Seniors, Women getting into gaming

Research by UK analyst TNS Worldpanel Entertainment finds that women and over-45s are the fastest-growing gaming groups.

Nintendo UK's Rob Lowe said after the UK launch of the Wii that one in 10 people in the queue were women. In fact, even more than 10 percent of game players are female, according to a new report.

A survey by TNS Worldpanel Entertainment has found that the market spend by older people has grown by 41 percent over the past four years, making over-45s the fastest-growing group of gamers in the UK. Game sales to women have also grown a massive 67 percent over the same time period, whereas sales to men have remained almost the same, rising only 4 percent.

Games such as Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? (known as Brain Age in the US) and the Nintendogs series, which are marketed at nontraditional gaming demographics, look to be "well placed," according to the survey. Over-45s spent £81 million ($158 million) on game software last year, and 24 percent of money spent on Nintendo DS games was from over-45s, 41 percent from women.

Other companies would do well to follow suit, according to TNS Worldpanel Entertainment. Its report states, "This suggests a large untapped market for games makers, who may need to focus their attention on areas other than the already saturated, traditional younger male market."

Women still have a fair way to go to catch up to male gamers in the UK, although they're closing fast--men account for 66 percent of sales, and women for 34 percent.

The report also found that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo make up 97 percent of the console games market, with Sony holding 67 percent, Microsoft holding 22 percent, and pre-Wii Nintendo at just eight percent.

TNS research manager Lucy Burton commented on the Wii launch, "Our latest figures bode well for the new Wii console as Nintendo has been quite vocal about plans to attract totally new buyers into the market with the UK launch on Friday."

The report was based on TNS Entertainment data for the 52 weeks ending October 2006 and consisted of a sample of 10,000 demographically representative British citizens, ages 12 to 80.

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Discussion

102 comments
satirewire
satirewire

Bossjimbob, no need to be so defensive, I said your comment was sexist, not you. Your original comment "Keep the control interface simple and the stories compelling and the women will join the gaming fold in droves.” only listed women, not older people or those new to gaming. Once restated, I do agree with you. Sad as it is in this age of technology that so many people are still scared to use computers and video games. With more people starting to play, hopefully some of these stereotypes will die, so the gaming world will become more diversified, and annalists will pull their heads out of their butts and realize not just little boys and single 30 year old men play video games.

SulaMoon
SulaMoon

women plays a lot a more then ppl think. But.. you know. "girls doesnt exist in the internet". So pretend I wasnt here haha~ Hope more girls come and join. Games are fun you know ^^

GTCzeero
GTCzeero

It's all well and good that Nintendo are bringing new people to the market, but with the exception of Zelda i haven't seen an original Nintendo title on the Wii or DS that appeals to serious gamers. The 360 and PS2/PS3 have this sorted, yet Nintendo just can't seem to manage it.

9344891
9344891

its good to see older gamers and more female gamers this is what is needed for games to become bigger and we can get bigger and better games.

Matdredalia
Matdredalia

This hit's really, really close to home for a couple of reasons. To begin, I'm a 19 y/o gamer-girl, and I've been gaming since I was 2 years old --- because my then 46 y/o grandmother had a NES that she was absolutely addicted to. And thus I became a hard-core gamer. My grandmother has also become a mega-gamer since. She lives on her computer playing games like EverQuest, World of WarCraft, Diablo II, & Ultima Online. But the story doesn't end there --- our entire family plays these games. My mom is currently sitting about 10 feet behind me nuking the everloving crap out of the Horde in the BattleGrounds in WoW. My cousin (female), and my aunt also play WoW. I live in a family of gamers, and while there are more guys than girls, there are still a lot of us ladies, and a female GRANDPARENT started it. I have no doubts that the 45+ gaming market is increasing, but so is the gaming market in general, because, ya' know, these days, gaming isn't considered a past-time for "losers" the way it use to be.

pp222
pp222

Nintendo and Sony's market share will be swaped in some years!

faToe
faToe

my grandpa beat me in gears of war today

shortyguy2828
shortyguy2828

The older gamers totally make sense. Think about it: 45 year olds 20 years ago wouldn't play Mario. But 45 year olds today were 25 year olds when Mario came out-ish. Doesn't really seem that odd.

