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1995-2000
GamesFirst! Magazine

PC Data Study Shows That Women are New Majority in Online Gaming

Reston, VA (December 14, 2000) – PC and console gaming is no longer just a man’s folly, according to a new report available through PC Data.  The study reveals that while males makeup 55 percent of overall gamers, females for the first time comprise a majority of online gamers.

The report indicates that 35 percent of home Internet users plan to purchase console or PC games during the current Holiday season.  A majority of these (69 percent) plan to buy console games.  An estimated 60 percent of U.S. households own a PC and one in three owns a game console.

The study, entitled Spotlight on Games: Categories and Hardware, utilizes a variety of data sourced from PC Data’s complete offering of retail sales tracking, Internet audience measurement, software usage tracking, hardware configuration and custom survey. 

“The Christmas Holiday is huge for the online and offline gaming industry.  Consumers have already spent over $3.4 billion at retail alone for games,” said Sean Wargo, Internet analyst for PC Data.  “By year end, these figures could double making it a seven billion dollar industry.  While the report shows that PCs are the platform of choice of gamers, console games will be the clear winners in terms of sales for the year and Holiday season.”

The results indicate that women comprise 50.4 percent of online gamers and that they typically favor online gambling, card games, and quiz and trivia games online.

Other key findings from the report follow:

Men and women prefer different types of online and offline games.  Males prefer war and sports themes.  Men are also three times as likely as female gamers to participate in first person shooter games (38 percent vs. 12 percent), real-time/turn-based strategy games (33 percent vs. 11 percent), and sports games (30 percent vs. 10 percent).  In contrast, female gamers prefer board/card games (78 percent vs. 51 percent), gambling themes (36 percent vs. 26 percent), and quiz/puzzle/trivia contests (55 percent vs. 25 percent).

Solitaire, Free Cell and similar bundled games are the most frequently played of all online and offline games.  The top PC game categories are strategy (real time/turn-based (68 percent), world building (67 percent) and flight simulation genres (68 percent).  Console users prefer the fighting (72 percent), sports (60 percent) and driving simulation categories (54 percent). 

Over 41.1 percent of gamers spend between one and five hours per week playing games.  Twenty-four percent play games fewer than an hour per week and the remaining 35 percent play over five hours per week.

Christmas shoppers who plan to buy console games for their children or significants should watch what they rent.  Nearly one-third of all gamers (30 percent) have rented a game during the past year.  The vast majority of renters (70 percent) do so “to try out the game before buying.”

Of the 35 percent of respondents who plan to purchase a game during the Holiday season, one in three plans to buy an adventure game.  Pokemon, Zelda and Final Fantasy were listed as top video games choices, and The Sims, Baldur’s Gate and SimCity were the top PC preferences.

Graphic quality was rated the primary criterion when purchasing a console game (59 percent). The list of available titles is also important to a large segment of buyers (39 percent). The ability to play against other players on the Internet was not a factor in choice of console.

A sample of 3,507 home Internet users, including both gamers and non-gamers, were selected from a panel of 120,000 U.S. home Internet users during Nov. 2 – 9 for the survey components of the report.  Margin of error on this data is +/- 1.7 percent. 

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