Women Video Gamers: Not Just Solitaire

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Women Video Gamers: Not Just Solitaire
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for InStyle)

Take a look at the people around you.

Now look closer. For every three women you see, it's likely that at least one of them is a gamer.

Despite figures from the Entertainment Ratings Software Board (ESRB) that claim almost 40 percent of video and PC gamers are of the female persuasion, women's participation in the gaming biz still seems to come across as something of an oddity. A freakish anomaly that rarely occurs in the natural world... or at least barely registers on the radar.

GamingAngels.com is one of many gaming sites dedicated to the love of all things video games with a primarily all-female staff. Whether it's ThumbBandits.com, who have a tongue-in-cheek "Vagina Gamerlogues," or groups of women out to dominate entire genres and targeted games alike (like the PMS Clan or Frag Dolls), women are starting to band together, face the legions of male gamers... and kick their asses.

The Frag Dolls whupped me hard once at (Splinter Cell) Double Agent, predictably. But I've also run into lots of female gamers on (Xbox) Live, and they often seem to dominate the map with me on some COD4. We gel together, I dont' know why. I'd guess they get so much crap for being a 'girl' on Live that only the best players, or at least the most tough-minded ones, can stomach hanging out on Live for too long.

But, this is where the trouble seems to start and the tough questions arise. Should companies market games just for women? How do you make typically male-dominated games girl-friendly? And how exactly do you dispose of the exaggerated female bits and pieces designed to titillate the hordes of male gamers?

That my friends is a question you will have to answer yourselves....

Dexter Brocks—VSN Writer

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