BobbieJean
BobbieJean

I'm female, I'm 53, and my current favorite games are Neverwinter Nights and Guild Wars. In GW, I tend to use heroes and henchies, since so many PUGs have hack'n'slash kids drawing all the mobs in a given area with no thought to tactics. These same kids tend to be shocked that someone as decrepit as me plays and enjoys the same games they do. What, I'm supposed to sit around crocheting and watching soaps? Or maybe tie on the old apron and bake a batch of snickerdoodles? Thanks, no, it's much more interesting to wander through Elona and eventually save the day. My husband is not a gamer at all, unless Tetris on his cell phone counts.

t3tra
t3tra

woohoo! I am one! Girl gamers kick ass! But I love how the game next to the article is brain age....whatever, put some twilight princess or resident evil up there!!

Cubb7
Cubb7

I know lots of gamer gurlies. I married one!! :D

LexLas
LexLas

Not a shocker, but they are a rare breed. I am always glad to know them.

phSychO_AtDawn
phSychO_AtDawn

Yeah my sis plays games but only simple games like Burnout Revenge and stuff.

Axe_336
Axe_336

Hey, if these little games are feeding the companies money they need to put out more quality titles, more power to 'em. On another note, anyone surprised by an upswing in female gamers needs to get out of their basement sometimes.

KBFTodd
KBFTodd

My girl likes to play games, but only the easy arcade games from XBL. She likes to watch me play GOW but says, "na that's too hard for me".

GKBeetle
GKBeetle

Guest_1001 Summary: Don't listen to any loser who says "n00b". . ------------------------------------------------- You are one of the smartest people on these boards, by far. I agree with everything you say. It's really hard to enjoy online gaming for just the reasons that you talk about. It seems like 90% of the people who play online have the maturity level of an 8 year old boy.

hector1313
hector1313

Perhaps a career as a peeping tom is on the cards, undox ;) I think it's good that women are getting into it. No more stereotyping about sweaty, greasy haired fat geeks being the only ones playing games :lol:

undox
undox

You could have fooled me. Whenever I go anywhere that has video games, the only women that I see are mother buying for their children, which are mostly boys. I need to see more women playing before I can feel like it is a natural part of life.

axillia
axillia

Does this study only take console gaming into account or is PC gaming included as well.

Guest_1001
Guest_1001

"Female gamers are all n00bs, so lame. They all play ps2 games or crappy pc games." You know, ridiculous comments like that are the reason you don't have a girlfriend. And seriously, it's that attitude by online gamers (and, I'll guarantee, an X-Box fanboy) that make less women want to play games. I'm a guy gamer and anyone who says the word "n00b" isn't worth listening to. It's people like this guy who makes me avoid online gaming. I know he didn't mention online games, but I can tell. I have a few Female gamer friends, most of them into survival-horror games. Having said that, one of my friends also was sick of going online to hear the ridiculous swearing that X-Box fanboys come out with and being kicked out of games just because she was a girl. Seriously. It's ridiculous that a lot of guy gamers (guaranteed to be the same people who call themselves "hardcore gamers" and think that Halo is the greatest game ever) can't get over the fact that girls might beat them at something. Summary: Don't listen to any loser who says "n00b".

linmukai
linmukai

Reading some of what precedes my comment I find it interesting that some males analyze female gamers like they are some sort of aliens from another planet. They are a lot more like us than different from us...lol. My daughter took to Q3A like a duck to water and was laying waste like an old pro in no time. But she did tire of it after just a day and you know, maybe she's right? How much depth is there in deathmatching? Its fun but there is almost none really. Maybe it is the neanderthal in me as a man, but I have to admit I do still like simple shooters and mad killing sprees, endless violence, explosions (the bigger the better), etc. and its probably safe to say that women as a group are less inclined to like this because even though we are more the same than different, we are undeniably different in some ways that extend beyond the purely physical. Neither being greater or lesser but certainly different. Some commented on women having a preference for simpler games and there is almost a tone in some posts that seems to indicate a feeling that women are simpler than we are. That of course is ridiculous. It probably has more to do with two factors: one, so-called simpler games frequently tend to be non-violent entertainment and maybe women do gravitate more towards that but it doesn't mean they need or want simplicity as much as they might prefer entertainment that doesn't revolve around violence. Even there however, I'm sure women's taste range just as widely as ours and there are everything from hardcore killing spree artists to MMORPGers who always play healers to puzzle gamers to whatever. It is interesting to see studies about gaming demographics but I wouldn't read too much into them except perhaps for the very good news that more people of all ages and both sexes are discovering what some of us have known for a very long time. That is, PC and console gaming is great fun and there are many ways to have that fun, as many ways as there are varying tastes regarless of which side of the sexual fence you were born on. It's just a matter of time now for the demographics to settle out to the point where there's a fairly even spread of young and old, male and female, enjoying the best interactive entertainment there is. Now all I need to do is find a nice lady in her 40's like me, who loves gaming, preferably RPGs of all kinds, shooters optional, and I will be in heaven. LOL! Yes, women playing games more and more is good news guys. I think the days of EQ Widows, etc. are drawing to a close and we may find ourselves trying to yank her out of the raid so we can get her to pay some attention to us instead of always it being the other way around. It's about time too. Welcome ladies! Glad to see you!

