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Heading the Girl Game Revolution

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With females making up over 43 percent of gamers, why would game makers ignore them? While male developers continue creating games for the boys market, female players and developers are leading a not-so-quiet revolution to get women’s gaming needs met. Christine M. Cook uncovers the common myths, preferences, and preferred games for both girls and women.

Ten years ago, game publishers claimed girls didn't play video games.

"They said females were computer-phobic," explains Megan Gaiser, President and CEO of Her Interactive, makers of the Nancy Drew mystery games. "They said there's no market for females in interactive entertainment."

But that didn't make sense to Gaiser, who started her career in multi-media. "They target girls and women in the world of film and books and music. Why in the world would they stop at computer gaming?"

Proving the Market

Her Interactive released McKenzie and Company in 1995, and Mattel's Barbie game hit the shelf around the same time. RugRats, the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen twins' games, and other independent "girl games" were also blooming, while big game makers called girls a niche market.

"Nobody anticipated the resistance due to the gender. No one saw that coming," says Gaiser. But after selling 30,000 copies of McKenzie, Gaiser knew the market was underserved.

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