Right now I am working on my master thesis in sociology about the topic „Casual games and gender“. As part of the preparation of the thesis I wrote a shorter (18pages) paper.
This paper discusses the question: “Why do more women play casual games than men, if altogether more men play computer games than women?”
Gender seems to have an impact upon the affinity towards different kinds of games and upon how much effort a person is willing to invest while playing a computer game. This is indicated by the different gender ratios of casual and hardcore gamers. Many potential gamers do not identify themselves with the stereotype of ‘real’ gamers, i.e., hardcore gamers, who are often seen as being young, male and lacking social skills. This could be one of the reasons why women and older people more frequently play the less ‘real’ or ‘typical’ casual games while often not seeing themselves as ‘computer gamers’.
However, there are indications that the primary factor for the preference towards casual or hardcore games is, in fact, not gender. On the contrary, gender (as well as age) could cloud the more important variables, such as experience with computers or time allocation.
For a better picture of the relationship between the different variables we would need more empirical data.
I would be very happy about comments or suggestions concerning the text or my future research. I plan to do conduct a quantitative survey on casual and hardcore game sites starting March or April 2007.
The German version was marked with an 1.3 which equals an A- in the US.