7zfighters
7zfighters

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

deathskitten
deathskitten

yes and women are only interested in games like Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? and Nintendogs series because other games are purely for men (note sarcasm)

blueflamedino
blueflamedino

apparently, pardon the pun, the women ho are being talked about are the women in the age group which tends to be current mothers, could this be response to parents against videogames by the industry

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

women play games a lot mroe than researchers think

Wezker619
Wezker619

Uhhh Old people playing videogames okay It makes it more embarrsing for them when I OWN EM!

Doolum
Doolum

well thats a good thing

ExcAREentric
ExcAREentric

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Platyphyllum
Platyphyllum

Well, if this happens then there will be less people than Jack Thompson being around.

Max_Hydrogen
Max_Hydrogen

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

kilaan
kilaan

Great..... now we are going to have games that talk about feelings.......

roseargent
roseargent

Young people can have arthritis too, and RSI problems. It makes any kind of gaming tougher, but some of us are willing to suffer the pain in order to enjoy our games.

s-s
s-s

brainiac24 lol... y would old ppl play the wii? they have arthritis... lmao!!! harsh dude, but true.

JrockGoddess
JrockGoddess

Not really a surprising fact....but I'm glad to hear other girls are getting in on the action.

brainiac24
brainiac24

lol... y would old ppl play the wii? they have arthritis...

roseargent
roseargent

I hate it when these stupid articles come out. It always devolves into idiocy about "real" gamers, and sexism. Well, all I have to say is, of the two or three dozen women I know, more are gamers than not. And no, I am not talking about Nintendogs or puzzle games. And none of them play much of anything on Nintendo consoles--PS2, all the way. RPGs, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid.

TryMe01
TryMe01

the increase in female gamers and olders one's should be mainly credited to Nintendo and their marketing and innovations

Guest_1001
Guest_1001

"The more people who call themselves gamers(whether you consider them so or not) the fewer people there are to listen to schmucks like Jack Thompson. And the sooner they go away and leave us all to go back to our game of choice in peace." You never know; if the age of new gamers keeps rising, Jack Thompson himself might get into it. :P

AARONRULZ1
AARONRULZ1

Women OVER 45 gaming??? I find that very hard to believe...

Jaeme
Jaeme

I know a fair number of women gamers, and I`ve always considered them equal rather than an oddity. Its when things are TARGETED at a group that it all falls apart. Barbie, and beefcake aren`t going to get women interested in games. Good games are. And far from being uninterested in games the single biggest thing that seems to be bringing in gamers "of a certain age" or a certain gender is actually good graphics. Now that they look like movies and don`t require the same imagination to understand whats going on they are getting into them. Call of Duty series has gotten more older men into gaming than any single thing in years. Great stories are doing the same for women. And before anyone writes off anyone else for not fitting their definition of gamer, stop and think for a second. The more people who call themselves gamers(whether you consider them so or not) the fewer people there are to listen to schmucks like Jack Thompson. And the sooner they go away and leave us all to go back to our game of choice in peace.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Whatever. I will admit that of the 7 people who showed up early enough for a Wii preorder (I was #2), 2 of them were women over the age of 30.

Zaxex
Zaxex

I don't think females wil catch up with males as far as gaming goes,they have better things to do :P but it's good to hear more girls are playing games. I have three girls in the house and every one of them plays games from time to time, my sister even played through to the end of Gears of war with me on co-op.

Metamorphos1s
Metamorphos1s

good news... but like Shtinky said, not all of them are real gamers.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

"The report also found that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo make up 97 percent of the console games market, " Wait a minute... that means the remaining 3 percent belongs to... *gasp* the Sega Dreamcast!

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

Well, slowly, but surely, the gaming market is finally becoming more varied. That's a good thing.