGs, strategy games and racing sims at the top of the list.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:00 AM   #8
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See I believe there is at least a higher level of tolerance from partners. Other than my girlfriends mad Mario and Donkey Kong Country skills she doesn't have a huge interest in gaming but still tolerates my nattering and hours spent in front of screens.

I think more women playing games is really just indicative of it becoming a more accepted hobby in general.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:10 AM   #9
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I met me wife on EQ1, but we are playing EQ2 now. We play together most of the time, and this Christmas we are probably going to play a lot. Much more than usual. 97% of that need to play is because we abandoned the car 4 blocks from home in a deep, crunchy pile of snow. The thought of digging it out is not so high as the chance of rain in a week.

On EQ1 we played in a very big raiding guild, and it was amazing how many women played. We have two friends who play, who are both women and married (to each other). We seem to find a lot of women playing, and a lot of couples as well.

The 40% survey results for EQ2 aren't far off as far as we can tell.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:19 AM   #10
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I wonder if the number of HAWT BI CHIXZORS was so high because it was actually a bunch of 13 year old males taking it?

Naw, I'm sure it's just that there's an abundance of athletic bisexual women that enjoy hanging out for hours upon hours in front of a computer screen.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:08 AM   #11
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My guild leader in WAR is married with multiple children... I think shes rich too...

Women are common as hell in an MMO, and Im pretty sure that there are more females playing as males instead of the other way around.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:16 AM   #12
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There is an obvious explanation for this, and this is that women are more social so will gravitate towards and MMO where they can be all chatty like. Damn, after my divorce it sounds like I should have hit the MMO world instead of online personals! But how was I to know... I have yet to this day to really play an MMO despite gaming since 1984 and playiing RPGs since 87.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:18 AM   #13
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*cough*bullshit*cough*
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:42 AM   #14
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Not to get off on any sexist rants, but I wonder if the idea that women are more likely to want to escape to another life has any merit.

I could see a lot of housewives spending time online as a way to escape to a place where they're not boring stay inside mothers. Kind of like basement dwelling male nerds but without the optimism that tomorrow may be different.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:22 AM   #15
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It really surprised me in WoW that as I began raiding 10 man Naxx in WoTLK, 3/10 of the raiders in our group were females. I mean, that's a higher percentage of females than I'd expect for a rather hardcore raiding scenario. And I can confirm that they were females because we did use vent. :P

40% for EQ doesn't seem impossible if most of the people remaining are 'done' with the game and just enjoying the social aspects.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:38 AM   #16
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It really surprised me in WoW that as I began raiding 10 man Naxx in WoTLK, 3/10 of the raiders in our group were females. I mean, that's a higher percentage of females than I'd expect for a rather hardcore raiding scenario. And I can confirm that they were females because we did use vent. :P

40% for EQ doesn't seem impossible if most of the people remaining are 'done' with the game and just enjoying the social aspects.
I'm sorry, but this sort of sexist bullshit gets really tiring. Women only "socialize". Yeah, get a grip.

Lets see, I ran a high end raiding guild in EQ1. I would say about 30% of the membership was women, and it wasn't men who played female characters. On top of that, I find they were very competitive. My wife certainly isn't a non-competitive "social" gamer. She plays to win. So does my sister (who played WoW instead of EQ2). We have female friends who play WoW, they raid. Another guild we were in had lots and lots of couples, and the women were rarely non-raiding "social only" players. They were consistently well played, high end geared characters.

But, let me tell you how things really go. When a woman plays an MMO there is no shortage of dimwitted, egotistical 12 year olds in 40 year old male bodies who talk down to them. Trust me, there is no shortage at all. What women will do is when dealing with men of short mentality is they simply say "Yeah, I'm a guy playing a female character". It's dead easy to do, and it ends things permanently for them; suddenly they are treated with more respect and not hit on every two seconds.

If you believe that few women play, it is for the simple reason that few of them revealed themselves to you specifically.

Now, I find that overall much more believable than that women don't play or that they only want to "chat". What bullshit that is, but it's your world and if that's how little you want to think of half the worlds population then help yourself.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:11 PM   #17
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Just because Everquest 2 may employ more female gamers, does not mean that 40% of people who play games online are women.

Hey, I just did a study about Barbie Horse Adventures and found that 99% of the people who play that are female children under 10. Therefore, 99% of people who play video games are now girls under 10.

