Posted: 21 Nov 2011 08:00 AM PST
Most online gamers are female, while women who play online have more sex than those who don’t. Or at least that’s what a new survey claims.
Harris Interactive carried out a survey of 2,000 adults for GameHouse. (The survey was carried out online, though it’s not clear if the respondents were self selecting.) The headline finding was that 55% of those who said they were online gamers were female.
If this doesn’t match up with stereotypes, it may well be that the definition was “people who play online games on their computer, social networking sites, or mobile devices.” It seems inconceivable this isn’t intended to include games consoles (or that respondents wouldn’t have just interpreted the question that way.) However, the key is the mention of social networking sites: tending your crops in Farmville is classed as online gaming, which — based only on my personal experience — may affect the gender balance.
The survey also found that 57% of women who game online “have sex” (whatever frequency counts for that definition) compared with 52% of female non-gamers. Meanwhile 38% of female gamers have sex once a week, compared with 34% of female non-gamers. Of course, that level of difference has little if any statistical significance.
Similar points of comparison between female gamers and non-gamers found gamers are more likely to watch TV, but also more likely to play sports, and more likely to socialize regularly, though again the differences were relatively small. Female gamers were notably more likely to use social networks, though given the definition of online gaming used, that’s kind of a circular question.
The survey also found that gamers were more likely to have children aged under 18 (38% vs 28%). Meanwhile just under two-thirds lived with a husband or partner, most were happy with their relationship, and nearly two-thirds are aged 35 or older.
Of the female gamers, half said games made them feel smarter, while a majority said games were either a way to relieve stress, deal with boredom, or take a mental break. Only one in six said games were a way to connect with people.