Online gaming: Women outnumber the men


A survey by Nielsen shows that of the 117 million active gamers in the US, 56% play games online, and of those, 64% are women. Active gamers were determined as being over 13, having at least one games device, and playing at least one hour of games each week. Men outnumber women gamers overall, but not online.

The survey also looked at casual gamers, who tend to jump around from free demo to free demo without any particular loyalty, and found that they spent around £5 per month on gaming. More dedicated gamers such as those playing MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft spent around £15 per month, though a lot of that would presumably be for ongoing subscriptions. At the top of the pile came Xbox 360 owners who spent around £20 per month.

Most console owners have at least one platform for playing games – either more than one console or a console and a PC. The Playstation 2 took most market share, with 59%, followed by Xbox’s of all generations at 33%. The GameCube came in at 30%.

Active game players spend around 14 hours per week on consoles and 17 hours per week on handheld gaming systems. 24% used a mobile phone for gaming. However, PCs are very popular, with 64% of active gamers using one.

Playing games is also sociable (at least virtually) with gamers spending 5 hours per week playing online with other people. Not sure how many play in the same room with other gamers.

Whilst this is a US-based survey, I wouldn’t expect the figures to be vastly different, at least proportionally, in the UK.

What kind of gamer are you? Me – sad to say probably very casual (or should that be cheapskate). I rarely buy games and either go for freeware or demos.

Andy Merrett
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