Personally, I find this more interesting from the article:
Agreed. The number of women I encounter online when I play games is SURE as hell NOT 40%.. probably not even 5%. Eh.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:13 PM   #18
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a rant
My original point was that at such a late stage in a game's life, the social aspect can become one of the major focuses. I don't think it's sexist to say that women would enjoy the social aspect of a game more. I'm fairly sure behavioral and genetic studies confirm men to be more naturally competitive and that's the only reason why I didn't expect as many female raiders.

That being said, I did just explain that my raid group does consists of a relatively high % of female players. So I don't get why you think females won't 'reveal' themselves to me. I don't talk down to them and I sure as hell am not trying to hit on them.

I don't think few women play, but I don't think 40% is common in MMOs. If my reasoning was poor to you, then so be it. I'm not a sexist person and your feminist lecture was worthless to me.
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:28 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by netcraazzy View Post
Now the real question is, do you still play MMOs with her? I was actually surprised when I first started dating my fiancee to learn that she played Everquest and WoW. The most I had ever hoped for in a significant other was somebody who would tolerate my gaming hobby.

We tried playing WoW together a couple times and the result was pretty bad. She wanted to hang out and chat with the guild mates and I wanted to get quests done. Maybe I'm just an antisocial gamer but I've come to the conclusion that most women want to play games for the social aspects and I want to play games for the sense of accomplishment.
My wife before we even knew eachother was a closet console gamer, playing SNES games with her family when she was younger. When we started dating she found out my roomates and I played EQ1. She eventually got "coerced" into playing EQ1 (she says coerced, we KNEW she actually was interested). There was a small group of about a dozen of us who were all friends who played EQ1 and lived in the same city and actually knew each other outside the game. Out of the 12 of us only one was a woman, she played a cleric. Anyways my wife liked the MMO aspect maxxing out her Ranger with epics and all before she quit.

Fast forward to today, she plays EQ2 in a high end raid guild and uses vent (its a real time chat program). The entire guild uses the same vent server, so everyone pretty much chats in it when raid instructions are not being given. The guild runs about 30ish unique players maybe 35'ish tops and there are 4 woman who play in the guild on a consistant basis. There is a 5th who either doesnt chat much, or isn't on raids (I don't know I don't have the time to raid more than 2 nights a week).

My point being from my experience, granted while I would fully agree there are more women playing, I don't think we have hit 40% yet. I would say maybe we are at 25% tops.

For anyone interested in some random thoughts/experiences/surmisings, all 5 females in the guild including my wife play healers, but also have a high lvl alt who does more than 1 role/require more than just hitting 1 button and going AFK (away from keyboard). For example my wife also has an Illusionist (role is crowd control and doing dmg) she raids with, and a Conjurer (solo/dps/minor group buff class). One of the druids has a Monk (DPS/Off-Tank/Minor group buffage?Emergency group tank).

In random pick up groups I have never seen more than one female in a group. The only time I grouped with a female Guardian (Tank/damage absorption role) she ended up having a high end shaman (healer class) as an alt.

All but one of the women have been either engaged or married to a male, who most of the time also played EQ2. The male was either a tank or a dps class. There was only one female who was not engaged/married and she was bi-sexual. Take this for what it is worth the only flamboyantly gay male was a healer too.

I have my own opinions about all of this, but thought I would share some food for thought.
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:01 AM   #20
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But, let me tell you how things really go. When a woman plays an MMO there is no shortage of dimwitted, egotistical 12 year olds in 40 year old male bodies who talk down to them. Trust me, there is no shortage at all. What women will do is when dealing with men of short mentality is they simply say "Yeah, I'm a guy playing a female character". It's dead easy to do, and it ends things permanently for them; suddenly they are treated with more respect and not hit on every two seconds.

If you believe that few women play, it is for the simple reason that few of them revealed themselves to you specifically.

Now, I find that overall much more believable than that women don't play or that they only want to "chat". What bullshit that is, but it's your world and if that's how little you want to think of half the worlds population then help yourself.
I can also verify the vailidty of this. There were so many times that my wife or I would announce in groups that we were playing in the same room (usually came about when someone would tell me to stop pulling mobs so fast because the healer was low on power, she would reply that she will hurt me if I pull slower she likes the challenge) which would lead to someone else in group announcing they also were playing with there spouse in the group.

I do think they get tired of being bothered so they just avoid announcing and/or don't want the stigma. The stigma may also be part of the problem the women I have been in groups with (including my wife) while being very forgiving of screwups (well not my wife on this part who is quick to call me on my screw-ups... hehe), are very competitive about being the best they can be.... especially my wife... who runs a parse program and likes to announce out loud to me when she see's a group slacker "What the heck! I just out parsed this assassin what is he doing??".

** I can't edit my prior post, but all this had me thinking it might be a 30% ratio I am seeing lately.
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