The (Mobile) Games Women Play
By Mike Masnick, Thu Jul 01 21:45:00 GMT 2004

A new study shows that women are mobile gamers more than men. Is it really all that surprising?


The Yankee Group came out today with their "gender stereotype bending" study saying that women are bigger mobile gamers than men. Apparently, 58% of mobile gamers are women. While that seems surprising to some, it really doesn't go against most other findings either.

Women are big gamers and have been for a while -- it's just that they're not big gamers in the sense that many people (mostly male reporters and analysts) think about "gaming." That is, they like "skill-based games such as cards, solitaire and puzzles," rather than first-person shooters. In fact, these "bored housewives" as they're unfortunately called in the industry, tend to spend more time playing online games than teenagers.

At the same time, they're clearly big mobile phone users. Textually.org notes a new study from Sony Ericsson saying that women would rather leave their house without lipstick than without their cell phones. It's tough for me to comment on that, not being a lipstick wearing female, but the article certainly suggests it's a big deal. The facts are clear, with lipstick or without, women like their mobile phones.

When all of this is combined, it's not shocking at all that women enjoy playing puzzle-type games on their mobile phones that keep them occupied. InfoSpace seems to have noticed this today as they went out and purchased Atlas Mobile, a maker of "head-to-head and progressive tournaments featuring games such as Tetris, poker and solitaire," which seems to fit right in with what these studies suggest women want.

However, for those who are suddenly seeing dollar signs from an underserved market, it's not that clear that women are really interested in paying for these games. The Yankee Group study does note that, despite the higher number of female gamers, only 17% paid for games, nearly half the number of males who paid for games.