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Good news for Shiggy's wife-o-meter: women dominate casual gaming

6:48 PM on 04.13.2007 // Aaron Linde

As if to spite Wii naysayers everywhere, Nintendo is continuing to make money and sell consoles by the boatload, those jerks. Fortunately, their philosophies of expanding their marketshare to incorporate longstanding not-quite-gamers in the demographics that the industry has historically ignored might not be such a bad idea: new market research reports that some 76% of casual gamers are women. Consoles, on the other hand, remain a sausage fest, but only just. eMarketer.com offers up some commentary:

A study of gamer demographics by Universal McCann revealed more male than female players for consoles in particular [58% to 42%].  Fewer casual games are made for consoles than are made for other gaming platforms. eMarketer Senior Analyst Paul Verna notes that "generally speaking, the more 'hardcore' the gamer, the more likely he is to be male, and conversely, the casual gamer will tend to skew female."

Yeah -- guys are still the majority, but there's an untapped audience of casual gamers that are looking for a home on consoles where none is offered. Barbie Rocket-Mall Skate Rink Tycoon isn't targeted at casual female gamers, it's targeted at children and the criminally insane.

Though Miyamoto's now-infamous wife-o-meter speech might've had me a bit confused at first, the more data that funnels in, the more it begins to make sense -- making games that are easy for non-gamers to pick up is what casual gaming is. With everyone and (almost literally) their grandmothers lining up to buy a Wii, the question of "what gamers want" might be changing as the market expands. Even if Nintendo corners the market on console casual gaming, expect casual games to creep onto every console in the coming years. 



Aaron Linde,
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